Building Design with Maintenance in Mind

Dan Hounsell, Editor-in-Chief, says design for maintenance can bring long-term benefits

By Dan Hounsell, Editor-in-Chief  

New construction generally is not among the top priorities for maintenance and engineering managers. While the arrival of a new building obviously affects a department’s workload, managers might say they have enough on their plates overseeing the many daily challenges in existing institutional and commercial buildings without worrying about new buildings on the drawing board.

While that focus and attitude are understandable, they are also a little short-sighted. Managers who leave building design strictly to designers and architects miss a golden opportunity to deliver long-term benefits for their departments and their organizations’ bottom lines.

As Darrell Rounds pointed out in his Management Insight column in our May 2019 issue, managers are uniquely positioned to champion the practice of design for maintainability.

“Design for maintainability is the first step of an effective maintenance program because it links the organization’s goals to the design process,” Rounds wrote.

The issue is becoming more critical as ongoing economic pressures are prompting facility executives and building owners to hold down facility-related costs, including those related to new construction. Anything that adds time or costs to the planning and design process for a new facility is likely to be cut, and that includes reviews by maintenance and engineering managers trying to ensure the cost-effective maintainability of a new building.

A building’s construction is a one-time cost, but maintenance costs recur annually for the life of the building. Managers who can build a solid case for the practice of design for maintainability increase the chances that the future costs to maintain a facility properly will remain predictable and reasonable.

Check out Rounds’ column at https://bit.ly/2WraM7M.

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  posted on 7/9/2019   Article Use Policy

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