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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2001

ALISTAIR G.F. GIBB and FRANK ISACK

This paper presents the results from interviews of 59 senior personnel from major construction clients. There are two main themes: client drivers for construction projects…

Abstract

This paper presents the results from interviews of 59 senior personnel from major construction clients. There are two main themes: client drivers for construction projects and their implications for standardization of processes and components. The client sample is described and reasons for procuring construction projects are established along with the extent of their involvement in the construction process and hence their ability to influence the outcomes. Their views on value for money, preconceptions of standardization and their opinion on its future potential are explored. Many clients recognize the need to involve constructors and manufacturers early, although fewer actually achieve this. Misconceptions about standardization exist, but many clients are recognizing the benefits possible from standardization. However, very few actually measure benefits and so are unable to truly evaluate success. There is a future for increased standardization, but only if the industry recognizes the unique aspects of each client and responds positively to meet those needs.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2005

Alistair Gibb, Sophie Hide, Roger Haslam, Diane Gyi, Trevor Pavitt, Sarah Atkinson and Roy Duff

This paper presents tools and equipment aspects of the results from a three‐year United Kingdom Government funded research project investigating accident causality…

Abstract

This paper presents tools and equipment aspects of the results from a three‐year United Kingdom Government funded research project investigating accident causality (ConCA). The project has used focus groups and studied in detail 100 construction accidents site audits, interviews with involved persons and follow‐up along the causal chain. This paper concentrates on the influence of construction tools and equipment which were found to be important contributory factors identified by the research. They have largely been overlooked by previous studies and are not typically acknowledged as accident contributors. This paper argues for further work to confirm these links and for the inclusion of tools and equipment in the list of categories in statutory reporting procedures. This would also require an increased acknowledgement by construction managers of their influence, leading to better design and management of their supply and care on site.

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Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Book part
Publication date: 5 October 2018

Long Chen and Wei Pan

With numerous and ambiguous sets of information and often conflicting requirements, construction management is a complex process involving much uncertainty. Decision…

Abstract

With numerous and ambiguous sets of information and often conflicting requirements, construction management is a complex process involving much uncertainty. Decision makers may be challenged with satisfying multiple criteria using vague information. Fuzzy multi-criteria decision-making (FMCDM) provides an innovative approach for addressing complex problems featuring diverse decision makers’ interests, conflicting objectives and numerous but uncertain bits of information. FMCDM has therefore been widely applied in construction management. With the increase in information complexity, extensions of fuzzy set (FS) theory have been generated and adopted to improve its capacity to address this complexity. Examples include hesitant FSs (HFSs), intuitionistic FSs (IFSs) and type-2 FSs (T2FSs). This chapter introduces commonly used FMCDM methods, examines their applications in construction management and discusses trends in future research and application. The chapter first introduces the MCDM process as well as FS theory and its three main extensions, namely, HFSs, IFSs and T2FSs. The chapter then explores the linkage between FS theory and its extensions and MCDM approaches. In total, 17 FMCDM methods are reviewed and two FMCDM methods (i.e. T2FS-TOPSIS and T2FS-PROMETHEE) are further improved based on the literature. These 19 FMCDM methods with their corresponding applications in construction management are discussed in a systematic manner. This review and development of FS theory and its extensions should help both researchers and practitioners better understand and handle information uncertainty in complex decision problems.

Details

Fuzzy Hybrid Computing in Construction Engineering and Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-868-2

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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2018

Anush Poghosyan, Patrick Manu, Lamine Mahdjoubi, Alistair G. F. Gibb, Michael Behm and Abdul-Majeed Mahamadu

Decisions made during the design stage of construction works can significantly reduce the risk of occurrence of occupational accidents, injuries and illnesses. Moreover…

Abstract

Purpose

Decisions made during the design stage of construction works can significantly reduce the risk of occurrence of occupational accidents, injuries and illnesses. Moreover, it has been established that design is one of the major contributors of accidents and injuries. Design for safety (DfS) studies within construction have highlighted factors affecting the implementation of DfS, among which are designer attitude; DfS knowledge/awareness and education; availability of DfS tools, including guidance; client’s influence and motivation; and legislation. The purpose of this study is to carry out an in-depth literature review of DfS studies within construction to explore the extent to which existing DfS research has looked at the above-listed DfS implementation factors.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of 164 journal articles related to DfS in construction (published from 1990 to 2017) within built environment, engineering and multidisciplinary safety journals was undertaken.

Findings

The findings indicate that around 60 per cent of the journal articles reviewed address designer knowledge/awareness and education issues, about 27 per cent looked at DfS implementation tools to assist designers to undertake DfS, about 23 per cent studied client influence/motivation, about 16 per cent studied designers’ attitudes towards DfS implementation and approximately 16 per cent looked at the role of legislation in DfS implementation. The literature points that client influence/motivation and legislation are very influential DfS implementation factors despite a limited number of studies in these areas.

Originality/value

Overall, the findings provide an indication of areas of DfS implementation, particularly client influence/motivation and legislation, where more research would be needed to promote DfS in construction to help mitigate the occurrence of accidents and injuries.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 16 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2019

Alex Opoku and Sarah A. Mills

As part of the UK Government’s strategy to address the current shortage of primary school places is the construction of standardised designed schools. The UK Government…

Abstract

Purpose

As part of the UK Government’s strategy to address the current shortage of primary school places is the construction of standardised designed schools. The UK Government has been facing an uphill battle to meet the demand for the ever-increasing number of school places it requires. This paper aims to explore the use of standardised school design in addressing the problem of primary school places in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

Due to the exploratory nature of this investigation, a pragmatic research philosophy is utilised and mixed-method data collection techniques are used. Quantitative data collection is in the form of a survey involving 306 construction professionals and stakeholders; this has been consolidated using qualitative data collection in the form of nine purposefully selected semi-structured interviews.

Findings

The research highlighted the influence that people and their perceptions have on the successful implementation of standardisation. The results show that a high level of misunderstanding exists around the concept of standardisation and its definition. Standardised design has shown to have a remarkable influence in reducing the cost and time required for delivering the construction of new schools.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the exploratory nature of this research, the results obtained have not been wholly conclusive but have instead provided a contribution to the area of standardisation in construction.

Originality/value

The research has uncovered that, to truly promote and drive standardisation in the delivery of schools, a joint approach is required with designers, contractors, clients and manufacturers, working in partnership to develop successful solutions. The paper will, therefore, help the key stakeholders delivering standardised schools in UK to fully understand the concept and turn the challenges into opportunities.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 2 December 2019

Kudirat Olabisi Ayinla, Franco Cheung and Abdel-Rahman Tawil

This study aims to develop a more inclusive working definition and a formalised classification system for offsite construction to enable common basis of evaluation and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to develop a more inclusive working definition and a formalised classification system for offsite construction to enable common basis of evaluation and communication. Offsite manufacturing (OSM) is continuously getting recognised as a way to increase efficiency and boost productivity of the construction industry in many countries. However, the knowledge of OSM varies across different countries, construction practices and individual experts thus resulting into major misconceptions. The lack of consensus of what OSM is and what constitutes its methods creates a lot of misunderstanding across Architecture Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry professionals, therefore, inhibiting a global view and understanding for multicultural collaboration. Therefore, there is a need to revisit these issues with the aim to develop a deep understanding of the concepts and ascertain what is deemed inclusive or exclusive.

Design/methodology/approach

A state-of-the-art review and analysis of literature on OSM was conducted to observe trends in OSM definitions and classifications. The paper identifies gaps in existing methods and proposes a future direction.

Findings

Findings suggest that classifications are mostly aimed towards a particular purpose and existing classification system are not robust enough to cover all aspects. Therefore, there is need to extend these classification systems to be fit for various purposes.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the body of literature on offsite concepts, definition and classification, and provides knowledge on the broader context on the fundamentals of OSM.

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Book part
Publication date: 13 September 2018

Abbas Elmualim, Sherif Mostafa, Nicholas Chileshe and Raufdeen Rameezdeen

This chapter discusses the profound and influential impact the construction industry has on the national economy, together with the huge negative effect it has on the…

Abstract

This chapter discusses the profound and influential impact the construction industry has on the national economy, together with the huge negative effect it has on the environment. It argues that by adopting smart and industrialised prefabrication (SAIP), the Australian construction industry, and the construction industry globally, is well positioned to leverage the circular economy to advance future industries with less impact on our natural environment. It discusses aspects of the application of digital technologies, specifically building information modelling, virtualisation, augmented and virtual reality and 3D printing, coupled with reverse logistics as a proponent for advancing the circular economy through smart, digitally enabled, industrialised prefabrication. It further postulates a framework for SAIP for the circular economy.

Details

Unmaking Waste in Production and Consumption: Towards the Circular Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-620-4

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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2019

Patrick Manu, Anush Poghosyan, Abdul-Majeed Mahamadu, Lamine Mahdjoubi, Alistair Gibb, Michael Behm and Olugbenga O. Akinade

Against the backdrop of the contribution of design to the occurrence of occupational injuries and illnesses in construction, design for occupational safety and health…

Abstract

Purpose

Against the backdrop of the contribution of design to the occurrence of occupational injuries and illnesses in construction, design for occupational safety and health (DfOSH) is increasingly becoming prominent in the construction sector. To ensure that design interventions are safe for construction workers to build and maintain, design firms need to have the appropriate organisational capability in respect of DfOSH. However, empirical insight regarding the attributes that constitute DfOSH organisational capability is lacking. The purpose of this paper, which trailblases the subject of DfOSH organisational capability in construction, is to address two key questions: what organisational attributes determine DfOSH capability? What is the relative priority of the capability attributes?

Design/methodology/approach

The study employed three iterations of expert focus group discussion and a subsequent three-round Delphi technique accompanied by the application of voting analytic hierarchy process.

Findings

The study revealed 18 capability attributes nested within six categories, namely: competence (the competence of organisation’s design staff); strategy (the consideration of DfOSH in organisation’s vision as well as the top management commitment); corporate experience (organisation’s experience in implementing DfOSH on projects); systems (systems, processes and procedures required for implementing DfOSH); infrastructure (physical, and information and communication technology resources); and collaboration (inter- and intra-organisational collaboration to implement DfOSH on projects). Whilst these categories and their nested attributes carry varying weights of importance, collectively, the competence-related attributes are the most important, followed by strategy.

Originality/value

The findings should enable design firms and other key industry stakeholders (such as the clients who appoint them) to understand designers’ DfOSH capability better. Additionally, design firms should be able to prioritise efforts/investment to enhance their DfOSH capability.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 26 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Henric Jonsson and Martin Rudberg

This paper aims to define key performance indicators (KPIs) for measuring performance of production systems for residential building from a production strategy perspective.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to define key performance indicators (KPIs) for measuring performance of production systems for residential building from a production strategy perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review is done to identify suitable competitive priorities and to provide grounds for developing KPIs to measure them. The KPIs are evaluated and validated through interviews with industry experts from five case companies producing multifamily residences. Furthermore, two of the case companies are used to illustrate how the KPIs can be employed for analysing different production systems from a manufacturing strategy perspective.

Findings

Defined, and empirically validated, KPIs for measuring the competitive priorities quality, cost (level and dependability), delivery (speed and dependability) and flexibility (volume and mix) of different production systems.

Research limitations/implications

To further validate the KPIs, more empirical tests need to be done and further research also needs to address mix flexibility, which better needs to account for product range to provide a trustworthy KPI.

Practical implications

The defined KPIs can be used to evaluate and monitor the performance of different production systems’ ability to meet market demands, hence focusing on the link between the market and the firm’s production function. The KPIs can also be used to track a production systems’ ability to perform over time.

Originality/value

Most research that evaluate and compare production systems for residential building is based on qualitative estimations of manufacturing outputs. There is a lack of quantitative KPIs to measure performance at a strategic level. This research does this, identifying what to measure, but also how to measure four competitive priorities through 14 defined KPIs.

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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2009

Wei Pan and Alistair G.F. Gibb

Offsite is one of the main innovative techniques employed in the contemporary UK construction sector. Building maintenance accounts for over 5 percent of the UK's gross…

Abstract

Purpose

Offsite is one of the main innovative techniques employed in the contemporary UK construction sector. Building maintenance accounts for over 5 percent of the UK's gross domestic product of which bathrooms are regarded as a critical area, with potential high risks and defects. However, the importance of its maintenance has been largely underestimated and research into this area appears to be limited. This paper aims to address this knowledge gap by investigating the maintenance performance of offsite and in situ bathrooms for student accommodation.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines 732 maintenance records over three years of 216 precast concrete modules, 84 Glass Reinforced Polyester (GRP) modules and 96 traditionally‐built in situ bathrooms.

Findings

The research found that offsite modules outperformed in situ bathrooms in terms of maintenance. GRP modules created the least maintenance problems, compared to precast modules and in situ bathrooms. The maintenance of in situ bathrooms was more complex than offsite modules, and involved more diverse problematic areas. The main causes of the problems included inappropriate design; poor build workmanship, lack of quality of component materials and improper usage by occupants. This supports a parallel study that found that the costs associated with maintenance were significantly higher for in situ bathrooms than for the equivalent offsite solutions.

Research limitations/implications

The paper contributes to understanding the problems of offsite bathroom modules requiring maintenance in comparison with in situ bathrooms and their possible causes. Key aspects of offsite bathrooms including drainage, toilets, vents and sinks should be improved. Quality of component materials used for in situ bathrooms should be ensured. These improvements can only be achieved through better design for maintenance with clients' aspiration embodied. The findings should assist in design decision making of selecting bathrooms for residential buildings. However, a balanced approach, taking into account other factors for such selection, is open for future investigation.

Originality/value

The framework of strategies developed should improve the innovative design of bathrooms manufactured offsite and help maintain them for better lifecycle performance.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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