Maintenance costs due to soiling of facades from air pollution

Created by: Terje Grontoft

This work reports estimated maintenance-cleaning costs, cost savings and cleaning interval increases for structural surfaces and windows in Europe obtainable by reducing the air pollution. Methodology and data from the ICP-materials project were used. The average present (2018) cleaning costs for sheltered white painted steel surfaces and modern glass due to air pollution over background, was estimated to be ~2.5 Euro/m2∙year. Hypothetical 50% reduction in the air pollution was found to give savings in these cleaning costs of ~1.5 Euro/m2∙year. Observed reduction in the air pollution, from 2002-2005 until 2011-2014, have probably increased the cleaning interval for white painted steel with ~100% (from 12 to 24 years), representing reductions in the single intervention cleaning costs from 7 to 4%/year (= % of one cleaning investment, per year during the cleaning interval); and for the modern glass with ~65% (from 0.85 to 1.3 years), representing reductions in the cleaning cost from 124 to 95 %/year. The cleaning cost reductions, obtainable by 50% reduction in air pollution, would have been ~3 %/year for white painted steel and ~60 %/year for the modern glass, representing ~100 and 50% additional cleaning interval increases. These potential cleaning cost savings are significantly higher than previously reported for the weathering of Portland limestone ornament and zinc monuments.

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The cleaning costs and potential savings due to reduction in air pollution. The calculated average, and 10th and 90th percentile, cleaning costs (% of one cleaning investment, per year during the cleaning interval) caused by air pollution over the background level, at the measured values for the air pollution and that could have been obtained by 50% reduction of the impacting pollutants. The calculations were made with Equations (1) to (5) for all the ICP-materials stations with environmental data, for every year (Appendix A). The values for the urban (U), industrial (I) and rural (R) sub-selections of stations are shown. The savings that could have been obtained by the pollution reduction are given by the differences, as illustrated by the arrows. The savings are independent of the background (Equation 5). Negative cleaning cost for white painted steel at the rural stations imply lower pollution values and longer cleaning intervals than in the average background.The figure shows the main results of estimated cleaning costs and potential savings due to reduction in air pollution - as the calculated average, and 10th and 90th percentile, cleaning costs (% of one cleaning investment, per year during the cleaning interval) caused by air pollution over the background level, at the measured values for the air pollution and that could have been obtained by 50% reduction of the impacting pollutants. The calculations were made for all the ICP-materials programme stations with needed environmental measurement data, for every year (see Ref). The values for the urban (U), industrial (I) and rural (R) sub-selections of stations are shown. The savings that could have been obtained by the pollution reduction are given by the differences, as illustrated by the arrows. The savings are independent of the background  Negative cleaning cost for white painted steel at the rural stations imply lower pollution values and longer cleaning intervals than in the average background. 

Ref: Grøntoft, T., Verney-Carron, A. and Tidblad, J. 2019. Cleaning costs for European sheltered white painted steel and modern glass surfaces due to air pollution since year 2000. Atmosphere.