Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Volume 7, Issue 2
The issues covered in this issue address accidents on construction sites as a result of falls from height, agility as a result of interfacing computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM), profiling of construction firms in terms of geographic diversification, performance and risk, management of construction plant and equipment, drivers and challenges of green construction and selection of wire ropes. These topics demonstrate the diversity and scope of the Journal of Engineering, Design, and Technology.
Given that falls from heights have for decades been the most dominant cause of construction accidents throughout the world, the paper by Construction Safety Research Group in Hong Kong is timely. Using data from an accident database, the findings of the analysis were presented to construction practitioners. Their feedback provide added insight into the challenges of preventing falls from heights from occurring.
The paper by S. Vinodh, G. Sundararaj, S.R. Devadasan, D. Kuttalingam, J. Jayaprakasam and D. Rajanayagam discusses the capability of an organization to respond to the demands of customers (agile manufacturing) using the interfacing of CAD and CAM. The study reported on in the paper demonstrates the increased agility as a result of this interface.
Yahaya Makarfi Ibrahim, Aliyu Makarfi Ibrahim and Bala Kabir present the findings of a study that investigated the impact of geographic diversification on the performance and risk profiles of construction firms in the UK. Using published financial data over a ten-year period, they argue that firms that remained focused within the UK market outperformed those who expanded into international markets with respect to profit margin only. However, other aspects of performance were found not to be significantly different. They found that highly diversified firms exhibited the lowest risk profiles.
In their paper, David J. Edwards and Gary D. Holt review literature on the management of construction plant and equipment. They used the review to identify a future research agenda relative to this critical aspect of construction. They found eight dominating themes, namely plant maintenance, downtime and productivity, optimization, robotics and automation, health and safety, operators and competence, machine control and several other miscellaneous issues.
In their paper, Moses Oduori and Thomas Mbuya present a case study that demonstrates the application of analytical decision making during the selection of wire ropes for the hoisting and hauling mechanism of a manual winch. They argue that their findings can be generalized to other situations requiring the selection of engineering entities.
Mohammed Arif, Charles Egbu, Abid Haleem, Dennis Kulonda and Malik Khalfan present the findings of a workshop in New Delhi, India on green construction. They highlight the drivers and challenges faced by the Indian construction sector. In particular, they found an awareness of green construction driven largely by governmental and international regulations; the willingness of customers to pay more for going green and a lack of accurate life-cycle cost assessment models.
Special thanks to each of the contributing authors and reviewers for their contributions to the papers in this particular issue.
Theo C. Haupt