Strategic maintenance systems in sustainable building Essay Example

Table of Content

University of (insert name)

Master of Engineering Management

Strategic maintenance systems in sustainable building

Strategic maintenance systems in sustainable building


A Minor Thesis submitted as part of the requirements for the degree

Master of Engineering (Management)

School of Engineering


Strategic maintenance systems in sustainable building 1

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«I hereby give permission to the staff of the Institute Library and to the staff and students of the Department of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering — to copy this minor thesis in whole or in part without reference to me. This permission covers only single copies made for study purposes, subject to normal conditions of acknowledgment.»

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Strategic maintenance systems in sustainable building 3

Acknowledgment is made to the following people for their assistance:

  • (Supervisor).

I would like to thank my supervisor, Professor (insert name) for their invaluable advice and support that they have provided for me during this research.

  • (Whoever else)

I am further thankful to the following people who directly or indirectly contributed to the success of this research:

Table of Contents

Strategic maintenance systems in sustainable building 4


iiPermission to Copy


ivTable of Contents

viList of Figures

viiiList of Tables

ixList of Abbreviations




21.1 Background of the Research

41.2 Problem Statement

51.3 Purpose of the study

51.4 Objectives of the Research

61.5 Research Questions

61.6 Hypothesis

61.7 Significance of the Research

71.8 Assumptions of the Study

71.9 Outline of the Research


8Literature Review

8Review Approach

82.1 The History of Building Maintenance

92.2 Maintenance Management

102.3 Traditional Maintenance Management Systems

132.4 Maintenance in Conventional Buildings

142.5 Current Approach to Maintenance Management

162.6 The Concept of Strategic maintenance and Sustainable building

162.6.1 The Concept of Strategic Maintenance

172.6.2 The Concept of Sustainable Building

182.7 Principles of strategic maintenance management and Sustainable Building

182.7.1 Principles of Strategic Maintenance

242.7.2 Principles of Sustainable Building (Green Building)

302.8 Types of Maintenance

302.8.1 Preventive Maintenance

312.8.2 Corrective (Failure-based) Maintenance

322.8.3 Condition-based Maintenance (CBM)

342.8.4 Time-based Maintenance (TBM)

372.8.5 Reliability Centered Management (RCM)

402.9 Readings



413.1 Research Design

413.2 Target Population

423.2 Sampling

423.3 Data Collection Methods

433.4 Data Analysis

433.5 Reliability and Validity of the Study


44Background to Research for Relevant Issues

464.1 Background of the Organizations used as case-studies


49Data Collection Process and Findings

495.1 Data Collection Process

495.2 Research Findings

495.2.1 Case Study 1: Brookfield Multiplex International

525.2.2 Case Study 2: Pyramid Group Australia

555.2.3 Case Study 3: IDCON

625.2.4 Case Study 4: JLL


69Discussion on Analysis and Findings

696.1 Analysis of Maintenance Management Strategies Used by the Four Organizations

816.2 How strategic maintenance systems help Brookfield Multiplex International, Pyramid Group Australia, IDCON and JLL construct sustainable buildings

836.3 Benefits that are brought about by implementation of strategic maintenance systems in building

846.3.1 Benefits of Sustainable Building

896.3.2 Benefits of Strategic maintenance management

926.4 Challenges that are faced in implementing strategic maintenance systems in buildings

98Chapter 7


100Recommendations on measures to improve strategic maintenance systems used by construction organizations


List of Figures

Strategic maintenance systems in sustainable building 5

Figure No.

Diagram Title

Framework for implementation of sustainable building

CBM System

The general 2-step process of TBM

Bathtub curve

Failure data analysis process

An overview of RCM

REAL Pty Ltd as a maintenance division of Pyramid Group Australia

List of Tables

Strategic maintenance systems in sustainable building 6

Table No.

Table Title

The elements of building maintenance strategy

Issues associated with sustainable building

Summary of the research findings

List of Abbreviations

Strategic maintenance systems in sustainable building 7

The following listing contains the most common relevant abbreviations to be found in the reviewed literature and as used throughout this document.

HVAC systems

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems

R.E Assets Logistics

Facility Maintenance

Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method

Chartered Institution of Waste Management

Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Environmental Quality

Volatile organic compounds

Public Private Partnerships

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design 

Reliability Centered Management

Time-based Management

Condition-based maintenance

Failure Mode Effects and Criticality Analysis

Current Best Practice

Computerized Maintenance Management System

Economic Order Quantities

Root Cause Failure Analysis

Root Cause Problem Elimination

Corporate Real Estate

Thesis Tittle:

Strategic maintenance systems in sustainable building

Strategic maintenance systems in sustainable building 8

. (Author’s Name)….


Strategic maintenance systems in sustainable building 9

Continued functioning of building facilities require regular maintenance works. The shift from conventional construction to sustainable building has further revolutionized the needs of building maintenance strategies. In this research, we investigate how strategic maintenance systems help construction organizations build sustainable buildings, the principles of sustainable building and strategic maintenance systems, the benefits of implementing strategic maintenance systems, and the challenges that are faced in implementing strategic maintenance management systems in building maintenance. Using a case study approach, we identified four construction companies that have their main offices in Australia — with a global presence, and investigated the issues above. These companies were Brookfield Multiplex International Company, Pyramid Group Australia, IDCON Inc. and JLL. These companies are international construction companies that have been involved in major construction projects in Australia, Asia and across Europe and have divisions of building maintenance. From the research findings, we concluded that building maintenance in organizations is a critically important in sustainable building to maintain value, improve health and safety, increase productivity, extend life service, and maintain the structural integrity and service reliability of buildings. The findings were also in agreement with our proposed hypothesis that poor maintenance condition of buildings is due to ineffective or lack of strategic maintenance systems put in place during the initial planning and design stage. At the end of the research, we came up with a number of recommendations that can be implemented by different stakeholders in the building construction and maintenance industry to address some of the challenges encountered when carrying out sustainable building maintenance by organizations.



1.1 Background of the Research

The life cycle of a building starts from construction, operation or service life, maintenance, and finally, demolition and removal. A commercial building has an expected lifespan of about 100 years. Over this lifespan, a building should offer long-term service to the users as it consumes time and a lot of resources in terms of cost and human labor to complete a building (Sodangi, et al., 2014). However, to attain a long-term service to users, there is need to put in place strategic maintenance systems that will ensure that a building and its components function adequately as in the initial design. The purpose of having strategic maintenance systems is to preserve the value of the building, satisfy legal obligations put in place by the regulatory authorities, meet the safety needs and achieve the best value in terms of building occupancy. According to Adamu & Shakantu, (2016), strategic maintenance and sustainable building is a complex activity that demands adequate skills in systems survey, implementation and management. As a matter of fact, maintenance and sustainability strategies should always be part of core business decisions in the building management agenda. Chan, (2014) concedes that building maintenance has attracted more research attention in the building and construction industry and sustainable maintenance of buildings is a topic of grate concern in many countries. However, the author affirms that building maintenance is seldom reserached in Australia. The rapid economic growth witnessed in the past few decades has led to a significant increase in the number and value of commercial buildings in Australia (Chan, 2014). In order to maintain the safety, usability and efficiency of these buildings, there is a great need for regular maintenance and repair.

Chanter & Swallow (2008), define maintenance as “ a combination of any actions carried out to retain an item in, or restore it to an acceptable condition”. In regard to this definition, it can be agreed that maintenance tasks are taken to keep, restore or improve a building facility, its services as well as the surrounding to acceptable standards and sustain the facility and its value. This may include repairs, refurbishment to raise the building to its original standards, or replacement of some components to upgrade the building to current requirements/standards. In fact, upgrading existing buildings not only extends their service life, but it is also a more sustainable option compared to other options like demolishing or building newer facilities (Olanrewaju & Abdul-Aziz, 2014).

Strategic maintainance, as defined by Adamu & Shakantu (2016), “is a process that includes top management’s analysis of the environment in which the organization operates prior to formulating a strategy, as well as the plan for implementation and control of the strategy”. Thus, the role of strategic management lies with the executive management team within an organization. The function of maintenance management team is to formulate maintenance policies as a guide to the maintenance team in the preparation of programmes as well as making an appropriate choice of maintenance strategies. Hence, modern approach to maintenance integrates a number of management skills, with strategic maintenance being a key aspect (Adamu & Shakantu, 2016).

Having strategic management skills is crucial in developing effective maintanance management systems that will be in line with the primary objectives and vision of any building organization. Therefore, strategic management integrated in the process of maintenance management plays a significant role in developing a sustainable maintainance management plan for buildings (Olanrewaju & Abdul-Aziz, 2014). The top managers in many building organizations consider maintenance of buildings by use of dynamic strategic maintenance management systems, which are shifting from the conventional technical maintenance. Dynamic strategic maintenance management systems ensure that the building facility has a longer service life, without compromising safety of occupants, cost efficiency or environmental impact (Adamu & Shakantu, 2016).

This paper presents the research findings of strategies used by building and construction organizations in Australia to maintain sustainable building assets. We look into how strategic maintenance management help such organizations to achieve their goals, the benefits of implementing the strategies, and the challenges such organizations face when implementing maintenance management strategies.

1.2 Problem Statement

All buildings should meet certain safety, environmental and health regulations. These regulations ensure that buildings are well maintained to achieve a safe environment and that they do not pose any danger to the occupants. Equally, the facilities in buildings must be in a condition that allows them to function properly and meet user expectations (Alshehri, et al., 2015). To achieve this goal, strategic maintenance works must be effectively and efficiently developed, implemented and managed throughout the life span of a building. Akadiri, et al., (2012) stresses that the intention of sustainable building is to improve performance, durability, health safety, affordability and promoting environmental friendliness. Chan (2014) notes that building organizations and facility owners have recognized the importance of sustainable building and maintenance to reduce the maintenance budget. Constructing sustainalbe building facilities is nolonger a problem in the modern times, but all the effort becomes negated if there are no proper maintenainace management systems to install and maintain all the components of the building and the building itself. Sustainable buildings are designed for easier management which can save more than 10% of the operational cost compared to their conventional counterparts.

There is very little research that has been done to establish the maintenance management strategies and their effectiveness for sustainable building maintenance in Australia and as such, this research was undertaken to address the existing knowledge gap. As building organizations shift towards sustainable design and construction techniques, it is increasingly becoming important that these organizations acquire relevant managerial tools and maintenance methodologies to help not only in maintenance, but also in improving the sustainability performance of the building facilities (Wireman, 2005). With many sustainable buildings coming up in Australia, there is need to put in place effective maintenance strategies to maintain the value and quality of service provided by these buildings. Thus, the need to examine maintenance management strategies and how they have been implemented by construction organizations in Australia to realize building performance, cost saving and other benefits.

1.3 Purpose of the study

This research intends to examine building maintenance management strategies used by building organizations in Australia.

1.4 Objectives of the Research

The primary objectives of the research are:

  1. To investigate how strategic maintenance systems help construction organizations to construct sustainable buildings.

  2. To investigate the benefits that are brought about by implementation of strategic maintenance systems in building.

  3. To understand the challenges that are faced in implementing strategic maintenance systems in buildings.

  4. To understand the principles of strategic maintenance systems in sustainability of buildings

  5. To recommend measures to improve strategic maintenance systems used by construction organizations.

1.5 Research Questions

In order to achieve the above objectives, the research will seek to answer the following questions:

  1. What are principles of strategic maintenance management?

  2. What challenges are faced in implementing a maintenance management system?

  3. What are factors of the maintenance systems process that contribute to achieve sustainability of buildings?

  4. How can failure of construction maintenance systems be prevented in future?

  5. What are the key constrains of sustainable construction maintenance?

1.6 Hypothesis

Poor maintenance condition of buildings is due to ineffective or lack of strategic maintenance systems in their design and construction plan.

1.7 Significance of the Research

It is believed that through the findings of this research, awareness among different stakeholders in the building construction industry will be created, specifically on the development and implementation of building maintenance systems. Subsequently, this will improve the efficiency of resources and environmental sustainability in the construction industry. Strategically formulated maintenance practices are potentially effective means of cutting down the operation cost of a buildings and improve their performance. In addition to this, sustainable buildings with strategic maintenance systems provide users and occupants with knowledge of maintaining a sustainable building as they interact with systems installed in a building. This way, the building occupants play an active role in the maintenance of the building.

Design of building and maintenance management is usually demanding and a knowledge-intensive process which require a consideration of a wide range of issues that affect the service life, durability and care and maintenance of the building structures as well as building services systems (Braganca, 2007). In order to manage challenges that may arise, it is essential that effective maintenance management systems are developed. In addition to this, the aspect of sustainable building is emphasized because of its potential impact on the environment.

1.8 Assumptions of the Study

The research was guided by the assumption that there was adherence to all ethical considerations in all the activities of the study. It is also assumed that the findings reported in this report would not be harmful to the building organizations discussed or any other party mentioned in this report. Last but not least, we assume that the information collected on the representative building organizations is a true reflection of the actual situation in the Australian building industry. The method used in the collection of data information had validity.

1.9 Outline of the Research

The research focuses on the application of strategic maintenance systems in the construction and maintenance of buildings by selected organizations in Australia. We analyze how strategic maintenance systems help such organizations to construct sustainable buildings, the benefits and challenges of development and implementation of strategic maintenance systems in the building industry. Finally, we come up with recommendable measures to improve strategic maintenance management systems in sustainable buildings.


Literature Review

Review Approach

Within this chapter, a literature review of studies focusing on maintenance of buildings has been provided. Sources used in these studies identify the variables of critical concern to our study and provide a strong foundation for our research study. The primary sources of literature were books, past research projects, theses, published journals and published articles on strategic maintenance systems of buildings.

2.1 The History of Building Maintenance

Buildings are an important assets as they provide shelter and facilities for productive work and leisure. Maintenance of buildings serves the purpose of retaining the value and quality of a building. As time passes by, more activities in the construction industry move towards building maintenance. For example, building maintenance activities in Britain account for up to 50% of annual construction activities (Kherun, et al., 2002). Maintenance of buildings play a significant role from design to the end of its service life. Researchers have recently embarked on the study of building performance management – a core element of building maintenance management. According to Aghili, et al., (2016), building maintenance management require site experience, technical knowledge and a variety of skills in order to formulate and implement maintenance strategies that will satisfy maintenance needs, reduce operation costs, improve property value and quality, and ensure health safety of occupants both in the short and long run.

According to D.Shenoy & B.Bhadury (1998), during the pre-World II era, people percieved maintanance as an additional cost that contributed to total cost. Therefore, maintanance activities were only carried out after a breakdown. After the World War II, there was a rapid advancement of scientific and engineering technology. Over time, other methods of maintenance strategies were developed, including preventive, detective,corrective and predictive maintenance. Maintenance strategies have quite evolved, especially in countries that are highly industrialized – taking into account cost, quality and customer satisfaction (Chan, 2014). Currently, maintenance management has gained global recognition as a production function and a potential profit generating practice. This is despite the fact that many organizations across the world have to spend substantial amounts and hire qualified maintenance personnel comprising of a large workforce. According to Wireman (2005), maintenance has become a proactive activity that is focused on profit with the aim of narrowing the variation between ideal maintenance cost and the actual cost

2.2 Maintenance Management

Chan (2014) defines maintenance management as all the activities of an organizational management that determine the priorities, strategies and responsibilities in implementation of maintenance works through planning, control and supervision of maintenance activities. According to Wireman (2005), maintenance management would include, but not limited to the following: inventory and procurement, computerized maintenance management systems, preventive maintenance, work order system, operational involvement, interpersonal training, proactive maintenance, total productive maintenance, reliability centered management, continuous improvement, and statistical financial optimization. The author affirms that each of the above listed initiatives form part of the maintenance management process. Another approach to definition of maintenance management is provided by D.Shenoy & B.Bhadury, (1998). In their illustration, D.Shenoy & B.Bhadury view a maintenance as a simple input-output system. The inputs are tools, manpower, equipment and management, while the output is a reliably and efficiently working equipment to achieve optimum results that meet expectations. The authors show that for this system to remain functional, there is need for: maintenance planning (capacity, maintenance workload forecast, philosophy, and scheduling); maintenance organization (work measurement and work design, project administration, and standards); and maintenance control (control of resources, inventories, quality management, and costs).

2.3 Traditional Maintenance Management Systems

The primary objective of maintenance is to preserve a building facility in its initial status as good as practicable to allow it to continue serving its purpose. Maintenance practices target to maintain the value of investment of the building and its physical beauty/appearance (Suffian, 2013). As the building continues to exist, its inflexibility nature demands that the owners and/or occupants develop a clear strategy to manage and control its profitability. Most property management organizations use traditional methods to manage building facilities. The traditional maintenance management is a fragmented process in which maintenance is simply classified as either planned or unplanned (Chanter & Swallow, 2008).

Planned maintenance was classified as either corrective or preventive maintenance. Corrective maintenance is performed in case of an emergency problem, while preventive management is performed after a pre-determined period (Sodangi, et al., 2014). Unplanned maintenance is performed when un-anticipated damage or problem occurs to a building part or system in the building. Historically, ageing built facilities were being renovated and repaired in a piecemeal fashion. In the piecemeal fashion, renovation activities were performed at different times or using different methods, instead of working with a carefully drawn plan from the beginning. Most building owners and organizations had not become aware of maintenance management and could not set funds aside for renovations and maintenance in their annual budgets, making the renovations to be limited in scope (Adamu & Shakantu, 2016). The result of this was cosmetic change of the building with little or no improvement on the systems and facilities in the building. With such fragmentation, there was an experience of inefficient mechanical systems, complains from building users due to dissatisfaction of services and environmental conditions. This eventually led to high cost of maintenance and utility bills (Alshehri, et al., 2015).

Chan (2014) observes that under traditional maintenance, the managers established an indicator level and were reluctant to consider any facets of performance of maintenance management below the established indicators. There was also lack of a clear maintenance management process as most managers heavily depended on reactive activities based on complains received from facility users or occupants (Wireman, 2005). From such observations, it would be fair to mark that traditional maintenance managers relied on reactive maintenance activities, rather than a proactive approach to maintenance works, and at times, they did not match service performance and client satisfaction. Another concern was that maintenance management was carried out unprofessionally in most cases.

Today, traditional maintenance management systems are still relevant and can be applied effectively in modern building environment. However, there has been a greater need to consider different facets of maintenance management due to changes in organizational roles and operational technologies (Bernstein & Andrew, 2008). Throughout the years, there has been a great change in maintenance management in both private and public sectors. The selection of the type of maintenance system to be implemented in a building should take into consideration the following: the building life cycle of materials used on the building, service installations, and the usability of the building. Sometimes, when the materials used in a building gets worn out, there is need to carry out maintenance to rectify any defect caused by such materials. Thus, it is important for the design team to have sound knowledge on material performance to cut down the running cost during the service life of a building (Olanrewaju & Anifowose, 2015). The use of heavy duty materials to produce building fabric of high quality, and selection of materials with good physical properties and longer lifespan can significantly cut down the running costs incurred during a building’s lifespan. This will also allow the maintenance team to plan for and allocate sufficient funds for maintenance work and replacements, and keep a detailed record of its maintenance activities which acts as a benchmark for the next maintenance activity on the same facility (Chan, 2014).

Maintenance records are important for the maintenance management team as it helps in decision-making, and helps the team provide remedial works (D.Shenoy & B.Bhadury, 1998). Despite having a well-laid maintenance plan, emergency maintenance activities are unavoidable and immediate maintenance work may be required before a problem occurs to prevent interference with other planned activities. Based on a detailed consideration of planned and unplanned maintenance, construction organizations should be in a position to provide a realistic budget to deal with maintenance activities. Maintenance managers should also strategize emergency plans to address future uncertainties (Aghili, et al., 2016). Hence, to improve on traditional maintenance management systems, current managers must inculcate effective indicators to accommodate the modern nature of maintenance works.

It is desirable to construct buildings that are free of maintenance. However, this is not feasible, but there is a lot that can be done during the design stage of a building to reduce the frequency and cost of maintenance management during the service life (Olanrewaju & Abdul-Aziz, 2014). All elements used in the building structure and the systems installed deteriorate at a rate dependent on the types of materials used and the method of construction, the use of the building, and the environmental conditions.

Maintenance works have also been classified as either predictable or avoidable, in which case predictable maintenance is performed periodically to retain the building’s performance characteristics and renovate the asset after a useful life span (Adamu & Shakantu, 2016). On the other hand, avoidable maintenance is performed to rectify failed building part or facility as a result of use of faulty construction material, poor design, or poor installation. The maintenance function can be divided into: cleaning & servicing, repair & replacement, and rectification. Timely expenditure on cleaning & servicing, and rectification can postpone the need for repair & replacement which is usually very expensive (Aghili, et al., 2016). Cleaning and servicing are often carried out regularly and is sometimes combined with a fault reporting system to avoid the need for expensive repairs and replacements in future.

2.4 Maintenance in Conventional Buildings

Building maintenance is a subject of great interest in most countries. Maintenance of buildings has always been of great importance to man since the early times when man sheltered in very primitive structures to the present day when civilization has seen glass palaces and skyscrapers built by man (Sodangi, et al., 2014). The function of maintenance management of buildings is to maximize the economic productivity of a building and maintain health and safety of the building users. In conventional buildings, building maintenance has specific objectives. The primary objective the building is presentable by cleaning and housekeeping activities. Another objective is to prevent failure of the building and the systems and components installed in the building. This is achieved through regularly scheduled maintenance activities. In addition to this, repairs based on lowest life cycle are implemented. Chan (2014) observes that many traditional maintenance systems advocate for economical use of facility utilities without demonstrating how to use the supporting technology.

Maintenance activities in conventional buildings also incorporates accurate techniques of cost estimation to keep the maintenance cost at minimum. It also involves a proper work plan and schedule in advance and allocating resources to the maintenance team to be able to achieve planned and unplanned events (D.Shenoy & B.Bhadury, 1998). Maintenance of conventional buildings also involves monitoring how maintenance works progress while continuously seeking improved engineering solutions to various problems.

2.5 Current Approach to Maintenance Management

According Chanter & Swallow (2008), building design plays a significant role in determining the state of the building after construction in terms of development of defects and maintenance. The building design indirectly affects the performance and the physical characteristics of a building, durability and other external activities such as vandalism (Alshehri, et al., 2015). This means that there is a link between the design and and maintenance works and therefore, building design should be considered as a cost reducing factor. This means that the materials selected and components used in the building must be of appropriate life cycle. Under traditional maintenance, only old buildings were considered for maintainance due to wear and tear, material decay and weathering (Olanrewaju & Abdul-Aziz, 2014). With modern designs and construction technologies, there has been a shift from this concept as modern desiners and developers consider building maintenance rigtht from the design stage. Modern built structures are subject to a pre-planned maintenance programme (Binggeli, 2010).

A better building design for a longer life cycle can only be achieved by skillful design and at this stage, it is important for the building owner and the designer to consider maintenance objectives and strategies. If correct decisions regarding building maintenance are made during this phase, maintenance works due to poor design will be prevented, and future maintenance is taken care of before the building project enters the construction phase and having such a timely decision will enhance the building’s life cycle (Horner, et al., 1997). In recent years, in addition to client specifications and the objectives of the building, designs are getting more concerned with sustainability and green construction. The construction industry uses a huge amount of resources that leaves a significant impact in our environment. It is now well known that efficiency in resources like water and energy can have greater impact on energy-efficiency investments, improving productivity and competitiveness, securing future energy supply, managing greenhouse gas emissions, and lowering the environmental cost of resource supply (Dann, et al., 2006). At global level, resource efficiency has a significant impact on mitigation of global warming and subsequently on climate change. These positive environmental impacts of resource efficient building has promoted the green building movement in many countries. Green or sustainable building involves efficient use of resources in the design, construction, operation, renovation, maintenance, demolition, and removal. Sustainable building brings together a wide range of practices and construction methods that are aimed towards reducing the impact of the construction industry on environmental resources and human health. For a long time, the building industry has become the largest consumer of energy and other environmental resources (Puķīte & Geipele, 2017).

The understanding of a proper building design relates to the shape and physical appearance of the building. In most occasions, designers have neglected the objective of the building. This is true especially where sustainable building is concerned. Many researchers have found that building design plays a crucial role in determining the physical and structural condition of a building after completion, especially in terms of repair of defects and maintenance. It has an indirect influence on the physical characteristics and performance of a building (Horner, et al., 1997).

Sustainable building differs from conventional building in terms of design, types of materials used, and maintenance needs. There are also set standards and salient features such as structure design efficiency, life cycle assessment (LCA), water and energy efficiency, environmental quality, material efficiency, waste reduction, and optimization of operations and maintenance. These standards have to be maintained during the service life of the building. Thus, it is important to consider the concept of maintenance from siting and design stage to achieve a sustainable building.

2.6 The Concept of Strategic maintenance and Sustainable building

2.6.1 The Concept of Strategic Maintenance

Maintenance is one of the most important support function in the performance of a building and requires a strategic position in an organization’s management agenda. Strategic management is a universally emerging skill that is highly sought-after because of its high potential in the contribution to direction and coherence of organizational affairs. It is perceived as a “game plan” for business organizations based on the theory of strategy science and art. Thus, strategic management integrates both science and art. Most organizational strategists are executive managers who are better positioned and have a better understanding of the organization’s goals and vision. The main stages of strategic management process include strategy formulation, implementation, and evaluation.

Maintenance management of buildings is a value-adding initiative in building organizations. This is because it has a major impact on the reliability and safety of the buildings which are essential for productivity (Chanter & Swallow, 2008). The role of strategic maintenance management is to ensure that structural, functional and aesthetic values of a building are upheld during the entire service life of a building. In so doing, there is enhanced safety of building occupants and quality of the building (Adamu & Shakantu, 2016). The concept of strategic maintenance entails planning and implementation of maintenance functions to achieve the main goals of an organization. This means making key decisions on where to invest to fully maximize the limited resources available and still achieve the goals set by an organization successfully (Bernstein & Andrew, 2008). The process of maintenance management consists of different tasks which define the complex nature of maintenance management.

2.6.2 The Concept of Sustainable Building

Sustainable building, also known as green building or high performance building, refers to both a building structure and the use of processes that are resource efficient and environmentally responsible throughout the life-cycle of a building: right from design, to construction, operation, maintenance, refurbishment, and removal. In other words, sustainable building is to balance between structural building and environmental sustainability. This demands a close cooperation of the team of designers, architects, engineers and the owner of the building at all stages of a project (Adamu & Shakantu, 2016). The sustainable building practice incorporates the concerns of a classical building design, including economy, durability, utility and comfort. The objectives of high performance building include:

  1. Higher efficiency of using water, energy and other resources

  2. Reducing environmental pollution, waste and environmental degradation

  3. Protecting health of the building occupants and improving productivity.

Green building has environmental, social and economic benefits. The main elements used to assess the sustainability of a building include: siting, use of land, energy efficiency, materials used, water management, indoor air quality and the health and comfort of building occupants.

2.7 Principles of strategic maintenance management and Sustainable Building

2.7.1 Principles of Strategic Maintenance

The term strategic maintenance combines two functions: strategy and maintenance. The term strategy means a plan/method of achieving an objective, while maintenance is concerned with the technical issues of keeping an equipment or facility in operation with minimal interruptions. Thus, maintenance personnel are less concerned with strategic plans of the maintenance management department and the goals of the organization (Olanrewaju & Abdul-Aziz, 2014). This means that it is vital to understand the relationship between the maintenance personnel and the executive management at strategic management level. However in general, strategic maintenance requires a better understanding of goals and visions of a business organization (Chan, 2014).

A strategy without a strategic plan is insufficient and may not be very helpful to an organization. A strategic plan is required for deployment of a strategy and implementation of resources to execute the strategy. A strategic maintenance plan is a structured process that is undertaken to establish the short term, medium term, and long term maintenance requirements of an organization’s building asset portfolio. Hence, a planning process requires a good understanding of the department’s capital acquisition, service delivery strategy, as well as the contribution of building maintenance to service delivery outcomes (Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works, 2004).

The importance of strategic management is as follows:

  1. It guides the development and formulation of maintenance policies, determines the direction of the strategy, and approves the resources for maintenance management.

  2. It has a large influence on the processes of maintenance management in an organization due to the fact that maintenance objectives have to be aligned with the primary objectives of the organization.

  3. The maintenance department is positioned within an organization depending on that organization’s strategic objectives and how important the organization values building maintenance. Key Elements of building maintenance strategy

There are a number of specific strategies that make up a comprehensive building maintenance strategy intended to address different aspects of maintenance management. The elements are as shown in table 1 below:

Table 1: The elements of building maintenance strategy (Source: Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works, 2004).

Technical strategy

A technical strategy mainly outlines the type of maintenance work to be performed, and the goal of undertaking the work. The type of maintenance work applied to a particular building asset will depend on the functions of the building in relation to service delivery.

Risk management strategy

A risk management strategy is formulated to identify ways in which maintenance managers intend to use to manage the risks that are associated with property management, by considering factors such as security of the building, health and safety, societal perception, and loss of functionality. A risk management strategy implemented by the maintenance managers of an organization will largely determine how the managers prioritize maintenance activities.

Financial management strategy

This strategy identifies the approach used by an organization to funding building maintenance activities. This element of building maintenance management strategy focuses on getting value for resources spend on maintenance work. It influences the type, planning, and cost of maintenance works.

Procurement strategy

The procurement strategy dictates the procedure to procure maintenance services (including outsourcing) from qualified contractors

Management strategy

This strategy determines how building maintenance management arrangements should be within an organization’s maintenance department. The management strategy should have a clear outline of the organizational structure to support property maintenance management from the facility level to the head office of operations.

On the other hand, the term maintenance refers to the operation function which involve implementation of various tasks that are executed according to the policies laid by the maintenance department. This is necessary in order to achieve the goals put by an organization for maintenance of building facilities and other services associated with the building (Adamu & Shakantu, 2016). Maintenance is an important part of strategic building management. Therefore, building properties have to be well maintained to continue supporting service delivery. The execution of maintenance activities may involve one or a combination of: replacement, service and rectification. Maintenance works are performed on existing buildings with the following intentions:

  • Preventing further failure or deterioration

  • Re-instating physical condition of a building to design specification

  • Restoring normal operation of systems, components and building parts within the specified parameters

  • Making temporary repairs after a major failure for health, safety and security reasons

  • Replacing components after they reach the end of their active service life with more advanced engineering equivalents.

  • Mitigating consequences that may result after an occurrence of a natural disaster

  • Assessing buildings to establish their maintenance needs

According to the Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works (2004), development of a maintenance strategy for building assets is more effective when the process is undertaken by all the teams involved, including facility managers, asset managers, finance managers, business managers, planners, maintenance service providers, asset user representatives, and all other stakeholders that may be interested.

Before carrying out maintenance practices, below are some basic principles that will assist an organization to establish the best approach to be adopted on a building asset.

Understanding the building – Understanding the stages of development of a building can help to explain why a certain problem may occur on a building, such as a crack formation at a joint between a new part and an old part of the building. Also, an understanding of the type of materials used in a building and how they work is of great importance as it can help to prevent costly mistakes (Dann, et al., 2006).

Understanding the cause of a problem – To know the cause of a problem in a building, it is crucial to carry out correct diagnosis. This will save time and money by preventing unnecessary damage. Before undertaking any maintenance activity, it is necessary that the underlying cause of a given problem is well understood and addressed.

Minimal Intervention – The main reason for carrying out maintenance is to restrain the process of damage without interfering with the character of a building. Maintenance activities should be kept as low as possible to conserve the value and quality of the building without disturbing the aesthetic fabric.

Using trusted materials and techniques – Using inappropriate material can result in more harm instead of solving the intended problem. Generally, repairs should be done on a like-for-like basis and using materials and techniques similar to the ones used in the construction of the building (Puķīte & Geipele, 2017). This is to ensure that there is compatibility between the new and the old materials in terms of their appearance and performance.

Keeping Record – Findings of maintenance inspections and any repairs undertaken are kept in records. Keeping records also allows the organization to monitor any defects or damages that may not need immediate action. Goals of building maintenance

The primary goals of building maintenance include:

  • Meeting the expectations set in the standards to which building facilities are to be maintained

  • Keeping the physical condition of a building facility in the best standard possible for their asset value and service function.

  • Ensuring that health, safety and security standards of the building and its occupants are maintained within the required levels.

  • Minimizing the impact of the building to the environment

  • Reducing whole-of-life costs of operating the building facility

Strategic maintenance management should reflect on the maintenance needs of a building portfolio over the immediate, medium and long term. However, sometimes modifications may be done depending on the change in service delivery priorities. A good strategic building maintenance plan should take into account:

  • Service delivery plan

  • The performance of its building assets in terms of energy and water consumption

  • The value, condition, age, deferred maintenance as well the functionality of the building

  • Safety, health and security requirements

  • Existing and new buildings

  • Disposal, refurbishment and renovation plans

  • Emerging issues that may affect the service potential of the building

2.7.2 Principles of Sustainable Building (Green Building)

The building sector is considered one of the most resource-intensive industry in comparison to other industries on the global map. The industry is rapidly growing and concerns have been raised over the demand for energy and the use of fossil fuel resources siting issues such as exhaustion of fossil fuels, supply difficulties, and environmental impacts such as depletion of ozone layer, emissions of carbon dioxide gas, global warming and climate change. The production and transportation of building materials, construction of a building, and operation of a completed building consumes a lot of energy. In addition to consuming energy, the building industry contributes a significant amount of environmental pollution, consume a large amount of raw materials and produce a large amount of waste (Chanter & Swallow, 2008). The primary issues that are associated with the major sustainable building themes are collated in Table 2. Goals of Sustainable building

Sustainable buildings are designed with the objective to use resources such as water and energy more efficiently, protect occupant health, reduce waste, and improve productivity and profitability (Maiellaro, 2013). Many countries have developed programs to promote sustainable building. At the center of these programs, there is an integrated design approach and a scheme for crediting the buildings according to their sustainability score. The global credit schemes used include LEED, BREEAM, HK-BEAM and Green Star. LEED is largely used in the US while BREEAM was established for use in the United Kingdom. In Australia, the Green Star was established in 2003 by Building Council of Australia. HK-BEAM (Hong Kong Building Environmental Assessment Method) was developed and used in Hong Kong. The guides provided in these assessment methods continue to be implemented in many regions of the world to achieve sustainable building (Yudelson, 2010). All the codes use a credit system from a building design process and rewards sustainable practices in different categories.

Table 2: Issues associated with sustainable building (Source: Akadiri, et al., 2012).

Key Theme

Principal Issues

Environmental Sustainability

1.0 Protection of the environment

1.1 Preventing environmental pollution

1.2 Protection and enhancement of biodiversity

1.3 Transport planning

Minimizing environmental emissions; Good management of building site and depot to prevent noise and dust pollution; prevention and elimination of wastes; prevention of pollution and breach of environmental guidelines; Habitat creation and environmental preservation; Protection of ecosystems through good supervision and construction practices; Green transport plan for business activities and sites

Economic Sustainability

2.0 Maintaining high and stable levels of economic growth and employment

1.1 Improving building delivery

1.2 Increased building productivity and profitability

Improved productivity; Employee satisfaction; Stable profit growth; Client satisfaction; supplier satisfaction; minimizing defects; Low cost of project with high cost predictability; Shorter and predictable project completion time; Delivery of services with value to clients and developing client business

3.0 Efficient use of natural resources

3.1 Prudent use of resources

3.2 Improved energy efficiency

Reduce consumption of energy in business activities; Energy efficiency at sites and depots; Whole-life design cost; Use of low embodied energy materials and using local supplies; use of recycled products; Lean construction to prevent waste generation; Water efficiency and minimization or management of waste

Social Sustainability

4.0 Social progress – taking into account everyone’s needs

4.1 Partnership working

4.2 Involving the local community and facility users

Equitable terms and conditions; Equal opportunities; Effective training; Health and safety considerations; Employee satisfaction; Involving all stakeholders in decision-making; Minimizing local disruptions and delays; Establishing effective communication channels; Local employment and sourcing of materials to improve local economy; Delivery of local environment enhancing services, Building good relationships with clients and suppliers; Delivery of services that are of value to clients and developing their business; Corporate citizenship

Sustainable building is an approach to shift towards attaining sustainable development considering environmental, social and economic issues (as pointed out in Table 2). The sustainable building practice involve various processes that cause less harm to the environment. These include prevention of production of waste, re-use and recycling of building materials and waste management (Keeler & Burke, 2013). As earlier stated, sustainable building starts from the planning stage, through the construction stage, operational life-span, to deconstruction and recycling of building materials after demolition. The figure below illustrates a framework that is used to implement sustainability in the construction industry.

Strategic maintenance systems in sustainable building 10

Figure 1: Framework for implementation of sustainable building (Source: (Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works, 2004)

The main principles of sustainable development are: economy, efficient use of resources, social community support, healthy environment, and minimization of pollution (Akadiri, et al., 2012).

Economy: Achieving economy requires a good project management to deliver a sustainable building. Profitability, competitiveness, employment creation, financial affordability, and sustainable supply chain are the major considerations in attaining economic sustainability.

Efficient use of Resources: Resources such as building materials, land, energy, water and money should be used effectively when building to construct a durable, quality, and functional structure.

Health Environments: A sustainable building should improve the quality of living, comfort, and working environment. The health of workers and occupants should be protected through preventing exposure to pollutants and other toxic materials. Buildings should have minimal dependence on materials that pollute the environment, fuels, materials, management practices, and energy and transportation (Keeler & Burke, 2013).

Enhancing Biodiversity: A building should have very minimal dependence on materials that are sourced from threatened resources or environments. Where possible, the natural habitats should be improved through proper water use, plantation of vegetation and minimizing use of chemicals.

Supporting Local Communities: A sustainable building should focus on identifying and meeting the real requirements, needs and expectations of all stakeholders, users and local communities by involving them in making key decisions. In addition to this, another social responsibility is to promote human health by providing a safe working environment (Akadiri, et al., 2012). Sustainable Building Accreditation Schemes used in Australia

When selecting a building contractor, it is recommended that one considers their sustainability initiatives that they intend to integrate into the building project to ensure that the end building achieves sustainability. There are a number of schemes that are commonly used to accredit green building in Australia. They include the following:

Green Star – This scheme is accredited by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) to provide advanced knowledge, expertise and competency in sustainable design and construction.

Green Smart Builders – This scheme is accredited by the Housing Industry Association to improve residential buildings through their skills for sustainable design and construction of residential buildings, and environmental awareness.

Green Living Builders – This scheme is accredited by the Master Builders Association to provide high expertise design, construction, and installation, and maintenance solutions for environmentally sustainable residential buildings. They help their clients to meet the energy efficiency requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and setting up new benchmarks for achieving greater sustainability in the design and construction of buildings.

Green Plumbers – These are experts in home water efficiency products, solar water heating, heating and cooling appliances, water conservation and efficiency, and other emerging technologies. They also provide environmental household inspection for renovation and cost savings of appliances.

Eco-Smart Electricians – They are accredited by the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) to provide advice on energy efficiency, solar systems, lighting strategies and heating and cooling systems. The scheme aims to identify cost savings by reducing energy consumptions, and minimizing the overall environmental impact.

Thermal Performance Assessors – They are accredited by the the Building Designers Association Victoria (BDAV) or the Association of Sustainable Building Assessors (ABSA). They provide building thermal performance rating and use the modelling results to improve the building design.

2.8 Types of Maintenance

The existence of a building is underpinned by maintenance activities that are carried out regularly. For more than a century, maintenance has been an acceptable practice to conserve buildings. There are various strategies available to manage maintenance activities. For example, maintenance management can reduce building maintenance works by addressing a particular cause of damage and noting its consequences. Thus, there are three main strategies used in building maintenance as discussed in the following sections:

2.8.1 Preventive Maintenance

This type of maintenance is undertaken to prevent breakdown of machinery and incidences of maintenance problems in a building. It is a scheduled repair and maintenance required to keep building components such as HVAC systems, electrical systems, roofs and plumbing in efficient operation and extend their service life (Hauer, et al., 2000). Activities of preventive maintenance are usually undertaken based on periodic inspection surveys that are carried out regularly. Preventive maintenance includes activities to prevent deterioration of some parts of a building (depending on the climatic conditions), fungi, insect attack, pollution, flooding, subsidence, careless usage, intensity of usage, seepage etc. By performing preventive maintenance, it becomes easy to detect and correct any problems before they actually occur (Cruzan, 2006).

The advantages of preventive maintenance in comparison to other types of maintained is that maintenance activities are well planned on time and undertaken at the convenience of the building users. It also helps to reduce the cost of consequential damage and extend the life span of a building (Cruzan, 2006). In addition to these, there are minimal downtimes, increasing the usability and productivity of the building with improved aesthetic qualities, and health and safety of the users. However, preventive maintenance is also associated with some disadvantages. First, having a planned maintenance means that maintenance activities are undertaken irrespective of the condition of the building. This may lead to unnecessary maintenance activities being undertaken for components that are in good working condition. Second, planned maintenance practices are usually expensive in terms of labor and spare parts (Kyle, et al., 2000).

2.8.2 Corrective (Failure-based) Maintenance

In corrective maintenance, a building component or system is used until it breaks down. It covers activities such as repair or replacement in case a component can no longer perform its function. Corrective maintenance is the simplest strategy as it is only undertaken when there is failure (Kyle, et al., 2000). Corrective maintenance is further sub-divided into three types. There is remedial maintenance – which is a type of maintenance in which a set of activities are undertaken to eliminate the likely source of failure without causing interference to normal activities in the building. The second type of corrective maintenance is deferred maintenance, which involve activities that are delayed to be undertaken until such a time that they will not affect occupants of a building. For example, a failure occurring in a university lecture room may be delayed until when lectures will end or until the university closes down for a weekend or holiday, depending on the severity of the problem. The final type of corrective maintenance is referred to as shutdown maintenance, in which maintenance activities are undertaken when the production is on a complete stop (Olanrewaju & Abdul-Aziz, 2014).

On the surface, corrective maintenance appears to be a reasonable and prudent approach for new buildings with new assets because during this stage of a building life cycle, we anticipate lower incidents. However, it can be the most expensive because failure of one component can lead to damage of other components of a building, and another reason is that failure of a component may occur at a time that is inconvenient to building occupants and the authority contracted to do repairs (Panchdhari, 2006). If not well-planned, corrective maintenance can prove to be one of the toughest strategies to adopt.
The key attributes of corrective maintenance program are as follows:

  • Restore a building part/component, or system in the facility after failure has occurred.

  • Sometimes, a conscious decision may be made to neglect a building asset until some problem occurs. In this case, the maintenance strategy may be referred to as “Run to failure”

  • Many building asset owners may not prefer run to failure, rather an unfortunate occurrence may occur when they consciously neglect some parts of the building. This may occur due to factors such as poor planning, inadequate maintenance budget, or ignorance.

  • There is a distinct between corrective maintenance and reactive maintenance. In corrective maintenance, building owners anticipate the consequences and they are ready of any occurrences. Therefore, in corrective maintenance, building owners are in control. In reactive maintenance, the building owners are not well-informed about the consequences of their negligence, and are therefore, not in control (Panchdhari, 2006).

2.8.3 Condition-based Maintenance (CBM)

This type of maintenance is undertaken in response to deterioration in the performance of a system or component after an assessment and monitoring of operation parameters. It is sometimes described as “maintenance “when need arises”. The parameters have to work as the design intended, or else deviations from parameters set by the original manufacturer need condition-based maintenance practices. In a condition-based maintenance, maintenance works are based on the actual assessment of the condition of the facility as ascertained from regular inspections and planned in line with actual needs and the budget available (see figure 2). According to Olanrewaju & Abdul-Aziz, (2014), cost savings as high as 100% have been achieved between CBM and response-based system in maintenance of engineering installations. These achievements have spurred increased development of CBM systems in building maintenance systems.

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Figure 2: CBM System (Source: Ahmad & Kamaruddin, 2012)

The concept of condition-based maintenance is on the basis that a change in performance of an equipment or component or system is the main reason to carry out maintenance activities. Thus, in this type of maintenance strategy, the optimal time for carrying out maintenance is determined from a scheduled assessment to establish any operational deviations from the parameters provided by the original manufacturer. It is easier to plan and undertake condition-based maintenance activities as components of a building are monitored and assessed regularly to prevent problems from occurring (Wood, 2009).

The advantages of condition-based maintenance in comparison to planned maintenance include: improved reliability, reduced cost of maintenance, and reduced frequency of maintenance operations. Its disadvantages include: high cost of installing components and systems, unpredictable maintenance, and high number of components that require checking and maintenance.

2.8.4 Time-based Maintenance (TBM)

This type of maintenance involves periodic inspection, maintenance servicing and replacement of broken equipment to prevent corrective maintenance and interruptions to building users. TBM is performed based on a schedule. What this implies is that time is the trigger for this type of maintenance. TBM is a planned practice that is scheduled in advance, thus it can be integrated in both predictive and preventive maintenance. The general process of TBM is shown in figure 3 below:

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Figure 3: The general 2-step process of TBM (Source: Ahmad & Kamaruddin, 2012)

According to Ahmad & Kamaruddin (2012), TBM assumes that failure characteristics are predictable based on failure rate trends, also known as bathtub curves (see figure 4). The rate trends of failure can be sub-divided into three phases: burn-in, useful life, and wear-out as illustrated in the bathtub curve shoen in figure 4 (Ahmad & Kamaruddin, 2012). The TBM system assumes that an asset experiences decreasing rates of failure during its early life cycle or burn-in period, followed by useful life or near constant failure rate, and finally the wear-out period in which an asset experiences increased rates of failure.

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Figure 4: Bathtub curve (Source: Ahmad & Kamaruddin, 2012)

The process of TBM begins with modelling/analysis of failure data. The basic objective of failure data analysis is to statistically investigate failure characteristics of all equipment, systems and components based on the data collected (Cruzan, 2006). A detailed systematic process of time data analysis is shown in figure 5.

Strategic maintenance systems in sustainable building 14

Figure 5: Failure data analysis process (Source: Chanter & Swallow, 2008)

Once failure data is collected, it is further analyzed through reliability modelling to identify specific failure characteristics, including mean time to failure estimation as well as the trend of failure based on the bathtub curve (Chanter & Swallow, 2008).

2.8.5 Reliability Centered Management (RCM)

RCM is an engineering process used in the determination of maintenance requirements of an asset in the context of its operation to ensure that user expectations are met i.e. the asset continue to provide the services that users need (Olanrewaju & Abdul-Aziz, 2014). Implementation of RCM increases reliability, cost effectiveness, and a better understanding of the problem that an organization is managing. RCM is more than just a type of maintenance, but also a way of looking at the performance of an asset in terms of the consequences of failure and ways to mitigate failure by design, early detection, and carrying out effective maintenance (Wheeler, 2007). An overview of RCM programme is illustrated in figure 6.

As an engineering framework, RCM defines a complete maintenance regime that regards maintenance as a way to maintain asset functions that a user may require in a given operation context. In the building and construction industry, it allows stakeholders to be able to assess, monitor, predict and understand the working of their building assets (Rausand, 1998). This usually appears in the first parts of the RCM process – which in our context, is to identify the operating context of a building facility and come up with a Failure Mode Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA). The second part involves application of the “RCM process logic” in order to identify the appropriate maintenance activities to undertake for the failure modes listed in the FMECA. After a logic process is performed for all elements of an asset, the list of maintenance requirements is produced and packaged for rationalization and to be converted into work packages. Finally, the RCM is kept live during the service life of an asset, where the effectiveness of maintenance tasks undertaken is constantly kept under review and adjusted according to the real experience (Wheeler, 2007).

Before applying any process to determine any tasks to be taken in order to ensure that a physical asset continues to provide the services needed by its users, it is crucial to first determine what functions the asset users want it to do, and ensue that the asset is able to meet the determined user expectations (Stephens, 2010). This explains why the first steps in the RCM process are to identify system boundaries and functions, together with its desired performance standards. The users of a building are so far in the best position to determine what exactly they want the building to provide and the contribution of each component, system or element (Chanter & Swallow, 2008). This contributes to the physical and financial need of an organization, and therefore, it is important that users become involved in the RCM process. When this step is taken appropriately, it causes the team involved in the analysis to gain a remarkable understanding about how the asset works (Stephens, 2010).

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Figure 6: An overview of RCM (Source: Wheeler, 2007)

2.9 Readings

The research information and data were obtained from the following sources:

  • Journals

  • Website documents



In this chapter, the methodology that was used to acquire and analyze the research data is discussed. The elements discussed include the research design, sampling, validity, reliability, and data collection methods used.

3.1 Research Design

The research design for the study was a case study approach with an in-depth investigation of a different construction organizations. According to Zainal (2007), case studies of past reports allows the researcher to explore and understand more complex issues. It is considered as a robust research method especially when a holstic and indepth investigation is needed. The case study sought to answer questions like what, why, and how, pertaining to strategic maintenance systems adopted by construction organizations. This enabled us to understand the importance of the maintenance systems and how they are implemented. This research design was appropriate for the study for the purpose of establishing how existing construction organizations carry out building maintenance and sustainability works. The design allowed for the collection of data, analysis and reporting within the available time for academic purposes.

3.2 Target Population

The aim of this study was to investigate maintenance management for sustainable buildings in Australia. Therefore, the target population of the research study comprised commercial, industrial, and residential buildings that are constructed sustainably within Australia. The key informants are various construction organizations involved in the construction and maintenance of buildings. Building organizations are involved in the design and construction process, and also maintenance and management of building assets.

3.2 Sampling

The organizations and buildings assessed were selected using non-probabilistic sampling techniques, specifically critical and purposive sampling. This sampling technique allows the researcher to select cases that have the required information with respect to the research objectives (Palys, 2008). For example, if there are five organizations and two of them focus on strategic maintenance system in construction of buildings then we focus on the two only since they have the information we need to gather. For this study, we focused on four companies which include: Brookfield Multiplex International Company, Pyramid Group Australia, IDCON and JLL. We investigated how this companies incorporates and implement strategic maintenance management systems in their building projects and maintenance management practices; the inadequacies or problems of the building maintenance management systems used; challenges that are faced during the implementation process; and how the strategic maintenance systems influence sustainability and analyze the cost benefit relationship.

3.3 Data Collection Methods

Since the selected research design was a case study approach, the main research instrument was investigation of relevant information from selected companies. Since it was not possible to make a physical visit to these organizations due to time schedules, we used sources such as journals, reports, books and company websites to obtain the relevant information.

3.4 Data Analysis

The data collected was mainly qualitative in nature as it seeks to make detailed statements on how construction organizations carry out building maintenance. Thus, providing the answers to the research questions stated earlier.

3.5 Reliability and Validity of the Study

For a research to be of value to the scientific and industrial communities, it has to be reliable and valid. Reliability means repeatability of findings, i.e., previous and future research in the same field would yield a similar result. On the other hand, validity is a measure of how credible or genuine a research finding is. Research through case studies provide for cross-verification using a multi-method approach. Compared to other techniques, case studies provides an opportunity to use multiple sources and methods for collecting information. The validity of this technique is further enhanced by use of multiple approaches and integrating the information gathered through a process of converging operations.


Background to Research for Relevant Issues

There are several aspects of building maintenance systems for sustainable building. For the purpose of this research, we came up with areas and practices that require a significant attention in terms of building maintenance and sustainability. They are listed as follows:

Building areas that require proper maintenance services include:

  • HVAC systems;

  • Property cleaning;

  • Elevator maintenance;

  • Plumbing maintenance;

  • Electrical maintenance works;

  • Fire suppression System maintenance and repair;

  • Fire alarm system;

  • Roof repair and replacements;

  • Architectural and Framework building maintenance;

  • Elevator inspection and maintenance;

  • Grounds/Landscaping;

  • Waste control and recycling;

  • Janitorial;

  • Commissioning;

  • Pest control; and

  • General building maintenance management.

The common practices that ensure integration of sustainability in a building facility address aspects of planning, building design, construction, and service operations considered in this research include:

  • Site design and Land use;

  • Integrated design;

  • Energy efficiency;

  • Water efficiency;

  • Choice of construction materials and products;

  • Indoor environmental quality;

  • Innovation; and

  • Construction practices

The main objectives of sustainability are to reduce, or if possible, avoid depletion of critical resources such as water, energy, and raw materials; prevent degradation of the environment resulting from infrastructure and facilities throughout their life-cycle; and create environments that are comfortable, safe, livable, and more productive.

4.1 Background of the Organizations used as case-studies

In this research, we considered four international construction companies with their main offices in Australia. The four companies were Brookfield Multiplex International Company, Pyramid Group Australia, IDCON and JLL. The choice of these four companies allowed us to acquire relevant information that helped us achieve our research objectives. The following section provides a brief overview of each of these companies.

  1. Brookfield Multiplex International Company

Brookfield Multiplex is an international construction company with its main offices in Perth, Western Australia. The group also operates in Canada, Europe and the Middle East and have their operational offices in these regions. Brookfield Multiplex has delivered several landmark building projects and infrastructure in these regions; including the Emirates Towers in Dubai, Wembley Stadium in London, England, and the Central Park in Perth, Sidney among many other remarkable building structures. The company has been in operation for more than 50 years, since it was established in 1962.

  1. Pyramid Group Australia

Pyramid Group Australia consist of three divisions which incorporate the company: Pyramid Constructions (WA) Pty Ltd, Absecon and REAL. Pyramid Constructions (WA) Pty Ltd provides clients with professional services in the property and construction industry with tender values of up to $40m. It was registered in 1999 and continues to deliver building projects that meet client expectations. Absecon Pty Ltd is focused on building commercial projects with a value between $1m-$15m in Perth construction industry. This company was registered in 2009 to help clients with reliable and quality building projects. To provide building asset maintenance services, Pyramid Group established REAL – a maintenance division of the company. Initially, REAL was established to work on defect requirements of construction projects undertaken by Pyramid Group, from commissioning to the end of the agreed Defect Liability Period. Currently, REAL provides a range of maintenance services, both preventive and reactive, including small capital projects.

  1. IDCON Inc.

IDCON Inc. is an international organization that is highly specialized in providing management consultancy services in the field of reliability and maintenance management. IDCON combines work processes, skills and experience to achieve a greater reliability at relatively lower cost. The firm was established in 1972 in Sweden, and in the US by 1985. Later on in 2013, the firm started its operations in Australia. The company has global presence as maintenance management consultants in different industries across 51 countries within Europe, Asia, South America, North America and Australia. IDCON provides services such as education and training, and implementation and support of asset maintenance consultancy services (IDCON, 2017). These include:

  • Training and assessment of Current Best Practices

  • Essential care/Preventive maintenance and Condition Monitoring

  • Planning and scheduling of maintenance works

  • Spare parts management

  • Basic equipment care

  • Elimination of root cause problem

  • Maintenance and reliability books

  • Result oriented reliability and maintenance workshops

  • Simulation of operations and maintenance productivity

  • Annual conference on reliability and maintenance

  1. Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. (JLL)

JLL is a professional services firm that specializes in the management of real estate and investment. The firm helps real estate owners, facility users and occupants, and investors to achieve their business goals. Under investors and developers, JLL offers services such as project and construction management, property and asset management, strategic consulting etc. Under corporates and occupiers, JLL provides services such as Energy and sustainability, facility management, workplace strategy, HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, Lifts, Energy, utilities etc.

JLL is a global enterprise with 280 corporate offices across the globe. The main geographic business segments in which JLL operates include Europe, America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.


Data Collection Process and Findings

In this chapter, we discuss the process that was used to acquire data for the research and also report the findings.

5.1 Data Collection Process

We collected relevant data regarding the strategies adopted by Brookfield Multiplex International, Pyramid Group Australia, IDCON and JLL in maintaining their built projects. The information was collected from company websites and other online sources. We carried out an investigation of how the four building organizations approach the issue of building maintenance, and strategies formulated to ensure that their building projects are well maintained, long after their commissioning.

5.2 Research Findings

Under this sub-chapter, we will report and discuss about all data and information collected regarding maintenance management strategies that help the four organizations identified to carry out maintenance functions effectively.

5.2.1 Case Study 1: Brookfield Multiplex International

Brookfield Multiplex has a strategic asset management plan that ensures that buildings are maintained in a more effective and efficient way. Their strategies are based on a whole-of-life maintenance approach to maintain the physical integrity, safety, and reliability of the building facilities.

They complete these through:

  1. Compressive Head Contract Facility Management (FM)

  2. Traditional FM using agencies such as Morton & Morton

  3. Public Private Partnerships (PPP)

  4. Full suite of Soft and Hard FM Services

  5. Environmental sustainability services

  6. Consultancy Services, such as Building Audits and Strategies and Lifecycle Modelling

In addition to these, Brookfield multiplex also works in close consultation with facility owners to implement customized strategies to maintain their buildings. Building Maintenance Strategies adopted by Brookfield Multiplex for Sustainable Building


The Head Contract FM, Traditional FM and PPP are responsible for providing high quality FM services in line with the Brookfield Multiplex contract requirements. They ensure that the requirements set out by Brookfield are met through delivery of building maintenance services for maintaining the security of the building in terms of fitness and purpose on its daily operation. Thus, Brookfield Multiplex uses outsourcing of external firms as one of its strategic building maintenance system. The outsourced firms perform the following functions:

  • Implementing building maintenance activities as required by Brookfield Multiplex

  • Effective management and compliance of FM services to ensure that all services delivered meet the required standards or exceed.

  • Management of Forward Maintenance program as well as building life-cycle to ensure that maintenance projects are completed on time.

  • Provide expertise and direction to the FM team by promoting Brookfield strategies and best practices to uphold the image, and company mission and values.

  • Lead and motivate a high performing team to meet the goals of Brookfield and as well as the company’s strategies.

Sustainable Building:

During the 2016 CIWM Sustainability and Resource Awards, Brookfield Multiplex won the award for Most Sustainable Construction and Demolition Project (Multiplex, 2017). This was because Brookfield demonstrated an outstanding achievement in resource and waste management, as well as building sustainable facilities. Through their Verde SW1 project team, Brookfield managed to adopt innovative environmental practices in their construction and demolition phases, and undertook many successful sustainability initiatives. In one of their key initiatives, the Verde SW1 team ensured that an estimated 340 tonnes of glass façade was recycled and processed to create new glass products (Multiplex, 2017). This initiative prevented approximately 227,000 kg of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere — an equivalent of the energy required to power about 133 homes in a period of one year. Multiplex provides both existing and new buildings with general performance assistance and specialty analysis to improve on the current sustainability ratings. This includes support and expertise in daily management of building facilities, collection of data, analysis and issue of reports. Some of the strategies that have been implemented by Multiplex to ensure delivery of sustainable building include:

  1. Research programs focused on constructing sustainable buildings to deliver high quality productivity. The research programs are done in collaboration with the University of New South Wales.

  2. Developing training programs on the management of sustainable facilities through collaboration with the University of Sydney and University of New England.

  3. Annual program to award the best sustainability initiatives undertaken by different project teams.

5.2.2 Case Study 2: Pyramid Group Australia

Pyramid Group Australia has a maintenance division called REAL whose scope of activities incorporate both preventive and reactive services to their built projects (see figure 7). They also work with other preferred service providers to offer quality maintenance services to electrical, mechanical, glazing, plumbing and roofing requirements. The Pyramid Group also has a facility to manage small capital projects, which enables REAL to manage and complete small capital works for their clients (Pyramid Group Australia, 2017). This allows the Pyramid Group to a full scope of works in their portfolio and be in a position to accept a variety of works.

Strategic maintenance systems in sustainable building 16

Figure 7: REAL Pty Ltd as a maintenance division of Pyramid Group Australia (Source: Pyramid Group Australia, 2017).

REAL provides building facility maintenance services such as bricklaying, carpentry, cabinet work, general housekeeping, glazing, plumbing, roofing, tiling, welding etc. Maintenance Management Strategies Used by REAL

The company uses the following maintenance strategies to manage building facilities:

Reactive Work:

REAL has a better understanding of the importance of reactive maintenance to clients. The winter season can bring strong winds and increased volumes of rain that can inevitably cause unanticipated damage to commercial buildings and homes. Leaks through windows and roofs can cause damage to a building if not attended to on time. The summer seasons can also bring about mechanical problems or a serious damage with serous financial implications and discomfort to occupants of a building. REAL’s reactive maintenance management works to ensure that the building system, component or part is restored to their normal operation condition within the service specifications through either replacements, or repair of faulty parts and components. This allows the building to continue providing its services to the occupants and other users.

Preventative Maintenance:

REAL also uses the preventive maintenance strategy in keeping buildings in a good condition. This plan covers not only facilities and systems, but also includes anything that require maintenance to give it an extended life-span, continued productivity, and where possible, continued profitability. In major building systems, a checklist for maintenance management essentially includes HVAC, plumbing, roofing and lighting – to ensure that these systems are in good condition. REAL has identified maintenance management needs for different clients, prioritizing deferred maintenance, and positioning itself for long-term building asset requirements as its core of building maintenance management. The primary goal of a building facility manager is to proactively cope up with the expanding list of building maintenance needs. Today, newer technologies continue to be integrated with the changing needs of building facility users and more emphasis being put on sustainable construction technologies.

In addition to the building maintenance strategies discussed above, REAL recognizes the key initiatives necessary in the provision and management of essential services which helps sustain and maximize their productivity. The management program of REAL incorporate an effective maintenance schedule that include running building repairs and security implementation, and reduction in the cost of operation.

5.2.3 Case Study 3: IDCON

IDCON has a dual approach towards asset maintenance management: (i) They provide practical coaching in asset reliability and maintenance through education and training; and (ii) Implementation of maintenance management tasks as agreed with their clients. To assist clients and organizations to improve reliability and maintenance performance, IDCON spend their time with on-site, and on-the-job implementation of maintenance management tasks. Occasional service jobs performed include preventive maintenance tasks, and maintenance management. The training provides a hands-on solution to organization employees for improvement of asset reliability (IDCON, 2017).

5. 2.3.1 IDCON Maintenance Management Strategy

IDCON has a well-developed reliability and maintenance audit and benchmarking process. The process has been developed based on the best practice that has been defined by working with more than 300 organizations in asset maintenance management. They call their reliability and maintenance assessment process “Current Best Practice” or simply CBP since construction industries are sometimes dynamic and best practice may vary with time. This is the main strategy used by IDCON in maintenance management of assets (IDCON, 2017). The CBP model has been tested and verified by many types of users.

IDCON helps organizations to have a clearly defined reliability and maintenance strategy for their building assets. The strategy is a 3-step process which include:

Step 1: A clear vision of where the organization in question wants to be in terms of building maintenance management.

Step 2: An understanding of the current achievement of the organization in terms of maintenance management.

Step 3: Developing a plan to close the gap between where the organization is and where they want to be or how good they can become.

Each of the above steps is discussed in details in the sections that follow:

Step 1: A clear vision of where an organization wants to go – The start point for IDCON is the CBP. In this step, the IDCON facilitates a discussion where maintenance managers from an organization of interest develops a strategy for reliability and maintenance using the CBP provided as a baseline. Most likely, organizations develop their own CBP that closely resembles that of IDCON after customization depending on the context of the building facility – usability, occupants, location, design etc. When an organization defines its own CBP, IDCON documents the CBP for the client. This step aims to improve alignment and understanding between the building asset owners and IDCON.

Step 2: Understanding how good an organization is – In the second step, IDCON uses the customized CBP of the client organization to assess the status of the current maintenance management practices in operation for each building facility (IDCON, 2017). The company’s reliability and maintenance assessment of a building facility can be done solely by IDCON or by involving the client’s team.

Step 3: Development of a plan to reduce the gap between how good the client organization is and how better they can become – This is the last step of IDCON maintenance management strategy. Here, IDCON and the client organization collaboratively develop and implement a plan to improve the opportunities identified for maintenance management. IDCON contributes through their experience in reliability and maintenance management. They may implement the plan or the implementation may be done by the management team of the client organization where IDCON becomes their trainer, catalyst and coach (IDCON, 2017).

The CBP for reliability management describes the way in which things are to be done in order to improve asset reliability and lower the cost of maintenance. The CBP has the following categories in the context of building maintenance:

  • Essential care/preventive maintenance and condition monitoring

  • Leadership and organization

  • Planning and scheduling

  • Material management

  • Elimination of root cause problem

  • Engineer’s interface with maintenance management

  • Skills development

  • Technical database

  • Workshops, tools and facilities

Some of these categories are discussed in the following sections.

Essential care/preventive maintenance and condition monitoring:

IDCON has implemented several preventive maintenance systems for its clients globally. The best outcome has been achieved where they coach and train their clients’ maintenance management team to carry out the implementation process of maintenance management to optimize the operation of building facilities. This method is very cost-effective and produces more sustainable results because of the ownership embedded in the client organization. IDCON’s has developed a unique implementation that covers the basics of preventive maintenance. Based on experience, IDCON recognizes the importance of basic inspections and implementation of basic preventive maintenance systems. Implementation of preventive maintenance systems produces good results, since it needs little or no investment in experts and expensive tools (IDCON, 2017). Typically, implementation and training of preventive maintenance include:

  • Carrying out a formal assessment of current systems of preventive maintenance.

  • Understanding the current preventive maintenance practices of the client.

  • Collaborating with the client to generate an implementation plan to improve preventive maintenance.

  • Deliver training in preventive maintenance for crafts people and operators.

  • Customize field and hands-on training in preventive maintenance.

  • Work out the scope, roles and responsibilities of the preventive maintenance review.

  • Training the client on IDCON preventive maintenance optimization methodology.

  • Training the review of on-the-run and shut down preventive maintenance.

  • Training the review of loop checks, on-the-run inspection and calibration of systems and instrumentation.

  • Training on the review of electrical shut down and on-the-run preventive maintenance.

  • Training crafts people and operators in inspection techniques.

  • On-the-job training in inspections and maintenance works and preventive maintenance.

  • Training the set-up of work systems around preventive maintenance.

  • Providing assistance to clients to help them arrive at the best use of Computerized Maintenance Management System (CCMS) for improvement of preventive maintenance.

  • Supporting the client to set-up key performance indicators for preventive maintenance.

Maintenance planning and scheduling of maintenance works:

Planning means deciding what, how and when a task will be done, while scheduling decides when and who will perform the task. Planning of maintenance works comes prior to scheduling. Maintenance planning and scheduling is a common initiative towards implementation of maintenance works. IDCON helps organizations with standard or customized on-site training in planning and scheduling, and support to implement and improve on-site planning and scheduling (IDCON, 2017).

Training is usually very effective in increasing planning and scheduling awareness among the stakeholders in building maintenance. However, to achieve sustainable improvement through training, it has to be immediately followed by implementation to void mediocre results. On-the-job and on-site training and implementation of an improved work management process, together with a good condition-based preventive maintenance program brings the most out of human resource concerned with maintenance management. Typical activities involved in the implementation and training of improved planning and scheduling maintenance management works include:

  • Defining existing work processes

  • Ensure that the key functions such as planners, supervisors and operators have a clearly defined role.

  • Checking backlog maintenance and clean up as needed.

  • Improving work request clarity and usage.

  • Set clear rules and establish the criteria for existing codes.

  • Enhancing on-the-job planning to minimize shut-downs and improve day-to-day work.

  • Enhancing planning and scheduling maintenance operation meetings.

  • Working on efficient use of CMMS.

  • Implementation of key performance indicators.

  • Improving the technical database in terms of technical data, Bill of Materials (BOM), equipment identification, etc.).

  • Management of contractors and integration of work processes.

  • Improving integration with management of resources

IDCON strongly believes in the buying-in and owning maintenance management programmes by the client’s organizations, so that they own the programme as soon as possible. The role of IDCON is to act as trainer and catalyst to accelerate improvements.

Reliability-based Resource and spare parts management:

The support for implementation in reliability-based material and spare parts management is based on the fact that IDCON will transfer their experience and work procedures to an organization’s maintenance management team quickly and accurately. In their projects, IDCON has best practice in the management of materials and spare parts, and collect pertinent information that can be used to improve the speed and quality of implementation. For instance, IDCON has created business processes that enable the purchases related to maintenance storeroom, Economic Order Quantities (EOQ), BOM etc. They have also well-defined roles and responsibilities for all persons working in the maintenance storeroom (IDCON, 2017). Typically, a reliability-based materials and spare parts management project by IDCON involve the following:

  • An assessment of a reliability-based materials and spare parts management.

  • Setting up key performance indicators for the management of spare parts.

  • Generating an implementation plan in joint with client’s organization.

  • Creating a decision model to help decide which spare parts to keep and their quantity.

  • Establish a partnership between maintenance and storeroom.

  • Assist in the design of work processes.

  • Improve inventory record for repair items, quantity and labels.

  • Setting up a system for spare part delivery.

  • Assist in implementation of reservation of spare parts for future maintenance works.

  • Development of staging areas for spare parts.

  • Coach maintenance in terms of lead-time development for storerooms through planning and scheduling.

According to IDCON, management of spare parts and having an organized maintenance storeroom remains to be one of the key processes supporting effective maintenance management planning and scheduling, as well as reliability of the building asset. Improved management of materials and spare parts frees up time for maintenance planners, maintenance personnel, and maintenance supervisors. For example, it is common to find that about 20-30% of time is spend by maintenance crafts to find suitable spare parts and materials for use in maintenance works (IDCON, 2017).

Root cause failure analysis (RFCA):

This is the process used by IDCON to eliminate root cause problem. IDCON refers to this process as “Root Cause Problem Elimination (RCPE)” to better describe the results desired from a root cause process. Root Cause Analysis is carried out to establish a root cause of failure of a component, system or part of a building. Thus, the desired outcome from the Root Cause Process is to eliminate the problem. The most basic concept of any approach to problem solving is to use structured steps to accurately arrive at the root of the problem and find a way to eliminate it. In regard to this, IDCON focuses on the following:

  • Training and supporting personnel on how to go through the process of root cause analysis and problem solving.

  • Providing a structured and practical approach to root cause analysis and elimination of problems.

  • Assisting organizations to implement a business process for root cause problem elimination.

IDCON believes that all maintenance-related problems can effectively be eliminated through training and implementation of basic methods of problem solving by planners, supervisors operators and craftsmen. More complicated problems require a more structured problem solving process with more people involved. The RCPE process is embedded in an organization to be sustainable and includes:

  • Recording problems

  • Selecting the type of problems to be analyzed

  • Triggers to be used

  • Documenting the solutions

  • Sharing of the outcome with all stakeholders

  • Use the results for training in: Design and implementation of maintenance works, measurement of RCPE and documentation; on-the-job training for root cause analysis.

5.2.4 Case Study 4: JLL

JLL provides a wide range of commercial real estate services for Investors and Developers, and Corporates and Occupiers. In the context of maintenance management of real estate, JLL provides services such as Energy and Sustainability, Facility Management and Property and Asset Management (JLL, 2017). JLL’s Maintenance Services Energy and Sustainability

In most organizations worldwide, sustainability is a major point of concern. Energy and sustainability management programs are increasingly becoming important to overall objectives of organizations and can benefit such organization’s bottom line and also the whole planet. Improving building sustainability helps to reduce operational cost and manage carbon footprint. JLL has the expertise to provide superior and sustainable services in the building and construction industry (JLL, 2017). The organization applies technical expertise of sustainability professionals to the client’s real estate portfolio and provide solutions that touch across all aspects of a building life cycle. The aspect of sustainability at JLL starts right from the new development process of a building, to management of existing buildings – including tenancy management for building users. JLL helps its clients to reap big from environmentally-friendly procurement of building materials, construction and certification of sustainable buildings, and also ongoing performance measurement, reporting and management. JLL has more than 30 sustainability personnel across Asia Pacific who are dedicated towards the provision of high-end consulting services drawn from project management, and engineering and technology backgrounds (JLL, 2017). The sustainability personnel provide the following services:

  • Strategy and planning

  • Upgrading existing buildings to achieve sustainability

  • Base-lining and assessment

  • Sustainable operations

  • Building certification for sustainability Facility Management

JLL’s integrated facility management services are developed to increase the productivity of buildings by lowering the cost of operation, minimizing risk and also improving end-user satisfaction. They achieve this through on-site teams that are backed by regional best practice platforms across Asia to deliver functions that include scheduled and unscheduled maintenance for all types of buildings. Services provided in the context of building maintenance management include:

  • Engineering Services – Electrical, Lifts, HVAC, Energy, Utilities, and Plumbing.

  • Soft Services – Cleaning, Janitorial, Security, and Landscaping. Property and Asset Management

JLL provides commercial property management services for its clients to reduce risk and also improve building user satisfaction. This is to address the fact that building facility owners face several challenges, and building users want improved quality of building services, while other stakeholders are more concerned with environmental sustainability. There is also the increasing demand for improved risk management, transparency, and compliance. In addition to this, there is the pressure to lower maintenance management costs and enhance building efficiencies in terms of resource utilization. JLL’s building maintenance strategies largely focus on maximizing asset value, and ultimately, its rental income (JLL, 2017). JLL Maintenance Management Strategies

​​JLL is committed to being the real estate industry leader in environmental sustainability and energy management, both for its clients and the organization. JLL’s capabilities provide the organization with the opportunity to drive change that minimizes the impact of commercial real estate on the environment. JLL has a team called Engineering & Operations Solutions (EOS) through which the firm carries out its property maintenance management activities for its clients across operational risk, compliance, quality control, and engineering and sustainability. The EOS team acts as the center of knowledge and skills for providing best practice through collaboration, administering a compliance program, and providing technical training. This ensures that they deliver the following to their clients:

  • Professional and experienced building maintenance management

  • Ensuring building compliance as well as risk management program

  • Implementation of procedures and effective service contracts

  • Efficient building operations

  • Project management

  • Customized service approach

Providing technical training:

JLL provides technical customized training to a client’s organization maintenance management personnel to develop knowledge and skills in property management. The training covers areas such as electrical systems, mechanical systems, air conditioning and refrigeration systems, building and grounds maintenance, custodial maintenance, energy conservation, risk control and management, process control instrumentation, electronics, equipment installation, waste management etc. The training enables maintenance management teams of an organization to perform building maintenance management tasks which typically range from basic repairs to using computerized building maintenance management systems. Facility maintenance technicians are needed in almost every institution, including schools, universities, large hotels, hospitals, apartment complexes, industrial buildings, commercial business properties, government buildings to mention but a few. Through training, JLL transfers their extensive experience in engineering, carpentry, electrical, plumbing and building maintenance management to employees of client organization. Hands-on-training enables the trainees to understand maintenance procedures, and need for quality and timely maintenance works. At the end, the client’s organization are able to develop and own their own maintenance management programs for their building assets.

Consultation services:

JLL’s sustainable professionals provide advice to their clients in areas such as green building practices, renewable energy projects, energy management programs, and socio-economic impact assessments. The purpose of this is to embed sustainability considerations in all the services provided by the organization regarding asset maintenance. By integrating sustainability into building maintenance management, JLL enables its clients to invest in, develop, own, and occupy healthier, safer and more productive building assets that are less costly to operate.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Building sustainability leadership agenda:

JLL has developed a sustainability leadership agenda known as “Building a Better Tomorrow”. This is strategically formulated to enable the organization and its clients to be committed to being a global leader in the building and construction industry for energy management, environmental sustainability and sustainable building maintenance practices. Buildings account for more than 40% of the world’s resource consumption. JLL recognizes the role that the construction industry has to play in order to address current sustainability challenges (JLL, 2017). In regard to this need, the organization has developed industry-leading strategies, technologies and tools that are aimed at improving energy and water efficiency, cost savings and reducing societal impacts for over 4 billion sq. ft. of building space that the organization manages. These tools and technologies are used to select construction and maintenance materials with less damaging impact to the environment.

The capabilities achieved through the sustainable building agenda provides an opportunity for JLL to drive change that reduces the impact of buildings on the environment and adds a lasting value to the building itself, users, stakeholders and the community at large.


Outsourcing enables JLL to deliver a consistent customer experience to its clients across its operation regions using decentralized maintenance management. This strategy technically involves sub-contracting other firms to carry out maintenance tasks under the supervision of JLL maintenance managers. All repair and maintenance requirements and procedures are established by JLL and implemented by the outsourced firm. This comes as today’s corporate real estate (CRE) management has a greater business influence than before due to advancement in corporate real estate outsourcing and subsequently, more access to real estate management data brought about by modern computerized maintenance management systems. With CRE roles continuing to shift from daily operations to relationship management which drives results, building maintenance management service providers have in turn responded by implementing newer technologies and creating workplaces that are more productive to drive positive property user experience and business results.

The findings of the research with the respect to Brookfield Multiplex, Pyramid Group Australia, IDCON and JLL are summarized in the table 3 below:

Table 3: Summary of the research findings (Source: Author, 2017).

Building and Construction Organization

Approach to Building maintenance of sustainable building

Maintenance Management Strategies

Brookfield Multiplex International

Outsourcing of smaller companies. Maintenance and sustainability requirements are provided by Brookfield.

Training of maintenance management teams.

Outsourcing companies to carry out:

  • Preventive maintenance,

  • Corrective maintenance,

  • Condition-based maintenance, and

  • Time-based maintenance

Pyramid Group Australia

Creating a maintenance management division (REAL) within the organization

  • Reactive maintenance works

  • Preventive maintenance works

IDCON has a well-developed plan for management and scheduling of maintenance works. They have a dual approach:

  • Practical coaching through education and training

  • Implementation of maintenance management tasks

  • Essential care/preventive maintenance and condition monitoring

  • Reliability-based Resource and spare parts management

  • Root cause failure analysis (RFCA)

Administering a compliance program, and technical training

  • Providing technical training to maintenance management teams

  • Providing consultation services

  • Developing a sustainability leadership agenda

  • Outsourcing other organizations


Discussion on Analysis and Findings

Under this chapter, we analyze the strategies used by each of the four organizations (Brookfield Multiplex, Pyramid Group Australia, IDCON and JLL) in maintaining and managing building assets in the building and construction industry. This chapter also covers on how the strategies adopted by the above organizations help them construct and manage sustainable buildings, the benefits of implementing strategic maintenance management systems in buildings, and the challenges faced in implementing the strategies in regard to the above mentioned organizations.

6.1 Analysis of Maintenance Management Strategies Used by the Four Organizations

There are several strategies used by the building organization selected in this research that are used in maintenance management of sustainable building assets. These include:

  • Outsourcing other organizations and through PPPs to carry out preventive maintenance, corrective maintenance, condition-based maintenance, and time-based maintenance.

  • Providing technical training programs to maintenance management teams

  • Reactive maintenance

  • Condition monitoring and Preventive maintenance

  • Reliability-based and spare parts management

  • Root cause failure analysis (RCFA)

  • Providing consultation services in regard to building sustainability and maintenance

  • Development of a sustainability leadership agenda

In the following sections, we have analyzed each of the above listed strategies to help in understanding how these strategies work and enable the organizations in the management of maintenance works in building facilities.

(a) Outsourcing and PPPs:

This strategy has been employed by Brookfield Multiplex and JLL. The main reason for outsourcing is to allow the organization to concentrate on their core competency, while the outsourced organizations work within their main competency (Taylor, 2012). At Brookfield Multiplex, the Head Contract FM, Traditional FM and PPPs are responsible for providing high quality FM services in line with the Brookfield Multiplex contract requirements. This ensures that Brookfield is able to carry out its facility maintenance activities, alongside its core business which is the construction of commercial high-end building structures. JLL on the other hand operates in Europe, America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. In order to reach out to its clients and deliver a consistent customer experience in these regions, JLL sub-contracts other firms that are local to a particular project to carry out maintenance tasks under its supervision. This enables the company to maintain its global presence through other local companies. It is important to note that the two organizations discussed above remain in the management of maintenance works, but only outsource other smaller companies to implement maintenance activities on the project under their specifications and supervision.

How Outsourcing and PPPs is helping Brookfield Multiplex and JLL

There are many benefits associated with outsourcing building maintenance services from other organizations. Some of these benefits include:

  • Cost advantages – This is the most obvious reason for outsourcing. Maintenance activities can be implemented on a building at a lower cost and in the best quality possible because of years of experience of the outsourced companies. There is also a difference in wages paid between countries. Since this organizations have their operations across continents and in different countries, there is a possibility that labor in some regions is cheaper than in others. Thus, outsourcing from cheap labor countries saves the cost of maintenance. Low-cost labor does not necessarily mean low quality services (Stanford, 2010).

  • The organizations remain focused on their core areas – The core areas of business of Brookfield and JLL is to design and construct large building facilities and project management. Outsourcing for building maintenance enables these organizations to free up their time and energy on building and construction. This enables them to provide high value services to their clients, and at the same time, maintaining the built facilities through other companies (Chanter & Swallow, 2008).

  • Increased Efficiency – Outsourcing organizations that have several years of experience and expertise in building maintenance practice enables Brookfield and JLL to deliver on complex maintenance projects. Furthermore, maintenance management is the core area of business for the outsourced organizations. This means that the outsourced organizations are well positioned to do a better job with their knowledge, expertise and a good understanding of the tasks involved. This increases productivity and efficiency, thereby contributing to the bottom-line of Brookfield and JLL.

  • Skilled resources – Having an access to skilled resource means that there is no need for investing in the recruitment and training of maintenance personnel. The organizations outsourced usually take care of resource needs. Maintenance personnel recruited by the outsourced organizations are well trained and experienced in the area of maintenance management and are able to handle tasks related to maintenance management (Stanford, 2010).

  • Save on technology and infrastructure – Outsourcing eliminates the need to have huge investments in technology and infrastructure. The outsourcing partner becomes responsible for all processes and always has a well-built infrastructure to carry out the business.

  • Faster and quality services – Service offerings provided by the outsourcing partners and PPPs deliver high quality services, decreasing the lead time it can take for Brookfield and JLL to reach out to the client. Thus, their maintenance requirements and specifications can quickly be implemented with the value-added proposition.

  • Time zone advantage – Brookfield and JLL are international companies that operate in Australia, Asia, Europe and other regions. This means that there is a difference in time zones for these regions and the location of outsourcing. Thus, it becomes possible to get maintenance works done without necessarily waiting or physically moving to the site. This way, the organizations have a unique advantage of round-the-clock operations.

(b) Providing Technical Training Programs

Building maintenance management programs range from trouble shooting skills to technically advanced maintenance competencies like energy and water conservation, process control systems, electrical maintenance, building safety systems, landscaping, concrete and masonry, plumbing maintenance, instrumentation etc. Brookfield and JLL use this strategy to provide customized training to maintenance management personnel from client’s organizations so that they can be able to manage a commercial or residential building facility during its service life. Having a customized training means that the training is limited to the design and construction of a particular building facility, and hence, maintenance services are highly specialized. The training programs cover areas such as janitorial service, green cleaning, green building, floor care, sustainable practices etc. (Briffett, 1995).

How technical training programs help in managing building maintenance

Offering technical training is important in building maintenance as it provides the following:

  • Hands-on or on-the-job training – This type of training enables maintenance personnel to learn by doing and develop a wide range of maintenance skills required to repair and renovate commercial and residential buildings.

  • Customized maintenance skills – The skills provided are customized in such a way that they are fit for the property under maintenance. There are a wide range of building facilities – offices, industries, commercial business, hospitals, learning institutions etc. Each building facility is designed and built depending on its purpose and therefore, have a unique way for maintaining its normal functioning. Brookfield and JLL provide training to maintenance personal of different organizations depending on the type and function of the building. For instance, at JLL, training enables JLL to pass on extensive experience they have in building maintenance to the client’s maintenance team and help them to develop their own maintenance management programs that can suit their building assets.

  • Increased awareness – Many developers, designers and building owners still lack the knowledge of sustainable building management. Through training programs, stakeholders in the building and construction industry become aware of building sustainability and how to achieve it through maintenance, and its importance to the environment, the economy, and the global society at large (Briffett, 1995).

(c) Reactive Maintenance

Reactive maintenance, as its name suggest, is “reacting” to an emergency caused by unexpected breakdown that may cause interruption to building users. This is one of the strategies that are used by REAL – a maintenance division of Pyramid Group Australia. The common argument is that reactive maintenance is always chaotic, unplanned for, and not very convenient for most building users and should be avoided as much as possible. Having a well-planned programme of scheduled preventive maintenance activities can help in minimization of unplanned breakdowns. However, sometimes, even with all the best strategies put in place to minimize unplanned breakdowns, unexpected failures may still occur (Briffett, 1995). In such cases, like any other maintenance issue, unexpected failures require to be attended to as soon as possible to minimize interruptions that may be caused by failure of a building component, system or part. For example, in case of a fire breakout in a building, after the fire service release the site, the maintenance team will start reactive maintenance work to repair the building, restore power lines and lighting etc. Thus, any maintenance management team will have to put up with reactive work, whether planned or un-planned for (Briffett, 1995).

Importance of reactive maintenance to Pyramid Group Australia and its clients

  • Require fewer personnel – Reactive maintenance does not require planning, and can work with little management and organization. Thus an organization will only require fewer personnel to manage a client’s facility or a portfolio. This saves the company from incurring on payrolls that translates to larger profit margins and competitive rates being offered to clients for maintenance works (Malina, 2012).

  • Reduced cost of maintenance – The approach to reactive maintenance is based on the concept of “use until it fails”, whereby a component, system, or part of a building is used as much as it can sustain. There is no service checks or maintenance works ordered. Quick fixes and temporary repairs are made to lower ongoing maintenance costs and are made only when necessary. However, in the long run, it may seem only appropriate to replace the whole component, system or part, rather than repair (Stanford, 2010).

  • Potentially increased margins – Some maintenance operations offer higher profit margins when reactive maintenance is undertaken, especially when the client has limited options available, or where the maintenance company has its specialized internal staff for the job.

  • No planning is required – Maintenance works are performed only when failure occurs, and since failure is unpredictable in most cases, no time is spent on planning for repair and maintenance activities (Malina, 2012).

(d) Condition monitoring (Predictive Maintenance) and Preventive maintenance

This is the exact opposite of reactive maintenance. Condition monitoring and preventive maintenance strategy aims to predict when failure may occur and prevent its actual occurrence by performing the required maintenance works. This strategy has been adopted by Pyramid Group Australia and IDCON Inc. Using CMMS, condition monitored maintenance of a component, system or part of a building can provide information about their status in real time. Condition monitoring allows for “on time” maintenance practice that minimizes the cost of maintenance and prevent asset failure and its associated reactive maintenance works. An example of a condition monitored preventive maintenance in a building asset is a pre-set threshold for the heating system installed. The system is pre-set such that when the temperature exceeds the pre-set value, the CMMS software generates a preventive maintenance activity to prevent failure. At Pyramid Group Australia, REAL has identified maintenance management needs for its clients and has positioned itself for dealing with preventive maintenance as part of building maintenance management. Similarly, IDCON recognizes the importance of regular inspections, condition monitoring and implementation of preventive maintenance systems for its clients. For a preventive maintenance program to be successful, there should be cooperation of all the stakeholders involved. Maintenance managers rely on the contributions, knowledge and ideas presented by stakeholders to carry out preventive maintenance, in addition to the CMMSs.

How condition monitoring and preventive maintenance help Pyramid Group Australia, IDCON, and their clients

  • Keeps the building assets running – Conditioned preventive maintenance keeps the building in operation longer with improved performance and safety. This is the first goal of preventive maintenance. This helps prolong the service life of the building and prevent unplanned maintenance activities, which is beneficial to the building owner and facility users (Stanford, 2010).

  • Cost Saving – Having a preventive maintenance plan saves these organizations the cost of spending on emergency fixes that may cost a lot of money or require replacement of a part, component or system. Using a CMMS software allows for a simplified transition from reactive work to preventive work.

  • Improved Safety – When a part of a building, a component or system is not working as per the design specifications, chances are that it may create several hazards, unsafe working environment, or even an emergency situation especially if it is likely to cause injuries to building users or occupiers. Implementing preventive maintenance helps to improve and maintain the safety of the building and therefore, the safety of the users, resulting in fewer related injuries and accidents.

  • Increased efficiency – Routine maintenance on all components and systems of the building, including the building itself ensures that everything is working at optimum and much more efficiently. This is beneficial to the building owner in terms of resource savings because all equipment operate at peak performance.

  • Minimal interruption – With preventive maintenance, there is minimal interruption as repairs are undertaken before the equipment or component fails. This means that building users can carry on with their businesses as maintenance repairs are performed, unlike in the case of reactive maintenance. The organizations can use CMMS to plan for maintenance activities at optimal times to minimize downtime. This ensures that there is maximum productivity of the building and time saving.

  • Improved Reliability – An organization that provides preventive maintenance guarantees its clients of its reliability and timely maintenance, as well as reliability of the asset. Clients have the reason to count on the company for timely service, a factor that improves its reputability and gives a competitive advantage.

(d) Reliability-based and spare parts management strategy

This maintenance strategy is adopted by IDCON Inc. to help the organization in finding the required materials, for the right place and within the required time. As an international company, IDCON has several ongoing projects under maintenance. Thus, it would be convenient to have spare parts and materials in the right place at the right time in order to maintain reliability. The strategy provides solutions to problems encountered in maintenance storerooms and helps in the management of spare parts and materials. Although the strategy is aimed at managing maintenance storeroom, it has a direct impact on the maintenance of the building facilities as it increases deliverance and reliability of maintenance services, productivity and reduces storeroom inventory (Stephens, 2010). Reliability-based and spare parts management is helping IDCON to meet its building maintenance goals by providing an improved method of spare parts management so that there is accessibility to the right spare parts at the right time, and subsequently, timely repairs. The lack of spare parts in the right place when they are required leads to unexpected service interruptions and damages that may be unrecoverable.

(e) Root cause failure analysis (RCFA)

RFCA is a problem solving process of identifying the root cause for a failure, which if corrected, would prevent the problem from occurring. The work of the RCFA process is to carry out an analysis of failed parts, components or systems of a building facility to help in eliminating the cause of a problem through reactive maintenance work. By applying corrective measures at the identified root cause, the problem can easily be solved and minimize its likelihood of recurrence (Mobley, 1999). This strategy is employed by IDCON Inc. in the management of building assets. At IDCON, the RCFA approach to problem solving uses structured steps to accurately arrive at the root of the problem and find a way to eliminate it. However, such structures should be flexible and tailored to a specific failure for the effectiveness of corrective maintenance. The primary goal of the RCFA process is to present sufficient factual information about a particular failure to enable maintenance personnel to develop an accurate response.

How RCFA is helping IDCON and its clients to achieve building maintenance

Performing an RFCA in building asset maintenance helps IDCON in the following ways:

  • Increased overall performance of the building – All the equipment, systems and parts of a building run more efficiently, increasing the productivity of the building.

  • Cost reduction – With the RFCA mechanism, maintenance becomes easy and less administrative resources are needed to keep a building asset in a good condition.

  • Safety – Some failures can affect the safety of the building and its users. Performing an RFCA reduces or eliminates the cause of failure and this prevents injuries to users or damage to the environment.

  • Learning – Those who perform the RCFA process gain a greater understanding on how systems, equipment and other components of a building facility work, and what can affect their performance. When this knowledge is documented, it can be passed on to another team of maintenance managers or to another site with a similar problem. Therefore, maintenance personnel become more familiar with the process and more adept for future RCFA processes.

It is important to note that not every failure will need an RFCA process. The cause of some failures can be very obvious and getting an appropriate solution for such failures may also be very obvious. For example, if there is water leaking through the wall of a building, it will be obvious that the cause of this is a burst pipe, or a loose connection. The solution to this will be straight forward – getting a plumber to rectify the problem. RFCA and RCM complement each other. While RCM identifies the ways in which an equipment, component or system could fail, RFCA identifies the causes of the failures. This can help building and maintenance organizations to differentiate between RFCA and RCM, and also understand how similar they are (Mobley, 1999). Both methods require a good understanding of functioning of all equipment, systems and components installed in a building, including their operating history, the common sources of failure, and also why such failures occur. Recognizing the similarity between the two methods helps to create a more effective maintenance plan.

(f) Providing consultation services in regard to building sustainability and maintenance

JLL provides customized consultation services such as green energy modelling, testing, knowledge on concepts of building sustainability, certifications and other services of sustainable building to its clients to support sustainable building. The organization delivers consultation services on sustainable building and maintenance to developers, designers, architects, engineers, building owners and other persons who are in need of a better understanding of sustainable building practices, maintenance strategies, and their implementation. These services integrate sustainability into building projects to optimize energy consumption and environmental performance (JLL, 2017). The consultation process is focused on producing the highest lifecycle cost impact with improved physical, environmental and economic performance of building assets in each phase of the building from pre-design through to project design, construction, commissioning, certification, and maintenance.

Providing customized consultation services helps clients to reduce building operational costs, improve productivity and income of the building, attract and retain occupants, improve occupant safety, health and productivity, and extend the service life of the building asset. This way, building owners and property managers are able to fulfill their sustainable building objectives, while meeting user satisfaction.

(g) Development of a sustainability leadership agenda

JLL has its own internal leadership agenda to help the organization in achieving sustainable building. This sustainability leadership agenda is known as “Building a Better Tomorrow”. Maintenance managers in the leadership role of the organization advance the sustainability agenda by working through approaches to sustainable building projects and facility management. This helps JLL to achieve its green building objectives in its construction and building maintenance projects. Thus, reducing environmental impact, reducing operational cost, and adding value to the building asset. (JLL, 2017)

6.2 How strategic maintenance systems help Brookfield Multiplex International, Pyramid Group Australia, IDCON and JLL construct sustainable buildings

Strategic maintenance enables the above building organizations to facilitate effective use of resources and better support in their building and maintenance projects –that is, to run with minimal disruption and achieve their core business goals. In this section, we discuss how these organizations have been able to achieve sustainable building through strategic building maintenance. Sustainable buildings are designed and maintained to ensure the following:

  • Healthy and safer environment for building occupants

  • Improve occupation levels and productivity of the building users

  • Lower the cost of building operation through efficient use of energy, water and other resources, as well proper functioning of systems

  • Reduce environmental impact by minimizing waste generation and greenhouse gas emissions

  • Increase asset value and rental income

Multiplex International, Pyramid Group Australia, IDCON and JLL have developed building maintenance programs that aim to promote sustainable building. The organizations have been able to design low energy buildings. This is achieved through construction features such as orientation of windows, walls, roofs and ventilation systems to maximize solar energy during the summer and control heat loss during the winter. In addition to using effective building technologies, these companies focus on onsite generation of renewable energy through wind power and solar energy – which significantly reduces the environmental impact of their projects. In terms of water efficiency, these construction companies achieve sustainability by designing systems such as dual plumping that allows water recycling (Chan, 2014). Water efficiency is achieved by installation of water conservation fixtures such as low-flow shower heads and ultra-low flush toilets. The use of bidets eliminate the use of ordinary toilet paper, allowing the possibility of water recycling by easing sewer traffic. The use of grey water for onsite construction has also ensured sustainability of the important resource.

In achieving indoor air quality (IAQ), these construction companies provide ventilation mechanisms – natural, mechanical or passive, to provide the required ventilation in a building. Building and maintenance products are carefully selected – to avoid the use of VOC and other products that emit toxic gasses which may pose a health hazard to the occupants and cause discomfort and low productivity. Following the guidelines provided by BREAM and LEED also helps the organizations to build more sustainable buildings (Adamu & Shakantu, 2016).

To reduce the environmental impact on water sources and water treatment facilities, buildings are designed and constructed with a plumbing system that allows for collection of grey water from washing equipment, dish washer etc. The water is directed to a recycling system that can convert the water into a usable resource for sub-surface irrigation, flushing toilets, and other activities. Another alternative used is to convert waste water into fertilizer or use it in a biogas generator.

Having a well-designed maintenance plan helps these building organizations to:

  • Ensure that future liabilities related to maintenance works are effectively met and delivered on time;

  • Facilitate for effective and efficient building maintenance management;

  • Ensure that maintenance activities are in line with the best sustainable building practice and service delivery requirements;

  • Prevent deterioration of building assets portfolios, and also preserve the value of the building – including service potential and functionality (Adamu & Shakantu, 2016).

6.3 Benefits that are brought about by implementation of strategic maintenance systems in building

In recent years, there has been a rise in the number of sustainable buildings being constructed in Australia and across the globe (Chan, 2014). By using environmentally sustainable methods of construction and maintenance, these buildings have a great potential to reduce their impact on the environment. Thus, it is vital to practice sustainable building management and ensure that sustainable buildings operate more efficiently as intended by their design. This is part of the construction project success. Poor site selection and construction management, an ill-informed building commissioning process, lack of timely effective maintenance and poor understanding of building services is a sure way of getting disappointing results in the real estate industry (Akadiri, et al., 2012). Energy and water consumption above the expected use as well as unforeseen generation of construction waste scale up an environmental footprint of a building (D.Shenoy & B.Bhadury, 1998). In essence, sustainable building design and construction will only lead to a sustainable building if the building project integrates a sensible and a well thought construction management process and building maintenance management. This includes:

  • a commitment to environmental goals from the design stage

  • a construction and demolition waste minimization and separation strategy

  • regular inspection of building services

  • efficient use of building services, such as air cooling and heating devices

  • preparation of tenancy user guide

Under this section, we discuss the benefits associated with sustainable construction of buildings as well as the benefits of effective maintenance management of such buildings. Maintenance of sustainable building can be beneficial in a number of ways which can generally be categorized into environmental benefits, economic benefits and social benefits.

6.3.1 Benefits of Sustainable Building

Construction and operation of buildings can have extensive impacts on the environment, economy and the society at large. Sustainable building seeks to balance between the environmental, economic and social needs by integrating an approach that creates a win solution in all of these areas. Poveda & Young, (2015) point out that the balance of planet, profit and peaople, otherwise refered to as the triple bottom line, forms a crucial part of a sustainable constrution project.

Some of the benefits associated with sustainable building include cost savings, compliance with relevant regulations, and minimization of occupational health and safety risks. These benefits are discussed in detail in the following sections:

(a) Cost Savings:

Sustainable design and construction has a great impact on the cost of construction and operation of the building during its service life. The functions of the building facility, and its operational and maintenance costs should be set during the design phase. A good sustainable building design has direct benefits such as reduced maintenance and management, and reduced running costs. Indirect benefits are realized through improved productivity and satisfaction of the building users and occupiers. Having a high-end client satisfaction boosts image and reputation, thus encouraging repeat business. Sustainable design and construction will also have an influence on the economic performance of the building (Yates, 2003). Through sustainable construction, it is possible to achieve an integrated and intelligent utilization of materials by maximizing their value and re-use during a building’s life cycle. Construction methods which consider health and safety, use of environmentally friendly materials and specifications, local sourcing, alongside other measures provide significant cost savings in the long-run.

(b) Compliance with relevant regulations:

As the world population continues to grow, the use of natural resources continue to increase. Subsequently, the demand on goods and services continue stressing the available resources. This has pushed many countries to enact environmental regulations that encourage sustainable methods of resource use. The building industry demands a lot of resources from the environment and therefore, has a tremendous effect on the environment. Building projects are required to demonstrate a sensible utilization and management of resources throughout all the stages of their life cycle (Melaver & Mueller, 2008). Sustainable construction ensures that long-term environmental concerns form an integral part of building design. Such regulations may include:

  • Requirement to minimize a building’s ecological and carbon footprint, and maximize positive environmental impact, increase benefits and productivity, and minimize harm.

  • Using land in an environmentally conscious way and employing policies that conserve the natural landscape, while considering water and energy efficiency.

  • Emphasizing on the use of renewable sources of energy, maintenance of built fabric to minimize emission of CO2 and prevention of toxicity.

  • Innovative deployment of resources in construction of buildings with greater consideration of cradle to cradle cycles, reduction of waste, and mining current building stocks.

  • Use of resilient materials, robust construction methods, smart interaction of building systems, and use of environmentally friendly technologies.

Green buildings are less affected by changes in environmental regulations, and are more resilient to energy price shocks and climate shocks (Melaver & Mueller, 2008).

(c) Occupational health and safety risk minimization:

Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) – Indoor air quality provides safety, comfort and a healthy environment for building users. This also includes lighting quality and thermal quality. One of the objectives of building maintenance practices is to ensure that building users get the best quality of these services. IAQ seeks to lower VOCs and other contaminants, such as pathogens (Aghili, et al., 2016). Thus, the design and maintenance of ventilation systems in sustainable building promote human health and environmental safety by providing cleaner air. Another aspect if IAQ is control of dampness due to moisture accumulation. Intrusion of water through a building envelope or crack may promote microbial growth when moisture is accumulated in such areas (Adamu & Shakantu, 2016). Presence of mold growth and bacteria and other organisms has to be controlled as part of building maintenance to prevent any problems that may arise as a result of such occurrences.

Waste Reduction – One of the most important aspect of sustainable building is minimization of waste production through re-use and re-cycling of resources. Sustainable building seek to lower the waste of energy, water and other materials used in construction. During the building design and construction phase, and even through its operational life-cycle, the main focus remains on ensuring that a very minimal amount of material ends up in a landfill (Aghili, et al., 2016). A good design, with a proper maintenance strategy can help reduce waste generated from the building, while providing on-site solutions to reduce the amount of waste that end up in a landfill, such as the use of dust bins.

(d) Resource Efficiency:

Energy Efficiency –Sustainable building aims to reduce energy consumption of the building – from energy embodied in the materials, processing and transportation, installation and operational energy used in heating and electric equipment. Construction organizations are able to achieve energy efficiency by locally sourcing their building materials, using high efficiency windows, insulated walls, floors, and ceilings, installation of certified energy efficient equipment etc. Strategies such as passive solar building ensure low energy consumption. Modern buildings are designed to have high performance luminous environment created by integrating electrical lights and natural light source to improve on the lighting and energy use (Binggeli, 2010).

Water Efficiency – Implementing sustainable construction methods ensures that there is efficient use of quality water. An issue of critical concern is that less water is available compared to the demand. When water efficiency is considered in the design phase and maintenance period of a building, it can save large amounts of water, which allows building facilities to have water supply all the time. Water efficiency does not only involve its use within the building, but can also be considered in terms of designing water efficient landscapes and exploring the possibility of grey water recycling.

Materials Efficiency – Sustainable construction methods allow for the contractors to source their materials in a local environment. Some of these materials are obtained from recycled materials, insulating concrete, and use of non-toxic materials that can be re-used For example, Brookfield alone managed to recycle 340 tonnes of glass façade to process new glass products. This initiative prevented approximately 227,000 kg of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere — an equivalent of the energy required to power about 133 homes in a period of one year (Multiplex, 2017). Sourcing materials from the local community improves their economic life and their involvement in a project. Efficient use of materials is achieved through the following:

  • Using durable materials and products

  • Selecting building materials that require low maintenance

  • Selecting building materials and products that have low embodied energy

  • Using materials that are locally available

  • Using building products from recycled materials

  • Using salvaged materials and products where possible

  • Avoiding the use of materials that emit pollutants in to the environment

  • Seek responsible timber supplies

  • Reducing packaging waste

  • Reducing the use of pressure-treated lumber

Land use – Building sustainability starts with selection of a suitable site. Choosing the right site for building construction will help in minimizing the environmental impacts of the building and maximize on the benefits of sustainability. Sustainable land use considers the following:

  • Renovation of older buildings

  • Creating cohesive and integrated communities

  • Encouraging mixed use and in-fill development

  • Minimization of automobile dependence by providing access to bicycle paths, public transport and walking access.

  • Site evaluation for resources like water, solar access, vegetation, soils etc.

  • Location of buildings such that they reduce environmental impact

  • Providing on-site water management

  • Situating the buildings such that there is maximum benefit from the existing vegetation

  • Protection of the natural environment (trees, soil etc.) during site works

  • Avoiding the use of chemicals and pesticides.

6.3.2 Benefits of Strategic maintenance management

Maintenance management of sustainable buildings may initially appear as a cost-adding activity. However, in reality, maintenance management of sustainable buildings leads to a number of benefits for the stakeholders involved in the real estate industry. Having a maintenance strategy that integrates with the service delivery strategy of the maintenance department of an organization will facilitate effective utilization of resources and also ensure the best support and minimal disruption to the organization’s core business operations. Ongoing building maintenance including regular tuning of services for users enables the building to deliver high-end performance. It is recommended that maintenance requirements are identified early in the design stage. Inefficiency in the performance of services such as HVAC systems may not only affect indoor air quality, but may also increase greenhouse gas emissions, operation costs, and disturb neighbouring environments (Bezelga & Brandon, 2006). Sensible building maintenance management strategies provide the following benefits:

(a) Security of building performance:

Maintenance management systems provide the security that the building performance is in accordance with the design specifications in terms building services to users. All the components of the building continue to work at their best as initially designed. Maintenance management of buildings guarantees good performance throughout all seasons and for all occupancy changes and increases the life service of the building. The overall benefit is that the value of the building on the real estate market remains high despite the active life of the asset (Chanter & Swallow, 2008).

(b) Reduced Utility costs:

Maintenance issues that are left un-attended until they become full blown can translate into a very expensive repair bill. Regular maintenance of a building is designed to prevent the need for costly repair, and are thus cost-effective. This can save the building owner or a business lots of money. Having a planned maintenance management system allows business organizations and building owners to budget and carry out timely maintenance works.

(c) Maximised user amenity:

Repairs or improvements on a building facility maintains the property in a good condition. This allows the building to provide the best service for its clients who in turn feel better to be in a facility that takes care of their needs. This encourages repeat business each time the clients will be in need of a service provided by the building. One of the main reasons for maintenance works is to ensure that safety of the building facility is guaranteed. Hence, clients who use the building are provided with the best quality possible.

(d) Creates a clean working environment and boosts productivity:

Proper maintenance of a building facility offers a clean environment for employees, users or occupants. When buildings are well cleaned and the environment kept neat, it creates a good invitation and pleases its users. A good working environment promotes employee productivity. When a building facility is well maintained, employees are motivated to work and provide excellent service for their organizations (Yates, 2003).

(e) Prevents large scale maintenance works:

Having regular inspections and maintenance works helps to prevent large scale repairs that are always very costly. Problems that require large scale repairs can be dangerous to the building users if they are not attended to in time.

6.4 Challenges that are faced in implementing strategic maintenance systems in buildings

Sustainable construction and maintenance management of building assets is a way through which the building and construction industry is shifting towards achieving sustainability, taking into account socio-economic, cultural and environmental issues. In recognition of sustainable development, the focal point of many stakeholders in the industry is to integrate sustainable construction methods from the design philosophy, to maintenance management during a building’s useful life and demolition. However, there are a number of challenges encountered in sustainable building and strategic maintenance management of such buildings. The main issues and challenges are discussed in the following sections.

Issues and Challenges

(a) Sustainable Design and Maintenance:

Sustainable building projects are technically different from their conventional counterparts. Design, construction and management of sustainable buildings is not only technically different, but also differ from their conventional counterparts in relation to economic, social, legal and political issues. These are complex issues to address and thus require special building materials as well as special building practices in order to realize sustainability and satisfaction of all the stakeholders involved. They also require special maintenance strategies to ensure that aspects of a sustainable building are well maintained and working as designed. The unique characteristics of sustainable building require adjustments to traditional building practices to deliver a project within a reasonable cost while minimizing risks. Most of the adjustments require cross-discipline coordination (Olanrewaju & Anifowose, 2015). Buildings with conventional construction methods may require more resources to maintain and/or upgrade to a green building – which means extra cost. In other words, it is easier to address sustainability issues early in the project design phase, than introducing them later in the project cycle (Bernstein & Andrew, 2008).

(b) Return of financial investment and other financial issues:

Some building organizations are faced with the challenge of maintaining buildings through replacement or renovation works to minimize environmental impact, while at the same time, achieving a significant financial return, for example, reaching carbon neutrality. This requires a new approach of designing and building, as well as renovating existing buildings. For instance, a common sustainability assessment tool used by many building organizations is BREAM. With BREAM, a master plan of projects, buildings and infrastructure can be drawn to address various lifecycle stages of a building project, from new construction, repair and maintenance and in-use. LEED Green Building Rating System is another assessment method developed by USGBC (United States Green Building Council), providing a guide to sustainable construction in U.S.A. Another issue of concern is allocation of maintenance budget. There are often some technical difficulties in accurate assessment of the quantity and cost of maintenance cost in a financial year. This usually leads to underestimates and overruns, which may make it hard to carry out failure-based maintenance activities.

(c) Selection of the most appropriate maintenance strategy:

Modern maintenance managers face the problem of selecting the most appropriate techniques that can deal with different types of failure in order to meet the expectations of the owner of a building asset, its occupants, as well as fulfilling the expectations of the society as a whole (Alshehri, et al., 2015). The technique or strategy selected must be cost-effective and implemented in the most enduring fashion – with the active cooperation and support from all the stakeholders involved. A maintenance management technique such as RCM provides a framework that can assist users of a building to respond to such challenges in a quick and simple way. RCM can overcome this challenge because it emphasizes on the fact that maintenance management is all about physical assets (Wheeler, 2007). Thus, inexistence of physical asset would mean that the maintenance function would itself be inexistence.

An appropriate maintenance strategy should start with a comprehensive review of maintenance requirements of a building asset depending on its context of use. In most cases, these requirements are not taken seriously, resulting in the development of organizational structures, utilization of resources, and system implementations that are based on incorrect or incomplete assumptions about the real requirements of maintenance management for building assets. Having a correct definition of these requirements in the light of modern thinking creates a possibility of achieving a remarkable step towards efficient and effective maintenance management. The maintenance team need an organized strategy, together with a master plan and a long-term vision to manage building assets. Having an organized strategy will enable the maintenance management personnel to continually monitor the building asset and make the required course corrections to keep the building in good working condition.

(d) Lack of awareness and knowledge:

There is general lack of awareness of the importance of maintenance of buildings by planners, designers, property owners and engineers across the board. However, as the construction industry continues to grow, people have started to view building maintenance as a potential profit making practice, rather than a cost increasing activity. Being aware of necessary maintenance works allows stakeholders to plan, budget and provide the required finance to accomplish maintenance works and prevent future failures and break down (Chan, 2014). Facility owners and users have to understand that it is a good practice to periodically maintain their buildings and installed systems. Building maintenance experts and owners of modern buildings, especial in developed countries, have become acutely aware of how fragmented conventional buildings are to cope with modern technology services.

(e) Lack of specialists with proper skills and technology:

With the industry evolving very fast and more complicated buildings coming up with increased systems and higher level of service, Maintenance staff may lack modern skills, knowledge and expertise to meet user expectations in the current generation of buildings (Suffian, 2013). Another challenge faced by building organizations in building maintenance is the fact that building maintenance requirements differ from the requirements for building construction. This is because of the kind of works and services demanded in building renovation and maintenance, which require special skilled engineers. Having an appropriate maintenance force is a very significant factor in the delivery of maintenance works (Alshehri, et al., 2015). Lack of proper manpower can force an organization to outsource other smaller companies that can deliver the required services as specified by the organization, like in the case of Brookfield Multiplex.

(f) Communication among the stakeholders:

A critical issue of concern is integrating maintenance works at the building design phase of a project. The big challenge then becomes how to address maintenance activities. A maintenance plan should be formulated right from the design stage of a building, throughout its life-cycle. This requires an active role from the owner of the building and the users. There is lack of continued maintenance due to lack of a proper feedback systems between the users, owners and maintenance experts. According to Alshehri, et al. (2015), good communication between the stakeholders can improve delivery of maintenance services.

(g) Optimizing building performance:

A fundamental requirement for maintaining sustainability of a building is to optimize its performance characteristics. With respect to the manufacturers of all the construction materials, products, components, parts and systems used in a building, it is crucial to reduce the embodied energy in order to reduce emissions, and improve their efficiency when in use, and also increase the potential of re-use and recycling (Braganca, 2007). With respect to the buildings, the likelihood of meeting environmental objectives is achieved by application of the most appropriate building performance indicators. In so doing, it requires that factors such as building traditions, culture, climate, building traditions and industrial capacity are taken into consideration. Another important consideration that need to be taken into account is the indoor environmental quality to ensure a healthy, safe, and productive conditions for the users of the building.

(h) Energy and Resource Efficiency:

Efforts to reduce ecological footprint, conservation of ecosystems, and reducing the consumption of resources require the use of recycled or renewable materials, considering their life cycle and “cradle to grave costs”. Measures to save energy, transportation issues and retrofit programs constitute major challenges for construction organizations in terms of implementing sustainable construction technologies and strategies for maintaining sustainable buildings. Alternative solutions such as use of a district heating system can significantly save the cost of energy and other resources. Another aspect of sustainable building is the management of water and its efficient use. Other considerations that are of great importance include: site selection, designation of land use and production of building materials, and life span of buildings.

(i) Maintenance Management Planning and Decision Making:

Developers, building owners and construction organizations are faced with the need to make decisions within a very short time, which creates a high possibility of huge consequences. An even greater challenge is when they lack a sound basis or a well-laid decision making process that enables them to make the required decisions. Also, the design and engineering teams may sometimes lack the basic principles and guidelines to help in the selection of integrated and sustainable building construction solutions and maintenance management strategies. They require techniques, practical tools and training to improve awareness and also encourage sustainable planning, design, construction and maintenance (Braganca, 2007).

There is also need for integrative approaches to maintenance management in order to equip designers and decision makers with compressive models capable of monitoring mass and energy flows and how they affect the environment and life cycle costs.

(j) Proper staffing and organization – If maintenance managers are not well organized and equipped with proper staffing, they will experience a struggle to maintain building facilities that they were handed over to during the commissioning process. Even if they have the best strategy, it is hard to succeed without organization and proper staffing compliment.

Other issues may include: lack or inadequate standards and regulations within the industry; and the demands, expectations and requirements provided by clients and building owners that do not always take into consideration resource-efficient building and maintenance criteria.

Chapter 7


To conclude, building maintenance is a critically important component in sustainable building if these buildings have to maintain their value, productivity and structural integrity. From the literature review and research findings, it is confirmed that if building facilities are not well maintained, they can fail to perform as intended by design. Maintenance management should be considered right from the predesign stage, at organizational strategic level, and form part of the core organizational decisions.

Building sustainability is rated on the aspects of site selection, energy efficiency, water efficiency, IAQ, and building materials used. Maintenance practices over the building life-time should take into account the importance of having a sustainable building and maintain or improve on this aspects. Building organizations adopt strategies such as preventive, corrective maintenance, condition-based maintenance and time-based maintenance to ensure that buildings continue to operate as expected. The findings of this research are in agreement to our hypothesis that poor maintenance for building facilities is due to ineffective or lack of properly laid strategic maintenance systems.

Over the time, maintenance strategies have been evolving — shifting from reactive maintenance to prevention by prediction, and using more proactive continuous improvement strategies. Maintenance managers have ceased to view maintenance works as a costly activity, but rather as a potential profit making practice, in which building productivity and profitability remains high under proper maintenance. From the four organizations selected for this research study, it was found that these organizations integrated conventional maintenance methods such as reactive maintenance, preventive maintenance and reliability-based management, with more pro-active strategies such as RFCA, technical training, PPPs and outsourcing also being used. The primary goal of these maintenance systems is to ensure that the entire building functions as intended by its design. Building organizations with strategic maintenance systems are able to keep track of their maintenance activities on various projects, as well as carry out maintenance activities within the required time and with minimal interruption to the facility users, while using sustainable materials to reduce environmental impact. Thus, maintenance of built properties must be regarded as a strategic issue requiring strategic maintenance plans to support a sustainable building.

Building maintenance requires more involvement from all stakeholders, including: clients, building users, civil engineers, mechanical engineers and electrical engineers. Strategic maintenance plans should be drawn right from the project planning stage through to the building operation period to ensure that the building offers high quality services from the time of commissioning. On the other hand, engineers and other personnel involved in building maintenance must have a good understanding of building maintenance – using the most appropriate strategies of repair with materials that offer a sustainable and lasting solutions. For example, immediate repair is important to prevent propagation of building defects such as leakage, structural cracks, soil settlement, etc. Failure to have a good understanding of building maintenance and sustainability would turn out to be unnecessarily costly for a building organization. The findings from this research work can be developed to showcase the effectiveness of current strategies that building construction and maintenance organizations are implementing to achieve both sustainability and maintenance of real estate properties.

Recommendations on measures to improve strategic maintenance systems used by construction organizations

The experience of building maintenance from Brookfield Multiplex International and Pyramid Group Australia provide some challenges that can be used as a guide to future policies. Based on the findings of this research, the following recommendations are made:

  1. The materials used in the construction and maintenance of a building should be tested and confirmed to be sustainable.

  2. Relevant authorities should address the issue of availability of proper manpower, there is need to build the capacity of maintenance workforce by building institutions and training courses that provide an opportunity for learning concepts, ideas and technologies related to building maintenance. This will ensure that competent and qualified personnel are involved in the construction and maintenance of sustainable building.

  3. Involve professionals from the construction industry in all stages of a building – from planning, design, construction, maintenance, to demolition. This will ensure that a building’s life-cycle is sustainable by using appropriate materials.

  4. Site selection affects the maintenance costs. Building organizations should be consulted with respect to selection of project sites to ensure that buildings are not erected in environmentally sensitive sites. This will be easier for the maintenance division to protect the surrounding eco-system, find alternative means of transportation to the site to minimize pollution, and maintain storm water.

  5. All the functionality aspects of sustainable building systems should be tested before building commissioning to ensure that they work as intended and meet the design criteria. The building occupants or users should have basic knowledge of operation and maintenance of systems installed. For example, a fire alarm system should be operated by anyone who feels that there is a fire danger. The performance and maintenance of modern buildings is measured, adjusted, and upgraded using computer software such as EZOfficeInventory, MEX
    CMMS, Primavera etc.

  6. Building organizations should have regular training programs on maintenance of sustainable building for their staff. The maintenance staff should work together with the client, the project design team, the construction team, and the project management team to ensure that a proper maintenance plan is developed for a particular building project.

  7. Maintenance departments should have a proper organization and staffing. Having the right number of qualified maintenance personnel, and deploying them in their proper roles that meet the building’s design will ensure that maintenance works are performed timely and correctly.

  8. Achieving high performance building maintenance requires maintenance managers to have a good history of a building and data management as one of the foundation components. Thus, maintenance managers should collect, store, and manage the data related to every building asset to be in line with the long-term goal of maintaining a sustainable building. It is important to be in a position to sort the complete cradle-to-grave cost for each building asset in order to maintain it. This can easily be achieved by use of CMMSs.

  9. Maintenance managers should have a work order management process put in place to help them in tracking the actual cost of maintaining each asset, and also provide essential information and statistics regarding labor loads and costs, and work distribution by each resource personnel.

  10. Last but not least, organizations should have a maintenance management vision and culture to ensure that the organization hast its own consistent vision and culture of operational practice and maintaining buildings sustainably.


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