Assessment of maintenance management practices in public buildings : case study of Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development
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This paper assesses maintenance management practices in public buildings in Uganda. It provides an insight into the concept of building maintenance management in public institutions. Building maintenance management is a particular action undertaken to preserve buildings in their initial functional, structural, and aesthetic state so that they can remain in a strong state and retain their value and standard for a long period. Buildings cannot remain faultless throughout their entire life, even when they are still new, they still require maintenance and the maintenance does not only affect the life span of the building but also affects the safety and health of persons and properties. The study was conducted at the Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development (case study). Physical observation, questionnaire surveys, and interviews were used to collect valuable data from the Ministry staff. A literature review was also conducted to provide comprehension of general maintenance management practices in public buildings. The data obtained was analyzed using frequencies, percentages, and Relative Importance Index. The findings indicate that: the buildings are in a deplorable state because the Ministry has opted for corrective maintenance rather than preventive maintenance which has led to serious deterioration of buildings. Through physical observation, the findings also indicate that the major prevalent defects are: dilapidated roof covering, floor surfaces, ceiling, and defective electrical elements. The analysis identifies; poor maintenance culture, inadequate funds, lack of routine inspection, low concern to future maintenance and bureaucratic reporting processes as the major factors that affect maintenance management in public buildings. In view of these findings and by way of recommendations, it was suggested that the management develops and implement a maintenance policy, provides adequate funding, develops and implements a facilities management plan, increases preventive maintenance practices and carries out regular assessment of buildings to ensure effective maintenance of the building elements. The paper will be useful to researchers, maintenance professionals and other concerned parties in understanding the importance of maintenance management, promoting maintenance awareness, and guiding respective parties to overcome maintenance challenges.