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Public-school infrastructure ageing and current challenges in maintenance

Nilupa Herath (Department of Infrastructure Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
Colin Duffield (Department of Infrastructure Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
Lihai Zhang (Department of Infrastructure Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)

Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering

ISSN: 1355-2511

Article publication date: 16 August 2022

Issue publication date: 5 April 2023

721

Abstract

Purpose

School infrastructure is one of critical factors that significantly contribute to the educational outcomes, and therefore, maintaining the high quality of school infrastructure becomes of critical importance. Due to the ageing of school assets over time in combination with budget constraint and rapid growth of student enrolment, many public schools are currently struggling to maintain the required standard for long term. However, to date, the goal of providing the best maintenance practices to public schools has not been achieved.

Design/methodology/approach

The present study focuses on studying the balance between the asset and maintenance management strategies and the funding model through conducting state-of-the-art literature review and qualitative analysis in the context of public schools in Australia and other developed countries around the world. Review of journal articles, different government reports and other available resources were used to collect and analyse the data in this study.

Findings

As part of this review, significant under investment in maintenance and asset renewals were identified as main challenges in asset management in public school facilities. Although different maintenance strategies were used in school infrastructure, adequate funding, adequate robust asset management plans (AMPs) and the involvement of private sectors have been identified as the key factors that govern the success in school infrastructure maintenance. It also shows that funding of approximately 2–3% of asset replacement value (ARV) on school infrastructure is required to maintain school facilities for long-term. Further, the procurement methods such as public private partnership including private finance initiatives (PFIs) have shown great improvements in maintenance process in school infrastructure.

Originality/value

The study provides a review of different AMPs and funding models in school infrastructure and their efficiencies and shortcoming in detail. Different states and countries use different maintenance models, and challenges associated with each model were also discussed. Further this study also provides some conclusive evidence for better maintenance performance for school buildings.

Keywords

Citation

Herath, N., Duffield, C. and Zhang, L. (2023), "Public-school infrastructure ageing and current challenges in maintenance", Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 401-419. https://doi.org/10.1108/JQME-06-2021-0043

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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