Focus on maintenance
One of the basic principles of a circular economy is ‘value retention’. By maintaining the value of a building or construction product, we can extend its lifespan and increase the chance of it going back into circulation (e.g. for reuse or remanufacturing). Good maintenance plays a crucial role in this. To keep buildings and construction products in good condition, you can take a number of measures during the design, construction and use phases.
Meaning and importance
During the design phase you can apply a few logical principles to make replacement and maintenance easier: choose robust materials, detail that avoids damage or contamination, standardisation and modularity, good accessibility of crucial parts, and so on. GRO has developed two checklists with some key points that you can use to take the maintenance and cleaning of buildings into account right from the design phase. In order to make well-considered design choices, it is important to involve those who will take care of the building management and maintenance as early as possible in the project.
During construction, it is crucial to properly document information about the work (e.g. in a post-intervention file). This will mean that, in the future, the right technical information will be available to correctly carry out maintenance and replacements where needed. It is best to make this available digitally, perhaps in combination with or extended by a BIM environment and/or building passport.
During the use phase, good maintenance planning is important to be able to inspect the condition of the building components at regular intervals and to monitor maintenance, repairs or replacements. You can also use digital technologies for preventive and predictive maintenance.
How can you measure this?
You can measure this in a qualitative way using GRO’s maintenance-friendly and cleaning-conscious design checklists.
Which tools can help us here?
- The non-profit Vlisog (in Dutch) aims to promote and support the systematic maintenance of buildings. Vlisog is strongly committed to spreading knowledge about condition measurements and their use in drawing up long-term maintenance plans. Training and certification for condition measurement inspectors are a focus of attention.
- Maintanence guide for sustainable buildings – BBRI (in Dutch)
- GRO Checklist LCC1 – maintenance-friendly designs
- GRO checklist LCC2 – cleaning-conscious designs