Social housing foundation shift workshop design for efficient maintenance in rental housing
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Social Housing foundation/SHiFT workshop - “Design for efficient maintenance” in rental housing. Findings from recent Building condition audits – implications for design Jacus Pienaar Land & Housing Development Support Group 30 September 2008. Findings based on results of:.

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Social Housing foundation/SHiFT workshop - “Design for efficient maintenance” in rental housing

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Social Housing foundation/SHiFT workshop - “Design for efficient maintenance” in rental housing

Findings from recent Building condition audits – implications for design

Jacus Pienaar

Land & Housing Development Support Group

30 September 2008


Findings based on results of:

  • 2007 Building condition audits (BCAs) of 40 complexes across SA (SPSH/Rooftops)

  • 2006-2008 Rectification inspections for:

  • Joe Slovo Park phase 1, N2 Gateway

  • Abahlali Housing Association – Algoa Park

  • 2007 Assessments for Free State CRU strategy


2007 SPSH / Rooftops BCA programme


40 complexes – mix of older refurbished high-rises/walk-ups and newer walk-ups

  • Reports included (at 2007 constant prices):

  • Quantified Deferred Maintenance Liability (DML) for each project, unit and portfolio

  • DML = priority 1 (immediate), and…

  • priority 2 (3-6m) work, not done that should have been

  • Quantified and costed 20 year maintenance plan and funding need per project, unit & portfolio


Condition rating system used


20 year maintenance funding needs


20 year maintenance funding needs


Condition of SHI portfolios inspected against typical trends


Results

  • Newly built/renovated stock unacceptably high DML and short-medium term maintenance funding needs to catch up

  • Most recently built/renovated buildings ageing prematurely

  • Problem: How to fund catch-up?

    • Need rent increases up to 40% (not possible)

  • If situation not rectified,

    • will reach CR 2 (poor) within 10-12 years

    • and CR 1 (beyond repair) within 20 years

  • Why?


Some observations

  • Inadequate maintenance budgets and expenditures

  • Little evidence of planned or preventive maintenance

  • Poor house keeping programs

  • Little or no attention to energy and water management and conservation

  • Poor workmanship, supervision and quality control in maintenance and repair work

  • But,…what about design?


What aspects of design seemed to cause early deterioration?

  • Designers pressured into making inadequate provision for the realities and requirements of for instance:

  • Unframed, load-bearing cement-based masonry construction up to 3-4 storeys high

  • The need for “downmarket” finishes, roof construction and coverings

  • High intensity use, especially of ablution facilities in shared accommodation


What aspects of design seemed to cause early deterioration?

  • Some specific facets of the above include not providing for:

  • how materials perform in the long term…

  • and in interaction with each other and the environment,

  • how buildings will really be used,

  • “buildability” (practicality) of details

  • Biological decay e.g. natural ageing of materials (accelerated by environments), exposure to aggressive chemical agents, atmosphere, etc.)


What aspects of design seemed to cause early deterioration?

  • Inadequate attention to dealing with Water in all forms, e.g.:

  • rising damp

  • rain penetration

  • ground water pressure

  • flooding

  • condensation


What aspects of design and construction process cause early deterioration?

  • Inadequate attention to dealing with Movement in all its forms (more specifically differential or relative movement) due to:

  • Settlement and heave

  • drying shrinkage

  • contraction and expansion due to temperature variations, moisture content

  • creep and sag (overloading or under designing of structures).


Some examples in new construction:

  • Inadequate roof pitches and protective overhangs

  • Omission of rain water goods

  • Omission of verge treatments

  • Poor detailing at junctions - Flat roofs and parapets

  • Inadequate weathering/sealing of top edges of parapet and balustrade walls


Some examples in new construction:

  • Inadequate weather proofing of building envelope (especially single skin exterior masonry) with poor detailing at junctions with floor slabs, roofs and window and door frames

  • Inadequate sealing around window frames, and sanitary fittings allowing ingress of water into the walls and structures


Some examples in new construction:

  • Inadequate provision (joints) for movement, resulting in cracking and further ingress of water

  • Poor quality sanitary and other fittings, kitchen cabinets, taps, doors and door locks

  • Inadequate storm water containment / disposal


Working or wearing services and components

  • Designers should always ask themselves:

  • How can it be reached?

  • How can it be cleaned?

  • How can it be repaired?

  • How can it be replaced?


Nice idea: washlines “hidden” and secure, but mostly in shade


So washing goes outside in sun facing N2, giving minister heartburn every time she drives past


In refurbishment of older existing buildings

  • Inadequate or no repair of cracked/spalled exposed concrete slab edges, leading to contamination of steel reinforcing (especially in coastal towns)

  • Inadequate re-sealing and re-grouting of joints that had opened up over time and created many places where water can get into structures in e.g.:

  • Face brick walls and copings

  • Window sills

  • Tiling in showers

  • Edge junctions of sanitary fittings with walls


In refurbishment of older existing buildings

  • Inadequate re-waterproofing of old and leaky roofs

  • Not fixing plumbing leaks or replacing defective piping

  • Re-painting over old paint on rusting metal work such as steel window frames and fire escape stairs without proper preparation and rust control

  • Not immediately re-sealing exposed roof timbers, wood fascias, doors and window frames

  • aging components/equipment (lifts, roofs, plumbing, windows, etc) are often not replaced or refurbished during acquisition / rehabilitation


Regulation of product standards and quality for housing in South Africa

  • 1998: Home Building Manual

    Technical Guidelines (revised 1999) of the NHBRC

  • 2000: NDoH National Housing Code

    Norms and Standards houses and services

  • 2003: NDoH Generic Specification GFSH-11

    Design and Construction of Houses:

    FOCUS MAINLY ON SINGLE STOREY CHEAP FREE HOUSES!


First recognition of SH needs

  • 2006 SH Programme Guidelines

  • Project cost estimates and funding needs based on SH product (medium density, attached multi-storey buildings)

  • Social Housing Capital Restructuring Grant (SHCRG) = more responsive funding mechanism

  • Lower debt levels = improved quality and viability?

  • Unfortunately overtaken by rapid rises in interest rates (after 2006) and building costs (ongoing since 1990s)


Assessment of submissions for SHRCG funding

Three standardised assessment tools from NDoH:

  • Quickscan A

    Governance and organisational viability of SHI applying for the grant

  • Quickscan B

    Project validity, readiness and overall technical quality

  • Quickscan C

    Financial model for project viability


Revision of the Quickscan assessment process in 2008

  • First round assessments before completion of BCAP (NO structured evaluation of quality and maintenance isues.)

  • BCAP caused bit of a stir and resulted in:

  • More critical evaluation in Quickscans A & C of:

    • maintenance provisions in operational cost estimates

    • new project and portfolio KPI for planned maintenance (1.2-1.5 % of replacement cost)

  • More critical evaluation in Quickscan B of:

    • product design and quality

    • influence of that on future maintenance needs


Conclusions

  • BCAP has highlighted quick decline in physical condition of recently constructed/renovated social housing stock

  • Already too late to fund maintenance backlog from operational income

  • Building “cheap” creates management philosophy of “cheap”

  • “Cheap” design not necessarily economical, and vice versa


Recommendations (Designers and maintenance managers to be involved):

  • Product must be responsive to initial capital cost of a project but also to ongoing operational costs

  • Maintenance managers/experts must be part of design review teams

  • Sector must develop performance specifications and design guidelines for:

  • new projects

  • acquisition and rehabilitation


Recommendations (Designers and maintenance managers to be involved):

  • Explicit funding conditions around quality and low maintenance needed

  • Further project funding of social housing development must be made conditional on acceptable arrangements to reduce maintenance needs and liabilities

  • If not, substantial investments in the sector will be largely wasted on “ one-generation” stock


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