The Impact of Materials and Maintenance Considerations during the Design Stage of Public Buildings in Oman
School of Housing, Building and Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800, Penang, Malaysia
a Corresponding author : firstname.lastname@example.org
The purpose of this study is to describe the experiences of architects and civil engineers in the Sultanate of Oman regarding building maintenance during the design of public buildings. This exploratory and descriptive study used a qualitative approach, drawing data from focus groups in particular, to develop a rich and in-depth description of the designers’ building maintenance experiences. Structured interviews were conducted with 15 participants from architecture and civil engineering fields, from which, the interviewees shared the viewpoint that maintenance functions entirely separate from the design and construction process itself, but that it is, in fact, an integral part of the design process and post-occupancy stage. The designer should plan for sufficient maintenance for the whole building life cycle. However, some elements are more difficult to maintain in Oman than in other regions such as roofs, facades and the substructure of buildings. The results showed that salt is the most challenging environmental factor that could cause building defects. This was followed by solar heat, moisture from below ground and, lastly, rain. Most of these defects occurred during the buildings’ post-occupancy phase and were related to inappropriate or poor design. The results also suggested that deficiencies caused by thermal expansion came in the form of cracks, followed by paint decay, dampness, and staining.
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