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Keywords: Building
2007/2008 Bu
Chew Yit Lin Michael
Issue Date: 18-May-2011
Abstract: Due to its complex nature and wide coverage, initial installation cost for electrical system is always high. As such, lack of proper maintenance will result in system unreliability, short-life of plants and equipment, putting into risks the safety of users, and ultimately may require expensive replacements which are not financially justifiable. In worst case, fire, system shutdowns, injuries and deaths may occur and this should always be prevented from happening. Studies carried out by NUS Building Maintainability Research group reported that electrical system is always in the maintenance agenda. A comprehensive literature review carried out by the author revealed that there are research had been done on the maintainability of various civil and architecture components such as façade, basement, wet areas and roof for commercial building. Apart from that, two M&E systems had also been studied, i.e. air-conditioning system (HVAC) and vertical transport system. As there is no significant research done on the maintainability of electrical system, this research is aimed to fill up the gap since apart from safety issues, electrical system is mandatory for day to day running of a commercial buildings. The main objectives of this research were to identify and access the serious defects pertaining to the typical electrical system in commercial buildings in Singapore. Next, a Maintainability Scoring System (MSS) for electrical system focusing on preventive maintenance measure was developed. Site investigations had been carried out at 7 large commercial buildings of different uses namely, (office, business park, shopping complex, recreation complex) to note the different needs of different buildings and therefore different problems faced accordingly by the maintenance team. From the site investigation, a comprehensive defect library was developed. A total of 116 defects, their causes, and consequences had been identified and analysed for all the major components in electrical system. Number of defects for each major components are as follow, transformer (11), cabling and wiring (40), plant and equipment (17), control gear ii (19), lighting (11), emergency power supply (13) and earthing and lightning protection (5). In addition, in order to assess the seriousness of the defects and to determine the root cause, a comprehensive defect analysis was carried out where the causes of defects were classified under four groups, namely: (1) design- specification; (2) constructioninstallation; (3) maintenance; and (4) exposure. Next, these data information used for designing a survey questionnaire to evaluate the significance of defects in terms of frequency and consequences (economic, system performance and health, safety and comfort losses). A total number of 33 experienced respondents including facility managers, engineers and designers graded the defects during face-to-face interviews. From the interviews, out of the total of 116 common defects, 39 defects fall under design-specification group, 48 defects under the construction-installation group, 39 defects under the exposure-environmental group and lastly 57 of them are belonging to the maintenance group. From the statistical analysis using SPSS tool, none of these defects are frequent (mean > 3 or p-value < 0.005). However 30 out of 57 of them do have a high level of consequences. To develop a MSS for electrical system in commercial buildings focusing on preventive maintenance considerations, findings of the site investigations and survey studies were adopted. The maintainability score was weighted according to the associated significant defects and consequences gathered through the survey studies. Guidelines were compiled from comprehensive research on relevant national and international standards and codes, as well as using information gathered during interviews and site investigations. Lastly, a benchmark score of 70.08% was proposed for the preventive maintenance program of electrical system in commercial buildings. The MSS provides the facility managers and building owners a comprehensive checklist and guidelines to assess their own maintenance program, help to take correct decision and hence promotes ‘good’ industrial practices against the maintainability score. iii The findings from this research thesis had also contributed to the NUS “Maintainability Under Tropical Conditions” research project at and work on two following papers are in progress: (1) BRSNet Symposium paper: Sustainability in Design, Construction, Environment & Management (2) Maintainability Scoring System for Electrical systems for commercial buildings of Singapore, intended to be submitted to IEEE journal.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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