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A comparative study of buildability perspectives between clients, consultants and contractors

Patrick T.I. Lam (Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Franky W.H. Wong (Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)

Construction Innovation

ISSN: 1471-4175

Article publication date: 12 July 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to highlight the similarities and differences in the buildability perspectives held by the client and the design team (collectively known as the design decision‐making group) and the contractor (known as the execution group).

Design/methodology/approach

Buildability attributes were identified through a questionnaire survey, followed by factor analysis to consolidate them into nine buildability factors. These were then presented to 31 construction experts (comprising clients, consultants and contractors), who ranked the buildability factors in association with common construction systems using the analytical hierarchy process.

Findings

Whilst the consensus was on “enabling design requirements to be easily visualised and co‐ordinated by site staff” to make designs buildable, clients and design teams differed from contractors in perspectives such as overcoming site restrictions, achieving standardisation and flexibility. When applied to construction systems, clients and design teams ranked precast systems higher than contractors, who favoured in situ systems.

Research limitations/implications

Since the research was conducted in Hong Kong, the interpretation of the findings should be based on this contextual background as described in the paper.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the common and different perspectives of the design decision‐making group and the execution group in evaluating buildability and the reasons underlying their decisions. It paves the way for meaningful benchmarking of an important attribute affecting all construction stakeholders. The results form part of the development of a Buildability Assessment Model for use in Hong Kong, which is a useful tool for benchmarking buildability of designs, as in other countries (e.g. Singapore) which see the benefits of this important attribute on project performance.

Keywords

Citation

Lam, P.T.I. and Wong, F.W.H. (2011), "A comparative study of buildability perspectives between clients, consultants and contractors", Construction Innovation, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 305-320. https://doi.org/10.1108/14714171111149025

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited