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What is the lifespan of a commercial building?

By in Real Estate 101 with 0 Comments Published: 11:35 pm, January 6, 2019

What is the lifespan of a commercial building?

If you live in the city, buildings are a daily part of your life. In fact, they might be so normal to you that you don’t even notice the age of these buildings at all. Some buildings have been around for a hundred years, or maybe even more, while some are just being built.

So why are we talking about buildings? Because they’re crucial for businesses. And you might have been spending your days working on one.

A Commercial building is one intended for business. Meaning it can be an office, an outlet or anything that generates income. If you’re thinking about getting your own commercial building for your business, you should know that the lifespan of a commercial building is around 50-60 years based on a normal work week which is 12 hours per day, five days per week, and 8 hours during the weekend.

It would be great to have a building and use it for hundreds of years but that’s not exactly how it works. The lifespan of a commercial building depends on its build, quality, and maintenance. Yes, on average it may live from 50 to 60 years but this depends on the preservation techniques employed by the owner and the way the building is being utilised.

Isn’t it ironic to find out that buildings have expiration dates too? Sad to say that they’re not permanent.

If you’re a new building owner, you might find useful information here. The first 15-20 years of a building won’t cost too much to maintain. After 20 years, your maintenance budget might have to increase as you’ll probably need to do an overhaul of the deteriorating parts.


The internal environment.

The design of a structure at the time of construction can play a crucial role in the life of a building. If a building has inadequate room for expansion and contraction, poor jointing, neglecting weathering, and the absence of proper drainage (and etc.) it can lead to the early death of a building or worse, disaster.

There are several issues you might face when it comes to the internal condition of a building. Mould and Fungi can build up and weaken the foundations of the building if there’s too much moisture. Extreme humidity can lead to corrosion and condensation which may cause leaks and cracks in the walls. Swelling, distortion, cracking of materials and components can also occur with excessive heat in the building.


The external factors.

Aside from the internal environment, the external environment can also determine the lifespan of a building. Pollution and climate or weather in the area can cause hazards to your structure. Over the years, factors like storms, harsh sunlight, heavy rainfall and snow take a toll on the building therefore possibly shortening the lifespan. It can either get prolonged and cut short depending on the location and materials used on the construction.

For example, buildings in the city may last longer than the ones in front of the ocean unless you’re in a place where it rains a lot or is too hot. Salt air can cause brick walls to collapse see the mortar used in the brickwork can turn into powder. It can also cause rusting on the walls of tiles and wood can get disintegrated.


Use and Purpose

Just like any physical object, the more you use it, the easier it breaks. The lifespan of the building is also depends on the time and volume of occupancy. Let’s say the building is being used more frequently like with BPO companies. There are usually 3 shifts a day even on weekends and the floors are normally always busy. This can cause the building to deteriorate faster than an office building that is only being used 8-12 hours on weekdays. Maximum usage of the infrastructure can lead to quicker wear and tear and a shorter lifespan.

There is really no specific age for a building and as to how long before it gets condemned. It all depends on the factors mentioned and more.

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