Operation and maintenance: The perception of Hong Kong’s general public about building services

Francis W.H. Yik, Joseph H.K. Lai, Chi Kwan Chau, Wai Ling Lee, K. T. Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The survey reported here is intended to obtain an understanding of the general public's perception about building services and building services practitioners in Hong Kong. Design/methodology/approach – Targeting a sampling error of within ±1 per cent at a confidence level of 95 per cent, a team of six surveyors conducted face-to-face interviews with 751 laypersons at places around 11 residential estates. Findings – Over 90 per cent of the general public know the presence of various building services installations in buildings and 12 per cent know that building services is the collective name of such installations. The general public are satisfied with the operability and reliability of building services installations but are just marginally satisfied with their performance at higher levels, such as energy conservation and indoor air quality control. Research limitations/implications – A paucity of teenagers know about building services, which is a concern to the future development of both the building services profession and the facilities management (FM) industry in Hong Kong. Future work may investigate the situation in other regimes with a similar FM setting and study on how the profession is perceived for buildings with restricted access to the general public. Operation and maintenance personnel of the FM offices, who are approached by most people when problems with building services installations arise, are the key on the perceived image of building services professionals. Originality/value – In addition to informing higher educational institutes the need to reinforcing promotion of building services engineering to school leavers, the findings can help professional institutions in formulating how the social status of building services engineers may be raised.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-142
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Facilities Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2010


  • Building services
  • Hong Kong
  • Maintenance
  • Operations management
  • Perception
  • Public opinion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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