By Doug Downie, CAD Designer

A good friend once worked at a building maintenance company and would occasionally download that day’s work challenges with me. One theme that kept getting repeated was how difficult it was to maintain the equipment he had to work on.

I often use the three-legged stool analogy for how buildings can be designed. The three legs are:

  1. Permittable – All designs must meet this minimum level from the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) to receive a permit to build.
  1. Constructible – Various design aspects are challenging to build, which is relatively common.
  1. Maintainable – A design that locates equipment where it is very difficult to reach or where large pieces of equipment have torturous paths to exit the building when they need replacing. Unfortunately, this happens often and was causing my friend’s troubles at work.

So how can we in the design community consider building maintenance, and indeed, why should we?