Buildings Maintenance Cost

Project and Seminar Material for Estate Management

Buildings Maintenance Cost

Chapter One


1.1 Background

Building maintenance is a major activity in most countries. Any reduction in resources applied to building maintenance will have a visible effect on the economy.

Few years ago, a rapid growth of housing construction clearly appears as a part of the country development. The number of modern houses increases and more houses are being constructed. As a result, more maintenance work is required in order to cope with this type of construction.

Due to the growth of housing with the lack of building Standards, more maintenance, rehabilitation, and renovation work have become necessary to ensure the serviceability and safety of the constructed houses. In addition, the existing houses need to be sustained as long as possible. Therefore, ways must be found to reduce the maintenance cost works due to ageing of the buildings while keeping the same quality.

Building maintenance is seriously neglected area of research and study. Few schools of architecture or building include it in their curriculum and only recently has work commenced on the research and development in this subject.

Few building owners regard planned maintenance as a matter for serious concern, and yet cannot afford to allow buildings, old or new, to decay through neglect. As it is clearly impractical and even undesirable to replace building, whether as owners, designers, constructors, or users should take a serious interest in this vast problem of building maintenance.

1.2 Building Maintenance Overview

Maintenance assists retaining economic life of buildings. Moreover, it is a productive activity both at the private and the national levels. At the private level, proper maintenance leads to lower depreciation costs (due to longer economic life) and consequently leads to higher profitability. While at the national level, proper maintenance leads to lower expenditures on replacement. Thus, allowing more expenditure on expansion into new productive investment (Ikhwan, 1996).

The Committee on Building Maintenance in British defined maintenance as: “Building Maintenance is the work undertaken in order to keep, restore or improve every facility, i.e. every part of a building, its services and surrounds to a currently acceptable standard, and to sustain the utility and value of the building”(Mills, 1980).

In addition, maintenance is defined in the British Standards (BS 3811:1974) as “A combination of any action carried out to retain an item in, or restore it to an acceptable condition” (Mills, 1980).

A more functional definition is that “Maintenance is synonymous with controlling the condition of a building so that its pattern lies within specified regions”. (Shear, 1983)

Moreover, building maintenance cost can be defined as the cost of any actions carried out to retain an item in, or restore it to an acceptable condition but excluding any improvements other than those necessitated by inability to replace obsolete materials or components (Seeley, 1976).

The objectives of building maintenance are therefore (Alner and Fellows, 1990):

  1. To ensure that buildings and their associated services are in a safe condition.
  2. To ensure that the buildings are fit for use.
  3. To ensure that the condition of the building meets all statutory requirements.
  4. To carry out the maintenance work necessary to maintain the value of the physical assets of the building stock.
  5. To carry out the work necessary to maintain the quality of the building.

Maintenance can be done in different stages. Each stage will have different characteristics. Liska defined those stages as follows:

Planning and Design Stage:

The planning and designing of the facility should be based on the identified function and be as maintenance free as possible. In this stage a lot of money can be saved with the proper plan and design. For this reason, the building manager and maintenance personnel should be consulted during the early stages of the building design.

Construction Stage:

In order to achieve minimum level of maintenance during the building life, work performed during the construction phase must be done with the highest quality in term of workmanship. As a result, expert contractor should be selected to perform the project.

Maintenance Stage:

In this stage, maintenance is performed after the building has been constructed and occupied.

1.3 Objectives of the Research

The main objectives of this research are as follows:

  1. To study and analyze the concept of building maintenance.
  2. To study the main factors affecting the building maintenance cost.
  3. To study some ways that help in managing building maintenance.

1.4 Research Methodology

The research commenced by reviewing and analyzing the relevant literature. Then, it gives an overview of the building maintenance cost concepts. Also, the factors affecting the building maintenance cost are explained. In addition, some maintenance management approaches that aim to reduce the maintenance costs of existing building are highlighted.

Chapter Five

Summary and Conclusion

This report is about Building Maintenance Costs. It starts with an introductory chapter. After that, the concept of building maintenance costs is explained. The explanation includes the maintenance cost classification, how to control the maintenance costs and types of factors the influence decision to incur maintenance expenditure. In addition, the relationship between design and buildings maintenance and construction is discussed separately. The third part is about the identification the factors affecting buildings maintenance costs. There are 34 (thirty-four) factors, and these are grouped into seven (7) major categories. These categories are Engineering Services, Labors, Building Materials, Environments, Management and Administration, Budget and Finance, and Building Users Behaviors. The different strategies for managing the building maintenance costs are explained in the forth chapter. At the end, summary and conclusion is mentioned.

In conclusion, some findings are highlighted:

  1. Lack of productive local standards and specification used to classify the materials according to the client’s activities, enhance most of the designers used American, Garman..etc. standards which might not consider the hard condition of the gulf area such as hot weather, humidity and nature of the society.
  2. Owners always concern about the initial cost more than the running cost. Therefore, the financial support for maintenance work after the building has been constructed is weak. The reason may be that from the standpoint of the individual firm the amount spent on maintenance appears small in comparison with other operating costs. But when viewed on a national scale it is quite clear that maintenance is an activity of primary importance. Also, it can be attributed to the existing belief that leaves the minor problem to be worse before repairing it.
  3. Good supervision and management of any project requires the implementation of a special knowledge, skills, tools and technique to the project activities in order to meet stakeholder needs and expectations such as scope, time, cost and quality.
  4. Lack of maintenance date makes the designers uncertain to determine the high maintenance cost area, which need annual inspection and then incorporate in the buildings maintenance manuals.
  5. Lack of defined uniform maintenance contract which will make maintenance contractors more familiar with the terms and conditions and eventually will make the execution of maintenance work easier, faster and more effective.
  6. The design stage is very important phase of the project. Special care should be taken since it has a vital effect on the amount of maintenance woke that will be needed after the building completed.
  7. A construction defects as a consequence of wrong decision is one of the most common causes of early deterioration. Construction contractors should be aware about materials selection, construction techniques used and skilled labor hiring.

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