When project owners begin working on a new construction project or renovation, the longevity or lifespan of the building is a determining factor. Depending on the use of the building or the possibility of a future sale, project owners want a structure that can be relied on for decades to come. Generally speaking, the lifespan of a building is the time after project completion in which the building does not have any defects.
Many factors go into determining the lifespan of a building. They might include the upkeep of the building, the use for which the structure is put through, or the methods and materials in the construction process.
As we well know in Minnesota, the weather is a major consideration in just about everything we do and any project we construct. A quality structure in our state must be protected from any type of weather, from extreme heat to extreme cold, as well as the potential for strong winds, hail, and rain. Weather and soil conditions also play a big part in the lifespan of a building.
Just as the three little pigs learn in our childhood stories, the building materials are quintessential in the longevity of a building (as well as the ability to keep wolves at bay). The strength and reinforcement of the structure will play a major role in the likelihood that major repairs will be necessary in 30, 50, or 100 years.
Without detailed specifications, it is hard to judge the exact lifespan of a building solely based on building materials. Other factors such as the quality of construction also contribute to the building’s longevity. In general, the lifespan of a building based on building materials ranges anywhere from 30 to 50 years to hundreds of years in structures like cathedrals, churches, and government buildings.
The longest-lasting building materials are wood, brick, stone, concrete, steel, and iron. Of course, the skill of the tradesmen and construction crew developing the structure and the techniques used all play vital roles.
Use of the Building
Finally, the use for which the building is put through has a big impact on its sustainability and longevity. A warehouse used to produce industrial materials or which uses harsh chemicals is bound to need maintenance more often and sooner than a retail store. The lifespan of a commercial building is typically 50 to 60 years without the need for major repairs or renovations.
Most buildings have a clear function when they are constructed and are often not suited for significant adaptation. While the current purpose of the building is important to a builder, understanding the lifespans of various building materials and systems can also be important, as they help designers and owners plan for future renovation.
Just like nearly everything else, buildings, depreciate over time. They must be built with a solid structure, up-to-date techniques, and regularly maintained to survive. At BCI, quality construction is in every project. We work thoroughly and meticulously to ensure the longest possible lifespan for our buildings.
We pride ourselves in developing sustainable, forward-thinking practices that we produce through an ownership perspective. To learn more about working with us, contact our team.