Governments must lead the way on maintenance

No point building green if we can't stay green, says conference panel

The panel discussion took place at Build Smart 2009's conference taking place in Abu Dhabi.
The panel discussion took place at Build Smart 2009's conference taking place in Abu Dhabi.

Speaking at a panel discussion today at Build Smart 2009 Better Construction Through Interoperability conference, experts have urged the region's governments to set an example when it comes to the maintenance of buildings.

“Three buildings have collapsed in the UAE over the past four months – fortunately, none of them in Abu Dhabi,” said the Department of Municipal Afffairs consultant Matthew Plumbridge.

“We have to get the industry to the appropriate level of quality – the rates here are the same as everywhere else, so the quality should be.”

Jyoti Sharma, senior education facilities architect, infrastructure and facilities division for Abu Dhabi Education Council, agreed: “Maintenance is a major challenge. Buildings have looked great but fallen down because the maintenance systems are not in place. There's no point building green if you can't stay green.”

Drawing on his experience in the USA, Deke Smith, the executive director of buildingSMART allliance and the National Institute of Building Sciences, added: “If you buy a great car, you don't wait for the engine to seize then buy a new one – you keep it running, change the engine oil...

“Governments have a responsibility to citizens to provide leadership and maintain buildings. We have to do better than buildings that will need replacing in 20 years' time.”

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