Programmes

A key component of the 'public sector' approach to building maintenance is the 'programme'. Development of the programme is an important project and so too is its implementation and its management. Typically, a programme will involve the collection and analysis of much data and the determination and application of multiple criteria in weighing priorities. Preparation of a programme is a professional activity requiring many person-days of effort. For instance, the production of a five-year...

Deferred maintenance

'The best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley' (Burns, 1786). In essence, our schemes, however well worked out, often do not go quite according to plan revision is generally required, sometimes major revision. A common problem is that insufficient funds are made available. Maintenance is a frequent victim of budget cuts or pruning of programmes it is more usually seen as discretionary spending rather than as investment. There is a strong argument that expenditure deferred is...

Builtin maintenance

Building contractors are already facing competition in the domestic market from trusted organisations like the Automobile Association and Green Flag Insurance using their communications infrastructure with national and international coverage linked to certified, trained personnel and guaranteed delivery. This is discussed further in subsequent chapters. It may be that contractors will be able to secure maintenance work for themselves by 'building it in' at the design or construction stage, not...

References

Anink, D., Boonstra, C. & Mak, J. (1996) Handbook of Sustainable Building. James & James, London. Barbour Index (1998) The Building Maintenance and Refurbishment Market Summary. Barbour Index, Windsor. Building Design (1998) Refurb market booms. Building Design 26 June, 4. Cahill, P. & Kirkman, J. (1994) Home emergency services. In Encouraging Housing Maintenance in the Private Sector (Leather, P. & Mackintosh, S., eds). Occasional Paper 14. SAUS, Bristol. Chartered Institute of...

Preface

Building care encompasses the management and maintenance of premises. Premises-related costs typically represent 15 of the costs of running a business they are the second largest cost after people and they are the largest area of readily reducible costs to seriously impact on the bottom line. While facilities management is still a relatively young and exciting area of management, building maintenance, though expensive, is lowly regarded it is not sexy. Building care is customer focused....

Planned economy

In some ways the preparation and execution of comprehensive programmes of work, especially by 'the council', may be considered a vestigial hangover from the planned economy, or 'nanny state' as it has been pejoratively represented. An underpinning logic that 'mother knows best' has been largely superseded by an expectation of 'getting what I am paying you for'. This holds good not only at home, where increasingly people in the UK either own their own homes or expect to be treated as tenants in...

Home ownership and right to buy

'For a man's house is his castle' (Coke, 1628). This epitomises the English aspiration to own one's own home. Home ownership in UK is amongst the highest in Europe and there is an antipathy toward renting. Much of this attitude may be explained by an expectation of appreciation in capital value of the abode. There had been substantial private housebuilding developments in the interwar and postwar decades as soon as 'building licence' controls, introduced to deal with materials shortages, had...

Radical review and change

Sometimes, the way a service is delivered within a building comes under radical review, resulting in a need for a substantially different relationship between the building and how it is used. For instance, the Victorians built large sanatoria for the incarceration and treatment of the mentally insane, out of sight in rural settings. More recently, a more humane approach, with the assimilation of people with mental problems locally through 'care in the community', has promoted use of more...

Critiquing reengineering

In appraising Re-engineering the Corporation, Norton & Smith (1998) identified a definition of 're-engineering' as 'the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical contemporary measures of performance such as cost, quality, service and speed'. They go on to suggest that re-engineering 'fails or at best produces only marginal results in the majority of organisations in which it is implemented', positing that 'programmes are...

High Technology

This makes full use of capabilities such as not needing to travel to work, having buildings 'fine tuned' to changing weather, not providing a sterile, unchanging uniformity of internal conditions but being responsive to individual wants and needs. Maybe there could be facets of the 'cold-blooded' building here. A warm-blooded animal maintains a constant temperature while a cold-blooded animal takes on the temperature of its surroundings. The crude early environmental controls that we have...

Stock and stockrooms

For a manufacturer, work in progress (WIP) represents stock tied up and expenditure on materials and labour for a customer it represents waiting time. With JIT an aim is to reduce or eliminate unnecessary WIP, such as that which occurs in the assembling of batches of similar work or long lead times between order and execution, and thereby to minimise waiting time for the customer. It also avoids the need for stockrooms that would otherwise hold not only stock awaiting despatch but also stock...

Think big

The bigger, the better seemed to be the maxim of the 1950s and 1960s Schumacher's Small is Beautiful was not published until 1973. Problems associated with programmes have been discussed earlier in the chapter. Size-related problems include the relative 'anonymity' of those creating and those implementing the programme, and their 'distance' from those intended to be the 'beneficiaries' of the programme. Housing officers, planners, architects and their supporting professionals were well versed...

Low Technology

This was not part of the Gordon concept the author has added it here in that the technology of the 1970s was low-tech by comparison with today. Although communications systems were starting to expand, emphasis was still very much upon paper-based filing systems (maybe in triplicate), telephones (often shared) and hard-wired systems with mainframe computers. Air conditioning, however, was becoming more of an expectation, progressing from simpler forced ventilation systems. There was a growing...

Resource intensity of PPM simple but heavy on resources

A significant virtue of PPM programmes is their relative simplicity of preparation and operation, though that is bought at a price of high resource use. Expensive professional time is required to execute the requisite condition surveys and to turn the millions of data items into a programme that is simple to understand and implement. In many circumstances the human and or financial resources to do this may be in short supply or unavailable or only available in the short term at the expense of...

Economic factors

There is always a tendency when considering a building project to focus on the estimated tender price for the construction as the main cost to the client. That is to ignore the significant costs involved in engaging the design team, the fitting out and moving in costs and all the costs of running the building and the operations therein, including the costs of repairing and upgrading the building from time to time. In LCC and its variants, there is an expectation of being able to calculate a...

Background to reengineering building maintenance services

This chapter will reflect on recent developments in the ways in which building maintenance services are being configured, using call centres to model the construction process re-engineering (CPR) necessary to make maintenance more profitable. Conventional wisdom has promoted planned preventive maintenance (PPM) as superior to responsive maintenance, reflecting the maxim 'fail to plan plan to fail'. However, research has identified that in the commercial sector PPM has been replaced by...

Service development

The penetration of the building maintenance market by such organisations as Green Flag and the Automobile Association has been facilitated by the provision of call-centred maintenance (Wood, 1998a). These organisations are 'both used to the idea of building and maintaining membership and thereby repeat business and are therefore very conscious of the need to meet the needs of their members'. service culture and infrastructure care and quality 24 hours a day communications infrastructure

Technology bad environment and sustainability good

Parallel with developments in technology has been a growing interest in green issues, a concern about the future of the planet, its resources and their depletion. The most commonly cited definition of sustainability is that of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), also known as the Brundtland Report, in 1989 'the principle that economic growth can and should be managed so that natural resources be used in such a way that the quality of life of future generations is...

Justintime maintenance

Just-in-time maintenance borrows its mode of operation from just-in-time manufacturing and delivery. JIT practices are well established in other industries (Droy, 1986 McLachlin, 1990 Duclos et al., 1995) and there are instances of JIT being used in the maintenance of manufacturing equipment (Duclos & Spencer, 1994). Advances in technology have facilitated the development of devices which reduce costs while improving operational performance such as computer- based systems which enable the...

Summary

This chapter has brought together a number of thoughts about the relationship between design and maintenance, drawing on extensive researches and experiences of the author and others over a span of years. Design decisions are a powerful driver of maintenance needs. Together with the desires of users and budgets of building owners, they are significant determinants of maintenance demand. However, if the construction and property industries are to benefit fully from a reconsideration of that...

Developing and defining justintime maintenance

The development of the intelligent building, including highly serviced offices and supermarkets for instance, brought with it the potential of just-in-time maintenance (Smyth & Wood, 1995), as identified in Chapter 3. JIT maintenance may be characterised by features such as In essence, JIT maintenance is defined as 'getting the maximum life from each building component and piece of equipment, leaving repair or replacement until the component is broken or fails to function, yet taking action...

Hewlett Packard Japan and quality

Through the late 1970s and the 1980s American and European manufacturing businesses became increasingly exposed to severe competition from Japanese companies. Whole industries (e.g. TV, VCR) were taken over or dominated by the Japanese. Cole (1999) assesses systems applied at Hewlett-Packard in learning from Japanese experience through a joint venture, Yokogawa Hewlett-Packard (YHP). A stunning example of accomplishment is given. The 'wave solder rate of non-conformity' was reduced from 4000...

Quality reliability and defects

Cole (1999) tracks the rise in interest in quality in a sequence of what he calls 'fads' over the latter part of the 20th century. He quotes Garvin (1988) in justifying a rationale for this interest as a growth in consumerism in the 1960s and resultant product recalls and liability suits. In a previous text, Cole (1981) indicated that the Institute of Social Research at the University of Michigan reported that 'public concern about auto quality doubled between 1968 and 1975'. By the 1990s this...

Design and sustainability

How a building is to be maintained and how long it may last are very much influenced, even if not specifically determined, at the design stage. However, briefing is often given scant attention. The RIBA issued advice within the Plan of Work (1964) Stages A and B Inception and Feasibility would be informed by Stage M Feedback from similar and recently completely projects. Unfortunately, few building clients are repeat commissioners of construction, so learning from previous projects is difficult...

Client focus

Latham and others have identified factors that will need more attention from the construction industry if it is to meet client needs better, including clear focus on the customer known delivery time and duration care, including tidiness, cleaning up, respect for client's premises, privacy and all that the client holds precious continuity (clients do not wish to constantly 'shop around') The call centre paradigm provides opportunities to attend to these needs.

Repair backlogs

A report by the Confederation of British Industry in 1985 presented 'evidence of the backlog of essential repair and maintenance work . . . As long ago as 1977, a Department of Education and Science report, 'A Study of School Buildings,' indicated that 1.2 billion ( 2.5 billion at 1985 prices) needed to be spent to bring schools built before 1976 up to modern standards. In 1983 the Davies Report 'Underused and Surplus Property in the National Health Service' put a figure of 2 billion on the...

Background and Introduction

The last decade of the 20th century and the start of the 21st have seen significant growth and development in the discipline of facilities management. This has been in part a response to a changing business environment in which organisations have sought to return to core business or privatise operations. Processes have been re-engineered and customer focused as facilities management functions have been subcontracted or outsourced and provided remotely. Developments in technology and management...

User wants and needs putting the customer last

The all-encompassing logic of the PPM programme tends to give overriding weight to the overall needs of the stock as perceived by the maintenance manager. There are so many considerations and it is his or her job to balance those and to arrive at the answer. It is very difficult in such a process to give any weight of consideration to an individual's desires. Whilst accepting that I may tend to express my own wants or desires as 'needs' and 'essential', it is generally the case that I will only...

Objections to PPM

'You can never plan the future by the past.' (Burke, 1791) The previous parts of this chapter have focused on the features of PPM and factors conducive to its development and successful implementation. The following section focuses on facets less conducive to PPM and situations in which alternatives to PPM should be more seriously considered. Considerations militating against PPM include overspecification and overwork adversarial nature of contracts automaticity, detracting from the individual.

The individual versus Big Brother

Robert Heller (1990) identifies that the intelligent buildings that thrive will be those that most closely and completely address the needs and desires of the occupants, which he describes as 'the group . . . whose opinion is not often found in print the Justin Morgans of the world who will ultimately be living and working in the environments created for them'. A recent study (PROBE, 1996-8), looking at 15 UK buildings that could be considered as 'intelligent', found only one where there was...

Intelligent buildings

Atkin, 1988 DEGW & Teknibank, 1992 McClelland, 1998) have examined the development of the so-called intelligent building. These portray generally a 'high-tech' approach, giving rise to more or less automated buildings. However, at the 1998 Intelligent Building Conference organised jointly by the BRE and the European Intelligent Building Group (EIBG), a significant strand of thought was that the truly intelligent building was a 'green' building, one that would take...

Customer care and service culture

These terms are not perhaps commonly associated with construction. This is not to say that this is all the fault of building contractors the focus of clients is also often on cost and price, particularly on lowest tender, with little attention to time or quality dimensions. 'In general, the construction industry has an overdeveloped sense of cost and an underdeveloped sense of value' (Construction Industry Board, 1998, p.23). Construction is commonly associated with 'extras', claims, delays,...

Intelligent

Not necessarily automated, this implies a choice of building design and construction suited to the customer's needs, in essence a 'close fit' at all times, not incurring the costs of constant change and entirely consonant with teleworking, hotdesking and high rates of change facilitated by networking. Intelligence was discussed in Chapter 7 in relation to both care of a so-called intelligent building and the intelligent care of buildings generally, whether or not they were construed as...

Call centres

At least on the domestic scale, the call centre configuration may offer clients a familiar and perhaps comfortable area of opportunity to investigate. 'Good evening how can I help you ' This is putting focus on the customer. Call centres have experienced huge growth in the UK and around the world. An estimate in 1998 (Straum) was that 'there are now 1,300 call centres in the UK'. A further article reported (Groom, 1998) that 'estimates indicate that they call centres employ between 150,000 and...

Whither the cowboy

Chapter 4 described something of the nature of construction firms operating in the maintenance market small, poorly qualified, unfamiliar with good management practices. This section looks at how it is that such bad firms survive or even thrive. Factors conducive to the cowboy include uneducated and inexperienced clients poor few sources of guidance or help lack of contract infrastructure. Typically home owners do not understand the maintenance needs of their properties, do nothing until...

Conclusion

The picture painted of the building maintenance industry is fairly unattractive. It is populated by small firms, poorly qualified, doing a poor job, poorly organised and poorly remunerated, working hand to mouth and held in low regard. Whilst many of the problems recounted may relate to rogue traders, many are matters more to do with incompetence or ineptitude and susceptible to improvement by education and training. There is also a role for greater regulation or certification and for redress...

Approaching sustainable building care

A sustainable building and sustainable maintenance are possible indeed, the one presupposes and requires the other. Perhaps the key elements here are a general 'lightness' or economy in the use of materials, use of renewable resources and a congruence of anticipated life of the building with that of its component parts. While zero maintenance may be striven for, it is ultimately unachievable and what is desired is a situation where all will finally fail simultaneously. Statistically that too is...

Influence of the public sector

As economies and social priorities around the world grow and change, so do the size and involvement of the public sector. For instance, in the decades immediately following the two world wars, there were significant building programmes in which governments were major participants. For example, in the UK there were extensive programmes for councils to build 'homes fit for heroes' in the 1920s and 1930s. Many a provincial town has its Addison Crescent and Asquith Road built at that time. Addison...

Implications for building owners and users

Building owners will need to review their briefing procedures for new buildings, their management and maintenance. It is now both practical and desirable to adopt a holistic approach to the building. Design, specification and construction can reasonably be expected to take full account of the maintenance requirement and subsequent upgrading needs. There may be real benefits, including cost benefits, to be gained by engaging a contractor who will take on a 'lifetime' role and relationship, in...

Users and user needs

In the case of a single dwelling, it may seem obvious that the needs of the occupant(s) would be a paramount consideration. But even then, how much should future needs be considered, especially if they conflict with present needs What about the possible needs of possible subsequent occupants What if owner and occupant needs or perceptions differ In the case of larger buildings and with a multiplicity of owners, lessees and tenants and individual users, there may be a very wide range of needs...

Privatisation

Policies pursued by Margaret Thatcher in the UK, by Ronald Reagan and George Bush in the USA and by like-minded politicians around the world effectively 'privatised' much of what had previously been considered the domain or prerogative of the public sector or 'the state'. 'There is no such thing as Society. There are individual men and women, and there are families' (Thatcher, 1987). In the UK the period of Conservative government since 1979 saw the denationalisation and privatisation of the...

Adaptability

Thus the depth and arrangement of rooms and supporting structure may be critical determinants of the adaptability of a building to changing needs over time. Other factors will also impact upon the potential for sustainable care of the building, if it is to be capable of changing use and reuse, either as a whole or in its component parts. Buildings generally will not be infinitely adaptable whilst it may be possible in theory to construct such a model, cost is likely to be a dampening factor,...

Hammer Champy

Chapter 3 presented an overview of the development of 'management' through the 20th century. Industry had passed through a period of growth by acquisitions and mergers, creating huge diversified conglomerates such as Distillers, the Hanson Group and Trafalgar House, and was about to move into reverse with a return to core business, demergers and downsizing. In 1990, Michael Hammer, former computer science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), published 'Re-engineering...

Design for low or no maintenance

In 1990, the RICS revised and reissued its Practice Note No. 4 on Building Planned Maintenance. The institution argued that '. . . the design and maintenance processes in the construction industry need to be more closely allied as in the motor industry where design and subsequent maintenance frequently have an equal consideration. Early discussion between the design and maintenance organisations can result in a building with lower maintenance liability at a marginally increased initial cost,...

Greenness

This relates to issues of renewability and 'light' or 'lean' use of resources, in construction as well as in use. It takes on board issues of embodied energy and environmental impacts, including for instance implied transport considerations, by being 'the right building in the right place'. A number of generally low-density and low-intensity 'green' projects were referred to in Chapter 8 and included facets such as being earth sheltered, having turf roofs, recycling waste water, composting...

Need for large nonlocal contractors

A concomitant of large-scale PPM programmes has been the tendency to let large contracts to large construction contractors. The underlying logic is that only the large, usually nationally operating contractors have the labour, project management and co-ordination skills required. Local authority staff or consultants called in to organise and undertake the stock condition survey and prepare the programmes and the associated tender and contract documentation are not generally willing to entrust...

Business and the growth of FM

Arguably, business has long been used to recognising and reconciling the needs, wants and demands of various stakeholders, albeit that the primary object of business is usually to maximise profits for the shareholders. Over the postwar years the route to business success has taken a range of courses, including takeovers and mergers, diversification, consolidation, de-mergers, co-operatives and various stock-option and profit-sharing schemes. More recently, trends have been towards greater...

Buyer power and supply chain management

According to Wheatley (1992), in contrast to the traditional way of working with suppliers, expending time and energy on 'haggling' about prices and delivery, with emphasis on discounts for quantity, JIT is based on building a longer term relationship. This chimes in with the observations of Latham (1994) and Egan (1998) in relation to the problems of fragmentation and opportunities for alliances and 'partnering' in the construction industry. It is suggested that the mutual dependency...

Unsustainability of PPM

The 'think big' approach of PPM is no longer fashionable today's mantras are 'small is beautiful' and 'think globally act locally'. 'Big government' and the 'nanny state' have been discredited. They gave rise to a so-called dependency culture in which individuals become habituated to having someone else to provide and do things for them and having a 'them' to blame. This has resulted in overprovision for many who may otherwise be satisfied with less alternatively, cumbersome and maligned 'means...

Loose Fit Flexible

This component relates to the creation of buildings within which change could be accommodated easily, for instance with little internal structure and by removal and erection of non-loadbearing partitions as and when required. The late 20th century saw much organisational change, especially in offices and in retail, and the provision of large floor-plate buildings facilitated this, often in out-of-town locations, destructive of urban form and city life. It may be that this has passed on...

Technology advances

At the same time as management techniques and priorities have been changing, there have been very significant advances in technology. It is an unusual business today, in the Western world at least, that does not make quite extensive use of technology. From electric light and power we have progressed through the telephone and fax to mainframe and desktop computing and information technology and more recently the World-Wide Web and email. As well as speeding up communications and data processing,...

Structure of work

Over the last few decades the structure of work, the workforce, workplace and the working week have changed a great deal. Many of the former labour-intensive heavy industries of the Midlands and north of England, South Wales and central Scotland, including coalmining, steel, shipbuilding and manufacturing, have declined severely, putting many out of work. In large part manual jobs have been replaced by positions in the 'softer' service sector, sometimes in those same regions, often elsewhere,...

The service context building relationships

It is not intended to suggest that 'cosy' arrangements between clients or their agents and contractors chosen on merit rather than lowest price are corrupt or that they represent poor value. However, a developing 'professionalisation', together with the changing managerial context of organisations working through concepts such as 'return to core business', 're-engineering', 'downsizing' and 'outsourcing', has brought the cost of property, including maintenance, into the spotlight. Term...

Long Life

Highly durable materials and components should need little maintenance. However, such materials may be expensive to procure, they may be in short supply and non-renewable, e.g. stone, marble, and or they may require a lot of energy to produce, e.g. kiln-fired brick. On the other hand, timber, perhaps almost infinitely renewable if appropriately managed, whilst liable to rot in damp conditions and vulnerable to insect attack, can have long life if installed and maintained in conditions of...

Returning to core business

However, there have been some signs of change. During the last decade of the 20th century there was a greater commercial awareness of the effect of maintenance upon the asset value of companies and hence gearing, ability to borrow and stock market rating. This was coupled with the sale of surplus land holdings. The business philosophy of returning to 'core' business led to a shedding of in-house expertise and a growing sophistication in outsourcing, which in construction terms is...

Reengineering ways ahead

The studies on which this chapter is based have identified some factors leading toward the development of call-centred maintenance, particularly in the UK domestic market. Observations from the commercial property market also demonstrate the critical need for a human face or interface with information and intelligent systems. The collection and analysis of maintenance requests via the call centre will also allow the assembly of performance data about particular pieces of equipment and building...

English House Condition Survey EHCS

If similar surveys are carried out at regular intervals it will be possible to plot changes in condition, whether of decay or improvement, over time and thereby to inform action. For instance, in the UK since 1971 there have been five-yearly surveys of house conditions in the constituent parts of the kingdom. A longitudinal study of changing house conditions has been possible by the survey of a constant sample of buildings using a constant survey pro forma and consistent criteria for assessment...

Unutilised service life

A consistent objection to PPM has been the replacement of components where 'they haven't failed yet ' The situation arises where, for instance, it has been decided (and sometimes it will be unclear who decided, and why) to replace a whole floor of fluorescent lighting tubes, despite the fact that just one or two on that floor have failed. It may be that, on another floor of the building, a number of tubes have failed and it makes sense from an economic and operational point of view to replace...

Intelligent maintenance

The author's paper to the conference (Wood, 1998b) referred to intelligent maintenance as perhaps seeming 'oxymoronic, a juxtaposition of something clean, sophisticated, cerebral with something dirty, inconvenient and carried out by someone in a boiler suit and with an oily rag, eventually'. A dictionary definition of intelligence quoted in that paper included 'ability to understand, reason and perceive quickness in learning mental alertness ability to grasp relationships information'...

Beyond the call centre coming closer to home through the help desk

In some ways the call centre has brought maintenance closer to the building user it may be that for much work the need to track down the maintenance manager or building manager or estates manager has been circumvented or cut out completely. However, this has brought with it a certain depersonalisation. An attempt has been made to remedy or at least reduce this shortcoming for occupiers of commercial buildings, especially offices, by the introduction of the help desk. The help desk is generally...

Autonomous building care

The autonomous house as envisaged by Robert and Brenda Vale, with its own solar panels, wind turbine, rainwater filters and composting toilet, is not without maintenance needs so how are they to be met Some of the questions appropriate to ask in relation to the automated building are equally applicable here. How sophisticated are the systems For how long will parts be available Can the systems be maintained easily by unskilled personnel, perhaps the building's owner or occupier Autonomous...

Reenaineerina the Process

Previous chapters have considered the development of a range of approaches to the procurement and provision of building maintenance services from the perspectives of building owners and their professional advisers, on the one hand, and contractors on the other. This chapter suggests the application of the 'reengineering' philosophy of Hammer & Champy to deconstruct traditional, evolutionally developed, 'tried-and-tested' approaches, to question received wisdom and to fundamentally rethink...

Low Energy

Few would contest the value of minimising or even eliminating the use of energy, especially if generated from non-renewable fossil fuels of coal, oil or gas or produced by nuclear power stations. Growth in availability of energy from renewable sources, such as wind, water and solar power, will reduce the pressure which was so apparent in the early 1970s when OPEC reduced supply and raised prices significantly. 'Zero-energy' buildings are already possible and there are several examples of...

Smyth Wood 1995

Building on the author's extensive experience in the development and implementation of PPM programmes, it was decided to carry out further research with the encouragement and assistance of Hedley Smyth, then a colleague at Oxford Brookes University, who brought a wealth of experience in the marketing of construction services. Our programme of research intended to investigate the different responses to procurement and maintenance across building types with different ownership, user and...

Property conditions

Not only is much of the construction industry in poor shape to provide good maintenance services, the buildings to be maintained are often in poor condition. In the UK and elsewhere, it has been a common practice for many building types, for instance churches, educational and health care institutions and other publicly owned buildings, to carry out periodic reviews of building conditions, perhaps a 'quinquennial inspection'. Typically, these would be undertaken by an architect or surveyor and...

Zen and kaizen

Japanese practices promoted and popularised process improvement. The quality movement brought the concept of continuous improvement (kaizen), to which the business guru Tom Peters added customer focus. In their seminal work In Search of Excellence (1982), Peters & Waterman compared the products of the American motor industry with that of the Japanese. They concluded that 'lack of care and attention is a detrimental aspect of the finish given by so many companies to the work they undertake'....

Defects

If a building is to be run with minimal maintenance, let alone be maintenance free, it will be helpful if it starts its life without defects. Defects occur in buildings for a range of reasons. They represent a waste of resources, time and money, a difference of expectation of what was required, whether it be a small or large defect. The Oxford English Dictionary (1989) defines a defect as 'the fact of being wanting or falling short lack or absence of something essential to completeness...

Condition surveys and elemental repairs and replacements

The need for condition surveys was identified by BS 8210 1986 as a prerequisite for planned maintenance. Discussing the rationale of investing in building condition surveys, Then (1995) states that 'A condition survey is a form of building inspection. However, unlike routine inspections and planned inspections, which are geared towards the issue of work instructions, condition surveys usually take on a longer-term view'. It enables a strategic overview of the building stock and facilitates...

Forecasting the future

This is difficult and has provided useful projects for a variety of management consultants, centres, institutes and units, sometimes badged as 'think tanks'. Schumacher (1972) postulated a possible 'machine to foretell the future'. He distinguished (p. 220) between 'acts' and 'events' (the latter being things that 'simply happen' outside a planner's control), and between 'certainty' and 'uncertainty' in the making of forecasts, predictions and plans. The US Secretary of State for Defence,...

Historical development

The 'scientific' approach suggested by PPM and LCC has often failed in practice because sufficient funds were not available, because maintenance is not a high-profile activity and because maintenance managers also have been lowly valued. In-house maintenance managers and staff were not rewarded if they endeavoured to pursue the PPM ideal because the benefits could take some years to show through, if indeed they were noticed, and they are largely unquantifiable. There has been an absence of...

Background to the study

Work addressing the poorly regarded (and consequently poorly rewarded) activity of building maintenance over the last 10-15 years has focused significantly on two areas lifecycle costing (LCC) and planned preventive maintenance (PPM). PPM was discussed in some detail in Chapter 2 LCC is discussed further in Chapter 11. Feedback is an important component in informing repair and replacement decisions in both LCC and PPM. Skinner (1983) is a strong proponent of the benefits of feedback 'directed...

Sustainable future

The increasing attention given to sustainability since Our Common Future (WCED, 1989) has been referred to in previous chapters. An earlier example of professional attention to the design of buildings that would accommodate the needs of the future is the 'Long Life, Low Energy, Loose Fit' (LL LE LF) approach espoused over a quarter of a century ago by Alex Gordon (1974). He was then President of the Royal Institute of British Architects and wrote at an interesting time in the development of...

Planned maintenance and the command economy

Against a background of large programmes of housebuilding, new schools and hospitals, with a substantial involvement of 'the state', it is not surprising that maintenance should be approached in a similar, large-scale, depersonalised kind of a way. In the same way that shortages of labour after wars gave rise to interest and investment in building in ways that used less labour, and also less skilled and unskilled labour, so has there been interest in facilitating effective maintenance with use...

Building Maintenance References

American Customer Satisfaction Survey, 1995-1997. http www.acsi.asq.org Armstrong, M. (1994) How to Be an Even Better Manager, 4th edn., Kogan Page, London. Atkinson, A.R. (1998) The Role of Human Error in the Management of Construction Defects. Proceedings of COBRA '98 RICS Construction and Building Research Conference, Oxford Brookes University, RICS, London, Vol. 1, pp. 1-11. Audit Commission (1986) Improving Council House Maintenance. HMSO, London. Audit Commission (2001) Housing Inspection...

What is life

The life of the building is often little considered at the briefing stage or glib assumptions are made. For instance, it was common in the postwar years to assume a design life of 60 years for public sector housing, that being the period set for repayment of finance from the Public Works Loan Board. However, many tower blocks and high-density housing designed in the 1960s failed to make it even halfway because of social and structural problems. Would it be appropriate to plan that after 60...

Just in time

'The first thing to be said about JIT is that it is most definitely not a software package it is a philosophy a philosophy of common sense. The essence of this philosophy can be stated using two expressions which respectively sum up the positive and negative aspects of JIT the ''habit of improvement and the ''elimination of wasteful practices an ongoing crusade by both workers and managers.' (Dear, 1988) 'Advocates of JIT claim it is a revolutionary concept that all will have to adopt in order...

The autonomous building

One approach to limiting resource utilisation in the creation and care of a building may be to expect it to in essence live off its own site and the resources therein and thereon an 'autonomous' building. By contrast with the 'automated building' considered in Chapter 7, the autonomous building may be considered to be a 'greener' and therefore more acceptable concept although that suggests a number of questions, some of which are addressed here. A definition of building autonomy is provided by...

Acknowledgements

Firstly, I thank my colleagues and anonymous industrial collaborators at the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction and throughout continental Europe, North America, Africa, South-East Asia and Australasia for enhancing the scope and scale of my studies through friendly and convivial advice and guidance and 'students' young and not so young, who have questioned everything. I am deeply indebted to my wife, Erica, for her encouragement to bring together...

Adversarial nature of contracts

It would be virtually impossible in the UK to commission the implementation of a PPM programme without a formal contract. Although technically a contract only requires an offer, its acceptance and a 'consideration', it is common to prepare and sign documentation many pages long. Such contract documentation sets out clearly and for the avoidance of doubt the works to be carried out and the obligations of the parties to the contract. It is normally recommended that standard forms of contract be...

Service and service culture

The construction industry is not noted for its attention to customer needs. Arguably, if it were, it would give more attention to completion of projects on time, within budget and without defects. For a long time there was no client representation on the Joint Contracts Tribunal, the organisation responsible for the drawing up and revision of the standard form of building contract used in the UK and much of the former British Empire. The architect was ascribed a 'quasi-arbitrarial' role in...

Cowboys

Despite the size of the building maintenance market and the value of built assets, much external perception of 'building' and 'maintenance' is of 'builder's bum' and 'cowboys'. 'Cowboy' builders are generally unqualified and unprincipled individuals undertaking building work. Often, their work will be of dubious quality, and this contributes to a poor public image of builders and the construction industry generally. In the UK, there is no requirement for a builder to be qualified nor to be in...

Intelligence and the intelligent building

'Intelligent buildings are structures equipped with computer controls that respond to complex stimuli to increase the buildings' efficiency and profitability' Sullivan, 1994 . This is one of many attempts at definition focusing on automation a delegate at the 1998 BRE EIBG conference used the term 'gizmology'. Other definitions suggested at that conference included the following. An intelligent building maximises the efficiency of occupants and allows effective management of resources with...