Building Useful Lives

The useful life of most buildings and building components will natuarally depend on a wide range of environmental factors, but it is usually necessary to adopt a standard useful life for a range of asset types for asset management and accounting purposes.

The table below is an attempt to compile a list of realistic building useful lives. Click on the link in the "Building Component / Type" column one to find out more about where the figures quoted have come from.

Building Component / Type Typical UL Range
Building Envelope 60 years 45-75 years
Building Fire Services 40 years
Building Fitout 30 years 20-45 years
Building Mechanical Services 30 years 25-35 years
Bus Shelter 20 years
Concrete Floor 100 years
Floor Coverings 20 years 5-40 years
Lifts & Transport Services 25 years
Roof 50 years 15-90 years

Sri Lankan Study

A report 1 by Sri Lankan Professor W.P.S. Dias of the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Moratuwa Moratuwa, has identified some of the environmental factors contributing to variations in building useful life and developed the following building useful life estimator.

Main Material Environment Useful Life (years)
Reinforced concrete dry3 , non-aggressive 60
Structural steel dry , non-aggressive 80
Masonry and/or Timber dry , non-aggressive 100
Reinforced concrete wet, non-aggressive 40
Reinforced concrete wet, aggressive 30

External Links & References

  1. Useful Life of Buildings (Professor W.P.S. Dias - Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Moratuwa Moratuwa]
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