Draft: International Cost Management Standard, 3rd edition (ICMS 3)

Draft: ICMS 3rd edition_Structured document

Part 1 Context

  • Introduction

Research from the World Economic Forum has shown that improvements in the design and construction process can be achieved by using international standards like ICMS to gain comparable and consistent data. ICMS provides a high-level structure and format for classifying, defining, measuring, recording, analysing and presenting life cycle costs and carbon emissions associated with construction projects and constructed assets. This will promote consistency and transparency across international boundaries. ICMS has focused only on issues directly related to the costs and carbon emissions associated with construction projects and constructed assets so that cross-boundary performance can be benchmarked and the causes of differences identified.

The ICMS project followed work on the development of International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS). IPMS established standards for measuring the floor areas of buildings. For ICMS, a key element was that ICMS would be compatible and in accordance with IPMS.

ICMS offers a high-level framework against which life cycle costs and carbon emissions can be classified, defined, measured, recorded, analysed, presented and compared. Part 2 sets out the hierarchical framework. It has four levels:

  • Level 1: Project or Sub-Project
  • Level 2: Category
  • Level 3: Group
  • Level 4: Sub-Group.

Each Category, Group and Sub-Group is used to report costs and/or carbon emissions. The composition of Levels 2 and 3 is mandated for all Projects and Sub-Projects, although discretion is allowed at Level 4. Examples of the contents of Level 4 are given in Appendices A to E.

In comparing the performance of construction projects and constructed assets within and across national boundaries, it is essential that like is compared with like. ICMS achieve this by requiring the expression of attributes for each project and sub-project. The attributes are used to capture those characteristics of a construction project and the context in which it is built that might influence its performance. They are set out in Part 3. Thus, when comparing one project with another, their attributes should be checked for similarity, and necessary adjustments made to account for any differences.

Part 4 provides definitions of terms commonly used throughout the Standards. Definitions specific to types of Projects are provided in Appendices A to E.

Guidance is given on:

  • how the Standards are to be used
  • the level of detail to be included when presenting costs and carbon emissions
  • the method of dealing with Projects comprising different Sub-Projects and
  • the approach for ensuring that like is compared with like, especially considering different currencies, sources of carbon emissions and timeframes.

For buildings, the existing cost analysis standards worldwide require the measurement of either the Gross External Floor Area (GEFA) or Gross Internal Floor Area (GIFA). This permits the representation of overall costs in terms of currency per GEFA or GIFA. Research shows that floor area measurement standards vary considerably between countries. The linking of ICMS with IPMS provides a valuable tool for overcoming these inconsistencies. ICMS requires a cost and/or carbon emissions report to include both GEFA (IPMS 1 (EXTERNAL)) and GIFA (IPMS 2 (INTERNAL)) measured in accordance with the rules set out in IPMS. These are summarised in Appendix J.

For selected types of civil engineering projects, ICMS also provides units of measurement describing their physical sizes and functional capacities for comparison. The third edition extends the number of civil engineering Projects or Sub-Projects to include 'Offshore structures', 'Near shore works', 'Ports', 'Waterway works', and 'Land formation and reclamation'.

ICMS contains high-level standards. The transparent and inclusive standards-setting process described has resulted in full analysis and appreciation of standards and practices in many more countries than those directly represented by SSC members. ICMS is not a hybrid of those standards but introduces some concepts that may be new to some markets. Markets that do not have established standards are encouraged to adopt ICMS. Markets that do have established local standards should adopt ICMS to compare cost and carbon emissions data prepared using different standards from different markets on a consistent, like-for-like basis. The aim is not to replace existing local standards, but to provide an internationally accepted reporting framework into which data generated locally can be mapped and analysed for comparison. In time, it is expected that ICMS will become the primary basis for both global and local construction cost and carbon emissions reporting.

In drafting ICMS, the SSC has been conscious of the need for compatibility with other established or emerging standards. It has aimed to strike a balance between the need to be compatible with different standards and the need for flexibility to accommodate detailed performance classification systems that exist across the world.

Thus, the types of Project are generally compatible with the United Nations International Standard Industrial Classification of all Economic Activities. The Cost Sub-Groups are generally compatible with the elements in ISO 12006-2:2015, Building construction - Organization of information about construction works - Part 2: Framework for classification and can be adapted for compatibility with most other cost classification systems. The Cost Groups and Cost Sub-Groups for Life Cycle Costs are generally compatible with ISO 15686-5:2017 Buildings and constructed assets - Service life planning - Part 5: Life-cycle costing.

In addition, it has been recognised that a work breakdown structure (WBS) approach to performance reporting is widely used around the world, particularly in civil engineering projects. Therefore, examples of mapping to and from various national standards and WBS coding structures are included on the Coalition website (https://icms- coalition.org/).

In relation to carbon emissions, ICMS provides the reporting framework and it is intended that appropriate existing and emerging standards are used for the actual measurement of carbon emissions of construction projects and products, notably: EN 15978:2011 Sustainability of construction works - Assessment of environmental performance of buildings - Calculation method;PAS 2080: 2016Carbon Management in Infrastructure;ISO 21930:2017 Sustainability in buildings and civil engineering works - Core rules for environmental product declarations of construction products and servicesand EN 15804: 2012 Sustainability of construction works - Environmental product declarations- Core rules for the product category of construction products.

As the use of building information modelling (BIM) becomes more widespread, the link between BIM and ICMS takes greater importance. ICMS may be used as the performance breakdown structure in BIM-based performance management practice.

  • Aims

ICMS aims to provide global consistency in classifying, defining, measuring, recording, analysing and presenting entire construction life cycle costs and carbon emissions at a project, regional, state, national or international level. ICMS allows costs and carbon emissions to be managed and potentially reduced. It allows:

  • construction life cycle costs and carbon emissions to be consistently and transparently benchmarked (comparative benchmarking)
  • the causes of differences in life cycle costs and carbon emissions between projects to be identified (option appraisal)
  • properly informed decisions on the design and location of construction projects to be made at the best value for money (investment decision-making) and
  • data to be used with confidence for construction project financing and investment, decision-making, and related purposes (certainty).
  • Use of the Standard

The third edition of ICMS can be used to present the Acquisition, Construction, Renewal, Operation, Maintenance, and End of Life costs using the templates provided in Appendix G and carbon emissions using the templates provided in Appendix H. Wherever a report has been prepared in compliance with ICMS, this should be stated in the report.

ICMS can be used to classify, define, measure, record, analyse, present, and compare historical, current and future construction life cycle costs and carbon emissions of new build and major adaptation programmes and projects. This can be applied throughout the various stages of construction and/or after completion of construction through to the end of life or a shorter period of analysis.

Applications include, but are not limited to:

  • global investment decisions
  • international, national, regional or state cost and carbon emission comparisons
  • feasibility studies and development appraisals
  • project work including cost and carbon emission planning and control, setting carbon budgets or reduction targets, cost and carbon emission analysis, cost and carbon emission modelling and the procurement and analysis of tenders
  • dispute resolution work
  • reinstatement costs for insurance and
  • valuation of assets and liabilities.

Process flow charts set out the comprehensive steps for the use of the Standards and are provided in Appendix F.

The cost and/or carbon emission report should clarify precisely what costs and carbon emissions have been included or excluded, to avoid confusion or omissions in comparing alternative project options and to inform decision making. The most appropriate available data sources should be used. These may be in the public domain or not, but the origin should be recorded.