The five general lifecycle stages
of facilities can be
identified as follows:
The second life
stage of a building can be
considered to start on, or about, the 1st anniversary and extends until
the 16th year.
Repairs and Renewals
In very general terms, the childhood stage is
Project planning in this life phase is
- Maintenance. Standard
operating and maintenance budgets
are typically adequate to operate the building. The owners have now
been through two years of teething procedures and should have
necessary and sufficient preventive
maintenance program. Maintenance tasks are
focused on a combination of cleaning activities, inspection
small miscellaneous repairs. The
must be careful not to become complacent during this life stage of the
– large expenditures are looming on the horizon and
preparations made at this
early stage will mitigate the impact of these.
- Repairs. During the first five
years, the owner group should continue to focus its efforts on
preserving the remaining warranties
on the assets. A
number of relatively small repair projects will arise but these
should not have any major impact on the operating budget.
- Renewals. Even
the best-designed buildings, using the best quality
materials, contain a few assets that have short lives (ie., short life assets).
During lifecycle stage 2
the owners will be confronted with a few assets that require
are typically small projects of relatively low capital cost. However, since these are
the first renewal
projects in the building, the owners may be taken by surprise and may
able to put the projects into their proper perspective. These renewal
do not necessarily mean that the building has problems – rather, the
must understand that some assets have short service lives. The owners
choose to seek the advice of professionals to determine appropriate
work and obtain competitive bids.
is a summary of some of the renewal projects, typically for short life assets,
that may occur during the second
stage in the lifecycle of a building.
Heaters. Many owners are familiar
the replacement of gas-fired water heaters. Unfortunately, some strata
corporations have undergone multiple water heater replacements during
16 years of a building’s life and consideration is sometimes given to
replacement of the short life water heaters with a more durable system
a boiler and storage tanks.
pumps. Low-rise and high-rise
equipped with one or more very small fractional horsepower circulation
recirculation pumps that distribute domestic hot water through the
Since these pumps run continuously, they are often replaced on a 3-10
cycle, depending on the quality of the pump.
Gate Motors. The vehicular entrances to
are usually high traffic locations that sustain wear from repetitive
the doors. Depending on traffic loads, these are typically replaced
Repainting. Some of the exterior
cladding and finishes,
particular wood trim, wood siding and wood fences will require
repainting/re-staining to preserve their integrity and aesthetic
frequency and scope of repainting projects is determined by exposure
additional projects that may occur during this stage are: exterior
renewals, balcony membrane resurfacing, hallway carpeting replacement
Included are some reference photographs of a
few of the
assets that may require renewal during the 2nd lifecycle stage.
is important to recognize that the short-life
assets (ie., those assets with useful service lives of 10
years or less) will
continue to require cyclical replacement during all the subsequent
stages of the building. These projects can be a nuisance and
the owners; however, they do not seriously impact the financial bottom
when we consider the big-picture view over the life a building.
Buildings in the
childhood lifecycle stage tend to have the following attributes
typically under 5 years, are often under the misguided impression that
they do not (yet) need to start thinking long-term because they have
warranty coverage and everything is like new.
Management during this Life Stage:
Here are some things for the owners of young buildings to think about:
a nutshell, the owners need to be made aware of the “law of unintended
consequences”, which has demonstrated that “failing to plan is planning
to fail” -- thousands of complacent stratas have had to catch
for lost time and endured financial hardship because they do not start
planning early. Small incremental steps today will pay huge
dividends over the long term. The principles are no different to the
benefits of building up an RRSP or RESP.
do not cover normal wear and tear of assets. Some assets, albeit
relatively minor ones, will reach the end of their useful service life
during the warranty period and will not qualify for warranty
buildings inherit “marketing
budgets” from the developer, which
evolve into a realistic “operating budget” once the owners
expenditure experience over the first few years. The initial
marketing budgets do not set aside sufficient funds for long-range
projects and each successive year the owners start to accumulate a
funding backlog (ie., unfunded liability).
do not realize that they leave the starting gate in a disadvantaged
financial position which slowly, and insidiously, creeps up on them.
Owners must be careful not to become complacent.
buildings will be competing with other young buildings in the open
marketplace for resale value. Prospective buyers will compare the
reserve balances to determine how well prepared each young building is.
All stratas (regardless of age) are trying to differentiate themselves
from their competition.
buildings are judged on a balanced score card no different than older
buildings. Some older buildings, having completed renewal
projects and having accumulated good reserves, appear more favourable
to purchases as they demonstrate a plan of action.
buildings are able to take advantage of the compounding effect of
interest income earned on their reserves.
Fig. Costs incurred at different
life stages of a typical residential building over a 50-year cycle.
Life stages of non-residential buildings indicating the significant
impact of functional obsolescence during the latter stages (yellow).
Fig. A funding
scenario in which special assessments occur during the latter half of
the strategic window (ie., negative skewness). This is characteristic of
buildings in the childhood and adolescent life stages.
Domestic water heaters Fig. Pool
Recirculating pumps Fig.
Overhead gate motors