Project aims

The overall aim of the project is to develop and implement an integrated framework for the selection and management of hospital finishes. The main contribution will be a clear and simple system for the selection and management of hospital finishes in order to meet health, safety, statutory and environmental needs over its life cycle in a cost effective way. The developed system will act as a persuasive instrument to encourage good design and thoughtful finishes specification. Besides, it will enable running costs to be monitored, measured and controlled in a systematic way.

The project will draw on our established expertise developed in an EPSRC-funded project undertaken jointly with Salford University to develop an integrated database for WLC applications of construction assets; as well as methodological innovations in WLC modelling 


The beneficiaries will include NHS Estates, NHS Trusts and other healthcare providers, patients, academia and the construction industry.

  • The NHS will benefit from testing and implementing the system and the development of an ‘intelligent’ database which will enable running costs to be monitored, measured and controlled. This will improve the productivity and efficiency of material selection and maintenance decisions. Furthermore, it will help the NHS to influence the uncertain relationships between present and future costs and values of various finishes and increase the transparency of the decision making process. All of these issues have a direct bearing the economics of running healthcare buildings.
  • Patients will benefit from reduced risk of falls and reduced severity of injuries should falls occur, as well as improved recovery rates. The proper choice of finishes and their cleaning regimes will help to increase the resistance to the spread of infection through the use of antimicrobial agents, fungicides etcetera. Furthermore, research has shown that good design, including well chosen finishes, can have implications for psychological well-being and hence recovery rates.
  • Academia will benefit from the development of a framework for a database to use in the development of whole life costing analysis. Academics will become aware of recent technological and process advances of WLC applications.
  • The industry will also benefit by sharing the information available on the database. There is also a recognition that this concept will lead to major cultural changes in the approach to project investment decision making in the industry.


The project will be completed in 2007, and is being undertaken by the following staff: