National Academies Press: OpenBook

Committing to the Cost of Ownership: Maintenance and Repair of Public Buildings (1990)

Chapter: Appendix B: APWA Proposal on Life-Cycle Analysis of Building Maintenance Costs

« Previous: Appendix A: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: APWA Proposal on Life-Cycle Analysis of Building Maintenance Costs." National Research Council. 1990. Committing to the Cost of Ownership: Maintenance and Repair of Public Buildings. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9807.
Page 33
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: APWA Proposal on Life-Cycle Analysis of Building Maintenance Costs." National Research Council. 1990. Committing to the Cost of Ownership: Maintenance and Repair of Public Buildings. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9807.
Page 34

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APPENDIX B APWA PROPOSAL ON LIFE-CYCLE ANALYSIS OF BUILDING MAINTENANCE COSTS This description was prepared by staff of the American Public Works Association prior to completion of the committee's study. Refer to Chapter 1. Execunve Summary Public agencies invest millions in capital facilities, gena- ally without sufficient attention to the long-term effects on the maintenance budget. A new building obliges public officials not only to maintain the asset but also to under- stand the impact of decisions made at the time the building is designed and constructed. This research will provide public building managers with a planning tool enabling them to forecast maintenance requirements for both new and existing facilities. The product of this research will provide facility managers with a better method of forecasting short- and long-tenn maintenance expenses. This project will develop a detailed process for analyzing annual as well as rehabilitation and replacement costs of individual building components. An accurate budget forecast, based on the facility's total maintenance needs, can then be prepared. Public managers will also be able to relate their maintenance requirements to a percentage of the replacement cost of their facilities. Background Forecasting maintenance needs for public buildings has created major problems for many public agencies. While it is possible to predict accurately many aspects of building performance, such as structural performance and energy use, we are not able to estimate with any degree of reliabil- ity what expcoditures must be put back into the building on a regular basis to extend its useful life. Often, in order to secure funding for new facilities, the least expensive building construction design is selected with little concern for the long-term, life-cycle cost implications of the design. As public agencies budget for maintenance, major prob- lems are encountered in making a case for adequate funding. Maintenance requirements for buildings are largely governed by four factors: (1) quality of materials and equipment used; (2) quality of the workmanship in con- struction; (3) wear that the various components of the structure receive from occupancy or natural conditions; and (4) level of periodic preventive maintenance. Materials and equipment for various components of new andJor rehabilitated buildings are frequently selected with seemingly little regard for long term maintenance costs. In order to decrease life-cycle costs, building design must be more than a commitment to provide a given amount of space for a designated purpose. Effective public building design can serve to decrease both short- and long-term maintenance and operation requirements. In the absence of any scientific data pertaining to building maintenance requirements, there is little, if any, correlation between building design and long-term maintenance investment requirements. As a result. the following adverse conditions may develop: (1) underfunded annual maintenance, leading to costly, rehabilitation and repair; (2) budgetary fluctuations, resulting in sporadic maintenance of mechanical and other systems; and (3) overfunding, an unusual occurrence, in which the agency establishes a prohibitively costly and cumbersome maintenance pro- gralT~. These conditions stem from an ad hoc assessment of building maintenance requirements and their associated costs, rather than an analytical approach to detcnnine long- term, or life-cycle, costs. Designers who wish to consider whether they arc "building out" future maintenance problems do not have a reliable guide to judge selection of materials and equipment. Likewise, owners do not have reliable guides to judge the future consequences of their instructions as to types of materials and equipment to be used or regarding life-cycle costs that they consider acceptable for a type of structure. This project will include the wide variety of buildings used by federal, state, provincial, and local governments, such as office facilities, garages and shops, libraries, police and fire stations, recreational facilities, institutional housing, and special structures, such as water and wastewater treatment plants. Structures will be assessed both as designed and as built. Maintenance is often the first item to be eliminated or reduced as public agencies struggle to balance their budgets. Problems resulting from deferred maintenance have become increasingly apparent. In some cases, major rehabilitation may be necessary, requiring funds far (~3 American Public Works Association · 1313 E;asr 60rh Srreer · Chicago. Illinois 60637-2881 · 3127667-2200 33

exceeding the cost of timely maintenance. This project will methods for life-cycle cost calculations and procedures to develop the basis to support justification of annual mainte- evaluate maintenance programs based on design and nance investments in buildings. materials for separate building components. Training will The research project will draw on the principles of life- cycle cost analysis that are used in the selection of maten- als and equipment for new and/or rehabilitated public structures and for budgeting funds for maintenance and replacement costs. Proposed Research The APWA Research Foundation proposes to develop a tool that will allow, building managers to determine their ongoing maintenance and rehabilitation budgets. Specifi- cally, the Foundation will: (1) analyze estimating tech- niqucs for determining annual building maintenance costs; (2) define methods to quantify the consequences of deferred maintenance; and (3) identify life-cycle costs of major building system components. Development of this information will allow the agency to protect its original investment, assure continuous usage within design capacity, and reduce the possibility of expensive repairs. The proposed research will be a joint effort by the APWA Research Foundation, the Public Facilities Council (PFC) of the 'national Research Council, and APWA's Institute for Buildings and Grounds. The study will be conducted in three phases. During the first phase, the PFC will establish a committee to develop the most appropriate methodology required to develop annual maintenance cost analyses for public buildings. The committee will develop a methodology and approach to consider: (1) calculation of the effects of natural causes and occupants: (2! the cost relationship among building system components in various typos of structures; (3) tows and grades of commonly used building material system components; (4) annua] and periodic maintenance costs associated with various systems based on use and climate considerations; and (5) effects of deferred mainte- nance. In the second phase, the APWA Research Foundation will develop procedures to'allow utilization of the Phase One findings by facility managers and by designers of new or rehabilitated structures. Data will be compiled in a format that can be readily used by facility managers. In the third phase, the Research Foundation will develop training materials that will include a description of 34 also include details for managers in developing an inventory and data base for as-built facilities. Key products available to each sponsor will be materials to assist building managers in assessing their annual and life-cycle cost for maintenance, including alternative assumptions on the effects of deferred maintenance. Benefits of Project Sponsorship Improved techniques for evaluating operations and maintenance programs will allow public agencies to establish optimum levels in annual budgets, with specific applications to: 0 Annual maintenance. You will be able to develop an optimum level of maintenance based on use and building condition to ensure that expenditures are not only justifi- able but also quantifiable. 0 Deferred maintenance. You will be able to estimate the increased costs associated with postponing repairs and deferring maintenance. o Building components. You will be able lo utilize comparative data when reviewing alternatives for new or replacement systems. As a project sponsor you will assist in directing the project and have the opportunity to have your specific needs considered in developing the project's research activities. In addition, you will receive periodic reports that will allow you to begin implementation of the project findings immediately. Cost to Participate Cost is based on the population of the area served by the public agency. The range of sponsorship fees is from $750 to S3,000, based on estimated project costs to APWA for phase two and three of $96,000. The length of the project is expected to be 30 months. Projects con- ducted by the APWA Research Foundation are coopera- tively funded by local, state, and federal agencies through- out Canada and the United States. Lois cooperative arrangement allows for a wide distribution of project costs, greatly reducing the financial burden of individual agencies to conduct essential research. A funding schedule and reply form accompany this proposal. The Next Sirp To join this research effort, return the cosponsorship form and designate a representative for followup contacts.

Next: Appendix C: Condition Assessment Examples »
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