What affects the life cycle of a commercial building

The construction and building industry is the backbone of New Zealand’s economic growth and continued prosperity. Commercial buildings represent the majority of our fixed assets. Currently, the New Zealand Building Code requires that the structural elements of a building, with adequate maintenance, last for no less than 50 years. Here at Kaizon, our Building Surveyors know that every building is unique. However, regardless of the differences between individual commercial buildings, there are specific things that affect their life cycle.

Exposure Conditions:

The external environment surrounding a building will certainly take a toll on its life expectancy. If the commercial property is near the ocean then it will have been exposed to the salt air. If the building is close to motorways or airports it will have been exposed to harmful pollutants.

Internal Environment:

In order for a commercial building to maintain its 50-year life cycle, the internal environment would need to be dry and free of corrosion.

adv in tech

Advancements in Technology:

In many cases, a building’s installed equipment or systems will no longer be supported by manufacturers because the technology has become obsolete.

Specification and Design:

The life span of a commercial building will be adversely affected if it is being used for something besides what it was actually designed for. This is found quite often in buildings built in the 1980’s.

Vacant Buildings:

If a building has been unoccupied then its systems risk malfunction. For example, electric motors will fail to run properly if they have absorbed moisture.

Hours of Operation:

The 50 year life span of a commercial building is based on a normal work week which is 12 hours per day, five days per week, and 8 hours during the weekend. If the building operated 24/7, then it will have a much shorter life expectancy.

Quality of Installation:

If a high standard of installation and quality control (including giving maintenance workers enough actual space to administer the upkeep) were not executed then the life expectancy of the building will be negatively affected.

maintenance plan


This is one of the most important aspects to ensuring that a commercial building reaches the 50-year mark. Strict adherence to a maintenance plan will protect an investor’s asset.

Kaizon’s team of experienced building surveyors are experts at accurately predicting what major works will need to be done and at what stage in the life span of your commercial or industrial property. We will thoroughly inspect and assess all aspects of your commercial building and its maintenance requirements. We will enlist the assistance of specialist sub-consultants to provide relevant information on electrical, conveying, and mechanical services as well.

Regardless of property type or size, we are able to provide sound, cost-effective advice concerning on-going maintenance management. We will be able to ensure the durability and increase the longevity of the building’s important components, prolonging the serviceability of the building, and thereby, maintaining (if not increasing) it’s overall commercial value.

Contact us today to learn how we can help protect your investment.