Protecting Your Bricks & Mortar
This set me thinking: in a world where image is everything, it is easy to forget the mundane
I recently attended a meeting at a prestigious public school to discuss the possibility of adding a fitness suite to their existing gymnasium. The scheme looked fantastic and would definitely have added a certain ‘wow factor’ to potential parents considering sending their children to the school.
After the meeting I walked through the beautiful old quad and as is the curse of the building surveyor, I couldn’t just appreciate my surroundings, but found myself noticing the state of the original nineteenth century school buildings. The guttering was decrepit, the windows would soon need redecoration, and some of the brick work definitely required re-pointing. This set me thinking: in a world where image is everything, it is easy to forget the mundane, and this is where a system of planned preventative maintenance (PPM) is essential to enable institutions to protect the old whilst still being able to afford the new.
Organisations often forget that a property is usually their largest asset and there are a number of negative misconceptions about PPM; the main one being that it can be costly as work may be carried out before it is strictly necessary. However, without regular maintenance all buildings will degrade which results in a reduction of asset value, losses caused to a business as a result of a building not being fit for purpose and in some cases health and safety implications. It may also be more expensive to rectify a long-ignored problem.
High profile examples of the consequences of a lack of PPM have recently been reported in the news, with Buckingham Palace needing £369m to fund urgent repairs and a refurbishment plan that will take 10 years. However, this is small change compared to the estimated cost of nearly £4bn to restore the Palace of Westminster, which will see MPs displaced for six years.
A well maintained building will be more energy efficient, is far more likely to guarantee user availability and will maintain or increase asset life and over time, this process will pay for itself. New builds are always more exciting but as with many things in life the best outcome is a balance of old and new.
Ian Bridge | December 2016