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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.
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):
Maintenance can be done in different stages. Each stage will have different characteristics. Liska defined those stages as follows:
The main objectives of this research are as follows:
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.
The British Former Minister of Public Building and Works recognized the importance of research in various aspects of building maintenance when he established the committee on building maintenance in 1965. In the three decades after World War II, research in the field was mainly directed at properties of materials and few of the results were actually implemented. Therefore, the relationship between design, maintenance, execution of maintenance, economic significance of maintenance, and the actual performance of the materials and components under varying condition should be considered (Al-Shiha, 1993).
In the early nineties, Neely developed data bases of takes that cover all maintenance work required over the building. The data bases include the entire component that could be found in buildings constructed by private industry and government agencies. The results of Neely identification include:
In the early nineties, researcher notes the heavy need to conduct such types of studies. Moreover, many researchers did specific studies related to their countries.
In 1993, Al-Shiha conducted a research discussing the effect of faulty design and construction factors on building maintenance. As a result, the most severe factors which affect the maintenance works and causes the high maintenance cost are determined as: inadequate structural design such as foundation, hiring unqualified designers, not complying with specification, not relating exterior materials selection to climate conditions, inadequate waterproofing and drainage, unqualified workplace, inability to read the dawning’s.
The criteria affecting the priority rating of public building maintenance works were studied by Al-Majed in the late nineties. Twenty three criteria were identified (i.e. Function of the building, location, initial cost… etc.). These criteria were classified into two major groups as follows:
Iqhwan in the early nineties proposed some concrete measures that can lead to the improvement of maintenance status in Saudi Arabia along the following dimension:
These measures are
In conclusion, many researchers highlighted the importance of maintenance.