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Optimal maintenance scheduling for local public purpose buildings

Arnt O. Hopland (NoCeT and the Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics, Bergen, Norway)
Sturla F. Kvamsdal (SNF - Centre for Applied Research, Norwegian School of Economics, Bergen, Norway)

Property Management

ISSN: 0263-7472

Article publication date: 18 April 2016




The purpose of this paper is to set up and analyze a formal model for maintenance scheduling for local government purpose buildings.


The authors formulate the maintenance scheduling decision as a dynamic optimization problem, subject to an accelerating decay. This approach offers a formal, yet intuitive, weighting of an important trade-off when deciding a maintenance schedule.


The optimal maintenance schedule reflects a trade-off between the interest rate and the rate at which the decay accelerates. The prior reflects the alternative cost, since the money spent on maintenance could be saved and earn interests, while the latter reflects the cost of postponing maintenance. Importantly, it turns out that it is sub-optimal to have a cyclical maintenance schedule where the building is allowed to decay and then be intensively maintained before decaying again. Rather, local governments should focus the maintenance either early in the building’s life-span and eventually let it decay toward replacement/abandonment or first let it decay to a target level and then keep it there until replacement/abandonment. Which of the two is optimal depends on the trade-off between the alternative cost and the cost of postponing maintenance.


The paper provides a first formal inquiry into important trade-offs that are important for maintenance scheduling of local public purpose buildings.



Kvamsdal acknowledges financial support from the Research Council of Norway (Project No. 234238/E40).


Hopland, A.O. and Kvamsdal, S.F. (2016), "Optimal maintenance scheduling for local public purpose buildings", Property Management, Vol. 34 No. 2, pp. 120-135.



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