Whole life costing analysis is becoming much more important as long-term building owners and clients start to demand evidence of what their costs of ownership will be. It is also becoming more important as more private companies invest in private finance initiative (PFI), public private partnership (PPP) and prime contracting (PC) projects. One of the main barriers to the successful implementation of whole life costing (WLC), is the lack of reliable and consistent data on elements of whole life cost (capital, facilities management, and disposal) and the performance of building elements and services. The objective of this paper is to discuss the development of a consistent and flexible framework for collecting whole life cost data for buildings. A description of the taxonomy of the cost breakdown structure is given. The proposed data structure will be of value to all the project team (designer, contractor, facilities manager, supplier, etc.) who might be involved in traditional procurement or PFI, PPP, and PC projects. When the cost data structure is populated, it will provide the foundation from which the whole life costs of different alternatives can be estimated and from which the risks such as the technical and financial risks related to WLC elements, operational risks, etc. associated with, PFI, PPP and PC projects can be assessed and minimised.