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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2010

Charles Egbu and Jun Ying Liu

Abstract

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Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 17 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2007

Liu Jun Ying and Low Sui Pheng

The construction industry in China is progressing at a rapid pace. There are many important issues to be considered in the Chinese construction industry, not the least of…

Abstract

Purpose

The construction industry in China is progressing at a rapid pace. There are many important issues to be considered in the Chinese construction industry, not the least of which is the distancing of the design aspects from the construction aspects of a construction project. Integrating design with construction through the buildability concept can yield many benefits relating to time, cost, quality and sustainable environment. The purpose of this paper is to propose how a building design appraisal system (BDAS) may be formalized to benefit the construction industry in China.

Design/methodology/approach

This study explains the basic principles of buildability; describes the development and implementation of the BDAS in Singapore; demonstrates how buildability scores can be computed using the BDAS model; and proposes the measures that can be taken in China to populate buildability and formalize a similar BDAS model in the Chinese construction industry.

Findings

The construction industry in Singapore has benefited tremendously from the BDAS formalized by the relevant building authorities. The construction industry in Singapore possesses relevant knowledge and expertise in buildability. This skills set can likewise be transferred to China to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Chinese construction industry.

Practical implications

Some countries, like Singapore, have recognized the importance of buildability towards raising overall productivity levels in the construction industry. In the case of Singapore, the implementation of buildability principles in the construction industry have been formalized through the BDAS whose minimum buildability scores must be complied with by all property developments before building plans approvals are given by the relevant building authorities.

Originality/value

There is ample scope for China to review how the BDAS was implemented in Singapore and to consider how such a formalized system can be modified, adapted and transferred for application in the Chinese construction industry.

Details

Journal of Technology Management in China, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8779

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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2011

Jun Ying Liu, Sui Pheng Low and Miaomiao Niu

In recent years, several high‐profile cross‐border acquisitions made by Chinese enterprises have attracted the world's attention. However, none of these acquisitions were…

Abstract

Purpose

In recent years, several high‐profile cross‐border acquisitions made by Chinese enterprises have attracted the world's attention. However, none of these acquisitions were related to Chinese construction enterprises despite their expanding role in the international construction market. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the objectives and impediments faced by Chinese construction enterprises in cross‐border acquisitions based on existing theories and research studies.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a literature review and the analysis of the current status of cross‐border acquisitions in China, an industry‐wide questionnaire survey was conducted to investigate the objectives and impediments of cross‐border acquisitions faced by Chinese construction enterprises.

Findings

The main objective of Chinese construction enterprises towards cross‐border acquisitions is to create new markets and to optimize the industrial structure. Although a majority of the construction enterprises demonstrated an intention for cross‐border acquisitions which is driven by their past and current overseas activities, their preparation for cross‐border acquisitions is impeded by concerns over post‐acquisition issues and a lack of knowledge and experience.

Originality/value

The paper originally contributes to a better understanding of the current status of cross‐border acquisitions by Chinese construction enterprises based on an analysis of their objectives and impediments, which will be useful for researchers and practitioners.

Details

Journal of Technology Management in China, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8779

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 24 April 2009

Jun Ying Liu and Sui Pheng Low

The features of construction projects, characterized by their transient nature, multi‐players, and strong dependency on local natural and human environment, highlight the…

Abstract

Purpose

The features of construction projects, characterized by their transient nature, multi‐players, and strong dependency on local natural and human environment, highlight the difficulties of risk management in construction firms. This is particularly crucial when a construction firm ventures overseas where the risk exposure is high. However, it is unclear how Chinese construction firms would behave organizationally or if they have adopted appropriate risk management best practices, especially when they operate outside of Mainland China. Moreover, it is also unclear if such firms have formally documented risk management lessons for the purpose of organizational learning to share both success and failure so that similar mistakes can be avoided in the future. This paper primarily aims to establish a conceptual framework linking organizational learning with risk management, focusing on the organizational behavior of Chinese construction firms when they operate in both Mainland China and overseas.

Design/methodology/approach

The research agenda proposes the use of questionnaire surveys and in‐depth case studies of Chinese contractors with operations both in Mainland China and Singapore.

Findings

An outcome of the study is the formulation of a research agenda that will eventually lead to the development of a knowledge‐based decision support system (KBDSS) linking organizational behavior with risk management for supporting organizational learning in Chinese construction firms.

Practical implications

The outcomes of the research agenda can help chinese contractors gain “sustainable competitive advantage” against contractors from other developed countries in the global market.

Originality/value

This is possibly the first ever study to correlate organizational behaviour (OB), technical, organizational, project and external (TOPE) risks, CQ‐SET and mitigate, accept, avoid or transfer (MAAT) within the context of Chinese construction firms operating both in Mainland China and the overseas market of Singapore. As part of the research agenda, theories of organizational behavior and risk management would also be applied to the empirical findings to draw inferences.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2010

Low Sui Pheng, Liu Jun Ying and Mohan Kumaraswamy

The business environment is fraught with risks and crises. Yet, in spite of the uncertainties faced, many construction companies were not aware of business continuity…

Abstract

Purpose

The business environment is fraught with risks and crises. Yet, in spite of the uncertainties faced, many construction companies were not aware of business continuity management (BCM), nor have they implemented BCM within their organizations. The purpose of this study is to understand the reasons behind this observation.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire survey was conducted with large construction companies in China, Hong Kong and Singapore to identify the threats and crises faced by these organizations. The survey findings were aggregated with a view to understanding why BCM is not widely implemented in construction companies.

Findings

The survey findings were mapped against the Institutional Compliance Framework to explain the behavior of construction companies pertaining to BCM implementation. The study suggests that rational choice theory, normative theory and cultural‐cognitive theory provide useful pointers to understanding the decisions made and the actions that should be taken to encourage more construction companies to adopt, develop and implement BCM in their organizations.

Originality/value

Through a three‐country survey, the study presents the threats and crises that construction companies have identified in China, Hong Kong, and Singapore. More significantly, the study provides, for the first time, a theoretical underpinning to explain how construction companies may receive BCM and the measures that decision makers can take to encourage these organizations to pay more attention strategically to BCM in their operations.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 May 2008

Low Sui Pheng, Liu Jun Ying and Soh Shan Shan

There is little understanding of the pressure, loneliness and homesickness, the workers from Mainland China faced when working overseas in a foreign land like Singapore…

Abstract

Purpose

There is little understanding of the pressure, loneliness and homesickness, the workers from Mainland China faced when working overseas in a foreign land like Singapore. The families which the workers left behind in Mainland China when they work in Singapore were also neglected. The purpose of this paper is to examine the wider social aspects relating to Chinese foreign workers in the Singapore construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The research process was based on a questionnaire survey of Chinese construction workers in Singapore. A questionnaire with 45 questions was designed in which the information solicited included the socio‐demographic characteristics of the respondents, the reasons behind their trans‐national migration behaviour, the impact of this migratory behaviour on the workers and their families in Mainland China, and the workers' perceptions of and feelings towards working overseas. In total, 65 fully completed questionnaires were analyzed and reported in the study.

Findings

Supporting the family was the overarching reason for Chinese construction workers to work in Singapore. However, they were unhappy in Singapore owing to: feeling of homesickness, loneliness, long working hours, overtime work and a lack of understanding, empathy and appreciation from the locals.

Originality/value

This paper has taken the first step in exploring the neglected aspects of Chinese construction workers in Singapore. It provides a set of recommendations on how the relevant government authorities, employers and non‐governmental organizations can pay more attention to the emotional and psychological needs of these foreign workers. It also provides a better understanding of these workers to help raise public acceptance of them in society.

Details

Journal of Technology Management in China, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8779

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2009

Sui Pheng Low, Jun Ying Liu and Peng Wu

The Sino‐Singapore Tianjin Eco‐city Project, the agreement of which was signed in 2007, is an important milestone that would further cement ties between Singapore and the…

Abstract

Purpose

The Sino‐Singapore Tianjin Eco‐city Project, the agreement of which was signed in 2007, is an important milestone that would further cement ties between Singapore and the People's Republic of China (PRC). The Eco‐city Project will be used to showcase the latest green technologies adopted in buildings with a view to reducing the adverse effects of global warming, carbon emissions, and climate change; leading in the process to sustainable facilities. The purpose of this paper is to examine the institutional compliance framework for transferring environmental sustainability regulations from Singapore to China.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines the current environmental sustainability regulations that are already in place in Singapore, with a view to possibly transfer these regulations as well as the supporting green technologies, codes and practices to the joint Sino‐Singapore Eco‐city Project in the PRC. The study proposes an understanding of the institutional compliance framework to facilitate this transfer.

Findings

There are existing statutory provisions within the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) in the PRC that encourage the use of solar and renewable energy with a view to fostering sustainable construction, including provisions dealing with water pollution. However, beyond these generic areas, it appears that statutory provisions within the MEP do not institutionalize the same level of details that can be found in Singapore relating to the conceptualization, design and construction of sustainable facilities. Hence, transfer of such provisions from Singapore to the Tianjin Eco‐city Project can be facilitated through an understanding of the institutional compliance framework from the Chinese side.

Research limitations/implications

The environmental sustainability regulations that are already in place in Singapore will be examined in the paper. The study explains the reasons why these regulations were implemented in Singapore, and the framework within which such provisions may be transferred to the Tianjin Eco‐city Project.

Practical implications

The paper observes that while the legal systems in both Singapore and the PRC may be different, it would be strategic and expedient for the Chinese partners in the Eco‐city joint project to familiarize themselves with the environmental sustainability regulations within Singapore's jurisdiction with a view to possibly adopting them in the PRC through the institutional compliance framework.

Originality/value

Singapore is probably the first and only country in the world to enact building regulations pertaining to environmental sustainability with attendant inputs from an appropriate Code for Environmental Sustainability of Buildings and the Green Mark Scheme. The successful completion of the Tianjin Eco‐city Project could provide a role model for further development of Eco‐cities in the world, leading to greater emphasis to be placed on sustainable facilities anchored on the institutional compliance framework.

Details

Facilities, vol. 27 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2008

Sui Pheng Low, Jun Ying Liu and Kok Hiong Oh

While the buildability concept and habitation comfort have been studied extensively, these have so far been examined separately. In particular, the implications which the…

Abstract

Purpose

While the buildability concept and habitation comfort have been studied extensively, these have so far been examined separately. In particular, the implications which the total building performance (TBP) concept, as part of habitation comfort, may have on buildability are as yet unknown. Arising from this lacuna, the objective of this study is to develop an understanding of the relationship between buildability and the two TBP concepts of spatial and acoustic performance.

Design/methodology/approach

In studying the relationship between the spatial and acoustic performance concepts and buildability, a base model was used to establish the baseline for comparison. This base model was adopted from the Code of Practice on Buildable Design implemented by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) in Singapore. The incorporation of spatial and acoustic performance guidelines on the base model was examined to assess their influence on the buildability score.

Findings

Analysis for the spatial performance concept yielded a slight decrease in the buildability score after the incorporation of the guidelines. This was also the case in the acoustic performance concept, where there was a slight decrease in the buildability score. Nevertheless, the reductions do not affect the buildability score so significantly. The minimum buildability score requirements set by the BCA were still met after the incorporation of the guidelines. This seems to suggest that there is minimal effect on the buildability score arising from the implementation of both the spatial and acoustic performance concepts.

Practical implications

The study determined that the two TBP concepts of spatial and acoustic performance do not seem to have any significantly adverse effect on buildability. Building professionals can therefore incorporate appropriate spatial and acoustic performance guidelines in their architectural layout designs without compromising on buildability.

Originality/value

This study presents a better understanding of the relationship between buildability and the two TBP concepts of spatial and acoustic performance.

Details

Facilities, vol. 26 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2008

Low Sui Pheng, Liu Jun Ying and Wong Heng Lock

The purpose of this paper is to show that, while the buildability concept and habitation comfort have been studied extensively, these have so far been examined separately…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show that, while the buildability concept and habitation comfort have been studied extensively, these have so far been examined separately. In particular, the implications, which the Total Building Performance (TBP) concept may have on buildability, are as yet unknown. Arising from this lacuna, the objective of this study is to develop an understanding of the relationship between buildability and the two TBP mandates of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and visual performance (VP).

Design/methodology/approach

In studying the relationship between the IAQ and VP mandates and buildability, a base model was used to establish the baseline for comparison. This base model was adopted from the Code of Practice on Buildable Design implemented by the Building and Construction Authority in Singapore. The incorporation of IAQ and visual performance guidelines on the base model was examined to assess their influence on the buildability score.

Findings

Analysis for the IAQ component yielded a slight increase in the buildability score after the incorporation of the guidelines. However, this was not the case in the visual performance component, where there was a slight decrease in the buildability score. Nevertheless, the reduction does not affect the buildability score significantly. The minimum buildability score requirements set by the Building and Construction Authority in Singapore were still met after the incorporation of the guidelines. This seems to suggest that there is minimum effect on the buildability score arising from the implementation of both the IAQ and visual performance mandates.

Practical implications

The study determined that the two TBP mandates of IAQ and visual performance do not have any significantly adverse effect on buildability. Building professionals can therefore incorporate appropriate IAQ and visual performance guidelines in their architectural layout designs without compromising on buildability.

Originality/value

This study presents a better understanding of the relationship between buildability and the two TBP mandates of IAQ and visual performance.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 21 August 2009

Edward Finch

Abstract

Details

Facilities, vol. 27 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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