Maintenance & whole life costs
Tackling the concept of life-time costs – that is considering capital, operational, and end-of-life costs together – is something that our industry has not traditionally done well.
We need to make decisions that may add to the capital budget but which could significantly reduce operational costs over the building’s lifetime. For example, specifying LED lighting systems might increase up front cost, but they will achieve significantly lower running costs and require fewer replacements.
Fresh thinking is required when we design and build assets so that we always consider maintenance. We must get the facilities management teams involved at the design stage.
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The hidden cost of poor management
The cost of maintaining buildings is simple to quantify, but what is less visible and more difficult to cost is the impact of unavailability, loss of functionality on productivity, or a potential long term loss in income due to reputational damage.
In short, we might be able to calculate the cost to fix, but how do we put a value to the productivity decrease of office workers, if only one out of three lifts are in service and the toilets on the second floor are out of service for 2 days, or a pollution incident has a subsequent knock on impact to an organisation’s share price?
We therefore need an approach to construction design which has the life time operation of the assets at the heart of the design process and a construction process that will facilitate safe, quick and easy replacement of component parts to minimise impact to end-users and stakeholders over the buildings life time.
Of course maintenance is not just limited to the built environment. Offsite manufacturers must also consider the maintenance of of their production facilities and understand concepts such as; Mean Time to Failure (MTF), Mean Time to Repair (MTR) and preventative maintenance.
“In a manufacturing environment the mission of the maintenance team is to provide reliable physical assets and excellent support for its customers. Maintenance leaders must spend their time leading and inspiring the organisation to continuously improve and achieve more from less.”Rob Francis, Director Innovation and Business Improvement, Skanska UK
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