Abney & Abney Associates Green Solutions

Life span of KSA buildings 25 years

The average life span of buildings in the Kingdom is between 25 and 50 years, as against 100 years in other countries, said Talal Samarkandi, head of Jeddah branch of the Saudi Council of Engineers (SCE) and board member of Al-Umran Saudi Association. Samarkandi attributed the short life span of buildings to such factors as poor design and implementation, absence of regular maintenance work, and low level of building materials and usage.

“There are many methods and techniques for buildings which are bound to raise their virtual life span, depending on the materials used in the green building methodology, recycling the building materials, and counting on an accredited engineering office to supervise construction and maintenance works,” he said, adding that all these factors help the landlord to safeguard his investment. He urged Jeddah Municipality to form a committee entrusted with the task of inspecting the dilapidated, vacant buildings in old neighborhoods as these may fall down and injure passers-by.

Hamad Al-Shagawi, chairman of the board of directors of the SCE, said the buildings that were constructed in the early eighties are better than some of the buildings being constructed these days. “Now we find cheating and fraud in the raw materials such as iron and cement to the degree that some buildings collapse during construction itself,” he added.

He stressed the importance of regular maintenance of buildings, good quality work, and following comprehensive methods of construction. “This will even increase its market value in the long run,” he added. He said that any building constructed more than 50 years ago will need repairing, not maintenance. “With the available modern techniques and methods the process is easier now,” he said.

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