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The most critical criteria to start a research are to get a clear picture of the objective, and the accurate information from literature review. Information was gathered through books, journals, magazines, newspaper and other forms of resources.
This significantly assists the identification of the research problem, objective of the study and scope of work which makes the exploratory research of the literature simpler.
To further gather information for the research, primary resources in the form of questionnaire will be carried out on potential respondents to obtain the opinions and information on effective building maintenance.
3.2 Types of Research Method
According to Stigler, questionnaire, invented by Sir Francis Galton, is a form of research instrument consisting series of questions and other prompts for the purpose of gathering information from respondents. (Stigler, S. M., 2010)
A questionnaire is a list of questions presented to potential respondents in written form. The questions set should be clear, easily understood and does not include sensitive issues. This aspect is critical to conjure a good questionnaire because no one is there to explain the questions to the respondents. Besides, the questionnaire should be developed as interesting as possible, using methods such as a conversation with the respondent. (Mellenbergh, G.J., 2008).
Questionnaires are one of the most common and popular method to collect data from large amount of people. Well designed questionnaire is a powerful tool for evaluation, and a poorly designed questionnaire can cause disaster for both those that have to complete it, and those who had to analyze the data.
Questionnaires are similar to surveys, but surveys are referring to the broader range of methods to collect information from a group of people. Questionnaires and interviews are part of a survey. (Bardburn, N, Wansink, B & Sudman, S, 2004)
The questionnaire forms are given to the respondents either by hand or mail. The questionnaires are recollected from the respondents by hand and mail after a few days. The hand collection of questionnaires forms will have the advantage of achieving the requirement of at least 50% return of responds and able to proceed to conducting an interview sessions with the respondents, while the mailing will have advantage of getting more accurate responds since the response are not spontaneous and the respondents will have their own privacy to think. All the data collected will then be compiled, analyzed and discussed in Chapter 4 to identify efficient building maintenance strategy.
220.127.116.11 Postal/Mail Questionnaire
The most widely applied data collection technique is usually postal questionnaire. Since the objective and purpose of the research is clear enough, there is no need for explanation to the respondents. The pre-determined questions are not over-elaborated, simple and easy to understand. Postal questionnaires are usually used in descriptive and analytical surveys and researches in order to find out the facts, opinions and perspectives from respondents in a large geography. Postal questionnaire normally has 'closed-ended' questions having only the options "yes" or "no" to rank the importance of factors. (Naoum, 2008)
18.104.22.168 Collective Administrative
One of the best ways of conducting a questionnaire is to obtain a captive audience such as students in a classroom. It is able to have personal contact with the respondents, explain the purpose, relevance and importance of the research. Whenever the respondents have doubts, the questions can be clarified. According to Kumar, 2005, this is the fastest way of collecting information and ensures a high response rate and cost effective.
22.214.171.124 Administration in a public place
Distributing the questionnaire in shopping malls, school and other public space where there is a high concentration of people can have a high response rate. However, there is problem that the targeted respondents might not be able to understand and answer specific questions. (Kumar, 2005)
126.96.36.199 Guild line on developing and using a questionnaire
Identify the research questions
Identify the sample
Draw up a list of appropriate questions and try them out with a colleague
Ensure questions are well laid out and it is clear how to 'score them' (tick, circle, delete)
Ensure questions are not leading and confusing
Code up the questionnaire to enable analyze it afterwards
Gain permission to use questionnaires from the research sample
Hand them out/post them with reply paid envelopes
Ensure the data collected in as many as possible
Follow up if get a small return
Analyze statistically if possible and / or thematically
There are two structures of close-ended questions, ranking and selective. In ranking structure, the respondent is required to answer with a score indicating the level of satisfaction on a specific issue or the degree of agreement. In selective structure, the respondent is required to select an option from the prepared opeions according to their opinion.
188.8.131.52 Advantages of Questionnaire
Questionnaire is very similar to interview in many aspects. The difference between an interview and a questionnaire can be seen, which interview involves asking questions and record the respondent's replies but questionnaire does not. Questionnaire data collection is a time saving and convenient method. This is due to the questions able to be set up earlier on. This method is also inexpensive to carry out, which the cost is only papers to print out the questions, or online questionnaires which cost is nil. It is also not necessary to have face to face interaction between the respondent and interviewer and providing greater anonymity. Likewise, conducting an interview might be not as good as expected if the interviewer shows lack of confidence and they might feel discriminated or disrespect. (Matthew Caines, 2012)
In questionnaires, the responses are gathered in a standardized way. Questionnaires are more objective, certainly more so than interviews. Generally it is relatively quick to collect information using a questionnaire. However in some situations they can take a long time not only to design but also to apply and analyze. Potentially information can be collected from a large portion of a group. This potential is not often realized, as returns from questionnaires are usually low. However return rates can be dramatically improved if the questionnaire is delivered and responded to in class time. (John Milne, 1999)
Questionnaires are very cost effective when compared to face-to-face interviews. This is especially true for studies involving large sample sizes and large geographic areas. Written questionnaires become even more cost effective as the number of research questions increases. Questionnaires are easy to analyze. Data entry and tabulation for nearly all surveys can be easily done with many computer software packages. Questionnaires are familiar to most people. Nearly everyone has had some experience completing questionnaires and they generally do not make people apprehensive. Questionnaires reduce bias. There is uniform question presentation and no middle-man bias. The researcher's own opinions will not influence the respondent to answer questions in a certain manner. There are no verbal or visual clues to influence the respondent. Questionnaires are less intrusive than telephone or face-to-face surveys. When a respondent receives a questionnaire in the mail, he is free to complete the questionnaire on his own timetable. Unlike other research methods, the respondent is not interrupted by the research instrument. (William M.K. Trochim, 2006)
184.108.40.206 Disadvantages of Questionnaire and Limitation of Questionnaire
The disadvantages of conducting a survey by using questionnaire method which needed to pay more attention are:
(i) Limited application: The chosen target group must be able to read and write. So, the questionnaire is not applicable on people who are have difficulties in reading and writing or too young and old.
(ii) Low response rate: The respondents might not be interested with the topic of study and refuse to fill up the questionnaire forms.
(iii) Influence: The proposed questionnaire tends to have the respondents to reply in the researcher expected answer or the respondents being consulted by others. This will cause the quality of the data collected to be affected.
(iv) Lack of opportunity to explain: The researcher does not have the chance to give explanation for the respondents who do not understand the question. This will cause the respondents to misinterpret the question wrongly and provide poor quality answer.
(v) No extra information can be added: A questionnaire cannot gain additional information from other method of data collection such as observation because there is no face to face interaction between respondents and researcher. (Vehovar, V., Lozar Manfreda, K., 2008)
Questionnaires, similar to evaluation methods, participants may forget important issues after it. Questionnaires are standardized so it is almost impossible to explain any points in the questions, therefore some respondents might misinterpret. Open-ended questions can generate large amounts of data that can take a long time to process and analyze. Respondents may answer superficially especially if the questionnaire takes a long time to complete. The common mistake of researches is having too many questions. Students may be unwilling to answer the questions. They might reluctantly reveal the information, since they will not gain benefit from responding perhaps even be penalized by giving their real opinion. The respondents hardly understand why the information is being collected and how the results will be beneficial. It is hard to ask respondents to reply honestly and told that if their response is negative this is just as useful as a more positive opinion. (John Milne, 1999)
Questionnaires are argued to be inadequate to understand some forms of information such as changes of emotions, behavior and feelings. The response from questionnaires often lacks validity. There is no way to tell how truthful a respondent is answering. There is no way of telling how much thought a respondent has put into the questionnaire. The respondent may be forgetful or not thinking within the full context of the situation. People may read differently into each question and therefore reply based on their own interpretation of the question. What is 'good' to someone may be 'poor' to someone else; therefore there is a level of subjectivity that is not acknowledged. (K. Popper, 2004)
3.2.2 Personal Interview
Interview is a common method used to collect information from people. An interview is a person-to-person interaction between to or more individual with a specific purpose. Interview is flexible, which the interviewer can formulate the questions regarding the issue to be investigated at will. On the contrary, it can be inflexible if the interviewer tends to stick to the question prepared beforehand strictly. Interview can be differentiated into two types, the unstructured interviews and structured interviews. (Kumar, 2005)
An explanation states that interview is a conversation held between two or more people where questions are asked by the interviewer, to elicit facts or statements from the interviewee. Supported by a definition by Kvale, 1996, the interview is a form of qualitative research to seek and describe the meanings of central themes in the subjects. The main tasks of an interview are to interpret and understand what the interviewee says. According to Trochim William, 2002, there are four types of interview, informal, general, standardized and closed interviews. (Trochim William, 2002)
Interview is a conversation involving two-way exchange of information, in which both participants have some goals. (Barbara M. Wildemuth, 2010)
220.127.116.11 Unstructured interviews
Unstructured interview has the freedom in its content and structure. The interviewer is free to ask any question he thinks suitable for the situation. The interviewer can go in-depth, focus group, narratives and oral histories. In-depth interviewing involves face-to-face and continuous interaction between the interviewee and the interviewer. The interviewer seeks information he wants to understand the interviewee's perspective. Focus group interview is undertaken in group. The narrative technique involves collecting information in an unstructured way. Oral histories is also unstructured but the interviewer listens to the interviewee more than asking questions. (Kumar, 2005)
18.104.22.168 Structured Interviews
In a structured interview, the interviewer asks a set of predetermined questions. The wording and order of questions are the same for each interviewee. The questions asked is scheduled and does not change, however, might be open-ended or closed ended depends on the interviewer. Structured interview provides uniform information. This can ensure the data to be comparable. In structured interview, intensive interviewing skill is not needed. (Kumar, 2005)
22.214.171.124 Informal Interview
An informal interview or conversational interview has no fixed properties. In such interview, no predetermined questions will be asked. The conversation can be said as flexible, this is to maintain the conversation open and adaptable to the interviewee's priorities and natures. In this interview process, the interviewer goes with the flow of the conversation. (Trochim William, 2002)
126.96.36.199 General Interview
A general interview is a guide approach conversation intended to ensure that the same general areas of information can be collected from every interviews. This approach provides more focus than the conversational approach. However, the degree of freedom and the adaptability to obtain information from the interviewee is still preserved. (Trochim William, 2002)
188.8.131.52 Standardized Interview
Standardized interview is also called open-ended interview, which the prepared open-ended questions are being asked to the interviewees. This is a method able to conduct faster interviews and collect information that can be easily compared and analyzed because the interviewees are given the freedom to response in their own way. (Trochim William, 2002)
184.108.40.206 Closed Interview
Closed interview or fixed-response interview is a conversation where the interviewees are asked the same questions prepared beforehand. The options are given in a set of alternatives, and the interviewees are to choose answer from the options. This method is useful and easy for interviewers who are inexperienced in interviewing. (Trochim William, 2002)
220.127.116.11 Advantage of Interview
During a conversation, the flow of the interview can be controlled since the interviews are conducted by the interviewer based on the response of the interviewee. Interviews are more personal than questionnaires since it is conducted face-to-face and normally one-to-one basis. Unlike mail surveys, the interviewer can probe and ask continuous questions depending on the response of the interviewee. (Trochim William, 2002)
The interview method is suitable for complex situation, which the interviewer has the opportunity to prepare the respondent before a sensitive question is directed to the interviewee. In a complex condition, the interviewer can explain the complex to the respondent to avoid misunderstanding. In-depth data can also be collected from interviews, where respondents are willing to talk honestly and in-depth, thus having higher possibility to collect in-depth data. The interviewer can also supplement information obtained from respondents while conducting the interview. Interview can be used on wide dispersion of geography and almost every type of population. Unlike questionnaire, the interviewer can change the form of questions depending on the type of respondent. For example, simpler questions for children, less jargons for old people and others. (Kumar, 2005)
Interview is effective for respondents who lack reading skills to answer questionnaire. For untangling and complex topics which are hard to be asked in an interview, interview is best to collect data for the complex issues. The interviewer is able to probe deeper about the responses given by the interviewee. People tend to share more information when a person is asking questions face to face. It is easier to ask continuous follow up questions and get them to give examples to support what they say. (Pamela Wilson, 2011)
18.104.22.168 Disadvantages of Interview
To conduct an interview, it is very resource intensive. Appointment must be made with the interviewee, questions and queries to be conveyed need to be planned beforehand, certain professional interviewers are to be hired and interviews are very time consuming. The interviewer can be said as a part of the measurement instrument. Therefore he has to be well trained in how to respond to contingencies spontaneously. (Trochim William, 2002)
Supported by Kumar, 2005, an interview is expensive to be conducted. The time consumption is also very tense. Moreover, the respondent might be a specialist or professional and must be paid consultation fees for the interview. The quality of the interview also depends greatly on the interviewer. The quality of data collected is influenced by the experience, skill and commitment of the interviewer, therefore it is sometimes important to hire a professional interviewer. Conducting multiple interviewing session might obtain varying data, and the problem is magnified if multiple interviewers are conducting the interview. The interviewer of interviewee might be bias towards certain issues; a bias interpreting of the conversation is always possible. (Kumar, 2005)
Information collected in an interview often affected by the interviewer. Depending on the nature of the interviewer, the data might be inconsistent. Pamela Wilson agrees that an interview is very time consuming. The respondents are not of a large amount of people and the interviewer may be biased, ending up asking closed questions. (Pamela Wilson, 2011)
3.2.3 Comparison between Questionnaire and Interview
Low cost, mostly on photo copying the questionnaires
Ease of Analysis
Quality of Data
Low because respondents might not be specialists in the specific field
High because selected respondents are often specialists in the field
Table 3 Comparison between questionnaire and interview in different aspects.
3.3 Research Methodology to be Chosen
The chosen method of information collection for this research will be questionnaire. For the data analysis in the following Chapter 4, altogether 30 questionnaires will be prepared. There will be 25 questions with 4 options of responses to be chosen from, and comments not more than 200 words for the 5 open-ended questions. This is for the ease of data analysis, since all respondents are given the equal 4 choices of options to respond. The respond to the open-ended questions will be limited to 200 words only to avoid dispersed responses. The respondents will write only the citeria of their answers and not long and unrelated elaborations.
10 sets of question sheets will be sent to specialists involved in the field, including civil engineers, surveyors and other building-related professions through mail or e-mail, and by hand whichever possible. The respondents are required to return the answered question sheet 5 days later. Another 10 sets of question sheets will be handed to students pursuing building-related courses to obtain the pserpectives from a different angle. The curfew the recollect the sheets will be similar to the first 10 sheets. Then, 10 sets of questions will be directed to public ranging from age 25 to 55, citizens who have concern and knowledge on building maintenance effectiveness.
3.3.1 Method of Data Collection
30 questionnaires will be prepared including 5 open-ended questions. The amount of questions is prepared not to be too many to avoid the answering to take a long time, thus the respondent will not answer superficially. The target group of the questionnaire to collect information about effectiveness of building maintenance strategy will be professionals in this field, tertiary studies building and Quantity Surveying students and public. The most common approach to collect information will be sending the questionnaires to the prospective respondents by mail.
Questionnaire sheets will be sent to surveyors from various consulting firms and collected after 5 days. Collective administrative will be the best way to administer the questionnaire to students. This way, the purpose, relevance and importance of the study can be clarified and conveyed to the students. (Kumar, 2005). Therefore a group of students pursuing the related subject will be directed for the questionnaire. Opinions will also be gathered from public, which question sheets will be administered to the public in shopping malls. The targeted public group will be people of age ranging 25 to 55 who have concerns toward building maintenance. The venue will be a place with high concentration of people which returns a high response rate.
3.3.2 Forms of Question
In order to collect quality information about building maintenance strategy, the structure of the questionnaires will be arranged and prepared in a proper manner to prevent misunderstanding and misinterpreting. The questions will include 25 closed-ended questions and 5 open-ended questions. Potentially misleading and ambiguous questions will be avoided. The questionnaires will cover brief queries about building maintenance first and getting more and more detail, and ultimately the respondents' own written comments. The questions will be prepared free from confusing questions, difficult vocabularies, double-barreled questions, presumption questions, jargons and paradoxes.
3.3.3 Research Setting
Prior to collect information about effective building maintenance, 10 sets of question sheets will be given to people who have experience in this field, which civil engineers, architects or surveyors from various firms are the best choice. Another 10 sets of questions will be given to students studying building-related courses. This is to obtain a different perspective from respondents who are pursuing the knowledge on building maintenance. Lastly 10 sets of the question sheets will be given to public. The target respondents will be those who are aged ranging from 25 to 55 whom have knowledge on and concern towards building maintenance.
3.3.4 The Sample Selected
In this research, 30 questionnaires will be administered to contractors, consultants, civil engineers and developer in Malaysia. For more reliable information, the target respondents will be persons having adequate experience and concern to their professional and knowledge in the field.
3.4 Rationale of Questionnaire
Questionnaire is chosen for this research for a set of reasons. First of all, questionnaire consumes less time than an interview. For this research which has a short period to complete, this method is time saving and convenient. The questions can be set and prepared beforehand, and inexpensive to be carried out because the major expenses are only the photocopying of the question sheets. Questionnaires are more suitable to achieve the objectives of this research than interview, since potential information can be obtained from a large group of people in a short time. The questions are uniform, pre-determined and unchanged, which gets every respondent to answer the same set of questions. This has enabled comparison to be clearly and easier achieved, and made data analysis easier. There will be no middle-man bias in questionnaires and the respondents are given time to answer with their opinions.
3.4.1 Questionnaire Breakdown
The objective of this research is to investigate the suitable maintenance strategy to ensure quality and durability of building. In this research, the study on effectiveness of maintenance strategy is vital and thus information must be obtained in a fast way and in large amount. Questionnaire is chosen as the methodology for information collection since it consumes less time and can be administered to a large amount of respondent for a return of large amount of information.
There are altogether 30 questions to be answered by the respondents, which consists of 25 close-ended questions and 5 open-ended questions for the respondents to write about their comment. Each question is prepared to invoke the generation of idea on certain information on effective maintenance strategy from the respondents.
Please kindly state your role in building industry.
Civil / Structural engineer
Building service engineer
Site supervisor / site staff
Other please specify___________________
How long you been working in building industry or pursuing building related courses?
Less than a year
20 years above
The first two questions aim to obtain the background of the respondent, which has a great influence to determine the respondent's perception towards effective building maintenance. A professional with years of experience involved in building works will be able to give a more accurate and vial idea on the topic, whereas a fresh graduate or a public citizen will give the thoughts on building maintenance according to what they observe only.
A building which maintenance work is carried out frequently is under good condition, there is rarely any complaints and defect reported.
Yes b) No
Effective building maintenance strategy is able to prolong the lifespan of building, ensure occupants comfort, raise the quality of building services and increase productivity.
Yes b) No
The above questions invoke the opinion from the respondent whether building maintenance is the key to the survival of the building. The stronghold of a building might not because of the maintenance strategy, but the building design or its robust construction. Therefore, from the responses it is able to see the significance the building maintenance to preserve the building.
A building with maintenance work carried out frequently in a scheduled manner can be said to have an effective maintenance strategy, regardless of the cost, resources and work incurred.
Yes b) No
There are various types of maintenance strategy usually practiced by modern building managements. One of the most talked and preferred strategy would be the Scheduled Maintenance, which maintenance is carried out in a fixed interval. However, this involves a high cost of overhead, expenses on materials and equipments and wages for technicians. The question is intended to seek the extent of agreement from the respondents on whether this strategy is a good one. The intervention of this strategy to its cost will be further interrogated in the following questions.
A maintenance strategy involving high cost, high consumption of resources and huge amount of work is considered ineffective, even if it can maintain the building at its tip top condition.
Yes b) No
Are you willing to pay more for a better building performance?
Yes b) No
A further prompt of consideration is channeled by these questions. Is it agreeable that, maintenance strategy which can preserve the building in its best condition a good one, regardless of the cost, usually Scheduled Maintenance incurs the greatest expense? If it is, how many of the people are willing to pay for the high maintenance cost? If people are not willing to pay, it means the strategy is not persuasive enough. A strategy that causes doubt is certainly not an effective strategy.
There is no need of building maintenance for newly built buildings.
Yes b) No
A building is in a good condition if the building maintenance is planned and the maintenance tasks are carried out accordingly.
5=Strongly Agree and 1=Strongly Disagree
5 b) 4 c) 3 d) 2 e) 1
Maintenance is only required only when there is a failure of building part or component occurs. Corrective maintenance is sufficient to keep the building under optimum condition effectively.
5 b) 4 c)3 d) 2 e) 1
To prevent failure, building maintenance has to be scheduled monthly, weekly or even more frequently.
5 b) 4 c) 3 d) 2 e) 1
A way to effectively preserve the building is to conduct inspection on components of building and carry out repair or replacement whenever necessary. If the component is defective but still able to remain safe and operate at an acceptable condition for a longer time, there is no need to fix it.
5 b) 4 c) 3 d) 2 e) 1
It is effective to preserve the building with maintenance carried out by predicting the life span of components and parts of building.
5 b) 4 c) 3 d) 2 e) 1
A building is having monthly maintenance work. The maintenance work will be conducted once a month, regardless of complaints, defects or failure reported between the interval. This can effectively maintain the building and prolong it's lifespan.
5 b) 4 c) 3 d) 2 e) 1
A building is having monthly maintenance work. Components will not be repaired or replace if it is found able to operate at an acceptable condition. This scheduled maintenance is an effective strategy.
5 b) 4 c) 3 d) 2 e) 1
The questions prompt the respondent to give opinion on Planned Maintenance, Condition-Based Maintenance, Corrective Maintenance, Scheduled Maintenance and Predictive Maintenance. From question 9 onwards, the response will be in scale of 5 which represents to what extent is the respondent agreeing to the statements. Analysis will be carried out accordingly.
Which of the activities is the best to effectively ensure the optimum performance, condition and services of building?
Carrying out maintenance in a fixed time interval
Carrying out maintenance upon receiving complaints
Carrying out maintenance when certain component is in a bad shape
Carrying out maintenance when there is a failure of component reported
Other, please state:____________________________
Which of the following criteria is the most critical to choose an effective maintenance strategy?
Performance of the building
None of the above, please state: _____________________
An effective building maintenance is to carry out maintenance when
There is a complaint received from occupants and users of the building, even the slightest defect such as a light flickering once in a while
It is cost effective to carry out the maintenance
Maintenance has to be carried out frequently, in an interval of _______
When there is a failure of components
When sick building syndrome is detected
What are the problems causing maintenance strategy to be ineffective?
lack of routine maintenance and inspection
Poor quality of maintenance service
Insufficient maintenance staff or technician
Slow in responding to reports and complaints
Takes long time to complete the maintenance work
Shortage on fund or budget to carry out maintenance
Maintenance work not executed according to necessity
Misjudging on components condition
Lack of maintenance knowledge
Others, please specify: __________________________________
What is the best solution to effective maintenance strategy?
Shorten the interval between two maintenance date
Increase maintenance fees
Import and assimilate new maintenance technology
Ensure good building design
Fix components whenever there is minor damage to prevent major failure
Others, please specify: __________________________________
What action will you or the occupants normally take when there is a defect or need of maintenance occurs in a building?
Wait for the next scheduled maintenance
Nothing if the defect is acceptable and the component can still operate
Others, please specify: ______________________________________
The questions above are designed to have the respondent to give suggestions on certain issues in building maintenance strategy. The responses are limited to few options to simplify information analysis.
From question 23 onwards, the respondents are given the freedom to give out their own comments and opinions on various issues and problems on building maintenance strategy. Data analysis beyond this will no longer be in statistic form, but the breakdown of suggestions, opinions and comments from the respondents. This portion of questionnaire is able to cover the issues missed in the information collection.
3.5 Limitation of Research
During the progress of this research, occasionally problems will arise as an obstacle to this study. This might delay the research or prevent the flow of the research.
A problem encountered is the information from internet referencing is limited and not appropriate for the research. Some confidential information is not possible to be obtained from the internet. To conduct an in depth study of building maintenance, there are also conflicts where the person in-charge might not have time for appointment or not around. Apart from that, information gathered might be obsolete and new resources have to be obtained.
As a conclusion, the appropriate method for this research should be questionnaire. By targeting a group of people related to the field of building maintenance, accurate information about effective maintenance strategy can be obtained. The time consumption for questionnaire is also less than interview, which makes it suitable for the short time constraint of this research. The questionnaire is composite of predetermined questions with prepared options and several open ended questions for the respondents. This makes the data analysis easier. The sample size to conduct the questionnaire is also large, with the speed quickest, each respondent is given a sheet of question and allowed to take time to answer before the sheets are collected back. The cost involved is also insignificant which makes this method suitable for student use. Questionnaires can cover what interview lacks of. Therefore the chosen methodology of this research will be questionnaire.
CHAPTER 4: DATA ANALYSIS
Chapter 4 interprets the result of the data collected from the previous chapter. The information collected is analyzed, discussed and utilized to achieve the objectives if this research. Pursuant to chapter 3, a total of 30 sets of questionnaires were administered equally to group of students, professionals and public. 10 sets were handed to students pursuing tertiary studies related to building and construction, 10 sets were administered to public of age ranging from 25 to 55 and the rest to professionals of field related to building and construction.
An extension of time was needed to carry out the questionnaire inquiry to comply the basic requirement of getting 30 respondents. This is because not all targeted personnel are willing to contribute to the collection of information for this research. The major unfavorable responses were normally that they were busy, lack of knowledge in this field, did not understand the questions or simply do not understand the purpose of this research. A total of 10 students, 10 public and 5 professionals had participated and contributed to the questionnaire, which makes 83% of requirement.
4.2 Data Analysis
The responds from the questionnaire were recorded, tabulated and fabricated into charts. The data will be analyzed to achieve the objectives of this research through the graphs and charts generated from the information. From the illustration, the extent of agreement of the respondents on certain statement regarding maintenance strategy will be assessed and the perspective on various maintenance strategies can be seen. The best maintenance strategy will be chosen from the strategy bring preferred by most respondents.
4.2.1 Effectiveness of Maintenance Strategy
Chart 4 Question 3
Question 3 suggested that a building which maintenance work is frequently carried out will always be in a good shape. The operation will be optimum with no complaints from the occupants and users. 23 out of 25 respondents agreed to this statement, which is 92% of respondents feel that frequently maintaining the building is an effective way to keep the building under good condition.
Chart 4 Question 4
Question 4 enquires the respondents' agreement whether effective building maintenance strategy is able to prolong the lifespan of building, ensure occupants comfort, raise the quality of building services and increase productivity. Out of 25 responses, 21 picked "Yes" for their answer. The result shows that for a good building, the maintenance strategy implied must be effective.
Chart 4 Question 5
Question 5 suggests that a building maintenance carried out frequently is effective to preserve the building. Regardless of the price, cost or resources used for this frequent maintenance, as long as a building is under favorable condition, it is considered as effectively maintained. 17 out of 25 respondents Agreed to this statement.
Chart 4 Question 6
Question 6 is the counterpart of Question 5, to see the opinion of the respondents of effective maintenance on cost. Now that the method to preserve a building at its tip top condition involves a significantly high cost, will the respondents think a costly maintenance strategy is an effective one? 15 out of 25 respondents agreed to this.
Chart 4 Question 7
Further to Question 7 is the continuation of Question 6, he respondents were asked whether they are willing to pay more for better building performance. Only 11 out of 25 respondents agreed to this. It shows that the people are expecting the building management to maintain the building to the best with the fees they pay. The idea to this is that the standard maintenance fee is enough to cover the maintenance work for an effective maintenance strategy. In order to improve building condition, further increment in fee is not necessary.
Chart 4 Question 8
Question 8 is about whether newly built buildings do not need maintenance. 23 out of 25 respondents denied this. Majority thinks that buildings need maintenance no matter the condition it is in. This showed that predictive maintenance and corrective maintenance are not preferred by the respondents.
4.2.2 Contribution of Maintenance Strategy to Building
Chart 4 Question 9
Question 9 is to find out how important do the respondents think that planned maintenance can contribute to building condition. From the responses, 9 out of 25 respondents strongly agreed that planned and scheduled maintenance can preserve the building in good condition, 8 agreed with the statement, 5 stood neutral and only a few disagreed with this. Once again Scheduled maintenance has been suggested to have a good effect on building condition.
Chart 4 Question 10
The 10th question investigates the extent of agreement for the respondents on Corrective Maintenance where maintenance work is enough to preserve the building's condition. According to the literature review, this often saves the cost of maintenance as long as no major breakdown occurs, and emerges as the most cost effective maintenance strategy. However, 9 out of 25 respondents disagreed strongly, 8 disagreed, 5 responded with neutral stand and only 3 agreed with Corrective Maintenance. This shows that the perspective of most occupants of buildings do not think cost effective as the most important criteria to an effective strategy. In their opinion, effectiveness of maintenance means to avoid breakdown, not to carry out repair work when there is breakdown.
Chart 4 Question 11
Most of the respondents think it is important to have building maintenance carried out in a short interval in order to prevent breakdown. This showed the undeniable contribution of Scheduled maintenance as an effective maintenance strategy.
Chart 4 Question 12
Proceeding to question 12, this inquires the respondent about how they think about predictive maintenance. Predictive maintenance is to conduct maintenance only when components of building show signs of breaking down. This is to prevent it from really being defective and causing inconveniences or harms the building occupants. 9 of the respondents strongly agreed and 9 more agreed to this statement. 6 of them have no standing on this while 5 disagreed. Predictive maintenance is favored because it is cost effective since components are not repaired or replaced entirely. The maintenance work is also not very frequently carried out, thus causing a reduction in personnel, resources and wages in the maintenance cost.
Chart 4 Question 13
By predicting the lifespan of components, a building can be preserved by replacing the components when it is about to expire. This time, disagreeing respondents had increased. This is because maintaining the components just when it is about to fail is very risky for both the building and the occupants. This might endanger life and property. Therefore it is more reliable to maintain components long before the time it is predicted to fail.
Chart 4 Question 14
Question 14 states that a building is having monthly maintenance. If there is failure reported when maintenance work is not carried out, the management will ignore and no maintenance work will be done. This is to show the weak spot of Scheduled Maintenance. Often, people think that if the maintenance team checks frequently for components defect and carries out maintenance work frequently, it will mean an effective maintenance strategy. However, with this weakness emphasized, more refused to agree that it is effective. This is to show that, if Scheduled Maintenance is to be an effective maintenance strategy, it has to be carried out very frequently and maintenance work is to be carried out once every short period.
Chart 4 Question 15
Question 15 is a survey on Preventive Maintenance. If the components are found to be in an acceptable condition, it will not be repaired or maintained. The strategy only preserves the components so that it can still operate and serves its purpose. From the chart, 3 respondents actually agreed strongly with it, while 10 agreed, 9 has neutral standing, and 3 chose to disagree that this is an effective strategy. Therefore there is no strong evidence and opinion that Preventive Maintenance is the most effective.
Chart 4 Question 17
In public, there are facilities provided. The respondents are to give an evaluation on swimming pools, gym, sauna, badminton court, tennis court, basketball court of any other relevant facilities on how the maintenance work preserves the facilities. It is known that most respondents agree or stand neutrally to how these facilities are maintained and performing. With the questionnaire returning a majority of respondents agreeing that Scheduled Maintenance is preferred, most of their building has maintenance management implementing the strategy to carry out maintenance in a fixed interval. This showed that Strategy of Scheduled Maintenance has a favorable effectiveness on preserving the building.
4.2.3 Effective Building Maintenance Strategy
The responses from Question 17 indicated that more individuals think that maintenance should be carried out in a fixed interval. 4 out of 25 respondents think that maintenance should be carried out when the management receives a complaint while 2 think that maintenance should be carried out only when components are in bad shape. This showed that scheduled maintenance is supported again as a preferred maintenance strategy.
Question 18 is an inquiry of the criteria to an effective maintenance strategy. 12 which is majority of the respondents responded with "Performance of the Building" while 11 of them answered with "Time" and 2 responded with "Cost". An effective maintenance should preserve the building and improves its performance. Secondly it shall be done quickly and should not be a tedious work.
Schedule maintenance is further supported by Question 19, which 19 out of 25 respondents think that effective building maintenance is to be carried out in a fixed interval, each of them suggested an interval of no longer than 2 weeks.
Question 20 probes the respondents regarding the causes toward ineffective maintenance. The responses are well distributed among the options. Mainly the cause of maintenance to be ineffective is the lack of routine maintenance and inspection, poor technical services, insufficient manpower, slow in responding to reports and complaints and finally the maintenance work taking a long time.
Question 21 requires the respondents to suggest a best solution for an effective maintenance strategy. A majority of 12 respondents chose the answer "Fix components when there is minor damage to prevent greater damages". This showed that preventive maintenance is also a choice of effective maintenance. 7 out of 25 respondents suggested shortening the interval between two scheduled maintenance dates. The other respondents proposed increasing maintenance fees, importing new technologies and ensuring good building design.
The responses in Question 22 showed that although majority of individuals are active in reporting defects in the building, a significant group of individuals are still turning a blind eye to the components if they are still working without troubling inconvenience. This suggested that preventive and corrective maintenance are not as effective as not many individuals are willing to contribute. Schedule maintenance is still the most effective since the maintenance team checks for defects in the building components regularly.
A questionnaire has been administered to 10 public, 10 students pursuing studies in building related courses and 5 professionals in construction field in order to achieve the objectives of this research.
Through the information collected in this chapter, the objectives of this research are fulfilled. The hypothesis of effective building strategy can lift building quality, prolong building lifetime and increase efficiency has been accepted. From question 4, it appears that most respondents agrees and verified this hypothesis.
The research serves a purpose to find out the methods to ensure building quality and durability with maintenance strategy in the modern times. The questionnaire administered had indicated that the most celebrated strategy out of all varieties of common strategies are the Scheduled Maintenance, followed by Preventive Maintenance and Corrective Maintenance. With maintenance work frequently carried out in a timely manner, the components and condition of the building is always preserved as defects are most likely to be identified. This has significantly lifted the quality and durability of the building.
This research also has another objective to identify the effectiveness of each of the maintenance strategies. Once again, the most employed and preferred maintenance strategy seems to be Scheduled Maintenance, followed by Preventive Maintenance, Predictive Maintenance and Corrective Maintenance. Corrective Maintenance has the least effectiveness among the four because it is only carried out when there is breakdown in the building. In such a way, this strategy cannot be said to be an effective one. Predictive and Preventive Maintenance are both carried out when components are on the verge of breaking down, it is slightly more effective than Corrective Maintenance. Scheduled Maintenance is the highest in terms of effectiveness since it is carried out in a fixed interval, and preferred to be carried out in a high frequency. This is because the maintenance team frequently checks the condition of the building, and is able to spot defects on the components, even the unreported ones.
The last objective of this paper is to determine the suitable maintenance strategy to effectively preserves the building, elevate its quality and durability and prolong the building lifetime. The findings of the research through the questionnaire have signified the particular maintenance strategy to be Scheduled Maintenance. By regularly carrying out maintenance work, the building can be preserved and operates in optimum condition to serve its purpose, bring comfort and provide shelter to the occupants.
CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION
This chapter will summarize and conclude the whole dissertation. This includes the conclusion from the conducted questionnaire and identify whether the aims and objectives are achieved. The information gathered from secondary source, the literature review in chapter 2 has been understood in greater depth. Statements and information have been verified by gathering information from primary source via the questionnaire.
Recommendation will be stated in the chapter for reference and review on future similar researches.
The research had gone through hard times and full of obstacles. However the difficulties were overcame with patience and persistence to make the research successful. Finally, the research has completed successfully. The study enables the effective maintenance strategy to be identified clearly and contributed to the knowledge on building maintenance of the participants in the questionnaire. Additionally it serves a guidance to improve building maintenance strategy and reference to future researches. The objectives and aims of this research are achieved.
5.2 Summary of Findings
The in-depth literature review and the questionnaire has collected information and identified that there are several numbers of maintenance strategy available. Each strategy has own pros and cons, and improved from time to time by the managements. There are now various strategies of building maintenance created and applied in the industry, therefore an effective maintenance strategy has to be chosen to serve the purpose of prolonging the lifespan of the building and to bring comfort to the occupants. Wrong maintenance strategy will cause an unwanted effect in the building operation, lower productivity and wasting resources and energy.
The questionnaire has been selected as the methodology of collecting information in Chapter 3. After researching on various methodologies, it is decided that questionnaire is easier and more convenient to achieve the aims and objectives proposed and gather accurate result. It is flexible, time saving and low cost. Questionnaire also met the tight schedule to complete the research; therefore it is the best choice.
The data analysis in chapter 4 identifies that there were a lot of similarities in the building maintenance strategies used by management in various building in the society and industry. There are differences in the strategy such as cost in the elements and items related, and the method of applying maintenance to the buildings. The most applied strategies were normally Scheduled maintenance, Preventive maintenance and Corrective maintenance. After the analysis and interpreting of the responses from the questionnaire, it is noticeable that Schedule maintenance is the most celebrated maintenance strategy where most of the respondents think it is effective. Preventive maintenance is not a reliable method to ensure a building's condition and corrective maintenance often involves high cost since it is only carried out when there is a major breakdown or severe damage. It is realized that the respondents are not willing to pay costly maintenance fees, expecting frequent maintenance to be carried out and agreed that maintenance work carried out in a fixed interval is the most effective maintenance strategy to prolong a building lifetime, quality and durability of building.
5.3 Achievement in Objectives
The objectives proposed in Chapter 1 of this dissertation are successfully achieved and the aims are fulfilled. The hypothesis stating building maintenance strategy has significant effect on building quality and lifetime efficiency has been verified with responses from the questionnaire.
The first objective of this research is to investigate the methods of ensuring quality and durability with modern maintenance strategy. From the questionnaire administered, it is known that among various maintenance strategy, schedule maintenance, preventive maintenance and corrective maintenance are the ones most applied in the construction industry. However, the data analysis showed that scheduled maintenance can ensure the quality of the building. This is because maintenance works are carried out in a fixed interval and planned schedule. The components and parts of the building are checked regularly and therefore defective items can be identified and replaced. This has directly contributed to increasing the durability of the building. This is the first reason that scheduled maintenance is an effective modern maintenance strategy for preserving buildings.
The second objective is to identify the effectiveness of maintenance strategy. Scheduled maintenance, preventive maintenance and predictive maintenance are often seen as effective maintenance strategies. Corrective maintenance is not an effective maintenance strategy since it is only carried out when a serious failure is reported. Therefore it does not ensure the quality and durability of the building. Predictive maintenance is carried out when there is a failure expected in the building. It is slightly better than corrective maintenance but not as effective as the other strategies. Preventive maintenance is carried out to prevent components from being damaged further or avoid serious damage. The effectiveness of each strategy has been identified and the scheduled maintenance seemed to be the most effective. By regularly checking the conditions of components of the building, it can be preserved.
The information gathered has further led to the achievement of the third objective, which the successful maintenance strategy is determined. The research shows that the maintenance strategy used in a building which can ensure quality, durability, lifetime efficiency and condition of the building will be scheduled maintenance, where maintenance work is carried out on the building in a fixed interval on a planned manner. It can preserve the building, indirectly bring comfort to the occupants and increase productivity of the service of the building.
The hypothesis that building maintenance strategy has significant effect on building quality and lifetime efficiency is accepted.
5.4 Research Limitation and Difficulties
Difficulties often emerge as obstacles causing a temporary halt to the progress of this research. There are overcome by persistence and patience to complete this research. However, the research has limitations that must be understood.
A limitation to this dissertation is that the literature has a wide scope. The maintenance strategy available for study is abundant, certain maintenance strategy are created by merging two or more strategies. This is overcome by choosing only the core strategies for the study. There are many inaccessible sources on the internet, since the only way to seize the information is to pay. Latest information is hard to obtain. In addition, there is a lack of books or magazines related to this field in the college library. Information collected might be outdated and inaccurate. To settle with this, only information later than year 2000 is used to complete this dissertation.
The others limitation will be the time and cost factor. The schedule planning is vital to keep the progress on track. A factor causing the research to run out of schedule is that respondents of questionnaire took time to reply with their responses. Another factor is that the respondents might not be able to understand the purpose or questionnaire, or have limited knowledge on the research topic. Explanation must be given to the respondents if they do not understand the questionnaire completely. As a result, the information collected might not be accurate.
For further research, it is recommended to search deeper in books and magazines or other written sources to latest information for literature review so that the research is much more compact in contents.
Other than that, it is recommended to conduct a thorough survey on different methods of data collection such as case study and interview. Different methods of data collection can obtain different information directly and clearly as well as to cover the limitation of administrating questionnaire which has low response rate.
The research is conducted as a study of lifetime efficiency and quality of a building through effective maintenance strategy. It is advised for future studies to include the study of the effect of building maintenance on the long term and short term value of a building.
In the future relative researches, it would be recommended to include the investigation of maintenance strategy in lowering the maintenance cost of the building. Furthermore, it is suggested that a study on how effective maintenance strategy efficiently allocate the human, material and financial resources to carry out effective maintenance, along with the study of the effect on effective resource allocation.