Here in Thailand, almost all condominium buildings are constructed of concrete and steel. They use a post and beam structure of reinforced concrete with brick and mortar walls. Pilings are set deep into the ground and tie into a substructure that supports the building.
The structure of the building will last far longer than the economic life of the individual components. This type of construction is strong but the main reason they use it is because of the weather in Thailand. The question of “useful life of a Thai condominium building” sometimes comes up in conversation.
Over time, due to wear and tear, those individual components beak down and need repairs or replacement. Knowing the age of a building will give you an idea when they’ll likely need maintenance and replacements again.
Useful Life of a Thai Condominium Building
The first major component that will need maintenance and replacement is the roof. Condominium roofs usually last up to about 10 years, after which it will require maintenance and replacement by the time it reaches 15 to 18 years. The elevators will last up to 20 years, with more frequent maintenance for the following 10 years, and likely replacement after that.
The quality and durability of PVC plumbing has improved over the years and if done right you can expect it to remain operational for at least 50 years. From thereon, it will require maintenance and eventual replacement as well.
Standard windows may also last about 50 years but some will require to be resealed or replaced before then.
For a condominium building to remain functional, it requires cyclical maintenance and replacement of its major components over time. By the time a condominium building reaches 50 years of age it will have gone through several partial retrofits.
When it comes to physical longevity, the same formula applies to condominiums as to other high rises buildings. A properly funded and prudently managed building may have a life-span of 100+ years, or even more. The poorly run, neglected and mismanaged buildings usually end up going down sooner.
Therefore, the useful life of a Thai condominium building depends on quality of governance, prudence of management policies, and the ability of owners to regularly look after their expenses. Most condominium buildings will use a sinking fund set up by the owners to pay for these repairs and replacements over time.
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