UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


Planning for obsolescence within long-term real estate contracts

Terraced house

30 June 2013

Key facts:

  • Funding Body/Client: EPSRC/HCP 
  • Project Partners: HCP Social Infrastructure Limited 
  • Total Project Value: £203,000 
  • UCL/IEDE Project Value Share: £203,000/£123,000 
  • Duration: 2013 - 2017 

This project will look to review obsolescence management and forecasting measures and then produce a resultant framework that is applicable to businesses within long-term contracts i.e. Private Finance Initiatives. Obsolescence is a modern economic phenomenon that impacts upon a range of industries and to this date has received little research coverage. Looking at obsolescence from this perspective is completely original and offers the opportunity to develop and improve standards by learning from other industries. The scope of this project is likely to cover a diverse range of topics, such as inventory management, demand forecasting, obsolescence forecasting, obsolescence planning, trend and statistical analysis along with developing a holistic framework to implement into business practice.


PI: Michael Pitt - PI

Rs: Kieran Mulholland and Christian Betts (HCP)


The initial output of this project will involve producing both a conceptual framework that can be applied to assets to identify where obsolescence may occur and an obsolescence ‘health tool’. The obsolescence health tool will identify levels of obsolete parts within assets that commonly reside within the built environment. Such a tool has been directed towards PFI Contractors who often own large asset registers with high levels of obsolete parts; a stepping stone towards developing a risk assessment tool for obsolescence.  Research into this area from this perspective is completely original, therefore several publications are in development upon the production of results. 


This project is expected to make a significant contribution to the development and implementation of an industry wide system for the management of technological obsolescence.


For further information please contact: Michael Pitt