- Background of Study
Well-maintained and cherished buildings enhance the health of their occupants, their neighbours, and the community at large. Anyone lucky enough to live or work in a historic building will already appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship of handmade building materials, generous living spaces, and the sense of continuity with the past that these buildings provide. (Kunya 2012). Keeping and repairing existing buildings reduces waste generation, conserves the energy embodied in the original building materials and construction, and so is in the wider interests of sustainability. Buildings that are properly cared for look well, enhance their neighbor-hoods, and retain their economic value. (Adenuga, 1999).
Most public and private buildings in Nigeria are faced with maintenance challenges resulting in deteriorations and ultimate defects of various degrees. While the 1984 version of BS 3811 defined maintenance as the combination of all technical and associated administrative actions intended to retain an item in or restore it to a state in which it can be perform its required function, BS 3811 (1974) defined building maintenance as work done to keep a building in, or restore it to its initial state, or to a currently acceptable standard. To retain implies that defects are prevented from developing by carrying out work in anticipation of failure. To restore means that minor defects had already occurred before they are corrected. In order for an item or facility to continue to perform its required function, some degrees of improvement are needed over the life span of the building as standards of comfort and amenity arise where there are statutory requirements for maintenance. The acceptable standard must not be less than that necessary to meet them and the acceptable standard must sustain the utility and value of the facility.
Maintenance has to perform effectively in buildings due to buildings cannot remain zero defects throughout their life-spans. The need for maintenance will be intensified, especially aged buildings because of the need to replace or repair more components which have reached their useful lifespan. It is therefore that maintenance is considered as an essential activity where it can provide support to the buildings lifestyle and maintains the value of asset of the country. In general, the main objective of building maintenance is to retain a building in its original stage, as far as possible to serve its function wisely to an appropriate condition.
(Al-Zubaidi, 1997.) Maintenance can also be defined as an activity that starts from building handover to demolition. (Syce, 2006). The task of the maintenance includes servicing, inspection, replacement, renovation and overhaul. In another school of taught, maintenance is defined as an activity to preserve, repair and care for the school buildings fabric and services in order to ensure building perform its intended functions throughout its lifespan after completion to current standard. A good maintenance management practice can increase the satisfaction level of the user; this can be explained as higher occupant satisfaction relies on the quality of maintenance management practice provided by the maintenance department. Therefore, to achieve the high quality standard of the building maintenance management, the good maintenance management required meets as close as possible to the user’s satisfaction. (Pintelon, 1999)
There is no such thing as a maintenance-free building. All building materials decay to different extents due to sunlight, rain and wind. Whether historic or not, all buildings need regular maintenance. However, this guide is mainly concerned with traditionally-built buildings – those built of the materials and methods that were generally used before concrete and cement came into widespread use from the middle of the twentieth century onwards. Regular maintenance and correct repair will extend the life of any building. There are very real economic benefits too. Checking the health of the building on a regular and systematic basis and attending to minor defects as they arise will save money in the long run. By doing this you can avoid the need for major repair works, which are not only damaging to the architectural or heritage value of the building, but can also be expensive and disruptive. It should be remembered too, that the Planning and Development Act 2000 places a responsibility on owners and occupiers of protected structures to prevent their property from becoming endangered.
Good maintenance and repair practices will keep the building from falling into decay and are part of the day-to-day responsibility of all owners and occupiers of protected structures. Buildings in disrepair or unsanitary conditions, unauthorized building works and dilapidated signboards are potential hazards to the public. The responsibilities for maintaining and managing buildings in safe and sanitary conditions rest with the owners.
- Statement of Research Problem
As important as the need to renovate or reform a building to its original state which is the main concept of maintenance, several problems have always been militating against this course. According to Derek Miles (1986), there are three main problems in maintenance which are:
- Inadequate financing. (High cost of maintenance).
- Ineffective practices by managers and employees in ensuring smooth management. (Bad management).
- Poor selection of materials in specific areas of construction. (Poor building design).
- Neglect through delegated maintenance causes e.g. tenancy agreement.
- Aim and Objectives of the Study
The aim of this project is to assess maintenance practices in residential buildings at Uromi with the view to achieving the following objectives:
- To highlight the factors affecting maintenance in residential buildings.
- To highlight the effects arising from lack of maintenance of residential buildings.
- To identify possible defects arising from lack of maintenance.
- To proffer solutions to defects arising from lack of maintenance of buildings.
- Scope of the Study
This project write-up focuses on residential buildings in Uromi town. The main area of focus is the documentation of residential buildings in Uromi with special interest on the selected case studies.
- Study Area
No community exists without culture and history. Therefore, having focused attention on Uromi, with regards to the project topic, it would be proper to have an insight into its environmental constituents.
Uromi is located in Esan North-East Local Government Area of Edo State. The town is located on the Edo Central Senatorial District and lies between latitude 6½0N and 70N of the equator and longitude 60E and 6½0E of the Greenwich meridian. Esan North-East is bounded on the east by Esan South-East, on the west by Esan Central, on the north by Estako West and East Local Government Area Ufuah (1998).
Uromi is located at the top of Esan dissected plateau with some isolated hills, with the highest point at Ivue village, which reaches the height of about 400m above sea level. The Climate and Weather conditions of Uromi are the same as that experienced in other parts of the equatorial rainforest region in Nigeria Ufuah (1998).
- Research Limitations and Constraints
A number of serious problems were encountered at different stages of preparing this project work, particularly in getting building owners and occupants of the selected case studies to give accurate information of their building maintenance activities, which constitute the major part of the primary source of data collection. The other aspect of data collection i.e. the secondary data was also difficult due to lack of relevant materials on the subject matter in the library.
- Significance of Study
A research of this nature is invaluable and could be utilized to achieve certain academic objectives. It is hoped that the findings will enlighten students, researchers and building owners on the importance of building maintenance.
It is also hoped that the general result that will be obtained from this study will be educative and broaden the awareness on the benefits associated with proper maintenance. Also the results can be utilized by the government in formulating building maintenance policies and their implementation; it will serve as a base for the proper and adequate allocation of resources for building maintenance.