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Property that is has been completed need to be maintained. There are several issues arises when we are talking about building maintenance practices. Building maintenance require high cost, time and effort. It should be maintained by those who are experts and have the background of property management. If buildings are not maintained, the building services in the building may suffered by damage or defects. Buildings that are profit motivated need to attract customers to come to the building. Customers will not attracted to go to the building that lack or poor of facilities. In these cases, organization that responsible to maintain the property need to find ways or strategies in order to ensure the building is well maintained.
Buildings need to be maintained effectively in order to ensure that the performance is achieving the acceptable standard. However, because of limited resources, we need to ensure that building maintenance practices can be run not just effectively but also efficient. What are the best strategies to ensure that buildings can be maintained efficiently? There are certainly the obligations of organization of building maintenance to find the best ways in order to ensure that the buildings can be maintained efficiently.
The strategies that can be found are the needs of details planning in building maintenance practices. Details planning including objectives of company, target of performances, work schedule and etc. With details planning, the organizations will have their goals and it will be easier for the employers and employees to do their role in order to achieve the goals.
Besides, another strategies that is believe can make the building maintenance practices become efficient is by outsourcing. Outsourcing is one of organizational set up that give convenient to in house staff in maintaining buildings because that particular area of building maintenance is being maintained by those who are experiences in the area. It is also cost saving, hence gives efficiency in building maintenance practices.
Other than that, by using advanced technology like Computerize Maintenance and Management System (CMMS) also believes that it will help the building maintenance organizations to maintained the buildings properly and efficiently. There are sum of package deals in the databases of CMMS that can help the organization to do their work with less time, cost and effort.
Even though building maintenance require high amount of cost to maintained it, but if the organization being smart, they can do the maintenance efficiently and enjoying more profit. The organization should also evaluate their performances and always try to find new strategies in order to be more efficient in maintaining the building.
Efficiency may come from various definitions. Generally, efficiency can be defined as maximised productivity by using minimum resources, expense or effort ("Oxford Dictionaries," 2012). According to British Standards BS 4478, Maintenance has been defined as work that is carried out in order to restore a service to a level of satisfactory condition (Wood, 2003). Building maintenance can be referred to work undertaken in order to improve the facilities of a particular buildings such as lifts, escalators and travellator.
Maintenance work that has been done cannot be expected that its quality is the same as new condition (Wood, 2003). The maintenance work is said to be acceptable when it is in a satisfactory condition. It is actually difficult to defined "acceptable condition". Previously, the management team that maintained a particular building set the standard of acceptable condition of the building by ensure that the building can be functioned as it is supposed to. It can be said that the standard is based on product-oriented. As time goes by, the standard of the "acceptable condition" in building maintenance is changed. Currently, the standard is based on customer-oriented where the building is set to be acceptable when all the occupants of the building are satisfied.
Maintenance of buildings is done by the management team of that particular building. The management team might be the developer itself or it is being outsourcing by the owner of the building. Usually, the management team need to manage the building until the contract is terminated. Management team need to manage and maintained the building properly. They not only manage budgeting and marketing, but the most crucial part is the maintenance of the building. Maintenance of the building is needed to be done to the building services of the particular building. This is to ensure that they are work properly and safe to be used. In maintenance, the building is deemed as an asset where the custodial services, landscape services, safety and health issues need to be maintained (Herbert W. Stanford III, 2010).
2.0 Purpose of building maintenance
Every building that is developed is needed to be maintained. However, different types of property have different approaches of maintenance practices. For residential properties, strata buildings are the buildings that need to be maintained by management team. For commercial properties, office buildings and shopping complexes are the buildings that should be maintained by management team. Even though the approaches used are different, but basically the objective is the same where the team need to make sure that the occupants are satisfied and safe.
Buildings need to be maintained in order to enforce the regulation. As stated at Schedule H of Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 (Act 118), developer is responsible for management and control of the common property of the building (Isma Haniza Fakhrudin, 2011). Developer also needs to establish the Joint Management Body (JMB) and after strata title has been issued, Management Corporation (MC) is the responsible body that need to taking care regarding the matters that related to the common property of the building.
Building maintenance is very important in order to retain the value of the building. As we all known, building can last till age 60 year or less. Buildings without maintenances will cause the value of the building decreased. That's the reason why building maintenance is needed. The building can be fully functioned if management team properly maintained the building. Property is a sector that contributes a huge effect to the economy development of our country. So, it is important to retain the building value.
3.0 Strategies to maintain a building efficiently
Building maintenance practices involved huge cost, expense and effort. Every management department team need to maintained the building effectively. In order to minimise the time, cost and effort used, the maintenance works need to be done efficiently and effectively. The question is what are the strategies that can be used in order to maintain a building efficiently? There are several points that can answer the question.
Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS)
The strategies are practices in order to ensure the building maintenance is efficiently done. In building maintenance, strategies are very important in order to avoid or at least minimised any decays, or other problems from occur to the building services of the building. There are several aspects of maintenance in buildings, which are:
Custodial services is related to routine of indoor housekeeping
Related to landscaping of the building. For example, grass cutting, watering the trees etc.
Safety and health issues
The issues are regarding appropriate safety and health consideration including everything forms the building services.
Planning is very important to ensure that the objectives are set up at the beginning of work. Planned is said to be as a king-pin function. It is the first managerial function which gives the basis for other managerial functions. It provides direction to the management team. It is also build the organization's confident in understanding where the organization is going to.
Programmed maintenance includes planned replacement or major renovation and planned preventive maintenance. Planned replacement or major renovation is needed when the service of the building is achieved to end of its life. It needs to be planned in order to prepare certain budget that will be use in future. Management team should plan earlier for planned replacement as a preparation if any renovation need to be done to the building.
According to BS 3811: 1994, planned maintenance was defined as the maintenance that has been organised and being done with predetermination, control and use of records to a plan that has been set at beginning. Preventive maintenance can be defined as 'maintenance carried out at predetermined intervals or to other prescribed criteria and intended to reduce the likelihood of an item not meeting an acceptable condition' (BS 3811, 1984).
There are two elements consisting in planned preventive maintenance:
It consists of specific procedures that need to be performed on a regular schedule. The procedures are created in order to detect or mitigate any degradation of a facility system. The objective is to minimize any defects that might occur and extend the economic life of the building (Herbert W. Stanford III, 2010).
It uses routine for inspection and evaluation to detect any onset of component degradation and address the problems as they are detected (Herbert W. Stanford III, 2010).
With planning, any problems can be avoided or minimised. Cost to maintain the building also will be less if the preventive measures are take place. If the management team fail to plan, they are actually plan to fail.
For maintenance of building services such as air conditioning, lifts, escalators, water supply system, there must be schedule for inspection and repair. Different systems need different types of maintenance. For example, air-conditioner has maintenance for weekly, monthly and ad hoc. So, in preventive planned, there must be the plan that has been set up for every system in the building.
By planning, the problems can be detected at early stage before the conditions of the problems worsen.
So, the building maintenance practices can be done not just effectively but also efficiently.
Out-sourcing is used to describe the process by which a user hires a separate organisation to perform a function which previously had been carried out in-house; and transfer to that supplier asset, including people and management responsibility (Barrett, 1995). The organisation that has been employed by the in-house staff need to complete the task and in return, they will be paid for their services based on the agreed contract between the two parties.
Nowadays, mostly practice, management team had out-sourcing certain task to the experts in order to run their management smoothly. In building maintenance, there are several aspects that need to be maintained such as Mechanical and Electrical (M&E), landscaping, cleanliness, security, parking etc. Every aspect in building maintenance needed different expertise. It would more effective and efficient if they out-sourcing them to the experts instead of hire in-house staffs which lack of experiences.
There several advantages of out-sourcing:
a) Special skills
Certain areas of building maintenance needed special skills, equipments, experiences, etc. which it will incur high cost in order to maintain. In these kinds of cases, it would be better to use out-sourcing as it is more efficient, effective and also less cost (Herbert W. Stanford III, 2010).
b) Focuses on core competencies
Organisation that has been out-sourced will only focuses on the core tasks given to them. This can ensure that the quality of the output will achieve the acceptable standard as they only focuses on their job. Besides, they are expert on those particular areas of building maintenance, hence it can give a guarantee that they will perform well throughout the contract period.
c) Cost saving
The organization that has been out-sourced will be paid for their services based on the contract agreed by both parties. In house organizations are not responsible for any cost that incurred for the maintenance of the particular areas. It will be an advantage for in house organization as they can cut their cost that involved for the maintenance. They just need to ensure the payment for the out-sourced organization is being paid.
All in all, out-sourcing is said to be a strategies that can be applied by management team in order to run their business of building maintenance efficiently.
3.3 Computerized Maintenance and Management System (CMMS)
CMMS is software packages that containing computer database of information related to organization's maintenance operation. Currently, CMMS is being used broadly by organization of building maintenance (Herbert W. Stanford III, 2010). CMMS information is very helpful for maintenance workers do their job effectively and efficiently. There is a typical package of capabilities of CMMS, which are:
a) Work orders
According to Herbet W. Stanford III, work orders include scheduling maintenance procedures, assigning the staffs, recoding cost and etc. Works orders will alert the workers if there is any defects occur at the building. It also will record the inspection that has been done by the workers. It helps to improve the schedule of work to run smoothly and efficiently.
b) Preventive maintenance
CMMS helps to keep track the preventive maintenance components and procedures. This is including step-by-step instructions or checklist and other details related (Herbert W. Stanford III, 2010). It helps the organization to have a systematic plan and ensure that the preventive maintenance is done according to the plan.
c) Asset management
It records all important information of the building, for instance, specifications, warranty information, service contracts and many more. This is very useful for maintenance workers to do their job. With asset management, CMMS helps the organization to maintain the building efficiently.
CMMS also can produce reports that showing the status and details of the maintenance activities. If the CMMS contain more sophisticated package, there will be more analysis facilities are available.
Building maintenance practices are very important in every building as it will reflect the value of the building. Every step taken for the maintenance work must be properly done to ensure that the outputs are achieve the acceptable standards with efficient and also effective. Without a proper maintenance, many issues related to property may arise and it leads to affect the property sector of our country.
In my opinion, the organization that carries out building maintenance work should be creative and innovative in order to improve their performances. They should evaluate their performances by measure the satisfaction of occupants in the building. by evaluating the performances, they can detect any errors and will improve them.
Effective maintenance does not necessarily mean the work is efficient. The organization should maintained the building not just effectively but also efficient in terms of cost, time and energy. With efficient building maintenance practices, there will be a win-win situation can be created. The organization team can enjoy higher profit and occupants may enjoy a convenient and safety lives in the building.