Optimizing the Planning of Maintenance Activities in Education Buildings

Mishal Alashari, Khaled El-Rayes, Mansour Alotaibi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thousands of aging education buildings in the US are in urgent need of maintenance to ensure their operational performance. The planning and scheduling of these maintenance activities need to be optimized to minimize their total maintenance costs and reduce the challenging deferred maintenance problems confronting education institutions in the US. This paper presents the development of a novel model for optimizing the planning of maintenance activities in education buildings. The computations of the developed model are implemented utilizing an optimization module that identifies an optimal maintenance schedule for minimizing total maintenance costs; a scheduling module that calculates the start day, start hour, finish day, and finish hour of all maintenance activities; and a cost estimating module that estimates the total maintenance cost for each generated schedule. An application example of three education buildings that include plumbing, HVAC, and electrical maintenance activities was analyzed to illustrate the use of the model and evaluate its performance by comparing its results to those generated by widely used existing methods for planning maintenance activities of education buildings. The outcome of this analysis confirms the model was capable of outperforming existing methods in reducing the total maintenance cost by more than 12%. The main contributions of the developed novel model to the body of knowledge include its innovative methodology for identifying optimal ranking of maintenance activities, selecting optimal overtime use and crew size for all maintenance activities, generating an optimal maintenance schedule that complies with all practical constraints such as the availability of classrooms during their nonoperational hours, and minimizing total maintenance cost of all scheduled activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04023094
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Education buildings
  • Facility management
  • Genetic algorithms
  • Maintenance activities
  • Maintenance planning
  • Optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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