Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 1 August 2004



(2004), "Editorial", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 11 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/ecam.2004.28611daa.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Issue 11.4 of ECAM has a much higher proportion of UK papers than usual. Of the six papers published, five were UK based, the sixth being from the USA. I have no explanation for the concentration of activities in UK authorship at this time. The next research assessment exercise is some way off. Only one paper has a single author, two have two authors, one three authors and two have four authors. One paper involves two institutions in the UK and one is joint between the UK and Australia. I am sure however, we will return to a more global distribution. The subjects however, are as wide as ever. Two deal with ICT issues (if you include CAD), one each on action learning, brief development, rework and skills shortages, so no real overall theme has emerged.

The papers in this issue are as follows:

Davey, Powell, Cooper and Powell report or study on action learning and its capacity to promote the use of innovation and the use of technologies. The study was based on a CIOB- funded group of professionals. The observations were that construction companies unable to address day-to-day issues identified industry-wide issues such as lack of recruits. The paper also explores the possibilities of action learning in enabling SMEs to contribute to industry change programmes.

Sarshar and Isikdag assess the awareness in the use of ICT in the Turkish construction industry. Similarities with other countries are identified, however, the drive for automation and uptake is less urgent because of the cheaper workforce. Also the lack of trained staff is inhibiting uptake. The lack of awareness amongst SMEs restricts use across the supply chain. Whilst industry leaders are giving direction, training and education are needed.

Othman, Hassan and Pasquire argue that confining brief development to certain prescribed stages of the project hinders client designer interaction. Their solution to this problem is Dynamic Brief Development (DBD). The paper addresses the drivers behind the need for DBD and work that has taken place elsewhere. The paper also describes a system to manage brief development incorporating all the demands of the identified drivers.

Love and Edwards investigate the causes of rework in construction projects either during design or construction. Rework is held to be inefficient, i.e. if we knew what we were doing we would do it right first time. The authors surveyed 161 construction projects in Australia. Amongst their conclusions are that client initiated changes and inefficient use of ICT by the design team were significant contributors to rework. Also, and they present this as suppressing, design scope freezing was identified as a significant contributor to rework. However, it is not explained what the interaction between the design freeze and client initiated changes as both appear to contribute?

Dainty reports on the development of a regional strategy for resolving construction labour market shortages. The industry's skills shortages are driven by demographics, poor image, wastage roles, decline in standards of skills, growth in self-employment and a decline in trainees and training resources. As part of a wider study this paper reports the opinions of 50 industry stakeholders in one UK region and the package of mutually supportive measures for addressing skills deficiencies.

Lapp, Ford, Bryant and Horlen report on a case study to investigate the impact of CAD on design realisation. The authors conducted a comparative analysis between shop (or production) drawings prepared by hand and those prepared using CAD. This comparison included corrections and information transfer errors. The authors conclusion is that utilising CAD can be demonstrated to improve design accuracy and have lower project costs. It may also have been an unidentified factor in Love and Edwards' study of rework.

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