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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Guest editorial From: Facilities, Volume 30, Issue 13/14
Since the founding of this journal 30 years ago, the nature of facilities has diversified into many new subject areas that were not originally envisaged: building performance evaluation, post-occupancy evaluation, intelligent buildings, sustainability, novel procurement methods and partnering, to name but a few examples. It is hoped that through the publication of research evidence, those involved in facilities management can more effectively contribute to the future efficiency and effectiveness of facilities management.
The paper by Low Sui Pheng, Deng Xiaopeng and Quek Li Ting addresses total building performance issues from a very innovative perspective. The ancient principles of Chinese geomancy share many of the same goals as total building performance (TBP) in delivering an optimal environment for occupants that promotes their well-being. The Chinese geomancy concept differs to conventional thinking with respect to openings and colors to surrounding amenities and building height.
The research evaluates the relevance and applicability of Chinese geomancy principles and scenarios with respect to the six TBP mandates. The principles and scenarios endorsed in both of these domains are tested through a survey questionnaire involving 32 building professionals in Singapore. There are some rather surprising findings that emerge from the study. In particular, the t-test statistics indicate that 25 of the 26 Chinese geomancy principles and 12 of the 20 Chinese geomancy scenarios are significantly applicable for the TBP mandates at 95 a percent confidence interval.
This finding shows that there are common denominators between Chinese geomancy and TBP.
In the paper by Ying Deng, the subject of coordinating the performance of what are described as mega-event flagship (MEFs) facilities is considered in relation to the Shanghai World Expo Center (EC). By using the case study approach and a pilot questionnaire survey the author assesses how the organization of the Expo Center managed to coordinate the entire Expo event. The major findings are as follows:
Functional priority – Expo Center was conceived more as a future investment than solely as an Expo input, thus supporting Shanghai’s intended strategic and spatial transformation.
Flexibility/adaptability – EC offered multi-purpose spaces with four primary and four secondary functions during and after the Expo.
Diversity of stakeholders – Given the number and type of stakeholders involved, EC’s client organization was complex.
Objective consistency – The three key programmatic components of EC remained largely consistent throughout.
The paper by Mei-Yung Leung, Jingyu Yu and Shiwang Yu attempts to identify key facilities management (FM) components in three particular areas of residential care homes. A post-occupancy evaluation (POE) questionnaire survey of 119 end-users (both elderly residents and staff) was used to evaluate the FM performance of the homes and establish the relationships between the comfort levels of FM components and the satisfaction of elderly residents. It indicated that all 16 key FM components were significantly related to the satisfaction with the home. Based on the results, recommendations on adding several new design improvements are made, such as the adoption of wide but short corridor lengths and low-speed air-conditioning machines in the common areas. In the bedrooms, the use of partitions is recommended, to address issues of privacy and consider the microclimate carefully. Furthermore, the use of lifting devices, louver doors, adequate ventilation and a stable hot water supply are identified as being important for satisfying elderly residents.
Can behavioral intention be influenced by attitude? The paper by Calvin Wan, Ronnie Cheung and Geoffrey Qiping Shen investigates the recycling attitudes and behavior of university students and staff members, by applying the theory of planned behavior. Using this approach it develops a partial least squares method to validate the proposed model to measure the determinants of recycling behavior amongst staff and students in a university campus. The research indicates that the behavioral intention with regard to recycling is influenced by several factors including attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, the awareness of consequences, the moral norms, and convenience.
Recently, Mainland China and Hong Kong have both been keen to deliver more infrastructure service projects using public-private partnership (PPP) procurement. However, the question arises as to whether there is any difference between the PPP models employed. The paper by Esther Cheung, Albert Chan, Patrick Lam, Daniel Chan and Yongjian Ke compares the critical success factors for PPP between Mainland China and Hong Kong. An empirical questionnaire survey was conducted with relevant experienced practitioners in Mainland China and Hong Kong. The results indicate that Hong Kong does not regard multi-benefit objectives as highly as Mainland China, which, in contrast, tended to be more concerned with achieving an equitable risk sharing mechanism given the problems affecting the financial market in Mainland China.
In the paper by Yuming Hong, Daniel Chan and Albert Chan, the subject of the applicability of construction partnering in Mainland China is explored. Document analysis was initially used to identify the favorable conditions and potential difficulties in the adoption of partnering in Mainland China. This approach was succeeded by a series of face-to-face semi-structured interviews targeting academic experts and industrial practitioners. These interviews were conducted to solicit their perceptions on the benefits and difficulties of implementing partnering in Mainland China. The paper ends with an overall assessment of partnering and the implementation challenges of such an approach in the region.
The results of the document analysis indicated that the cultural roots of co-operation and mutual trust, together with the increasing needs for improving the current state of project performance in Mainland China, underpin the application of partnering in the construction market. However, its application and generalization still encounter significant difficulties. The perceived benefits, potential barriers and effective strategies for partnering application in Mainland China were identified from the interviewees. The interview results support the applicability of construction partnering and provide constructive and practical suggestions for possible implementation of partnering in the Chinese construction industry. The findings provide useful suggestions and possible implications for decision-makers considering the adoption of this collaborative approach to project procurement.