Building Maintenance | Literature Review

Modified: 13th Aug 2018
Wordcount: 5435 words

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Building defects are common phenomena especially for those old residential apartments. Lack of maintenance management is one of the factors which lead to poor building condition. Despite the authorities in charge of building maintenance, the residents are also a factor contributing to poor maintenance on building. Misusing the facilities, poor management team, insufficiency of fund for maintenance, the use of poor quality material by the maintenance department, improper maintenance strategy often cause maintenance to achieve a result less than expected.

Poor maintenance management will reduce the building lifespan and accelerate the deterioration process of building. Besides that, poor maintenance also will effects the condition of the building, it is also a threats to the residents, making the residents feel unsafe, cause inconvenience and bring a lot of trouble to the resident and others.

Thus, this research aim is to identify the flaw of building maintenance in residential apartments, give recommendations and provide the suitable of maintenance strategy to improve the quality and conditions of the apartments.

The center question in this study is to identify a suitable maintenance strategy to improve the condition of residential apartments. Along the way of research, following question will also be identified.

What is the flaw of building maintenance in residential apartments?

What is the reason to affect the maintenance cost?

1.3 Aim

The aim of this research project is to study the building maintenance strategy in residential apartments.

1.4 Objectives

In achieving the aim, four objectives have been outlined. There are:

  • To determine the suitable of maintenance strategy to improve the quality of residential apartments.
  • To compare the type of building maintenance strategy.
  • To review the factor that affect maintenance cost.

1.5 Hypothesis

Proper maintenance strategy can reduce the building defects, increase the monetary value of apartment and prolong the lifespan of residential apartment.

1.6 Background of the Study

Building maintenance is an important activity to keep the building in good condition. Even though the buildings are seemed like wonderful or in perfect condition, there are a lot of maintenance work needed to be done in order to maintain at such condition. To preserve and prolong the life of building, maintenance is necessary to be carried out. Chudley (1981, p.1) define the maintenance as: “maintenance is the act of maintaining. 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” (Wood, 2009, p.3)

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In this research project, researcher is tending to identify the flaw of building maintenance in residential apartments and proposed the suitable maintenance strategy. The motivation to carry out this research project is a lot of tenants or residents have neglected the importance of maintenance work. Also, maintenance will affect the built environment, building lifespan, quality, safety and condition of apartments.

Proper maintenance strategy plays an important role for a building. The proper maintenance strategy is able to affect the performance of maintenance. Good and poor maintenance also depends on the maintenance strategy using. The poor maintenance also caused by using the improper maintenance strategy. The poor maintenance of the residential apartment will lead to depreciation of property value, affects the condition of the building, result as a threats to the residents, making the residents feel unsafe, caused inconvenience to the residents, building efficiency drop and eventually cause the building to deteriorate rapidly than others.

1.7 Scope of the Study

In order to carry out the research project, the researcher specified in residential buildings at Setapak. The nature of the building to be focus in apartment and the building will be reviewed in this research are those which were built between 1990’s and early 2000’s. The building maintenance of the residential apartments is to be reveal through this research project.

This research focuses on the maintenance strategy of the residential apartment thus understand on the building maintenance strategies and knowledge on flaw of building maintenance are important in this case. The key words like ‘building maintenance strategy’ and ‘residential apartments’ will be defined at first so that the person who reads can easily understand point of the research project or dissertation. To carry out the research, it is necessary to identify flaw of building maintenance of residential apartments and proposed the suitable or proper maintenance strategy to rectify the flaw of building maintenance or improve the quality of the buildings. In addition, in this dissertation identifies the factors that affect the maintenance cost.

1.8 Research Methodology

1.8.1 Literature review

To carry out a research, literature review is the most important of the research. Before carry out a research, it has to well understand of the research title and literature review. The effective information can be obtained through the books in the library, journals, internet, newspaper and others those will provide us ideas to start doing dissertation or easily to do the dissertation with refer to the books, journals and others.

1.8.2 Questionnaire

One of the research methodology using in this dissertation, questionnaire will be carried out in order to get some important information from respondents. The questionnaires form will be contribute to the respondents by hands or mail. The targeted respondents are those who stay in the apartment at Setapak. The questionnaire forms can include respondent’s detail, satisfaction of the building facilities and efficiency, knowledge on the building defect and others. All the data collected get from respondents, it have to analyze it and discussed together with recommendations to improve the building defects or quality of the building.

1.8.3 Interview

Besides that, interview also will be carry out in the research. The targeted interviewees are resident of the apartment at Setapak and the repair specialist also will be interview. For this dissertation, the informal interview will be carry out in order to finalize the conclusion and the respond of interviewee are more accurate than the questionnaire and face to face discuss the problem of the resident facing.

1.9 Chapter Outline

1.9.1 Chapter 1-Introduction

Chapter 1 is introducing about research background and this chapter is including aims and objectives, problem statement, research methodology, chapter outline and others.

1.9.2 Chapter 2-Literature Review

Chapter 2 is review the definition of maintenance and the importance of building maintenance. This chapter also will identify the factors of affecting building maintenance cost and let the reader understanding different types of maintenance strategies.

1.9.3 Chapter 3-Research Methodology

Chapter 3 is aim to review the details of research methodology. The Literature review, questionnaire, interview is the method of carry out in this research project. In this chapter, it has to review the way of get the feedback from the respondent and what is the result.

1.9.4 Chapter 4-Data Analysis

Chapter 4 is need to analyzing the data which is obtained from questionnaire. It needs to analyses the problem of maintenance management in residential apartments.

1.9.5 Chapter 5-Conclusion and Recommendations

Chapter 5 is to provide the conclusion of the whole research project and recommend the importance of building maintenance in residential apartments.

Chapter 1:


1.1 Title

1.2 Problem Statement

1.3 Aims and objectives

1.4 Background

1.5 Scope of Study

1.6 Research Methodology

1.7 Chapter Outline

Chapter 2:

Literature Review

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Definition

2.3 Importance of building maintenance

2.4 Factor affect the building maintenance cost

2.5 Types of building maintenance strategies

2.6 The comparison of maintenance strategies

2.7 Selection of maintenance strategy

2.8 Maintenance management decision diagram

Table 0 Plan and actual schedule

Based to the table above, I was late to confirm the research title that is because I was confusing on the various tiles that I have found. To get back the progress that I was planning, I was tried to confirm the tile on Week 4. After that, there is also late to done the work in Chapter One. Within that delay period, I have a presentation and a lot of assignment need to submit. Also, I was having twice time amendment on Chapter One. During Week 9, I was realized that was very late to start the work in Chapter Two. To resolve this problem, I was try to spending more time to do the research and I was try to finished the introduction, definition and importance of building maintenance and factor affect the building maintenance cost. During Week 9 to Week 12, I was try my best to match back the planned schedule and I was get help who is my supervisor in doing the work in Chapter 2. He is giving a lot recommendation to give me a direction to done the proposal and final draft. Finally, I was done my work on Week 12 and I was submitting my final draft on Week 13.

Chapter 2.0 Literature review

2.1 Introduction

This chapter reviews the types of building maintenance strategy. The definition and the importance of maintenance also will be identified in this chapter. Besides that, this chapter will identify the factor affecting the building maintenance cost and maintenance management decision diagram.

2.2 Definition of Building Maintenance

The “maintenance” term was comes from the French verb ‘maintenir’, which means to hold, retain, prolong or preserve the building or structure to an acceptable standard. Chudley (1981, p.1) defines the maintenance is the act of maintaining, many people are misunderstanding the maintenance is equal with repair. In the act of maintaining repairs or replacement may well be necessary but the main objectives of all maintenance procedures is to prevent as far as practicable the need to repair or replace the structure, furnishings, services, equipment or fittings which collectively make up the total environment of any building (Chudley, 1981, p.1).

According to BS 3811: 1964 defines maintenance as ‘a combination of any actions carried out to retain an item in, or restore it, to an acceptable condition’ (Lee, 1981, p.9). Wood (2009, p.4) defines maintenance as keeping an item at a certain level or of restoring it that position of acceptability, although it does not identify who it is that determines the acceptability condition.

Besides that, the Building Maintenance Committee in British recommended the following definition: “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 accepted standard and to sustain the utility and value of the facility’ (Lee, 1981, p.10).

In conclusion, the main objectives of building maintenance is to keep the building in perfect condition and ensure that the condition of the buildings meets all statutory requirements by regularly checking or repairing it when failure occurs so that the building can be continued perform in term of acceptable standard.

2.3 The importance of Building Maintenance

Most people are unlikely to carry out maintenance work and they have neglected the importance of maintenance work. There are many good reasons for carry out the maintenance work. For example, maintenance can be preserving our building, prolong the building’s life, reducing the deterioration process of the building, provide a safe environment and maintaining building’s appearance. In the economic sense, maintenance can reduce the major repair projects. Under some circumstances, repairs works can be costly than maintenance work in terms of finances. Thus, it is better to carry out the maintenance work than extending the period of repairs work. For an example, the routine cleaning of the gutter and drains is cheaper and less convenient than having to cope with a serious outbreak of dry rot in timber roof trusses which is neglect for many years. The appropriate routine management and maintenance will minimize the need for larger repairs or it is the most economical way of sustaining an asset (Beehive, 2010).

Besides that, maintenance will also ensure the safety of the building or to person (Jeff, 2008). For instance, maintenance of building fire safety installations. Fire safety installations must be capable performing in standard level to ensure the safety of the building and building users or occupants. Fire safety installations are including fire extinguisher, fire doors, fire hydrants, fire hose reels, emergency lighting and smoke detectors (Queensland Government, ‘n.d’).

In addition, maintenance also can provide opportunities for employment. Some of the maintenance works are required repair specialist or maintenance professionals to carry out the maintenance or repair works. For example, cleaning high-level gutters may require specially trained personnel or equipment to carry out the work or some of the maintenance or repair work need a lot of repair specialist to carry out the work therefore it provide a opportunities to earn a living (Beehive, 2010).

2.4 The factors that affecting building maintenance cost

This research project is to identify the factors that affecting building maintenance cost because the issue of continuous increasing in building maintenance cost is often discussed. In order to solve the problem of increasing in building maintenance cost, building management team should adapt some strategies by reduce or minimizing the number of maintenance activities (Azlan Shah Ali, 2010). Besides that, building maintenance costs increase and decrease will be affected due to the various factors. For examples, designer is fails to comply with the specifications and standard also is a factors that influence the building maintenance cost. (Jalal A. Al-Khatam, 2003)

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2.4.1 Design

The complexity of the building design will increase the difficulty in maintenance work. Regular cleaning and minor repair work can be carried out easily to avoid major replacement of building component. For example, some of the maintenance requires some tools to be performed. If the designer fails to allow enough space for the tools to execute maintenance work, it will cause minor problem become major problem (Jalal A. Al-Khatam, 2003). The building design also including the building height, area and size. The high rise building is need the additional costs for the equipment and tools used to carry out the maintenance works. For instance, when carry out the maintenance works at high rise buildings such as window cleaning, painting work, repairs work and other external works is need scaffolding (Azlan Shah Ali, 2010).

Besides that, some of the building defects are caused by improper structural design such as designer is neglected the spacing for contraction and expansion which movement will cause joint of the wall cracking (Jalal A. Al-Khatam, 2003).

2.4.2 Poor Quality Control

Quality control program is essential and important during the maintenance and construction stages. That program is used to control, check and test of activities due to the contract requirement and construction procedures. An effective quality control program will reduce the occurrence of building defects therefore maintenance work will be reduce accordingly. During the maintenance stages, the quality control program is essential to ensure that which component is required to maintain or might not need to maintain (Jalal A. Al-Khatam, 2003).

2.4.3 Lack knowledge of maintenance strategy

Improper maintenance strategy is caused by the designer or maintenance management team lack in knowledge of maintenance strategy. Improper using maintenance strategy might not be increase the cost of the particular work but it might be affected on the long-term durability of the building and the cost of maintenance (Jalal A. Al-Khatam, 2003).

2.4.4 Unfamiliarity with local and site condition

The designer should know the building location, type of plants, environment condition and insects existing around of the building. For example, if the designers realized that surround of the building have many plants and those plants might have termite or “white-ants”, it can be provide a suitable maintenance strategy to avoid termite attack.

In addition, designer also should be familiar with buildings site condition such as soil condition. For example, poor soil condition might affect the building shrinking and causes the structural elements start cracking (Jalal A. Al-Khatam, 2003).

2.4.5 Improper diagnosis

The maintenance management team is failure to identify the main and true causes of the defect and it will affect the decision on decide the maintenance strategy. Besides that, improper diagnosis will affect the maintenance cost. This is because improper diagnosis will worsen the condition of the building therefore it is require a lot of maintenance or repair works to repair it (Jalal A. Al-Khatam, 2003).

2.4.6 Life Cycle Cost (LCC)

Life cycle cost (LCC) is the total relevant costs over the life of a system including cost of operation, maintenance, acquisition, disposal and modification for the purpose of making decision (Shear, 1993). LCC takes into account firstly and other costs (total cost of operation and maintenance of a system) over a buildings’ life. During the buildings’ life period, it helps in the determination of how the owner’s money distributed. Moreover, it was to determine of meeting a need of space with the most economic way. Besides that, it was also assisting in developing the most economic plan shape, structural form and internal layout. The greater saving and lowering the committed cost if LCC is applied earlier. LCC is used to identify which have the lowest total cost of design feature, components and finishing. And, it also identifies high cost areas and evaluates changes that will reduce these costs (Jalal A. Al-Khatam, 2003).

2.4.7 Labour

Unskilled labours such as foreign labour will failure to carry out the maintenance work and it is also will increasing the maintenance cost if they have not performing well in maintenance work. It is because they are lack in experience, knowledge and skills to perform well of the maintenance work. Therefore, employ a skilled labour is better than employ unskilled labour. Skilled labour will help to minimizing maintenance cost and improve the quality of work (Jalal A. Al-Khatam, 2003).

2.4.8 Material selection

Material selection in the early design stage also is the one of the factors will be influence the maintenance cost. Once the selection of materials is failure or select wrong materials it is required high maintenance cost to repair or replace the existing building components (Azlan Shah Ali, 2010). The selection of poor or bad quality of materials will cause failure of the materials and deterioration occurred in the building components, which will require replacement or more maintenance tasks in the future. To minimize future expenses during maintenance stage, selection of materials should be according to the performance specification requirements of the building (Jalal A. Al-Khatam, 2003).

2.4.9 Misusing materials

The misconception of using cheap materials will minimize or reduce the maintenance cost. Those cheap and bad quality materials will cause building deterioration, which will require more maintenance or repairs work to be carry out. It will be more costly to carry out the repair, replacement and maintenance work (Jalal A. Al-Khatam, 2003).

2.4.10 Fluctuation of Material Prices

The most common of factors that affecting the maintenance cost is fluctuation of material prices such as cement, steel bar and etc. it might be increasing the material prices and also decreasing the material prices but usually is increasing (Jalal A. Al-Khatam, 2003).

2.4.11 Climate change

Some of the building material will have chemical reaction when the climate was change. For example, acid rain wills accelerate the deterioration process of some building materials. Thus, there are some maintenance or remedial action need to be carry out (Jalal A. Al-Khatam, 2003).

2.4.12 Unqualified Maintenance Contractor

To ensure the maintenance work can be performing effectively, the well-experiences maintenance contractors are very important. A good maintenance contractor should be good in analyzing the maintenance cost and analyze which maintenance strategy is most economical way to carry out the maintenance work or which is the most suitable maintenance strategy can be using (Jalal A. Al-Khatam, 2003).. Besides that, those of the unqualified maintenance contractor or operator are lack of training which could cause to poor operating and maintenance practices (Azlan Shah Ali, 2010).

2.4.13 Age of the building

According to Skinner (1982), Slater (1982) and O’Neill (1974), the age of the building or property also could be influencing the maintenance cost. When the age of a building increase, the maintenance cost also will increase accordingly. Some of the maintenance works such as replacement of new roof tiles, painting work, and other works are required to carry out because these maintenance works is to ensure the sustainability of building while the building age is increasing (Azlan Shah Ali, 2010).

Besides that, the building components have their expected life, if the building component’s life is over than the expected life, it is better to demolish it or replace it. This is because the maintenance cost might be higher than the cost spending on demolished or replacement (Jalal A. Al-Khatam, 2003)..

2.4.14 Poor management

A good maintenance management can be an effective tool or equipment for achieving a high standard of maintenance work and it can reduce the maintenance works and costs. According to Horner et al. (1997), the maintenance management is required to reduce or minimize the repair works on building defect (Azlan-Shah Ali, 2010). Without maintenance management, it will lead to failure maintenance work, time consuming and cumbersome. Therefore, maintenance management is requiring formulating long term strategic plan to meet those needs.

2.4.15 Poor financial management

The building owners are require to preparing the annual budgets which budgets is enough financial support for maintenance work. Without financial support for maintenance work required, maintenance works require to carry out will not be perform properly and building will not maintained properly (Jalal A. Al-Khatam, 2003).

2.4.16 User neglected importance of maintenance work

Building users are often misunderstanding that there is not their responsibility to keeping the building in good condition and facility therefore they are taking no action or neglected the maintenance work. As time passes, it will lead to the buildings start to deteriorate. Therefore, they require additional maintenance cost to carry out large repair or maintenance work to cope the deterioration of the building. Therefore, it is better that they are intention to carry out the maintenance work before the building is deteriorated (Jalal A. Al-Khatam, 2003).

2.4.17 Misuse of building after construction is complete

Some of building users or owners is misusing the buildings and its components in proper way after the building construction is completed. There are causing the building components are needs to repair and it is also would be costly for those repairs work (Jalal, 2003). In order to minimized this problem, the introducing of property operating manuals and regulation, and educating occupants and users are need to be carry out (Azlan-Shah Ali, 2010)

2.4.18 Behavior and attitude of users

The bad attitudes of building users are often misusing the facility and services of the building and vandalism by building user will cause to damage and defects on building components. It would be costly to repair for those damages (Jalal A. Al-Khatam, 2003).

2.4.19 Improper Maintenance Strategy

Improper maintenance strategy also will be affected the cost of maintenance. For example, a building elements are require to using the preventive maintenance strategy but they are using corrective maintenance strategy therefore it is more costly to carry out the maintenance (Jalal A. Al-Khatam, 2003).

2.5 The types of Buildings Maintenance Strategies

According to Chudley (1980, p.110), defines maintenance as any work undertaken in order to keep or restore every part of a building to an acceptable standard. The types of maintenance activities which are require achieving this objective. It can be categorized as planned and unplanned maintenance. Those of the maintenance strategies are provide options to decide which maintenance strategy will be decide to use, it should be make sure that those alternative decisions are available to management in maintaining a building. Besides that, it is also need to depend on the failure elements condition then decide a maintenance strategy to repair or replace it. During making decision to select maintenance strategy, it must be consider which maintenance strategy is more efficiency (Chudley, 1981).

Figure 0 Types of Maintenance

Source: (Abdul-Mohsen Al- Hammad, ‘n.d’)

2.5.1 Planned Maintenance

is defined the planned maintenance is the maintenance work have been planned, organized and execute with forethought, control and the use of records to a predetermined plan (Abdul-Mohsen Al- Hammad, ‘n.d’).

Besides that, planned maintenance can be used to overcome the disadvantages of corrective maintenance and emergency maintenance. It is commonly referred to the schedule system which is require consider time, cost and quality. Planned maintenance is including preventive maintenance. Preventive Maintenance (PM)

In this maintenance strategy, the building components, elements, facilities and services are subjected to a regular schedule of maintenance tasks, such as cleaning, inspections, adjustments, inspections, and others. The maintenance tasks are carried out at fixed intervals to reduce building deteriorated or to ensure the building is in good condition (RDH Building Enginerring Ltd, ‘n.d’).

Besides that, the disadvantages of corrective maintenance can be overcome by preventive maintenance. Preventive maintenance also will reduce the probability of occurrence of failure or defects and avoiding sudden failure. This maintenance strategy is referred to as time-based maintenance, planned maintenance or cyclic maintenance. Preventive maintenance tasks are performed in accordance with a predetermined plan at regular, fixed intervals, which may be based for example on operating time (IMSS Security Services, 2011). Preventive maintenance has various advantages over the corrective maintenance. The preventive maintenance tasks are providing several advantages, those are shown as below (Au Wai Hoe, 2008):

  • The equipment will perform more efficiently.
  • Preserve and prolong the life of the building.
  • Reduce and avoid the occurrence of failure.
  • Save potential energy and prevent energy will go to waste.
  • The preventive maintenance cost is more economical than the corrective maintenance cost.
  • The following are the disadvantages of preventive maintenance.

Unnecessary task will be carried out even thought the building components are in good condition. The elements which are required remained in a safe and acceptable condition for long time; it will be carried out a large amount of unnecessary tasks.

Very demanding in terms of spare parts and labour.

Although the preventive maintenance work is carried out, failures are still likely to occur because it was human error during the implementation of the maintenance works.

In addition, there are some of the advantages of preventive over corrective maintenance as shown as below:

It will not make the building users inconvenient while execute maintenance work because maintenance can be planned ahead and performed when it is convenient to the users.

Avoiding the cost of consequential damage can be reduced the maintenance cost.

It can be minimized the downtime which is the time that an element of the building or whole of the building is out of services, so that the habitability of the building can be increased.

Improved health and safety of the building users. Condition-based maintenance

This maintenance strategy work is performing in response to an acceptable deterioration in a unit as indicated by a change monitored parameter of the unit’s condition or performance. The reason for carrying out the maintenance work is the condition of building elements has been change or deterioration, and the optimal time to execute maintenance works is determined by monitoring the actual state of the system, its performance or other condition parameters. Its concept recognizes that the main reason for carrying out maintenance is due to change in condition or performance of an item.

Before a major failure occurs, to identify the element or equipments requires maintenance which is condition-based maintenance tasks. This maintenance tasks is planned by good monitoring to the building’s elements and service equipment. To make this strategy perform or works effectively, it is need to monitoring the condition of the building components or item. Those monitoring works is to identify whether there is any evidence of change from a normal to abnormal condition. This maintenance can be carried out by selecting the factor which can be best described the item and monitoring changes using suitable condition monitoring tools. Condition measurement can be change from a simple inspection or visual check to more advanced assessment by using variety of condition monitoring tools and techniques (IMSS Security Services, 2011).

2.5.2 Unplanned maintenance

Unplanned maintenance works is executed without predetermined planning. In this strategy, the maintenance work is carried out after a failure has occurred (Abdul-Mohsen Al-Hammad ‘n.d’). The repair works of the unplanned maintenance is the restoration of an item to an acceptable state or level through replacing, renewing and mending damaged parts. Unplanned maintenance cost is more costly than planned maintenance cost. Besides that, unplanned maintenance includes corrective and emergency maintenance. Corrective maintenance

Corrective maintenance is the simplest types of maintenance strategy, where a building element is used until it cannot perform or breaks down. It covers all activities, including replacement, repair and renew of a building element that has failed to a point at which it cannot perform its required function or cannot carry out the services. This maintenance strategy is carried out the work after a failure or defects has occurred and intended to restore an item to an acceptable state to perform its required func


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