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Residential Building Maintenance Essay

Up to-date maintenance of the residential buildings and keep them in sustained good condition poses a continuing challenge to the owners of multi storied residential buildings as well as smaller buildings. A careful assessment of the maintenance needs economic procurement of maintenance materials leading to savings in operational cost of maintenance and planning a scheduled maintenance to keep the value of the property enhanced are at the root of any residential building maintenance programme.

Though appear to be easier there several aspects in the maintenance of residential buildings; some of which may be trivial yet will have the effect of reducing the life of the equipments being used in the maintenance drastically. Therefore it is imperative to have a thorough understanding of the maintenance needs of the residential buildings before any attempt is made to undertake one. The other facet of the residential building maintenance that needs careful attention is the operational cost of maintenance that needs to be kept under check by continuous monitoring of the purchase and consumption of the maintenance materials.

The Life Cycle Cost model would be handy in achieving grater economies in the maintenance of the residential buildings. With this background, this study presents a comprehensive report on the maintenance of residential buildings including the control and reduction of the operation cost of the residential building maintenance. As a case study the research has been centered round the reduction of operation costs of private home appliances in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Chapter 1 Introduction

Building maintenance is the act of preserving a building in tact so that it serves the purpose for which it was constructed. David Arditi and Manop Nawakorawit (1999) say “Building maintenance includes cleaning, inspecting, repairing and replacing the building’s various systems and components. ”The need for maintenance starts from the time the buildings are completed as the buildings start to deteriorate. Since the cost of construction is escalating every day the proper maintenance of the existing buildings has become exceedingly important.

The owners of residential and other buildings have increasingly started feeling that the maintenance of their buildings should be attended on a proactive basis rather than reacting to the maintenance needs. This calls for a planned and effective preventive maintenance programmes aimed at avoiding the deterioration of the buildings and at the same time to minimize the maintenance costs. The design and location of a building plays an important role in attracting people and businesses which are compatible with the buildings.

“To maintain this compatibility, it is necessary to keep up the appearance of the structure, to operate the electrical/mechanical systems efficiently, and to keep the interior clean and safe. ” This requirement has increased the responsibility of the property managers to adopt a systematic approach for the maintenance of the buildings. Still there are instances where billions of dollars are spent on the maintenance of buildings and also in other instances buildings are left to deteriorate without proper maintenance.

Under building maintenance there are different areas that need consideration while taking a decision about the maintenance of the building. These areas include piping, pluming and fixtures, maintaining of electrical appliances, maintaining the concrete products and thermal insulations, maintenance of tiles and flooring and maintaining the power equipments. In the case of electrical appliances it is important that a proper system of maintenance is established so that the energy consumption is reduced and a replacement decision at the appropriate time is taken to optimize the cost of the electrical appliances.

It is not only the building maintenance that needs to be taken care of. Maintenance extends to so many other areas like maintenance of plant and machinery in the manufacturing industries, Even in the area of agricultural production proper maintenance of agricultural implements is very much required to maximize the profits from the agricultural production. Dauda andAshami (2000) say “Proper agricultural machinery management therefore requires keeping them in good working conditions, having them repaired or reconditioned as at when due, selection of suitable types and sizes, keeping cost record and controlling it.

” According to S. O. Jekayinfa the tractor is the most important item or power-farming machine, which requires a high initial investment. The most important aspect of tractor management is the timely repair and maintenance. 1. 1 Background: The role played by maintenance of buildings in the design and construction process is vitally important. “Its primary aim is to retain value of a building which relies solely on the condition and quality of buildings. This also derives from the need to preserve the utility of buildings for the wide range of user activities and functions.

” With every day escalation in the material costs it has become imperative for the owners to estimate all the costs associated with large construction projects. Unless an efficient and meaningful analysis of the present and future costs associated with the project is done by the owners the whole project may land him in a loss due to high operational costs, on which the owner cannot have any control unless he plans the maintenance sufficiently in advance in a professional and methodical way.

There are a large number of costs associated with the maintenance of residential buildings like energy consumption costs, maintenance costs including material and labour, replacement costs, financing costs, staffing costs and rates and taxes payable to the local administration. A sum of these operating costs added to the initial costs would determine the feasibility of the project. Some of these costs may be of short term in nature while some might be long-term expenditure to be incurred on the project.

Irrespective of the time at which the costs are to incurred, the owner should have a complete breakdown of the total costs. It is also imperative that the owner is well informed of the costs of such maintenance by a suitable method of analyzing such costs sufficiently in advance so that he will be able to come to a definite conclusion as to whether the incurring of such costs is justified from the maintenance point of view and also it enables him to decide whether it would be possible for him to incur the follow up expenses on maintenance.

Hence it becomes vitally important for the owner to study the various methods of assessing the present and future costs associated with the maintenance of residential buildings. 1. 2 Statement of the Problem: While considering the operational cost of maintaining the residential building several areas of maintenance needs are to be identified. Some of the areas will account for major proportion of maintenance expenses while some will occupy a less significant place in the total maintenance costs.

Equal attention needs to be shown to all item of expenditure so that the buildings are maintained in tact. Any saving in the cost of the material through adopting an efficient purchasing technique would contribute to the reduction of the overall maintenance costs. One of such items of maintenance, include maintaining or undertaking repair work on electrical appliances, outlets, fixtures and accessories which account for a sizeable portion of the total maintenance costs. All the efforts taken to reduce the cost of these materials will be an advantage to the owner.

Through this research paper I intend to study the increase in the operation cost of private home appliances services in one of the biggest residential camp in the eastern area in Saudi Arabia, where it is desirable to devote considerable thought and effort to optimize costs in view of the exorbitantly higher operation costs being involved in this area. 1. 3 Research Significance: As stated earlier the viability of large construction projects largely depend on the associated costs.

The foremost significant cost is the cost of financing the project as large amounts need to be invested in the project and the payback period is also fairly long due to the gestation period of construction projects is usually long. Apart from the financing costs there are other costs like operating and maintenance costs that need to be taken into account for determining the economic viability of the project. It is the tendency of the owners to usually look into the initial costs of the projects and decide on the execution of the project.

It is also usual to neglect all other costs such as operating or maintenance cost which account for a major proportion of the cost of the project. Though the burden of operation and maintenance is not considerable as compared to the initial investment, still they are significant in affecting the overall cost. In view of the place the operating and maintenance costs have in the overall costs this research study acquires significance 1. 4 Research Objectives: The main objectives of this research can be enumerated as below:

• Review of the Residential Building maintenance and operation cost: The foremost objective of the study is to make a review and present a report on the maintenance of the residential buildings and the associated operating costs. • To outline the potential saving form each system of maintenance in general: The study will analyse each system of maintenance in terms of the saving in the total maintenance cost by the adoption of such system. • To present a case study on the increase in the operation cost of private home appliances services in one of the biggest residential camp in the eastern area in Saudi Arabia.

• To make an attempt to collect historical cost records by conducting a field survey to commissioned big scale home appliances. The objective of the study is to make a comparative data analysis of the amounts spent on maintenance with respect to home appliances over a period of time. • To develop a model that determines life cycle cost of home appliances by incorporating all cost parameters. In fact the important objective of this study is to recommend a feasible life cycle cost model that will serve the purpose of substantial savings in costs of maintenance.

• To determine the optimal lifetimes of all types of home appliances • To explore the possibility of any saving in costs to the owners by replacing old home appliances with new ones. I personally consider a further exploration of this possibility would result in a considerable saving as the mentality of the Saudi Nationals is to change the home appliances with every new available model introduced in the market, irrespective of the fact that whether the old ones can be used or not. 1. 5 Scope of the Research and Limitation:

I have collected historical cost data and technical information about some of the home appliances that are being used in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. On the basis of the data and information collected a life cycle cost analysis has been done to prove that there is a huge potential for cost savings in Residential Building maintenance and operation cost in terms of the home appliances cost. However these surveys have not been done in respect of every type of home appliances that is used in the Kingdom. The following are the limitations of this research study:

• In view of a large number of brands and models available in the market, this study limits its study to the small unit home appliances only, It was found that the availability and usage of the home appliances are large that virtually makes it impossible to collect data and information. • Apart from the home appliances there are a variety of electrical and electronic appliances that are also used in the residential buildings the cost of which can form of the maintenance costs. Again in view of the large varieties of such appliances I limit the study of this research to small home appliances only for brevity sake.

Chapter 2 Literature Review: This chapter presents a detailed review of the available literature on the issue of residential building maintenance and the operating cost of such maintenance. While an attempt has been made to be brief, in view of the vastness of the subject of research, the review couldn’t be restricted to select topics. The literature review thus provides elaborate information on the different aspects of residential building maintenance and it also covers the life cycle cost analysis to some extent to bring out its relative merits and demerits. 2. 1 Building Maintenance and Operation Costs:

According to British Standard 3811 (‘‘Glossary’’ 1984) , building maintenance is defined as ‘‘a combination of any actions carried out to retain an item in, or restore it to, an acceptable condition. ’’ Cleanliness form part of the maintenance of the buildings and it is vitally important the building should be clean in order to attract the tenants. To maintain the buildings clean the design of the building should be such that the access to the cleaning areas must be easier to approach and also that the components and equipments specified by the designer and provided by the builder are easily cleanable and maintainable.

“The functional design of the building as well as the quality of the materials and equipment used are of major importance in cleaning activities” Repair and replacement decisions are normally categorized into two distinct types: • Decisions to replace items based on the known cost of repairing the same. The difficulty in this case is to decide on the time when the replacement has to be made. Chanter and Swallow (1996) say that for simple items it is easy to take a decision requiring the inspector to judge against a simple criterion.

• The next system is to take decisions on the basis of a planned replacement policy on a time scale. Almond (1974) talks about a decision model is available to assist managers to decide whether or not to replace light bulbs on a cyclical basis, rather than on demand 2. 1. 1 Different types of maintenance systems: Different types of maintenance systems are identified by King et al. (1984). They include: “• Service Maintenance: It includes maintenance items requested by the tenants or occupants. It also includes emergency items. • Routine Maintenance: It includes general maintenance to the common areas.

These items are not tenant requested, but are necessary to keep the building in good condition. • Preventive Maintenance: The professional property manager is trained to understand that major breakdowns can be prevented. Preventive maintenance keeps a building operating at peak efficiency through regular inspection and repair. The aim is to catch small problems before they become big and expensive. • Corrective Maintenance: It consists of repairs to the building and equipment due to natural wear and tear or faulty preventive maintenance.

With equipment problems, there may be a question as to whether the particular item should be repaired or replaced. • Deferred Maintenance: Occasionally, the necessary maintenance is put off until a later date; this is called deferred maintenance. Contributing to the delay might be budget limitations, owner preference, the availability of parts, or inclement weather. • Extraordinary Maintenance: This task involves major rehabilitation, replacement, or refurbishment of units, buildings, or grounds. ” King et al. (1984)

Out of the above types of maintenance mostly outsourcing is resorted to, to take care of the service maintenance, corrective maintenance and deferred maintenance. Routine and preventive maintenance are carried out by the service personnel appointed in-house. Extraordinary maintenance is entrusted to external contractors. There are two ways of providing maintenance services. They are: 1. Completely outsourcing the maintenance jobs where external contractors are appointed to undertake all the maintenance services or 2. To use an in-house team of maintenance crew.

It is also possible to have a combination of both the systems whereby some of the maintenance activities are entrusted to the contractors and the rest of the work being carried out by the in-house staff. The factors of “cost, quality and convenience” go to determine whether to entrust the job of the maintenance to the external contractor or to do it with the team of in-house workers. There are merits and demerits of each of the systems and it is necessary that they are considered with relevance to the nature and volume of work, response time, location, quality, security, availability of space, market condition, cash flow and total costs.

(Lee 1987) It is evident form the studies that mechanical systems always pose a major issue in the maintenance of the buildings because it creates problems in the maintenance in the areas of cleaning, inspecting repairing or replacing. 2. 2 Reliability and Operating: In the case of industrial products it is necessary that such products are provided with the required support throughout their life time. “Some typical forms of support needed to perform their expected function include installation, maintenance, repair services, availability of spare parts, and documentation to user guiding and training.

. The manufactures of these industrial products provide these supports “to ensure that a product is available for trouble-free use to consumers over its useful life span” (Loomba1998) Product support is the assistance provided by the manufactures of the industrial products to enable them to derive the maximum possible advantage from the products sold by them. This kind of a support is of vital importance in the present day marketing scenario, being one of the ‘Unique Selling Points’. The support for the manufactured product is getting more attention from the managements due to the fact that product support:

• Enhances the customer satisfaction with the provision of a proper support for the product • Provides a good source of additional revenue for the manufacturer and • Acts as a unique selling point in marketing the products. It may be noted that the environmental conditions including maintenance facilities and skill of the maintenance crew among other things have an important role to play in the life of the various products. In order to carry out the maintenance whether planned or unplanned it is important to have all the product support items in place to reduce the downtime.

The product support environment is covered by a separate branch of engineering known as ‘Reliability Engineering’. It may be noted that being a strategic task, reliability engineering is concerned with predicting and preventing machine failures. “Maintenance engineering is concerned with quickly restoring failures to an operating condition—this is a tactical task. Both reliability engineering and maintenance engineering have roots in each others territory and thus must know about each others roles, responsibilities and tools” 2.

3 Evaluating the Effectiveness of Maintenance: The effectiveness of the maintenance can be identified only when a maintenance strategy is evolved and such strategy is evaluated in a proper way. Being an important business support functions the maintenance function derives its objectives from the overall business objectives of the organization. To be effective the maintenance strategy should be proactive and consistent with the overall strategy of the company. The maintenance strategy also enhances the competitive advantage of the company.

Pinjala and Pintelon, (2004) report that out of a survey conducted within the Belgian Industries with 46 respondents 71 percent opined that maintenance could be used as one of the tools for enhancing the competitive advantage of the company. 2. 3. 1 Strategic Elements of Maintenance: The Maintenance from a corporate point of view can be broken down to strategic decisions. These strategies do have the basis elements embedded in them. The elements in maintenance strategy decisions can be grouped under Structural decision elements and Infrastructural decision elements. Structural decision elements can take the form of:

• Maintenance Capacity: incorporating the capacity in terms of the total employees required for maintenance including managerial and supervisory people. It also involves planning of the maintenance work in terms of the working hour regulations of the employees and also of employing temporary workforce as and when required. • Maintenance facilities: including tools, spares and equipments required for undertaking the physical maintenance works, recruiting specialized work force like mechanics and electricians, and also the physical movement of the maintenance employees from one location to another.

• Maintenance Technology: This element includes the finding and fixing of the appropriate maintenance technology like “predictive maintenance or condition monitoring technology, expert systems, maintenance technology(intelligent maintenance)” • Vertical Integration of the Maintenance activities: This element considers the advantages and disadvantages of in-house maintenance against outsourcing and also the contractual relationship with the suppliers Infrastructural decision elements include

• Maintenance Organization: framing the structure of the organization required for taking up the maintenance functions and also to decide on the localizing the authority and responsibility levels • Maintenance Policies and concepts: Under this strategic element included are deciding on the policies on the maintenance as to whether a corrective, preventive or predictive maintenance need to be undertaken. It may also consider the implementation of newer concepts of maintenance like ‘total productive maintenance’ and ‘reliability centered maintenance’

• Maintenance Planning and control systems: The planning and scheduling of the maintenance activities, monitoring and controlling of the spares and other costs of maintenance are covered by this strategic element. Even the firm can aim to use the computerized maintenance management systems where appropriate. • Planning the Human Resources: It is imperative that the management has well defined human resources policies in respect of the maintenance staff. These polices may relate to the staffing and recruitment, training and development of maintenance employees.

It also defines the management culture and the style of management. • Maintenance modification programmes: This element takes care of the maintenance modifications required in the form of changes in the designs of equipments, installation of new and improved maintenance equipments and providing the necessary support to the new designs and equipments. • Performance measurement and reward systems: This element involves forming strategies in respect of reward and recognition of performance and employee reporting systems.

It also encompasses studying and monitoring the overall equipment effectiveness and Balanced Score card. Studies have proved that “Perceiving maintenance just as a secondary function can create inconsistencies between maintenance and overall business strategy and between maintenance and other functional strategies – especially manufacturing – and finally amongst the decision categories (structural and infrastructure) that make up the maintenance strategy.

” This kind of thinking has a traditional approach and such thinking often prevents the companies from appreciating the full potential of the maintenance. It is important that all interrelating factors between maintenance and other business strategies have to be considered to evolve a direction for the maintenance function on a long-term perspective. The study undertaken by has proved that the properly managed maintenance systems are sure to result in a higher competitive advantage for the firm.


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