The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 66 (1988) > Issues > Issue 5 > Maintenance of Buildings
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Maintenance of Buildings

I have for a number of years been involved in the design of remedial and refurbishment work to existing buildings. Working in this field has made me very aware of the high costs involved in the maintenance of buildings. Often repairs have become necessary as the result of poor management and lack of maintenance, but there have been occasions where defects have been present from the time the building was constructed. It is not unusual in these circumstances for the owner of the building to try various local repairs to overcome the problems, but to find eventually that major works have to be undertaken to make the building perform satisfactorily. When this happens the costs are sometimes much greater than they need be because of such factors as difficult access and the impracticality of replacing structural and fabric components. Often, standard components are no longer available. The result is that the client seeks recompense by resorting to litigation and this, as we all know, affects the practising engineers and contractors by costly defence actions and, ultimately, through professional indemnity premiums. G. Sage