Developing a framework for building maintenance: a case study of Malaysia's low-cost housing via soft system methodology

Andrew Ebekozien, Mohamad Shaharudin Samsurijan, Clinton Aigbavboa, Andrew I. Awo-Osagie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The cost of residential building maintenance can harmfully affect low-income earners' expenditure if not checked. A customised maintenance concept via a framework will ensure efficient and proper building maintenance operations. The outcome may keep the life cycle cost down. Studies concerning the low-cost housing (LCH) maintenance concept through a framework are scarce in Malaysia. Thus, the study aims to investigate the state of LCH and develop a framework to improve LCH maintenance practices in Malaysia. Design/methodology/approach: The study adopted a soft system methodology (SSM) to comprehend Malaysia's LCH building maintenance practices. The SSM allowed an alternative approach to improve LCH maintenance practices via a developed framework. Virtual interviews were conducted with experts, and findings were presented. It was in line with the SSM seven steps. Findings: The findings show that apart from the poor state of LCH maintenance, there is the absence of a framework to improve maintenance practices, especially in LCH across Malaysia's cities. The findings developed a framework that would reposition the joint management body and management corporation in collaboration with the proposed maintenance agency for better service delivery via substantive, technical and administrative aspects. Research limitations/implications: This study's data collection is restricted to Pulau Pinang, Kuala Lumpur and Johor through a qualitative research design approach. Future research is needed to consider more extensive coverage and validate the developed framework from this study via a quantitative research design. Practical implications: Apart from the conceptual model that was developed, the suggested framework can be employed by Malaysia's maintenance practitioners and policymakers as a guideline to improve LCH building maintenance practices across the cities. Originality/value: This study examined Malaysia's LCH maintenance practices via SSM to identify the state of the houses, identify the information required and propose a suitable framework to improve Malaysia's LCH maintenance practices.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Building
  • Case study
  • Framework
  • Interviews
  • Maintenance management
  • Malaysia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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