Challenges Of Building Maintenance Management In Corporate Organizations

Project and Seminar Material for Estate Management

Challenges Of Building Maintenance Management In Corporate Organizations


The study focused on examining the operational state of buildings in Corporate Organization in Lagos state. It also scrutinizes the factors affecting maintenance management and the types of building maintenance management strategies in use in Corporate Organizations in Lagos State. In achieving, these objectives, opinions of maintenance officers and users of some building in selected corporate organizations were sampled through structured questionnaires. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The analysis revealed the operational state of buildings of corporate organization in Lagos State as been above average.

Maintenance officers and users of the buildings ranked complexity of design and non-involvement of maintenance experts during design and construction stage, attitude of users and misuse of facilities and inflation of cost of maintenance by the operatives, as the most significant factors affecting maintenance management respectively, both samples rated “Insufficient fund for maintenance job” as one of the most significant factor responsible for poor maintenance management of public hospital buildings in Lagos State.

This however, is contrary to the claim of inadequate funding by the maintenance management as revealed by another analysis in the survey. The study also shows that preventive maintenance management is mostly practice in most organizations in Lagos state. The study recommends that maintenance personnel and users should form a synergy for a more efficient maintenance, government should enact law that enforce the incorporation of maintainability analysis in conception stage of project, developers should ensure availability of the overall maintenance fund and proactive and value based maintenance management strategy should be adopted.

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction:

1.1 Background of the Study

In Nigeria, the practice of management of buildings in order to secure optimum returns from the investment made in the real estate sector has suffered servilely because of our insufficient funding, neglect, nonchalant altitude, poor maintenance culture etc.

There is unpardonable neglect and laxity in all spheres of our national life. Our buildings (both public and private) lack adequate maintenance care or attention. It is an unfortunate but glaring fact that our buildings are in a very poor and deplorable conditions of structural and decorative disrepairs. (Iyagba and Adenuga, 1991, 2004).

As a result of this very poor habit, many structures both government owned and otherwise have become a shadow of their former selves and a far cry of what they used to be during the earlier stages of their construction. Notable among many others are the Nitel buildings across all the states of the federation. Even though this one time strong local mobile communication has been sold off, history will bear us witness that during the later stages of their operation, the nature of its structure and facilities across the federation, were begging for the succor of repair and maintenance practices in them.

A building requires maintenance to ensure its’ optimal performance over its life cycle. Maintenance of the built environment impacts on the whole nations. The conditions of the surroundings in which we live and learn, are a reflection of the nation’s wellbeing. The condition and quality of buildings reflects public pride or indifference, the level of prosperity in the area, social values and behavior and all the many influences both past and present which combine to give a community its unique character’(Lee, 1987).

Although all over the world investment in building maintenance has been very huge. In most countries, it represents almost 50 per cent of the total turnover of the construction industry. The value of buildings depends on the quality of the maintenance invested in them. International Facilities Management Association IFMA 2011 defines building maintenance as “the preventive and remedial upkeep of building components (HVAC, electrical, plumbing, elevators, carpentry and painting), excluding janitorial and grounds maintenance”. Building maintenance objective is to preserve the building in its initial state so that it continues to fulfill its functions. The role of building maintenance is mainly to keep the structure in a serviceable state on a continuous basis in a cost effective manner (Falade, 2001).

Maintenance management involves obtaining maximum benefit from the investment made on the maintenance activities (Olanrewaju, 2008). Through value based maintenance management buildings values are preserved and enhanced to enable them perform efficiently and effectively. Value based Building maintenance management seek to plan,control,coordinate,organise and implement maintenance activities focusing on the efficient allocation of resources in order to improve the value of a building without undermining the users’ perceptions and expectations. On the other hand, building maintenance management is geared towards enhancing the productivity, satisfaction and efficiency of activities taking place in and around the building. The requirements for good practice in maintenance management of building stock have been established over a considerable period, the achievement of good practice is by no means universal (Turrell, 1997).

However, the foregoing notwithstanding, the trend have not been imbibed into the Nigerian system which has resulted to stunted growth of the practice in Nigeria. It is only big multinational companies and few others such as the telecommunication giants etc. that have taken to this maintenance culture, most other corporations leave theirs at the mercy of God and nature.

1.2 The Problem Statement

Nigeria is one country where nothing works in the real sense of it, the dire need to do things outside the normal way of doing them, has become articles of faith in our national life and this downward trend like wild fire has continued to rage on, consuming the younger generation who grow into accepting such dilapidated way of doing things which is one reason why we are not going to leave the gutters of under development anytime soon.

For Nigerian facilities to measure up with that of developed parts of the world there is need to pay adequate attention to the menace of poor maintenance which has eaten deep into the bone marrow of our nation. The issue is more obscure in public and government owned facilities because of our nonchalant altitude towards government and public owned facilities.

Our lack of maintenance culture as a nation has been the major cause. “It is widely accepted that one of the banes of development in Nigeria is our lack of good maintenance culture for our infrastructure; be they roads, electricity/telephone infrastructure, educational/health facilities and public/private buildings, among others,” (Onaro.A, 2011).He further stated that there is the need for stakeholders in the built environment to facilitate the entrenchment of a culture of maintenance, protection and preservation of infrastructure. Most organizations have failed to achieve their objectives due to neglect of their built environment, which has resulted to most staff performing their duties in unfavorable condition leading to staff illness, absence from work, low productivity, retarded economic growth, loss of life and properties etc. However, some organizations who have imbibed this culture have not been able recognize the needs of the buildings users which should dictate the maintenance management processes in terms of policy, purposes and objectives.

With these menace bedeviling the nations’ built environment, I consider it worthwhile to undertake this research to examine the challenges of building maintenance management in corporate organizations using appropriate analysis thereafter proffering solution to the identify menace with possible recommendations to see this socio—economic decadence contained.

1.3 Aim

To examine the challenges of building maintenance management in corporate organizations in Lagos State with a view of providing solutions to them.

1.4 Objectives

In achieving the aim the following objectives are being set out:

  1. To examine the operational state of the existing buildings in corporate organizations in Lagos state.
  2. To find out the factors affecting building maintenance management practicein corporate organizations in Lagos state.
  3. To find out the building maintenance management strategies been used in corporate organizations in Lagos state.

1.5 Research Hypotheses:

The statement of the research hypotheses are:

  1. There is no significant relationship in the perception of the maintenance personnel and the users as to the operational state of buildings in corporate organizations in Lagos state.
  2. There is no significant relationship between maintenance personnel and users in response to factors responsible for poor maintenance management of building in corporate organizations in Lagos state.
  3. There is no significant relationship between maintenance personnel and users in response to maintenance management strategy in use in corporate organizations in Lagos state.

1.6 Significance of the Study:

  1. This is to pave way for a better tomorrow for further establishments both private and government owned, to be incorporated with maintenance units.
  2. This work is also aimed at reinvigorating our lackadaisical attitude towards facilities however owned and managed. It is not always the duty and task of the management, but rather a food chain that has the management of the organizations at the helm of affairs at the top, and also the members of staff to rise to the oath of office taken upon assumption of office to the effect that they shall treat the facilities therein to the best of their ability.
  3. It will also make an interesting read to potential entrepreneurs by acting as a guide to them when they are ready to become industrialists or storm the economic scene or in whatever establishment however corporate they intend going into.
  4. It also creates a picture of: it is one thing to set up a huge facility for business/ educational or whatever activities but then, it is yet another thing to set up a facility maintenance unit in the confines of the environment to see to the day to day running of the organization’s facilities (etc.) both internal and external therein.
  5. The study will aid organizations know the health implications of lack of maintenance.
  6. The result will provide the basis for policy formulation and structural framework for building maintenance management in Nigeria.
  7. The results of the study would help improve productivity and future cash flows in corporate organizations.
  8. It will also serve as an educational/research guide for student and other academicians who might go into similar study.
  9. Finally, this research work, just like any other literal work seeks to be a mirror of the society (i.e.) allowing people from other academic disciplines to have knowledge of what is obtainable in the field of enterprising concerning setting up of corporate establishment both state owned and private owned.

1.6 Scope and Delimitation of the Study:

The scope of this work is broad as it addresses soft and as well as hard issues involved in the topic of this research.

The research will focus on selected corporate organizations within Lagos who have been in operation from up to five years and above with up to 20 staff strength and above.

Let me state here unequivocally, that this research work also delves into the reason why Nigerians lack the maintenance culture on the overall. Despite the fact that most corporate organizations lack maintenance management units, the members of staff and the entire management lack the spirit of maintenance probably because it is not their place of residence or other reasons not separated from carelessness. This report attempts to address these challenges through studies from different corporate organizations both public and private owned that would be visited during the discourse of this work.

As brought forth in the foregoing chapter, the underlying premise is that Nigerians do not appreciate the beauty of structures in their (places of work) rather they treat them with disdain

1.7 Limitation of the Study:

Due to time constraints, confidentiality of some organizations, difficulties in retrieving some of the questionnaires, and also the huge financial costs involved, the study was limited to six (6) local government areas in Lagos state. The coverage was therefore focused on Lagos metropolis, the reason being the presence of large corporate organizations in the state and its housing of several of Nigeria’s large facilities.

1.8 Conceptual and Theoretical Definition of Terms:

1.8.1 Building:

According to the Oxford Advanced Learners English Dictionary, 7thedition, it is “a structure such as a house or school that has a roof and walls for protection”. The Encarta dictionary puts it succinctly as “a walled structure with a roof over it” the foregoing definitions scarcely share any dissimilarities.

1.8.2 Defects:

These are discontinuities that interfere with the usefulness of a part of material or component.

18.3 Degradation:

The conversion of a component to a simple one due to chemical changes.

1.8.4 Deterioration:

The gradual lowering of the quality and strength of building as a result, of fungi growth, cracks and weather conditions.

1.8.5 Dilapidation:

A situation in which the damaged parts of building are left uncared for. This often leads to further deterioration in terms of quality, aesthetics and structure soundness.

1.8.6 Facilities:

According to the Webster dictionary, amplified edition it “includes buildings, services, and equipment’s (etc) that are provided for a particular purpose”. In the frame of this work, it will amount to an installation, contrivance and other things which facilitate something or a place for doing something. It may be a commercial, institutional building such as a hotel, sports arena etc. in the context of this work, facility/facilities form a great part of the issue that influence this discourse in the sense that we are concerned with the reasons and/or challenges why they have not been receiving the best of treatments in our country.

1.8.7 Maintenance:

Maintenance is “work undertaken to keep or restore every facility to an acceptable standard at an acceptable cost”(White,E.N. 1973).

1.8.8 Management:

Management in all businesses and organizational activities is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively. Management comprises of planning, organizing, staffing, leading or directing and controlling an organization (a group of one or more persons or entities) for the purpose of accomplishing set out goals.

Since an organization can be viewed as systems, management can also be defined as human actions including design to facilitate the production of useful outcomes from a system.

1.8.9 Building Performance:

The ability of building to behave according to designed criteria under given circumstances.

1.8.10 Facilities Management:

The International Facilities Management Association (I.F.M.A) has a broad definition for facilities management (FM) which is “the practice or coordinating the physical workplace with the people and work of the organization; integrates the principles of business administration, architecture, and the behavioral and engineering sciences”.

A more explicit definition is “an integrated approach to operating, maintaining, improving and adapting the buildings and infrastructure of an organization in order to create an environment that supports the primary objective of the organization”.

1.8.11 Maintenance Management:

Maintenance management “involves obtaining maximum benefit from the investment made on the maintenance activities” (Olanrewaju, 2008).

1.8.12 Performance Criterion:

The quality of a component or material required to ensure compliance with performance standards.

1.8.13 Service Life Of Building Components:

The period of installation during which all properties exceed the minimum acceptable value

1.8.14 Building Maintenance Management:

Building maintenance management is a process of planning, directing, leading and coordinating organizational resources towards building maintenance so that the building will continue to serve its intended purposes effectively and efficiently (Olanrewaju, 2009).

1.8.15 Bench Marking:

The continuous process of measuring products, services and practices against the toughest competitors of those companies recognized as industry leaders (IFMA, 2011).

1.8.16 Corruption:

The abuse of entrusted power to personal gain, it hurts everyone whose life, livelihood or happiness appears to be shortened by it. In the context of this research, corruption since it turned from a vice to a virtue in government affairs has become the bane to must developmental strides. The radio Nigeria network news of Sunday 27th July 2012, in its commentary focused on its commentary the maintenance culture in Nigeria where it pointed out corruption as one of the major factors militating against setting up maintenance facilities in corporate organizations in Nigeria.

1.8.17 Negligence:

This factor is another major one in which the government, the management of a public organization and its staff are all victims of. The height of Nonchalance on the part of these elements has also contributed to poor maintenance of facilities. How many times have we heard that a facility was burnt down to ashes as a result of a staff not turning off the electrical appliances in their offices before running out of office?

1.8.18 The Nigerian Factor:

This trend has always been and I am afraid may continue to be. Showing and exhibiting lackadaisical characteristics, all in the name of “it is not my father’s house, my duty is to do my job and get paid at the end of the day is an act, which has indirectly spelt doom to the attainment of facilities maintenance.

1.8.20 Value Engineering:

Evaluation of construction methods and/or materials to determine which have the net result of reducing costs, consistent with specified performance, reliability, maintainability, aesthetic, safety, and security criteria(IFMA, 2011).

Chapter Five

Summary of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary of Findings

Having presented and analyzed the data extracted from the questionnaires, interviews and personal observations, some principal findings, conclusion and recommendations could be made.

The building Facilities compliment their functions at a very low extent. The building Facilities used for production are either sub – standard or performing under capacity thereby reducing the quantity and quality of products, which is one of the reasons consumers, opt for foreign commodities. The basic building Facilities provided are either out of use or performing poorly, these include the air – conditioners, telephones, generators/plants etc.

Though there is an above average affirmation of building maintenance in the selected manufacturing industries, but a further probe into the effectiveness of management showed a very high degree of poor building maintenance. Further enquires made during the oral interviews revealed that effective building maintenance depends on the overall maintenance policy of each manufacturing industry. Besides, there is poor or lack of good maintenance culture in Nigeria, organizations are reactive instead of proactive .

Some other interviewees mentioned inadequate finance, Lack of modern automation and skilled personnel as reasons for poor building maintenance.

Building Facilities users (production staff/machineries operators, distributors and consumers) requirements are not satisfied. Most requests are not met and bureaucracy often stands on the way of building Facilities users requirement satisfaction efforts. It also has a direct effect on attitude to work and level of production.

Most of the manufacturing industries sampled affirmed that their building Facilities are not fully modern automated. modern technology is not being used in all production stages. There is still a high degree of manual operation. Interviews conducted revealed that some of these manufacturing industries sometimes import sophisticated machines to improve production but due to Lack of competent professionals to operate them they pack up and are abandoned.

Oral interviews revealed that most organizations that have building maintenance in place make use of in-house maintenance which is handled by technicians. Further enquires showed that they opted for in – house maintenance because they felt it is cheaper and would minimize cost in the long run. Those who make use of in-house/outsource said they use the latter when the former fails or when complex maintenance works that needs special professionals need to be carried out.

Management personnel interviewed mentioned poor funding /maintenance , bureaucracy, unavailability of skilled/right professionals, safety/health, difficulty in materials procurement, modern automation, environmental effects and inflation as building maintenance problems which were constrains to efficient building maintenance .Based on this data, hypothesis II was tested and the result shows that building maintenance problems have significant effect on efficient productivity in an organization.

5.2 Conclusion

Building maintenance as a discipline has stood its test and gained ground in the developed western world and is most likely to succeed in our economy. It is most required now to correct our present poor maintenance culture. An effective building maintenance policy is indicated by the extent to which the requirements of the users, staff and owners are met. These are reflected on the physical, aesthetic condition of the facility, its functionality in performing its basic services and the ability of building Facilities maintenance or management team to overcome challenges that constrain them. Building maintenance need to be proactive, flexible, adapting to changes in a continuous changing world. There is need for all the various professionals relevant in building maintenance to work together to handle the enormous task ahead of them instead of engaging in inter – disciplinary wars for who is the right profession to handle building maintenance.

5.3 Recommendations

Having concluded that problems of building maintenance constitute constrains to effective building maintenance in manufacturing industries the following remedies are recommended.

1. Adequate Budgetary Provisions

An organizations management should have clear goals and objectives and must plan to operate within its budgetary limits. In order to ensure that maintenance operations are not held up by shortage of funds, budgets must be made with due consideration given to contingencies for unforeseen problems.

This goes a long way in reducing down – time effects. In replacement of outdated and dysfunctional building Facilities and equipment, funds must be expended prudently. There should be no room for corruption and sharp practices. This helps to ensure that budgetary provisions are sufficient.

2. Skilled Personnel

The staff strength of the maintenance crew and engineering departments should be strengthened to enable them cope with the work of keeping the building Facilities in good shape.

This should be backed up with engaging services of special building maintenance consultants when the need arises to handle special or complex building Facilities. Management should invest in staff training and sponsoring programs, which will contribute to competence in executing tasks. All the maintenance staff must be proficient and professionals in their different fields.

3. Material Procurement

The procurement of materials for building Facilities maintenance might entail importation of components from abroad. The building Facilities and equipments might also be so out-modeled and obsolete that it would be impossible to get spare parts of the components. In designing building Facilities all these should be taken into consideration.

Alternative equipment with readily available spare parts and components should be installed so that maintainability is enhanced. Design and maintainability should be the watch word right from inception.

4. Level of Automation

Investment should be made in computers and software packages that are relevant to space and data management. This will enhance management performance and introduce modern technology in tackling building maintenance problems. Automation aids the evaluation of performance and monitoring of control operations. It will hasten response to building Facilities problems and save labour – hours thereby reducing operation costs.

5. Continuous Training Programmes

Continuous training programmes and refresher courses should be offered to employees. Also the emerging trend of demanding continuous upgrading of company services should be echoed in the demand of individuals for more focused building maintenance training.

6. Safety and Security Provision

Building Facilities managers should be concerned about the safety and security of staff and customers. They should also ensure that government and industrial standards concerning safety and welfare are adhered to.

Efficient security system should be installed at strategic locations to forestall, pilferage and vandalization of installations. This will also help in detecting breakdowns and monitor sophisticated equipments. The building Facilities premises should be kept clean and accident free. The use of signs, digital displays and audio systems should be employed in crowd control on how to use building Facilities and precautions to take in the event of mishaps like fire outbreaks.

7. Bureaucracy

The management of building Facilities and quality of services rendered is usually a reflection of the policy source, ie board of directors. For a well balanced building maintenance, top quality management objectives should be put in place comprising of seasoned professionals who have a stake in the operation of the building Facilities and public representatives to represent the interest of users at board level.

There should be autonomy in taking maintenance decisions so that delays in action are eliminated and savings in down – time of broken down components are achieved.

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