Maintenance cost implications of utilizing bathroom modules manufactured offsite
journal contributionposted on 12.05.2010, 11:24 by Wei Pan, Alistair Gibb, Andrew B. Sellars
Though the benefits from using offsite technologies have been rehearsed, their uptake within the UK construction industry is slow. A critical barrier is the lack of cost data of using such technology. Another is the unsubstantiated perception that maintenance of offsite solutions is difficult and expensive. But, yet again, there appears to be no data publicly available on this topic. This knowledge gap is addressed by presenting the cost data of maintaining offsite and insitu bathrooms for student accommodation. The records of 732 maintenance jobs were investigated. These jobs span three years for 398 bathrooms, including precast concrete modules, Glass Reinforced Polyester (GRP) modules and insitu bathrooms. The results suggest that GRP modules required the lowest maintenance costs whilst insitu bathrooms were significantly more expensive to maintain. For offsite modules, drainage, toilets, vents and sink were identified as the main problematic areas for maintenance. The maintenance of insitu bathrooms was more complex and involved a wider range of problematic areas. The design imposed significant effects on the long-term cost of offsite bathrooms. Aspirations of clients need to be fully understood and integrated into design. The findings should facilitate the design decision-making of using offsite bathrooms for residential buildings.
- Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering