To read this content please select one of the options below:

Research opportunities in maintenance of office building services systems

Shaomin Wu (School of Applied Science, Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK)
Keith Neale (Dytecna Ltd, Weybridge, UK)
Michael Williamson (Dytecna Ltd, Weybridge, UK)
Matthew Hornby (Dytecna Ltd, Weybridge, UK)

Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering

ISSN: 1355-2511

Article publication date: 30 March 2010




The purpose of this study is to highlight special characteristics of building services systems and investigate how practitioners view reliability and maintenance. These characteristics include energy‐hungry services systems, operating modes, maintenance types, the relationship between procurement costs and maintenance costs.


The practitioners' viewpoints on reliability and maintenance are explored through a workshop. The authors wish to draw the attention of researchers in the reliability and maintenance community and furthermore emphasise the difference between building services systems and systems in industries other than construction.


It is shown that a lack of failure data and maintenance data is the main problem from both academic researchers' and industrial practitioner's points of view. The paper suggests that there exists no fixed cost ratio available to apply to building services systems; the analysis of RAMS (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety) should include duty cycles and the environment; and clients of the construction industry would benefit from mandating a LCC to be applied to the build.

Practical implications

The gap between academia and practitioners should be bridged through better understanding each other's needs. Accurately estimating the ratio between procurement and maintenance costs is needed from a whole life costing perspective.


This paper is a good reference for building designers, facility managers and maintenance staff of building services systems. It also offers reliability researchers references on special characteristics of building services systems.



Wu, S., Neale, K., Williamson, M. and Hornby, M. (2010), "Research opportunities in maintenance of office building services systems", Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 23-33.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles