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Article
Publication date: 7 April 2015

Johnny Kwok Wai WONG and Ringo W.H. Shum

This study aims to understand the impacts of the Minor Works Control System (MWCS) on the performance of minor works contractors following its implementation in 2011, and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to understand the impacts of the Minor Works Control System (MWCS) on the performance of minor works contractors following its implementation in 2011, and specifically the initiatives adopted by minor works contractors in response to the new building control regime. Suggestions are made for the further improvement of the MWCS. Like many Western countries and Asian counterparts, Hong Kong has recently implemented a new building control system (the MWCS), which aims to restructure the building proposal approval process and shift the responsibility for building control from the public to the private sector. The effectiveness of the MWCS has been strongly questioned by the industry and the public.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed method including a questionnaire survey (quantitative) and focus group discussions (qualitative) was adopted to provide an initial evaluation of the impact of the MWCS on practitioners and the industry.

Findings

The results suggest that implementation of the new control system has helped increase safety awareness and the technical capacity of minor works contractors. Despite these benefits, registered contractors are encountering challenges under the MWCS, such as manpower arrangement problems and higher business operating costs. Initiatives that include maintaining a sound financial background, an adequate in-house supervisory staff and a safe working environment are considered critical by practitioners to maintain their competitive edge under the new control regime.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first studies in Hong Kong to evaluate the impact of the new building control system. The feedback and suggestions provided by the practitioners and experts during the research provide valuable insights for the government on how to provide support to practitioners under the MWCS to achieve a better built environment in Hong Kong.

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2009

Yung Yau

The responsibility for ensuring the safety and standard of building works in Hong Kong has long rested with the government. In 2003, the government proposed a new control…

Abstract

Purpose

The responsibility for ensuring the safety and standard of building works in Hong Kong has long rested with the government. In 2003, the government proposed a new control regime to streamline the process of building proposal approval by allowing private‐sector practitioners to certify certain types of minor building works. The purpose of this paper is to consider the likely effectiveness of the proposed regime by examining the views of local building professionals.

Design/methodology/approach

Following an overview of the government's initiative in private certification of building works, a literature review is conducted to collate the collective views of the local professional institutions about the proposals. A total of 90 local architects, building surveyors and structural engineers in the private and public sectors are then interviewed using a structured questionnaire.

Findings

The proposed regime is generally perceived as having the capacity to speed up the process of building proposal approval whilst also improving overall standards of building performance in Hong Kong. Concerns are however expressed about the clarity of the definition of minor works, and about the level of professional competence of the private certifiers. The respondents also expressed further general concern over the adequacy of government support offered to the private certifiers under the proposed system.

Research limitations/implications

Stakeholders of the proposed minor works regime are not confined to building professionals such as architects, engineers and building surveyors, but also include contractors and the general public as a whole. Owing to limited resources, only the views of the local building professionals are solicited.

Practical implications

The findings of this study provide valuable insights for public administrators into the design and subsequent operation of the new regime. They will also assist the Hong Kong Government in making more informed decisions about the future streamlining of the building control system without, at the same time, sacrificing the overall building safety of the city.

Originality/value

This is the first published study on the views of building professionals from different professional backgrounds on the proposed private certification regime.

Details

International Journal of Law in the Built Environment, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-1450

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1977

THE Reference Department of Paisley Central Library today occupies the room which was the original Public Library built in 1870 and opened to the public in April 1871…

Abstract

THE Reference Department of Paisley Central Library today occupies the room which was the original Public Library built in 1870 and opened to the public in April 1871. Since that date two extensions to the building have taken place. The first, in 1882, provided a separate room for both Reference and Lending libraries; the second, opened in 1938, provided a new Children's Department. Together with the original cost of the building, these extensions were entirely financed by Sir Peter Coats, James Coats of Auchendrane and Daniel Coats respectively. The people of Paisley indeed owe much to this one family, whose generosity was great. They not only provided the capital required but continued to donate many useful and often extremely valuable works of reference over the many years that followed. In 1975 Paisley Library was incorporated in the new Renfrew District library service.

Details

Library Review, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2018

Azlan Shah Ali, Nur Farhana Azmi and Timothy Kurannen Baaki

Refurbishment is inherently more sustainable than building new. However, planned and actual costs of refurbishment projects are bound to vary due to the complex nature of…

Abstract

Purpose

Refurbishment is inherently more sustainable than building new. However, planned and actual costs of refurbishment projects are bound to vary due to the complex nature of most such projects. This can affect the performance of refurbishment work. The purpose of this paper is to examine factors responsible for elemental cost variations between the actual and planned costs of refurbishment projects. The study also examines factors that contribute to differences in actual and planned cost between refurbishment and new build projects.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative approach was adopted for this study. A literature review identified factors responsible for elemental cost variations in refurbishment projects, as well as factors responsible for differences in actual and planned cost of new build and refurbishment projects. This was followed by a questionnaire survey of refurbishment projects across Malaysia. A total of 55 respondents provided input through a questionnaire survey to identify these factors.

Findings

This study demonstrates that procurement strategy (PS), inappropriate contractors (IC), poor project management (PPM), availability of funding, materials and equipment, and force majeure (FM) significantly affect refurbishment cost performance. Electrical installations, firefighting equipment, and painting were the building elements most affected by cost variations. A regression model for refurbishment cost prediction indicates that PS, IC, PPM, availability of funding, materials and equipment, and FM were significant predictors of building refurbishment cost performance.

Originality/value

This paper provides insight into the major factors affecting elemental cost variation of refurbishment works, as well as building elements most affected by cost variations and provides a model for predicting refurbishment cost performance.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

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Article
Publication date: 5 April 2011

Rodney McAdam, Shirley‐Ann Hazlett and Sean Johnston

The purpose of this study is to explore the formative development of construction supply chain guidelines or proposals in a UK region's schools' estates procurement…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the formative development of construction supply chain guidelines or proposals in a UK region's schools' estates procurement process to more effectively address a forthcoming increase in investment.

Design/methodology/approach

The research approach is interpretive. Using an action research approach, repeated semi‐structured interviews and focus groups with a range of stakeholders are conducted.

Findings

The current construction supply chain in schools' estate procurement has many difficulties, not least given the highly fragmented and disconnected nature of the projects. Synergies are being missed and there is little or no continuous improvement. Drawing on these findings, the research iteratively develops a range of proposals and guidelines to address this situation.

Research limitations/implications

This research adds weight to the current focus on pressing for change in the construction industry. It presents potentially valuable insights into the benefits of partnering arrangements and how these might usefully be incorporated into schools' estate supply chain.

Practical implications

A set of guidelines is developed to guide the public procurement of schools' estate in a UK region. These guidelines are set within the context of the Modernising and Rethinking Construction agenda.

Originality/value

The action research approach enabled the researchers to gain a unique insight into how public procurement and contractor personnel interact and to establish effective practical guidelines.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1937

In the last‐issued volume of his monumental History of the Novel, Dr. E. A. Baker remarks that librarians do not expect to be thanked for their services and then…

Abstract

In the last‐issued volume of his monumental History of the Novel, Dr. E. A. Baker remarks that librarians do not expect to be thanked for their services and then, characteristically, proceeds to thank some dozen or so. Whatever our expectations are, we are none the less appreciative when a writer does express his debt; it helps us, it justifies our work. Few tributes of late have been more graceful than this paid by Mr. J. D. Griffith Davies in his useful and attractive Honest George Monk, which has lately come from Mr. John Lane: “What I should do without the kindly help of my friend, R. J. Gordon, Librarian of the Leeds Public Libraries, I really don't know. Like some fairy godmother he produces for my use the rarest books; and his keen personal interest in all forms of research, and the unfailing courtesy of his colleagues, makes the Reference Library at Leeds one of the homeliest places for work.” It is worth while to compare the expression here with the words Mr. Berwick Sayers has written at the end of his preface to the 1937 edition of Brown's Manual.

Details

New Library World, vol. 39 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2017

Joseph H.K. Lai

The study aims to reveal the state of building operation and maintenance (O&M) manpower in Hong Kong. In addition, the study included supply and demand of O&M…

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to reveal the state of building operation and maintenance (O&M) manpower in Hong Kong. In addition, the study included supply and demand of O&M practitioners, gaps between their required and possessed competences and ways to meet the manpower needs.

Design/methodology/approach

After developing a model that integrates manpower levels (L), trades (T) and natures (N) of O&M works (named as “LTN” model), a full spectrum of O&M jobs were established followed by collecting data of 75 organizations and 402 stakeholders through two surveys.

Findings

Besides the large O&M workforce, vacancy rates of the jobs were found to be significant. For the different trades and natures of O&M works, the knowledge/skills levels perceived by the stakeholders were lower than the corresponding importance levels.

Research limitations/implications

The methodology of the study can be used in future research for revealing the state of O&M manpower in Hong Kong and cities alike. The way in which the “LTN” model was developed may be used as a reference for constructing similar models for manpower research in other industries.

Practical implications

The findings and the measures for improving the O&M manpower can assist policymakers and human resources departments to formulate necessary education and training courses for the building industry.

Originality/value

The study is the first of its kind focusing on building O&M manpower. The state of the manpower it unveiled forms a basis for comparison with similar findings in future.

Details

Facilities, vol. 35 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2012

Yongtao Tan, Liyin Shen and Craig Langston

The purpose of this paper is to examine the causal relationship between the building maintenance market and GDP in Hong Kong.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the causal relationship between the building maintenance market and GDP in Hong Kong.

Design/methodology/approach

The Granger causality test is used to investigate the lead‐lag relationships between the maintenance and repair work and GDP in Hong Kong. With regression analysis, the future trend of the maintenance market is forecasted.

Findings

The results show that the growth of the economy will lead to the growth of the maintenance market, not vice‐versa. And the building maintenance market in Hong Kong will keep increasing with the economy growth.

Originality/value

This paper shows that the growth of the economy in Hong Kong Granger‐causes the growth of the maintenance market. Plus there are other factors affecting the maintenance market, including the increasing number of ageing buildings, obsolescence and adaptive reuse, legislation, sustainability and social responsibility. The results of this paper provide a valuable reference for the Hong Kong Government to formulate new policies. More importantly, these findings will help contractors have a better understanding of the maintenance market in Hong Kong, both current and future.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1970

Tyrrell Burgess

I sometimes feel that the welfare state exists (like some morality left over from the middle ages) largely to remind us of the vanity of all human endeavour. To assist the…

Abstract

I sometimes feel that the welfare state exists (like some morality left over from the middle ages) largely to remind us of the vanity of all human endeavour. To assist the poor we have huge expenditures and labyrinthine administration — yet the poor are always with us. Indeed the effect seems normally to be the reverse of what is intended — and we find Professor Townsend or someone writing to The Times to say that under a Labour Government the poor have been getting relatively poorer. We are familiar with the phenomenon in education. A hundred years after Mr Forster's Education Act, 1870, a researcher like J. W. B. Douglas can note, without surprise, that the middle class child retains almost intact his historic advantages over the working class child — only now he does it at public expense.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 12 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

James M.W. Wong, Albert P.C. Chan and Y.H. Chiangn

Manpower is the most valuable asset in the construction industry. Based on an examination of literature, selected key data sources, and views from 29 key informants, this…

Abstract

Manpower is the most valuable asset in the construction industry. Based on an examination of literature, selected key data sources, and views from 29 key informants, this paper addresses the important labour resource context related to the construction industry in the case of Hong Kong. These include the trends of the critical indicators of the labour market in construction and the implications of the changing markets and technology on the future pattern of skill requirements, and the government policies on construction personnel. The findings are of immense importance to anyone involved in the construction industry, particularly training organizations and policy makers in their mission to maintain a skilled, competitive and adequate workforce able to meet the future demands of the industry. The changing labour market trends and skill requirements pose challenges for construction personnel in terms of upgrading their skills. Further research is recommended to construct robust models predicting the occupational trends in labour resources for effective manpower planning and to establish a labour market information system which could lead to capturing periodic labour market signals with a view to assisting the process of policy making on various human resource development aspects of construction workforce in Hong Kong.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

Keywords

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