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Perceived inefficiency in social housing maintenance

Perceived inefficiency in social housing maintenance

Sharp, Mark and Jones, Keith (2012) Perceived inefficiency in social housing maintenance. Construction Innovation: Information, Process, Management, 12 (4). pp. 414-428. ISSN 1471-4175 (doi:

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify areas of waste and inefficiency in the built asset maintenance process and to outline an alternative approach based around performance metrics, which seeks to minimise waste and produce a more sustainable, cost- effective approach to built asset maintenance.

Design/methodology/approach – A theoretical analysis of the built asset maintenance process identified potential areas within the process that could be subject to significant waste or inefficiencies. Structured interviews with 37 property managers and two in-depth case studies of UK social landlords were used to provide greater insights into the causes of the waste/inefficiencies and to develop a performance-based approach to identify built asset maintenance needs.

Findings – The current approach to built asset maintenance is prone to wide ranging inefficiencies. These inefficiencies are deep rooted and resulted from an intrinsic weakness in the theoretical model underpinning built asset maintenance management. The theory assumes condition is a suitable proxy for performance. Whilst this assumption may have been valid in the past, current drivers for a sustainable future, coupled with the need to reduce costs in light of current public sector spending, requires a wider range of issues to be considered when identifying and prioritising maintenance needs. Identifying needs, planning of work and post contract inspection were perceived to be the most inefficient activities in the current approach to built asset maintenance management. These could be reduced by adopting a new approach that links performance of the built asset to key business drivers.

Research limitations/implications – At this stage, the new performance model is conceptual and requires further implementation to test its robustness and resilience.

Practical implications – The adoption of the model will force maintenance managers to consider the implications of their maintenance actions at a strategic level that links priorities to critical success factors through targeted key performance indicators.

Originality/value – This paper extends the concept of performance-based approaches used in other industries to built asset maintenance and provides a practical representation of a process model by which the theory can be implemented.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Published in Construction Innovation: Information, Process, Management (2012) Volume 12, Issue 4 - Special Issue: Celebrating 20 years 1992-2012. Guest editor(s): Mustafa Alshawi and Jack Goulding.
Uncontrolled Keywords: United Kingdom, local housing authorities, maintenance programmes, social housing, maintenance planning, performance measurement, business objectives, process mapping
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Architecture, Design & Construction
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:23

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