In this paper we develop a Markov decision model for rationalising building maintenance at a strategic level. Through a global modelling of deterioration we are able to determine the maintenance policy that ensures a specified average quality level at minimal cost. In this way we are able to produce a trade-off curve between overall quality level vs the minimum required level of maintenance costs. The model is applied in a pilot case for four main building elements, viz. masonry, pointing, window frames and painting of buildings owned by a building society. This demonstrates the value of the model as management instrument to determine and allocate budgets.

Markov decision models, buildings, maintenance
ERIM Article Series (EAS)
Operational Research Society. Journal
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

van Winden, C.G.M, & Dekker, R. (1998). Rationalisation of building maintenance by Markov decision models: a pilot case study. Operational Research Society. Journal, 49(9), 928–935. Retrieved from