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Materials management is an important element in project planning and control. They represent a major expense in construction, so minimizing procurement or purchase costs presents important opportunities for reducing costs.

Poor materials management can also result in large and avoidable costs during construction. Building maintenance is a major focus in most countries to assure proper building performance. Meeting certain standards and quality of design attains the performance of any type of building.

Meeting the standards and planning a quality design are more effective when done during the design process as well as in the post-occupancy stage. It is really the architects and civil engineers who are the main players in maintenance work as they maintain the building’s performance and address users’ needs.

More specifically, their input is most crucial during the design process, when design solutions are still maturing and have room for alterations. For instance, material specifications, detailed drawings, and costs can be prepared and easy managed before the final design solution is settled. 

Sufficient planning for maintenance in the early stages of design could protect the building from severe defects and make the maintenance process an easy task in future stages of design and throughout the building’s life cycle. 

Design influences the performance and physical characteristics of the building as well as its durability to withstand environmental elements and social interferences. However, maintenance issues become more critical for public buildings when the facility is operated at its optimum capacity to serve the public intensively.

Experience plays an important role in applying the factors affecting spending and maintenance during the different stages of design. Each project has its own set of circumstances that differ from other projects. As such, special treatment based mainly on experience is required. 

There are different environmental issues that threaten the durability of building materials and hence directly effects the spending as well. Most building deficiencies become more obvious during post-occupancy. This is mainly due to inappropriate or poor design.

One example is paint decay which is caused by high levels of dampness and a lack of air circulation. High levels of dampness create unhealthy spaces and offer an ideal environment for fungi and bacteria to grow. 

Cracks that occur during post-occupancy are caused as a result of poor quality control mechanisms put in place by the designer. Wall cracks are indicated as one of the structural defects found in some building units. Walls act as a support system for the roof and should be constructed from good quality materials, otherwise the walls will not be strong and will crack. Staining can occur during post-occupancy as a result of low quality finishes and insufficient cleaning procedures. 

This defect is more obvious in public buildings rather than private houses. Staining and water damage are observed on the walls and floors of public toilets, as washrooms are more vulnerable to staining. Generally, a lack of interior and exterior finishes in housing units influenced the satisfaction levels of the respondents.

A cost estimate approximates a project’s probable cost. Cost estimates are prepared at concept stage, refined throughout the project-preparation process, and updated during implementation. The cost estimate should identify those principal cost components needed to support effective project management; including monitoring of costs and physical progress during implementation.

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