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After you take over your new building, you will need to plan to maintain it.


For over a decade Chris Lea was the Facility Manager at University of Toronto's Hart House, a very special and complex buildings. Neo-Gothic, with just a taste of Art Deco, looks like Harry Potter inside, with athletic complex, theatre, Food, food, Art and wonderful social spaces. An unexpected turn took Chris farther into the world of automated floor washers than he ever expected to go but also altered the way Allen & Lea will approach the design of new buildings.


Any structure will fail if it is not maintained properly. It is often not too hard to defer the maintenance or do a band-aid solution, which can worsen building failures in the future. A building failure can be expensive and disruptive, it is far better to anticipate problems and budget for it than wait for problems to present themselves, sometimes with cascaded and avoidable repair work. Key to this is a long-term maintenance plan. Most of the components of your new building will need replacement, save the walls, within 40 or 50 years. Some components will need to be replaced far in advance of this, perhaps just beyond your new building's warrantee period.


Your maintenance plan should identify the various components that you can expect to replace, tell you what the components cost and how soon you should expect to replace them. This will help you budget off into the future. Over time though, it will become more difficult to replace components, as they become more and more obsolete. For this reason we will plan your building to make it easier for renovation and updating in the future.


Renovation and maintenance work will come to you in 3 basic ways, either through A - a request by your loved one or someone else for an improvement, B- through pre-planning using a long-term maintenance plan or C - through a sudden failure. The cycle for completing the work is the same for all three methods; it is useful to think of this as a cycle of steps. A diagram would look a bit like a recycling symbol:























The three sides of the triangle represent three basic groups of tasks that are common to any project, what varies is the point you jump in. At the A point, or work by request, the focus is on the how to optimize the space, starting with the work of verification in the field, followed by documentation, cost estimating and concept approval. At the B point, you know already what you will be doing, so the focus in on construction, undertaking the work plan. At this point you start with getting access, followed by packaging of the work, buying the materials and equipment you will need to undertake the work, mobilizing people to do the work and as it is done, ensuring the work is completed correctly, then properly turning it on, or commissioning. If you jump in at the C point, maybe its 3 a.m. and the phone starts bouncing around, the focus first is on protecting your assets, documenting what you have on hand that is working or not, what and when you will have to replace it, then planning for routine maintenance over coming decades, with attention to changing standards for safety and accessibility.


The whole time somebody has to be a diplomat with the various people who are affected by the work, most especially during the construction.
























Unexpected Failure    C

B    Planned Improvement

Request for Improvement

Project Implementation
& Project Management
Operations and Maintenance
& Asset Management


Special Assignments



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