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Article
Publication date: 24 August 2020

Nigel Craig, Nick Pilcher, Rebecca MacKenzie and Chris Boothman

The UK private housebuilding sector is the key supplier of new-build homes for customers, constituting a fifth of the entire UK construction industry. Yet, despite the…

Abstract

Purpose

The UK private housebuilding sector is the key supplier of new-build homes for customers, constituting a fifth of the entire UK construction industry. Yet, despite the high average cost of houses, and official reports advocating improvement, the sector remains blighted by criticism and a negative image of its quality. However, social media now offers customers new sources of advice and information. In this context, the purpose of this paper is to analyse social media forum posts from new-build homebuyers to reveal perceptions of the industry and illustrate the value of such data for others.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents and thematically analyses 147 comment posts from nine online Facebook forums under the themes of safety; standards; quality; workmanship; customer service; finance and money; advice; National House Building Council; ombudsman; and page closures.

Findings

Customers express frustration, anger, feelings of neglect and of an abdication of responsibility by the sector. Fundamentally, change is suggested at a systemic level, and it is urged this occurs through powerful and independent bodies.

Originality/value

To date, social media data has not been analysed in the context of the housebuilding sector. Yet, such data is key not only for its open and wide-reaching nature but also because it can be incorporated into government reports. It is hoped such data will be used by the new home ombudsman the UK Government hopes to establish in 2020 and help rectify many of the performance issues experienced and protect homebuyers.

Details

International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8270

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 May 2018

Michael Gerges, Sholto Penn, David Moore, Chris Boothman and Champika Liyanage

The purpose of this paper is to investigate human behaviour during fire evacuations in multi-storey residential buildings through a focus on the challenges and obstacles…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate human behaviour during fire evacuations in multi-storey residential buildings through a focus on the challenges and obstacles that occupants face. In addition, the paper aims to study all the various behaviours that are relevant to the evacuation strategies/plans in the UK of multi-storey buildings in large cities.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review was conducted to identify the factors occupants face and also the decision making of occupants regarding the methods of egress. A mixed methods research was adopted using interviews and a questionnaire survey. The findings from the interviews and survey are benchmarked against the information gathered from the literature review.

Findings

The paper identifies various challenges that occupants face when evacuating a multi-storey residential building. In terms of the decision-making process, the research results evidence that occupants could be given more information on the evacuation procedures within their specific building. The paper also finds that occupants remain reluctant to use a lift during evacuation in fire event, irrespective of any signage clearly stating that is appropriate to do so in the context of modern lift technology.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the body of knowledge available on the evacuation of multi-storey buildings located in large cities within the UK, outlining the potential areas for future research, focussed on providing an insight of the behavioural decisions made by the occupants make when evacuating a building in the event of a fire.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Anthony Paul Higham, Chris Fortune and J.C. Boothman

The purpose of this paper is to assess the selection and use, in practice, of appraisal frameworks regarding sustainability evaluation in UK social housing sector…

1453

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the selection and use, in practice, of appraisal frameworks regarding sustainability evaluation in UK social housing sector projects, which have been advocated by academics as a means of ensuring that business decisions related to potential built environment projects are driven by best value rather than lowest cost. It also seeks to identity the key features of sustainability as assessed at the project feasibility stage. The research context is housing regeneration projects undertaken by UK social housing providers.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a quantitative approach, a survey was conducted of 481 built environment professionals working within the UK social housing sector, which generated an overall response rate of 24 per cent.

Findings

The survey results revealed that few toolkits and models developed by academe to facilitate the development and evaluation of sustainability-led building projects have so far been adopted. The impact of organisational factors such as size, denomination, and maturity on the frameworks was analysed and, in general, no statistically significant relationship was found between organisational features and the models in use. The principal features of sustainability were found to be related to energy efficiency and asset life expectancy. These findings have implications for the UK construction industry’s commitment to enhancing the built environment’s sustainability and thereby stakeholder prosperity.

Research limitations/implications

The methodological approach adopted failed to uncover fully the reasons why practitioners selected particular types of sustainability appraisal toolkits.

Practical implications

This paper focuses on the current use of sustainability-led project appraisal models and the key features of sustainability whilst also providing directions for further research. It explores the adoption of sustainability-focused project evaluation practices in the UK social housing sector and outlines potential areas for further research, focused on developing a usable, holistic framework for evaluating sustainability during the early stages of project development to help to create a more sustainable built environment.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the body of knowledge available on the adoption of sustainability-focused project evaluation practice in the UK social housing sector, outlining potential areas for further research, focused on developing a usable, holistic framework for evaluating sustainability during the early stages of project development to help to create a more sustainable built environment.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1973

The brief announcement that the Government had accepted that there should be regulations on open date marking of food, to come into effect in 1975, will come as no…

Abstract

The brief announcement that the Government had accepted that there should be regulations on open date marking of food, to come into effect in 1975, will come as no surprise. It is a timely reminder of what public pressure can achieve these days; how sustained advocacy and publicity by interested sectors of society—magistrates, local authorities, public health workers, consumer groups—can secure legislative changes which, in this case, run counter to trade opinions and the recommendation originally made by the Food Standards Committee that such a proposal was not practical and the existing law was an adequate protection. This was stated in the FSC Report on Food Labelling of 1964, although there was no indication of the evidence reviewed or that the subject had been considered very deeply; it was, after all, only a small fraction of the problem of food labelling control. It was also stated in this Report that in certain cases, date‐stamping of food could give to purchasers a false sense of security, “not justified by the conditions under which the food has been kept since manufacture”.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 75 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1971

The review of food consumption elsewhere in this issue shows the broad pattern of food supplies in this country; what and how much we eat. Dietary habits are different to…

Abstract

The review of food consumption elsewhere in this issue shows the broad pattern of food supplies in this country; what and how much we eat. Dietary habits are different to what they were before the last War, but there have been few real changes since the end of that War. Because of supplies and prices, shifts within commodity groups have occurred, e.g. carcase meat, bread, milk, but overall, the range of foods commonly eaten has remained stable. The rise of “convenience foods” in the twenty‐five year since the War is seen as a change in household needs and the increasing employment of women in industry and commerce, rather than a change in foods eaten or in consumer preference. Supplies available for consumption have remained fairly steady throughout the period, but if the main food sources, energy and nutrient content of the diet have not changed, changes in detail have begun to appear and the broad pattern of food is not quite so markedly stable as of yore.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 73 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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