This study is written to illuminate the role of durability failures as primary reasons for the decisions to carry out refurbishment projects. The refurbishment project is seen as a commodity that can be obtained from the market at a certain price and accordingly the reasons for the decision to initiate a refurbishment project are seen as a basis of the demand. The phenomena causing refurbishment are classified into five categories as follows: failure in the building due to deterioration; change in use; optimization of economic factors; subjective features of the decision maker; and change of circumstances. The significance of each category as a primary source of demand for refurbishment projects is quantified by the use of empirical data. In the empirical findings, only 17% of the refurbishment was initiated primarily on the grounds of deterioration. Obsolescence was found to be an overwhelmingly more important basis for refurbishment than deterioration. The pleasure seeking aspirations of the decision maker are an especially important source of the demand for refurbishment projects. According to the empirical findings, obsolescence based refurbishment clearly occurs earlier (on average after 20.6 years of use) then deterioration based refurbishment (which occurs on average after 28.7 years of use).