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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Built Environment Project and Asset Management, Volume 4, Issue 3.
Straddling sub-themes and synergising topics
Glancing through the paper titles in this issue, one may initially wonder at their diversity, compared to some more visible connections between various topics of papers (e.g. on PPPs) in previous issues of BEPAM. On the other hand, the papers in this issue cover a broader range of sub-themes under the BEPAM umbrella of construction project management and built asset management. A major BEPAM objective is in facilitating a holistic overview of currently critical issues and cutting-edge findings in our relatively extensive catchment area. This wide coverage is enabled by our above higher “helicopter” vantage point, helping us to not miss the wood for the trees. It similarly helps to bring together researchers and practitioners who may otherwise be only working in their own little corners of the wood/niche areas. To recap from our inaugural editorial, BEPAM envisions supplying missing links between built environment project management and asset management, as well as a common forum to attract researchers and practitioners from hitherto compartmentalised sub-sectors to engage with, learn from and improve each other in a common mission to efficiently plan, design, deliver and sustain better built infrastructure worldwide.
The first paper in this issue is entitled “Could refurbishment of ‘traditional’ buildings reduce carbon emissions?”. It may be taken to be under a broad sub-theme of climate change linked to buildings, followed by a focus on the topics of carbon emissions and energy savings linked to refurbishment and retrofit approaches on “traditional” buildings. We are particularly pleased to publish such papers that push the boundaries in little explored, but significant areas that are very relevant to the above BEPAM vision and mission.
Of course we can also learn from incremental advances on well-trodden pathways such as in PPP, especially if they unearth findings of value to a significant region or grouping, as in the second paper on “Constraints in implementing public private partnership (PPP) in Malaysia”.
Interestingly, a particular type of PPP has developed in Hong Kong where private sector and NGO entities have been mobilised in the partnered refurbishment and beneficial conversion and adapted re-use of some “heritage” buildings including colonial police stations and hospitals. It is thus possible to discern some possible links between the first and second papers above, in such applications as in Hong Kong, and in other jurisdictions too. We also look forward to further initiatives in, for example, proactively addressing challenges, such as those identified in Malaysia, and also to deeper applications and development of the UK approaches on the refurbishment of “traditional” buildings.
The third and fourth papers may be broadly seen to be under a “health and safety” sub-theme, albeit at different ends of a “H&S” spectrum. The third paper is on “Health and safety coordinators in building projects” based on a study in Sweden, while the fourth paper is on “Machinery transportation management: case study of ‘plant-trailer’ H&S incidents”, based on a UK case study. Whereas the former explores the practicalities of a European directive on site, the latter spotlights some oft-forgotten supply chain elements that impact on both project management and facility/asset management. We see these as interesting starting points to launch further studies into improving H&S both in these specific domains, as well as in other domains in the built environment.
The fifth and sixth papers, like the second, are within sub-themes that have not lacked attention over the last two decades. However, each also focuses on a particular domain that merits examination and adds value to the literature. The fifth paper is timely given the apparent worldwide resurgence in attention on controlling time and cost over-runs. Entitled “Perceived Claim sources in the Nigerian construction industry” it necessarily narrows its focus to Nigeria, but we hope that those interested in this topic would draw parallels to build on the methodology and examples in the reported study.
The sixth paper is on “Determining the cost of poor quality and its impact on productivity and profitability” and focuses on the extra costs of poor quality. It presents an interesting approach that diverges from previous work on “rework” and links it to improving productivity and profitability. While thus targeting a critical bottom line, having this in the same issue as the first paper under the sub-themes of climate change, including carbon emissions, energy savings and refurbishment options/potential, may serve to remind us to remain conscious of sustainability and the triple bottom line that includes people and planet, in addition to profit.
Straddling “full circle” through the six papers by finally synergising the thrusts of the sixth to those of the first as above, may also illustrate the essence of the above editorial title in “Straddling sub-themes and synergising topics”.
Such comparisons and juxtapositions may help trigger thinking that could lead to synergised research initiatives and publications, as also envisioned in the BEPAM mission. Of course there are some interesting and more discernible common threads in the sub-themes and topics, that weave through to this issue, from the various past issues of BEPAM as well.
On the topic of past issues, the BEPAM Paper Awards and the Reviewer Awards for 2014 were adjudged recently. We congratulate the following award winners:
BEPAM Outstanding Paper Award: Comparison of revenue guarantee programmes in build-operation-transfer projects (in BEPAM Issue 3.2) by Kohei Asao, Takashi Miyamoto, Hironori Kato, Crispin Emmanuel D. Diaz.
BEPAM Highly Commended Paper Awards:
Use of ANNs in complex risk analysis applications (in BEPAM Issue 3.1) by Nayanthara De Silva, Malik Ranasinghe and C.R. De Silva.
Modeling and assessment of competencies in urban local bodies for implementing PPP projects (in BEPAM Issue 3.1) by Ganesh A. Devkar and Satyanarayana N. Kalidindi.
A framework for stakeholder management and corporate culture (in BEPAM Issue 3.1) by Jason von Meding, Keith McAllister, Lukumon Oyedele and Kevin Kelly.
A fourth paper that came close to being included in the limited number of “Highly Commended” awards, hence deserving special mention, is: prevention through design: trade-offs in reducing occupational health and safety risk for the construction and operation of a facility (in BEPAM Issue 3.1) by Helen Lingard, Tracy Cooke, Nick Blismas and Ron Wakefield.
BEPAM Best Reviewers: Dr Kamalesh Panthi – East Carolina University; Dr Paul Bo XIA – Queensland University of Technology.
On the topic of BEPAM Paper Awards, we recently awarded one for the Best Conference paper under the BEPAM theme at the CIB “International Conference on Construction in a Changing World” that brought together 11 Working Commissions and Task Groups of CIB in a picturesque setting in Sri Lanka in early May. The BEPAM Best Conference Paper for the CIB Joint International Conference 2014 was on “SCM and extended integration at the lower tiers of the construction supply chain: An explorative study in the Dutch construction industry”, by Stephen Pryke, Rafaella Broft and Sulafa Badi.