News and Views

Planned Maintenance - 'Prevention is Better Than the Cure'

Why is Planned Maintenance Relevant?

It has long been acknowledged that 'prevention is better than the cure' and this can certainly be applied to the maintenance of buildings, which represent the major assets for most businesses, including Independent Schools.

Property maintenance on a proactive, rather than reactive basis has been proven to provide the best results to ensure the long term viability and sustainability of valuable capital assets.  Implementing a well prepared and managed Planned Maintenance Schedule can assist the successful running of any business in numerous ways.  The most significant are:

  • Disruption / Down Time - Building defects and failures seldom occur at a convenient time.  More often than not, they will happen at the worst possible moment, which causes the greatest disruption to the school.  A Planned Maintenance Scheme reduces the ‘element of surprise’ and enables works to be planned and carried out to suit the school timetable and budget constraints and may prevent small problems developing into large and expensive emergencies.
  • Cost of Works – Reactive maintenance costs, in most cases, are higher than that of planned works, especially when the works need to be carried out as a matter of urgency.  Planned Maintenance enables potential problems to be identified in advance or at an early stage and to be dealt with in a more efficient manner.  Unexpected emergency expenditure can impact heavily upon the budget control and management of a school.
  • Budget Control – Careful budget control is essential in any business and incorporating a Planned Maintenance Schedule, which is treated as an active document and ongoing programme, enables the planning and control of future spend on the property assets of a school.

What Does a Planned Maintenance Schedule Include?

A Planned Maintenance Schedule will set out a table of the various elements of all buildings, describing each major element along with its condition and priority rating.  It will describe the required repair and then set out the predicted budget costs over the next six years (and beyond where appropriate).  This Schedule will then remain an active document which can be updated regularly (preferably annually) and will form the basis of a Schedules of Works to be provided to either designated contractors or to competing contractors under tender.

To Conclude

Planned Maintenance is beneficial as it is a pro-active, forward thinking approach to the management of school properties.  It will assist Bursars, Governors and managing bodies in ensuring the most economical use of funds and the long term viability of capital assets.

Wakefields Chartered Building Surveyors have developed a wealth of experience and expertise in this area and provide regular advice to an ever-expanding range of clients. 

Another Chartered Building Surveyor for Wakefields
06 Dec 2012
Planned Maintenance - 'Prevention is Better Than the Cure'
11 Apr 2012