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Design Factors Affecting Building Maintenance

The factors of design which will influence the levels of future maintenance of public buildings and works.
1. Introduction Maintenance of public buildings is concern for the continuous development and preservation of the major infrastructure systems such as public and private-owned buildings within the county which includes janitorial services, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, electrical, landscaping, and lawn care services. Public works, on the other hand, deals with safeguarding of sewer, solid waste, drainage and parks, etc. Both public buildings and works are grouped together and represented by the County Administrator. Their activities are inter-connected and require cross-departmental and pre-maintenance coordination.
As the community grows constantly with time, the challenge facing the public buildings and works department at the County Council is to provide and maintain the above adequate infrastructure and facilities regularly. Assuring and completing maintenance to keep pace with concurrency requirements for a variety of works continues to be a huge problem for the County. The County has historically been unable to keep up with the need of society within its premises. Although the public works is still partially funded by the UK Government, the County’s Public Works Trust Fund (PWTF) loans remained at near high record levels. In this report, we will be discussing the design factors influencing the levels of maintenance of public buildings and works.
2. Different levels of maintenance for public works at different zones The County has tried to maintain a uniform and consistent level of maintenance throughout, for example, the more important and prominent landscaped areas and parks around public and private-owned buildings. Under County Council regulations, it can only use funds collected from neighbourhood property owners and private agencies within a zone for costs associated directly and within that specified zone. In some zone areas, the evaluations allowed by law have not been sufficient to pay for basic maintenance costs, so essentially, some zones have been less funded for maintenance coverage. This is especially true when considering the costs necessary to replace dying plants and trees, replace or repair vandalized equipment or renovate older parks and irrigation systems [1]
Decisions for funding in certain zones were based on mailed ballots while others were not in favour of paying for extra maintenance and repair covers. Therefore, in order to keep the maintenance budget balanced, cuts and reductions have been made in the frequency and type of maintenance being performed in each of the under-funded zones. Essentially, the maintenance levels (or standards) are different as a result of the variance in available funds. Property owners and agencies will continue to see a difference in the levels of maintenance being provided throughout the various zones in the County.
The Council has developed priorities for services that most affect the community, particularly when budgets are tight. In those zones where funding is not sufficient to pay for all of the maintenance required, the County Council has set the following levels of maintenance: low, medium and high, based on maintenance priorities: (i) safety items considered first and primary, (ii) keeping parks safe, open and available to the public, (ii) responding to vandalism, (iii) keeping turf and plant materials in healthy condition and (iv) removing, but not replacing, dead and dying plant materials and (v) thinning and scaling back landscaping to lower maintenance requirements [2].
The County will also be making some enhancements to a number of median landscaped areas. The aim is to make a one-time improvement, such as the installation of low-maintenance ground covering. These efforts will eventually reduce future maintenance costs and help all zones to remain within their own budgets.
3. Factors of design for public buildings: A Case-Study Approach Successfully designing, constructing and operating high-performance buildings requires the building owner and all members of the design team to set goals to minimize future levels of maintenance via minimization of energy consumption and environmental impact. The team should establish these goals as early as possible in the design process and maintain them through the building occupation. One method for achieving high-performance building goals is to follow the energy design process. This process begins in the pre-design phase and continues after the building is commissioned and occupied. Understanding which strategies are best suited for the building site and function, setting aggressive energy targets early and relying on advanced computer simulations to evaluate building design options are essential to the overall reliability process. The building envelope is designed first to minimize energy consumption. The mechanical, electrical and control systems are designed after optimizing the envelope design. Detailed specifications must accurately reflect the design intent. After construction, the building is commissioned, the owner and operators are instructed on the optimal operation of the building and building operation documents are provided for future maintenance reference. A case-study on an actual high-performance building demonstrates how to apply the design process to all public buildings of the future This building incorporates energy-efficient and renewable energy design features including day-lighting, passive heating and cooling and improved thermal envelope. All this energy saving considerations is being intentionally put in place to significantly reduce future maintenance needs and increase reliability of building functionalities [5]
In a traditional design process, the architectural team determines the building form and articulation of the façade, including orientation, colour, window area and window placement. This architectural design is then handed off to the engineering team, who designs the heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system, ensures compliance with applicable energy codes, and ensures acceptable levels of environmental comfort for building occupants. From an engineer’s point of view, energy dependability occurs by improving the design of the HVAC system. It is then the engineer’s goal to create an efficient system within the context of the building envelope that has been previously designed—the architectural decisions have been finalized and few changes can be made to the envelope design [4]
For successful realization of low-energy buildings which are less susceptible to failures, an efficient design team must establish a cost-effective energy goal. Once a commitment to energy minimization has been made, the energy-design process can be used to guide the team towards good decision making and trade-off analysis without sacrificing the building’s programmatic requirements. The building must incorporate disaster resistant (e.g., able to function if no grid-power is available). The design should meet or exceed all the functional and comfort requirements of the building. Low-energy design does not imply that building occupants endure conditions that are considered unacceptable in traditional buildings.
The design team develops a thorough understanding of the building site and building functional requirements. A qualitative evaluation of these issues early in the design process often leads to later solutions for minimizing potential building maintenance needs Many design strategies are applicable to most buildings however, each building is unique, and thus, will have unique reliability design solutions [9].
Simulation of a base-case model of the building is done to identify maintenance minimization opportunities via low energy consumption using an hourly building simulation computer tool. This computer model simulates annual loads and peak demands for heating, cooling, lighting, plug loads and for HVAC system fans and pumps to determine the energy-use profile and the likelihood of possible failures of the base-case building.
The design team brainstorms possible solutions to dependability problems. At this stage, the emphasis is on solutions relating to building geometry. Simulations are performed on variants of the base-case building relating to the list of possible solutions. Issues that will have a profound influence on the architectural aspects of the building are quantitatively explored prior to the conceptual design phase. The energy impact of each variant is determined by comparison to the original base-case building and to the other variants. Computerized design tools bring all the architectural and engineering pieces together to predict how the building’s components will interact. In other words, day-lighting systems, thermal issues and building control strategies may be addressed by different
building disciplines but successful integrated building performance can only be achieved by examining the interrelation between these components.
The conceptual design is the most difficult part of the building design process. It is essential that the dependability features be integrated into the architecture of the building. The objective is to use the architectural and envelope features to minimize energy costs for heating, cooling, and lighting. Often, energy features that effect the visual impact of the building can also serve as the main architectural aesthetic features, thereby saving costs. If the addition of an energy feature substantially increases the building cost, it is evaluated with the cost-effectiveness criteria already established [6]
After the architectural features impacting energy use have been determined, the computer model simulating the performance of the proposed building is updated to reflect those decisions. A set of simulations is then performed to guide decisions regarding the HVAC system and associated controls. These simulations are primarily to optimize annual dependability of building lighting functions and the occupant comfort. The simulations can also be used to help properly size the equipment. Low-energy buildings defy the industry norms used for equipment sizing. First cost savings in substantially downsized equipment can often be used to pay for improved envelope energy features. At this point, there will be some iteration or trade-off between mechanical system decisions and architectural features; however, it is best to optimize the architectural features first. Although the energy design process may increase the cost to design the building compared to the traditional design process, the increased design cost is often offset by reductions in errors and decreased mechanical system cost. Fewer errors occur because careful attention was paid throughout the design process and more effort is placed on checking and review. Also, small mechanical systems require less space in the building (requiring less building to be built), and therefore, lower capital costs.
Once the simulation work has been completed, occasional simulations will need to be performed as needed in response to unanticipated circumstances. This might include the need to determine if a substitute component really meets the energy related specifications or review of a construction detail that must be modified because of a problem on the construction site. Scheduled plan reviews and site inspections are crucial to ensure that specified details omitted from the plans do not compromise the energy design. A clear communication path between the constructor, building operator and the design team will help ensure that components are installed properly [10] In many cases, once construction on a particular area is incorrectly completed, it cannot be reinstalled and the building owner is forced to live with the reliability performance consequences.
The commissioning process includes testing all subsystems in the building to ensure that they operate as intended. For example, poorly calibrated economizer controls can bring in excess air or poorly calibrated daylight sensors may not turn off the lights, thus causing failure to the equipments. Occasional simulations will be required to help solve problems that emerge during this final phase and to respond to changes in building use that may occur once the building is occupied. The key is that the controls function with the design intent of the building. A good building quickly becomes a bad building with improper control strategies. In addition, it is important to educate the building owner, occupants and the maintenance staff to properly use the building systems as conceived by the design team. The building’s performance can only be optimized if the people running the systems understand how the systems interact. This would save cost of system errors leading to malfunctions and would eventually reduce the need for future building maintenance.
4. Conclusion Good construction practices provide protection and minimum maintenance required for existing high-tech buildings and other features. Continued good appearance of these buildings depends upon the extent and quality of maintenance. The choice of materials and their use, together with the types of finishes and other protective measures should be conducive to easy maintenance and upkeep.
An integrated design approach for private high performance buildings have been discussed from construction to commission. A low energy cost reduction was ideally established early and maintained throughout the design process. An integrated set of solutions for architectural design and energy efficiency was determined, including extensive day-lighting, natural ventilation, evaporative cooling and passive solar radiant heating. It is important to design a building that works with the environment in which it is located to minimize the need for maintenance in the long run. The building architecture was formed based on the programmatic and energy goals for the project. Tall vertical elements are naturally preferred to harmonize the building with the surrounding natural environment. The towers were also used to passively cool the building. An HVAC system was designed to work with the building. A PV system was installed to provide emergency power and supplemental power when utility power is available. The building construction and energy costs was significantly less and more reliable than a conventional one. This shows that sustainable buildings need not cost more with no level maintenance requirements
REFERENCES [1] A. H. Molof, C. J. Turkstra (1984). Infrastructure, maintenance and repair of public works. New York Academy of Sciences.
[2] A. P. Chrest (2001). Parking Structures: Planning, design, construction, maintenance and repair. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
[3] Aia Pr (1993). Confronting the changes: New considerations in the design and management of public-sector facilities.
[4] B. Chanter and P. Swallow (2000). Building Maintenance Management. Blackwell Science.
[5] D. Hunns (1986). Human Factors in Reliability and the Psychology of Communications. International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, pp 22-37.
[6] E. D. Mills (1980). Building maintenance and preservation: a guide for design and management. Boston, Butterworths.
[7] E. Teicholz (2001). Facility Design and Management Handbook. Mc-Graw Hill Companies.
[8] M. Ruff (1998). Sewer, gas and electric: The Public Works trilogy. Grove/Atlantic Press
[9] R. Lee and P. Wordsworth (2000). Lee’s Building Maintenance Management. Blackwell Publishers.
[10] S. B. Birch, Jr, Craftsman Book Co, R. Price and L. Nicholson (2001). Public Works Inspector Manual. Building News.

Byzantine Influences on Islamic Architecture

Introduction The current definition of globalization incorporates the significant idealism that one’s culture supersedes that of another, regardless of any potential beneficial amalgamation. Throughout history, the idea of conquer, and more directly, the annihilation of governmental bodies and social stratification has led to the exponential growth of social resources. It is therefore, through the inclusion these alternate, yet significant diversities that growth has been most efficiently affected. One significant assimilation was that of the Byzantine architecture into the future construction of Islamic magnates. While the disintegration of Byzantine society cannot be entirely accredited to the work of the Islamic forces, it is through constant attempts at occupation and tireless warfare, coupled with the foresight of Islamic leadership to reintegrate many of the highly effective design maxims into their architecture, that the structures that remain today occupy such religious indemnification among followers. Truly, the Byzantine influence in not only early, but modern Islamic architecture has shaped not only the ceiling of religious piety, but the ideology of a charismatic and well-preserved religious force.
Byzantine Architecture The Byzantine Empire itself may easily be defined as a cultural melting pot, or more definitively, the globalized integration of religious and cultural views, centralized around one spectacular city: Constantinople. It is through the re-integration of revitalized world views that throughout the rein of this Empire, substantial cultural and societal gains were enacted. These gains include the remarkable architectural advances which greatly influenced the future surrounding areas and reverent incorporation of byzantine architectural masterpieces into their framework. Not to be excluded, the Roman and Greek influences within Byzantine architecture engineered significant structures, so inspiring and well defined that they would become structural affecters even to this day. Most notably, the advances towards structural engineering as well as iconography would influence religious societies for many future generations.
The definitive Byzantine structure may be characterized by a uniquely architectured high dome, including theological depictions ornately carved which often represented the religious icons of the era. The re-definition of the church foundation which occurred during this timeframe eliminated the reliance on a boxed structure with four walls and incorporated structurally definitive six to eight cornered buildings which would also serve to support the dome itself. Additionally, and especially integral to future Islamic interpretation, the use of Corinthinan capitals, or remaining Roman text carved into stone and placed within the structure of the building for aesthetic purposes, would determine future scriptural formations and lettering on the outside of mosques and buildings.
While the Byzantine’s themselves were primarily Christian, and especially during the first ruler’s reign, persecuted non-christian residents, often to the death, the influence that their architecture, as well as their cultural devotion would have on future Islamic nations is highly visible in many of their structures. Timely in it’s historical prescedence, the life of Mohammed would drastically influence this empire, as Muslim forces gained strength and began to attack southern Byzantine territories. “Byzantine energies focused almost entirely to the east and to the south. The western countries, the Europe that Byzantium at one time looked to for their identity and history, began to steadily fade from their horizon.”[1] In spite of the Islamic forces, Byzantine architecture represents the preservation of Roman influence which continues to affect building design to this day.
Islamic Interpretation The integration of Byzantine architecture into Islamic religious structures continues to affect modern building design in this region of the world. One of the similarities between the Byzantine (Christian Majority) and Islamic societies was the lack of iconographic interpretations. Both religions severely preached the elimination of religions depictions through idolatry or stone iconography. In this format, the singular representation of religious devotion would come form the incorporation of religious words and text that would line the walls or pillars in this mosque. Additionally, the minimization of exterior flourish would encourage entrance into the spiritual dwelling. The influence of this technique of exterior minimalization, while re-defined interior actualization would greatly affect modern construction. “The multitude of decorative treatments of surfaces in Islamic architecture, the use of almost every conceivable technique and the development of a rich repertory of designs — from geometric to abstract shapes to full-scale floral patterns, from minutely executed inscriptions in a full variety of calligraphic styles to the monumental single words that serve as both religious images and decoration — is without parallel in the architecture of the non-Muslim world.”[2] Reverence beneath ornately decorated structures would encourage religious piety, and incorporate the devotion of the follower through his affectation from the surrounding architecture.
Further notable incorporations of Byzantine architecture include the utilization of mosaic forms, the amalgamation of colorful tile or stone to represent an image with religious significance, the high dome structure supported by multiple pillars or bases, and an extensive palate pastel and complementary colors which would flood the interior of the structure itself. In spite of the mediated exterior flair, the re-introduction of color and style into the interior of the structures themselves can be much attributed to Byzantium influence.

Utilizing marble and mosaic, coupled with centuries of preservation, the Mosque of Damascus was effectively created as a second Mecca, or identified within the Islamic religion as a powerful venue of absolute worship. The unique history of this structure incorporates the identification with the Byzantine ruling religion, as “after the Islamic conquest of Damascus in 661, during the reign of the first Umayyad caliph Mu’awiya Ibn Abi Sufyan, the Muslims shared the church with the Christians. The Muslims prayed in the eastern section of the ancient temple structure and the Christians in the western side.”[3] The Byzantines, a predominately Christian society, were willing to share this area of significance with the Islamic followers due to the highly divine identification which was incumbent within the location to both cultures. This diversification of venue, paired with the influence of Byzantine architects, led the caliph to construct a building which has endured calamity while edifying the necessity of piety through the ornate calligraphical representations and integration of inspiring color and mosaic.
Additionally, the multiple pillared structure, as well as many arches and octagonal foundation clearly represents significant influence from the Byzantine era to the Islamic interpretation. Articles from the Koran have been requisitioned to the support structures of the domed ceiling as devotees may kneel and raise their eyes to remember the sacred text above them. There is a distinct lack of man or animalistic influence, as the iconography is specifically relegated to the religious features non-idolatrated. Finally, the amazing mosaic which surrounds the entire building, coupled with the engraved marble offers direct insight into the influence of Byzantine predecessors.
Example 2: Dome of the Rock Currently, one of the most important structures in Islamic religion, the Dome of the Rock, represents a venue of extreme importance and, venerated by the Muslims, it is where the prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.”[4] This simple belief has served as an instrumental catapult for many different wars and battles which evolved around the structure and location of the site. Essentially, this is a monumental domed structure created by Abdul Malik ibn Marwan in approximately 685 AD. The Byzantine influence may be immediately recognized through the multiple arches, the pillars inscribed with Koranic text, and the mosaic colorization which highlights both the exterior and interior of this remarkable structure. Additionally, the layout featuring extensive foundation and lack of religious iconography represents the direct Roman influence on the Byzantine architects. In fact, this structure continues to be represented, not as an Islamic specific creation, but as a mimic to a most remarkable work in Syria known as the Cathedral of Bosra, created during a time of Roman rule.[5] And, as previously identified, it was through Roman integration and inspiration that the transcendence of architecture framed the Byzantine empire.
Conclusion Easily identified through didactic calligraphy, spectacular mosaic, and highly inspirational domed structures, the Islamic identification with Byzantine influence has offered society a unique example of cultural assimilation without full scale disintegration. Representatively, the Roman influence throughout the globe has offered some of the most remarkable architectural features, including dam and aqueduct construction, in addition to modern buildings and bridges. Through tri-cultural amalgamation, the Islamic Caliphs were able to integrate the most effective traits of this Byzantine interpretation and redirect those features into their own religious facilities. The bright colored, highly regimented structures remain today as a reminder of necessitated devotion for followers; they are the essential proponents of spiritual migration, and the constant belligerent behavior surrounding their maintenance offers unique perspective into a cultural clash regarding the choice of architectural foundation. The beauty and multi-cultural integration of these structures and architecture, however, is ultimately essential to preserve, as the historical implications of pre-capitalist globalization offers direct insight into the highly devout nature of mankind’s spiritual and cultural plight, the effect of which has far reaching determinations into the future.