property owner association

5 factors that determine a building’s lifespan

The lifetime or lifespan of the structure is a deciding element when project owners start working on a new construction project or restoration. Project owners desire a building that can be relied on for many years to come, depending on the usage or potential for a future sale. Generally speaking, a building’s lifespan is the period of time following project completion during which it is defect-free. A reliable building can help a property owner association curtail maintenance expenses and increase revenue.

The longevity of a structure is determined by a variety of things. They might relate to the building’s maintenance, the functions it serves, or the construction process’ techniques and materials.

1. Ineffective construction management 

Poor management is a serious threat to the success of the project, the reputation of the developer and can result to be a safety hazard for the residents and employees living or working in the building. The poor construction management of properties can damage the building’s revenue due to the frequent maintenance it may require, the perception of the building’s quality in the market and its ability to attract more business in case it is a property hosting commercial spaces. 

It can be challenging to determine the precise lifespan of a building based only on building materials in the absence of detailed specifications. The durability of the building is also influenced by other elements, such as the standard of construction. According on building materials, a building’s lifespan typically runs from 30 to 50 years to hundreds of years in buildings like cathedrals, churches, and governmental facilities.

Wood, brick, stone, concrete, steel, and iron are the building materials that last the longest. Of course, the expertise of the craftsmen and construction team that created the structure, as well as the methods employed, all play crucial roles.

2. Design flaws

The basis for the sound building performance is the flawless structural and architectural design. A building’s design flaws might result in high operational and maintenance costs for the property owner association, in addition to a shorter lifespan. Ineffective design choices frequently cause a deterioration in building quality. To save costs and ensure affordable design, many developers have been found guilty of breaking codal regulations.

However, while initially saving 10–20% of the cost, these techniques ultimately invite flawed designs that frequently necessitate costly repairs and shorten the life of the building. Drawings with printing errors, wrong lines, failing to indicate the dimensions on the drawing, and many design modifications are a few of the most prevalent mistakes in building design.

3. High temperatures 

Heat has a significant impact on the building’s lifespan. In Dubai, where temperatures can reach up to 45-50 degrees celsius, it can increase the risk of building collapse. If the foundations aren’t built with the reliable and durable materials, it can jeopardize the safety of residents and workers within the building. A property owner association can help all owners ensure the safety of all residents and employees by appointing trusted third party service providers. 

4. Poorly evaluated expansions 

During the construction process, placing large building equipment, materials, and other additional loads undermines the foundation. Buildings are typically made to support pre-planned loads, including loads from occupants as well as loads from construction materials, furniture, and loads that may result from earthquakes or other natural disasters. In addition, many developers add storeys to buildings in order to increase their profitability without fully evaluating the strength and capacity of the existing structure. Any type of horizontal or vertical expansion is not properly considered in the initial design, which results in overloading and reduces a building’s lifespan. 

5. Lack of maintenance 

The stability of the structure is compromised by corrosion of the concrete or structural elements, which also lowers the building’s strength and longevity. Water leaks, cracks, loose plaster, spalling of concrete, etc. are caused by a lack of proper maintenance and repairs. The risk of corrosion of metal objects or carbonation of concrete can be considerably reduced by prompt repair and renovation work. A property owner association , like Strata Global, will make sure to appoint a trusted third party service provider who can take care of the building’s maintenance.

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