Sarel Lavy (Department of Construction Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, United States)


ISSN: 0263-2772

Article publication date: 2 March 2015


Lavy, S. (2015), "Editorial", Facilities, Vol. 33 No. 3/4. https://doi.org/10.1108/F-12-2014-0099



Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Editorial From: Facilities, Volume 33, Issue 3/4

This issue of Facilities covers various aspects of facility management related to building maintenance and sustainability. Topics encompass social sustainability assessment of construction projects, bidding strategies of maintenance contractors, decisions to postpone maintenance expenditure, key performance indicators for hospital buildings, decision-making model for outsourcing of maintenance services, the impact of revitalization projects on residential communities and the embodied energy in retrofitting office buildings.

A paper by Doloi and Almahmoud presents a dynamic model for social sustainability assessment of construction projects. As construction projects involve various communities, with each having different interests in relation to the social core functions, a systematic evaluation framework of the social core functions over the project life cycle is proposed. The model provides decision-makers with a tool that enables them to choose the best investment strategies that achieve optimal social performance in their projects. This is suggested to be conducted by the ranking of the project’s social core functions.

Developing a proper maintenance plan is critical to achieve buildings that operate well overtime. A paper by Yiu and Keung aims to develop a framework model for assessing the main bidding objectives and strategies of maintenance contractors, and to identify critical items that affect their bidding strategies. The findings of this paper allow new and less experienced maintenance contractors to approach the competitive bidding process with a holistic view by offering them a process for quality performance and sustainable development.

Dealing with maintenance backlogs is one of the major issues facility managers face in today’s world. A paper by Hopland uses a game theory approach to analyze the decision to postpone maintenance expenditures in regional governments, and to investigate whether carrying maintenance backlogs can be rationalized. The study found that it can be fully rational for regional governments to carry maintenance backlogs, given that they expect the central government to “bail out” this backlog. This raises an interesting observation on the importance of strategic facility management, particularly in the context of using scarce resources.

Hospitals are one of the most complex types of buildings for facility management. A paper by Enshassi and El Shorafa aims to identify and assess key performance indicators (KPIs) for the maintenance of public hospital buildings in the Gaza strip. The authors reviewed 13 public hospitals administrated by the Palestinian Ministry of Health, and found low-budget investments and emphasis placed on urgent repairs rather than implementing preventive maintenance strategies. As the first study to assess KPIs for the maintenance of public hospitals on the Gaza strip, the Palestinian Ministry of Health can use this data for improving the maintenance of its public hospitals.

A paper by Hassanain, Assaf, Al-Hammad and Al-Nehmi aims to develop a multi-criteria decision-making process, based on Analytic Hierarchy Process, for use by facility managers before outsourcing maintenance services. Based on data collected in Saudi Arabia, this study reveals that in general, but not in all cases, outsourcing is a recommended decision for building maintenance. The methods presented in this paper may assist facility managers to make informed decisions regarding outsourcing of their maintenance services, while taking into account various aspects and considerations.

Traditional manufacturing sector has shifted from Hong Kong to China, which has led to a significant amount of unused old factory and manufacturing spaces in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong government launched the “Revitalizing Industrial Buildings Policy” to meet the economic needs of the local communities. A paper by Wadu and Poon intends to determine if such revitalizing projects make a positive impact on the value of neighboring residential properties. This study is significant in the way it pushes authorities to reconsider and re-strategize their approach for, and execution of revitalization programs of residential neighborhoods in investment decisions.

Office buildings present a significant contribution to the energy usage and embodied carbon when it comes to buildings. A paper by Wilkinson aims to quantify fit-out changes in office buildings, which can thereby help quantify the embodied energy for life cycle assessment (LCA). Retrofitting of office buildings, which contributes to their embodied energy, is often not taken into account or measured when assessing the sustainability of a building using LCA. This study provides measurements that can assist in performing a more accurate LCA of buildings, and may be used for modeling the energy use in office buildings.

Sarel Lavy