Architects and Facility Managers Can Work Together to Minimize Building Maintenance Costs

By AIA Contract Documents

September 30, 2023

Architects and facility managers can collaborate effectively to minimize building maintenance costs by considering long-term maintenance needs and sustainable design principles from the early stages of a building project. Here are some key strategies:

  • Early Collaboration
    • Foster open communication and collaboration between architects and facility managers from the project’s inception.
    • Include facility managers in design meetings to ensure their input is considered in the design process.
  • Lifecycle Cost Analysis
    • Conduct a lifecycle cost analysis to evaluate the long-term maintenance costs associated with different design and choices. Compare various materials, systems, and technologies to determine their impact on maintenance costs over the building’s lifespan.
  • Durable Materials
    • Choose durable and low-maintenance materials that can withstand wear and tear over time, reducing the need for frequent replacements or repairs.
  • Proper Maintenance Planning
    • Develop a comprehensive maintenance plan during the design phase, outlining routine maintenance tasks, schedules, and responsible parties.
    • Use building information modeling (BIM) or facility management software to facilitate maintenance planning and tracking.
  • Quality Construction
    • Monitor construction quality to ensure that the building is constructed to specifications, reducing the likelihood of defects that may require expensive repairs later on.
  • Energy Efficiency
    • Design the building with energy-efficient systems and insulation to reduce energy consumption, which not only lowers operating costs but also decreases maintenance needs.
  • Training and Education
    • Provide facility managers with training and resources to understand the building’s systems and technologies, enabling them to perform preventive maintenance and troubleshoot issues effectively.
  • Regular Inspections
    • Conduct regular inspections and preventive maintenance to identify and address issues early before they escalate into costly problems.
    • Keep detailed records of maintenance activities and repairs for future reference.

By integrating these strategies into their collaborative efforts, architects and facility managers can work together to create buildings that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also cost-effective to maintain over their lifetimes.

View AIA Contract Documents Facilities Maintenance Documents Here

AIA Contract Documents has provided this article for general informational purposes only. The information provided is not legal opinion or legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship of any kind. This article is also not intended to provide guidance as to how project parties should interpret their specific contracts or resolve contract disputes, as those decisions will need to be made in consultation with legal counsel, insurance counsel, and other professionals, and based upon a multitude of factors.