Managing and improving
your premises

Improving your premises

The building you want to take on may be run-down and need refurbishment; you may want to improve your current premises, or you would like a new build to get purpose-built premises.  Finding the funding and then planning and managing building works can be very demanding.  It is vital that you keep a tight control of costs to avoid them spiralling out of control, and it is important to choose the right professionals and building contractors for the job.

Some of the key questions you need to consider are:

  • How is a building contract structured.
  • How do you ensure that your new building is environmentally friendly
  • What does it mean if the funder wants to put a charge on your lease.
  • Do you need planning permission
  • What are building regulations
  • What should you do to make your building accessible
  • What is the VAT position on construction and building

Building Assets offers expert services to ensure your organisation manages the activities involved in improving your premises efficiently, smoothly and cost effectively.  You are invited to contact Janet Keighley on to discuss how we can work with you.  We focus on helping you to identify and to make the most of the opportunities available, to overcome any obstacles and challenges.

We also provide a range of resources on this website to support you with improving your premises.  Our resources, and many of the other resources are available free; some external resources have a relatively small charge.

Resources to help you with improving your premises:

Construction and renovation projects   Useful information from Farrer’s Charity Property Seminars, 2014.

Improving your premises may involve alterations or changes in how you use the space.  See this guidance on the legal issues around Changing the occupation or use of your property to find out about the things you need to consider before making changes.

Life Cycle Costing and Whole Life Costing (WLC) are approaches involving calculating the whole cost of a building’s life at the outset, taking into account the initial capital cost, the operational, maintenance, repair, improvement and finally the disposal costs.  These approaches are very relevant when choosing between options for refurbishment / redevelopment, and improve decision taking.  (The terms Life Cycle Costing and Whole Life Costing tend to be used interchangeably but the 2 techniques are slightly different, with WLC being more extensive in the costs which are included.)

A useful explanation of life cycle costing is provided by Constructing Excellence a construction industry body.

BCIS Guide Supports Life Cycle Costing Standard – RICS  Brief explanation of life cycle costing from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. They produce a model, but this costs £75.  Standardized Method of Life Cycle Costing for Construction Procurement

What is Asset Management? | The IAM  Very comprehensive description of WLC and asset management in general from the Institute of Asset Management.  You can download a useful free booklet

Whole Life Costing | CIPFA  free sample of their model available (full version costs £95)

Energy Efficiency:  Improving energy efficiency in community buildings – Centre … Guide to improving the energy efficiency of a community building, from the Centre for Sustainable Energy

Information and model documents can be found on the following websites:

Community Matters See  Building Management
Some Community Matters resources are available for free, and some are charged for (typically £2 – £12.50) though they are free to members of Community Matters


Keeping control of costs during building works is vital.