“Renewal is so Yesterday” (December 5) argued that, in a changing world, we cannot afford to think of renewal as replacing what we currently have, perhaps with ‘better’or ‘higher’ quality which, when you think about it, is what we are currently doing. We need to focus instead on ensuring that any infrastructure we build now is ‘future friendly’, meaning it can be adapted as needs and opportunities change.
However, new infrastructure – while it often occupies most of our thoughts and media column inches – is at any time really only a very tiny percent of our total infrastructure stock.
How do we defer the need to renew – and thus avoid committing ourselves to another 20, 40 or more years of 20th century assets? The answer is obvious: we need to put more effort into maintenance. Well-maintained assets last!
So, if we are to maximise our chances to benefit from the changes that are coming – and avoid adding to the mounds of redundant, or stranded, assets that change has already brought about – then we need to focus on extending the lives of our existing assets by better maintenance.
It may not be as glamorous as renewal, but better maintenance is key to succeeding in a changing world. It does what nothing else can – it gives us the chance to learn more about the future before we build for it.
Agree/Disagree? Counter arguments welcome!
Special Note: The Asset Management Council is running a special webinar on Tuesday 19 December – “Life extension of a gas powered generator” the award winning presentation by Mark McKenzie and Giuliano Cangelosi, Find out more and sign up here