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Employing back casting principles for the formation of long term built asset management strategies - A theoretical approach

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conference contribution
posted on 2023-07-26, 13:41 authored by Keith Jones, Api Desai, Mark Mulville
Purpose: Facilities managers have traditionally relied on forecasting approaches using the stock condition survey to predict maintenance and refurbishment needs against changing user requirements. However, the authors have previously shown that such an approach, whilst effective for short term planning, is unable to cope with the uncertainty and complex data sets required to develop long term plans (> 10 years), in particular the impact of future climate change (physical and legislative). This paper will present back casting as an alternative approach to support long term built asset management planning. Background: Back casting has been applied to sustainable transport management, energy planning and community climate change adaptation projects. The process in principle envisions a future state (end-point) set by stakeholders. Alternative ‘paths of approach’ are identified by looking backwards from the future state to the present. Each path is examined in turn to identify interventions (physical and/or operational) required in order for that path to achieve the end-goal. The stakeholder’s review each path and select the most appropriate for achieving the desired (end-point). This path is then integrated into the facilities (built asset) management strategy. Approach: The researchers worked with various stakeholders as part of an action research team to identify climate change adaptations that may be required to ensure the continued performance of the building and integrate these into a 60 year facilities management plan. Results: The paper superimposes back casting theory onto the adaptation process and explains how the theory supported long term facilities management planning. The paper also explains how the approach was used to provide confidence for the building owner to invest in the planned refurbishment of their built asset to improve its future performance and sustainability. Practical implications: The paper demonstrates the application of this approach through a case study example of a newly constructed £75 m educational building. A similar approach could be applied to other building types. Research limitations: This paper presents a theoretical model which needs to be validated using longitudinal data sets. Originality/value: This is the first paper to suggest the potential of back casting to inform long term built asset management strategies.



Polyteknisk Forlag

Place of publication

Kongens Lyngby, Denmark



Conference proceeding

Proceedings of the CIB Facilities Management Conference – Using Facilities in an Open World, Joint CIB W070, W111 & W118 Conference

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CIB Facilities Management Conference


Copenhagen, Denmark

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  • Published version


  • eng

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ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)

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