Encarta Dictionary (2009), defines allocation as an act of giving or earmarking something to or set something aside for a purpose. It defines maintenance as work that is done regularly to keep a machine, building, or pieces of equipment in good condition and working order. It defines it further as the general condition of a facility with respect to repairs making it unchanged or unimpaired. It defines resources allocation as the act of deciding how resources such as money, assets, and personnel (labours) should be used in order to achieve a particular aim.
Maintenance resources allocation is thus a very important topic describing how human and material resources are logically assigned to structural facilities such as buildings and roads with the sole aim of making such facilities retain their initial construction value. The decrease of resource allocation for building maintenance activities urges the professions to develop solutions on reducing the maintenance costs. Thus, it is vital to identify the cost characteristics and other resources requirement of preventive maintenance, includes scheduled maintenance and condition-based maintenance through literature review.
The characteristics of preventive maintenance always affect the maintenance cost performance. Therefore, relationships between characteristics of preventive maintenance and maintenance cost performance must be established to understand and take into consideration, the maintenance planning stage. At the end, the significant relationship will be able to help the industry practitioners in selecting appropriate maintenance strategy with optimal maintenance expenditure, yet improving the maintenance outcome.
The building maintenance costs are rising rapidly from time to time due to poor maintenance in the past.
In UK, total spending on building maintenance had a dramatically increase of 66% in the past 10 years. In Malaysia, the development plan allocation for repair and maintenance works in building sector increased from RM296 million during the Eighth Malaysian Plan to RM1,079 million during the Ninth Malaysian Plan. However, the development plan allocation for repair and maintenance works in the Tenth Malaysian Plan has decreased to RM500 million.
Green building (also known as green construction or sustainable building) refers to a structure that uses process that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. This requires close cooperation of the design team, the architects, the engineers, and the client at all project stages.
The Green Building practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. Although new technologies are constantly being developed to complement current practices in creating greener structures, the common objective is that green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by:
Building maintenance resources typically considered to be ‘green’ include lumber from forests that have been certified to a third-party forest standard, rapidly renewable plant materials like bamboo and straw, dimension stone, recycled stone, recycled metal (see: copper sustainability and recyclability), and other products that are non-toxic, reusable, renewable, and/or recyclable (e. . , Trass, Linoleum, sheep wool, panels made from paper flakes, compressed earth block, adobe, baked earth, rammed earth, clay, vermiculite, flax linen, sisal, seagrass, cork, expanded clay grains, coconut, wood fibre plates, calcium sand stone, concrete (high and ultra high performance, roman self-healing concrete), etc. ) The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) also suggests using recycled industrial goods, such as coal combustion products, foundry sand, and demolition debris in construction projects.
Most building construction materials are imported to the country as there is great level of lack of confidence in our locally made materials making such materials scarce for various repair works. Energy efficient building materials and appliances are promoted in the United States unlike Nigeria through energy rebate programs, which are increasingly communicated to consumers through energy rebate database. This rebate exercise minimises waste, maximises recycling thereby having a significant positive effect on maintenance works as dilapidated components are collected for reprocessing into something useful as its initial purpose.
A similar concept is natural building, which is usually on a smaller scale and tends to focus on the use of natural materials that are available locally. Other related topics include sustainable design and green architecture. Sustainability may be defined as meeting the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Although some green building programs don’t address the issue of the retrofitting existing homes, others do.
Green construction principles can easily be applied to retrofit (maintain) work as well as new construction. Types and characteristics of managerial inputs from the operational level are not known. This creates barriers in agreeing on the maintenance resources, and has impacts on the efficiency and effectiveness of construction industries. From the financial perspective, most of the previous arguments of maintenance works identified are always without sufficient resources.. Previous studies seldom investigate the reasons why maintenance resources are allocated.
Types of criteria for maintenance management decisions are also outstanding. It is important to investigate how the maintenance personnel justify their maintenance objectives. Moreover, studying about how PPM is connected with organisational objectives is limited. It is suggested addressing how maintenance objectives are related to maintenance strategy, which have influences on the building maintenance operation processes. Maintenance objective is one of the organisational sub-business objectives, and is dominated by the organisation strategy.
Planning of maintenance objectives have impacts on the facility management operation in terms of using different maintenance strategies, which are influenced by the cost, quality and process directly and indirectly. On the contrary, whether the top management is concerned with the maintenance strategies are not known. Building maintenance objectives are the fundamental element to describe the scopes, purposes and aims of the maintenance activities, as well as the relationships with the organisational objectives.
However, maintenance personnel are criticised for narrowly focusing on the technical issues. The links between building maintenance operation and organisation is an important issue and was recognised by most of the researchers for achieving organisational goals effectiveness. Investigations about how the maintenance objectives are established and the relationships between building maintenance and the business objectives are limited. It is also important to know how the relationships between the strategic level and the operational level are established.
Studying alignment map between these two levels is to achieve a better planning of maintenance activities and resources allocation. However, mismatching between the two levels still exists when the basic of the links and the maintenance objectives are not known, or not clearly defined. Some organisations have not clearly defined their maintenance objectives, and are even without maintenance objectives. It is concluded that arguments of maintenance strategy, standard and resources are due to the lack of justification of building maintenance objectives.
Thus, the preliminary investigation of research question can be focused on the investigation of ‘How do maintenance personnel at the operational level develop building maintenance objectives? ’ Following with this main question, it is recommended to collect the data and information about how maintenance personnel develop building maintenance objectives, and the following data and information is recommended:
Understanding the relationships between the top management at the strategic level and maintenance personnel at the operational level are considered important for better management of building maintenance operation processes.
Construction and maintenance materials should be extracted and manufactured locally to the building site to minimize the energy embedded in their transportation. Where possible, building elements should be manufactured off-site and delivered to site, to maximise benefits of off-site manufacture such as; minimising waste, maximising recycling (because manufacture is in one location), high quality elements, better OHS management, less noise and dust. In the facility life-cycle process, costs are incurred in construction, operation, maintenance, and disposal of a facility.
Past emphasis during the planning, design, and construction phases has been on estimating initial construction costs. The operating and maintaining shouldn’t be left out. In many cases, the operation and maintenance (O&M) costs are far greater than initial construction costs. Building owners are should not majorly be concerned with the total initial construction costs of facilities rather, they should be more concerned about the life cycle costs of such structure. Maintainability is a key area where the industry needs to achieve improvements.
This study identified two key factors that would enable the industry to achieve the desired improvements. Knowledge that would allow the issue of maintainability to be addressed as well as the tools to assess building performance in terms of its maintainability are indispensable and building maintenance strategy and policy in relation to maintenance resources allocation However, it is clear the different parties to the construction contract are reluctant to assume further responsibilities and liabilities which shouldn’t be so.
All data regarding product or design’s maintainability should be made readily available. This would require the relevant party to invest in research and development and this create further challenge in an industry that is driven by “lowest cost” mentality. This would require clients and their advisers to make informed decisions thereby enhancing allocation of maintenance in construction industry.
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