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Article
Publication date: 26 November 2021

Nigel Craig, Nick Pilcher, Alan M. Forster and Craig Kennedy

The spirits industry is a major economic contributor worldwide, often requiring years of maturation in barrels that is associated with significant release of ethanol into…

Abstract

Purpose

The spirits industry is a major economic contributor worldwide, often requiring years of maturation in barrels that is associated with significant release of ethanol into the surrounding environment. This provides carbon nutrition for colonisation of black fungal growths, one type being Baudoinia compniacensis, or Whisky Black. Although growth is localised in production areas, numerous sites exist globally, and this paper's purpose is to investigate the extent and implications of colonisation.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents and discusses the results of a visual survey of the area surrounding a site where whisky is maturing in nearby bonded warehouses. The evaluation considers radial zoning distance from the ethanol source and material substrate types and surface textures. Classical key stages of Building Pathology, namely manifestation, diagnosis, prognosis and therapy, are considered.

Findings

Key findings are that the colonisation of the fungus is non-uniform and dependent on the substrate building material. Additionally, rougher-textured building materials displayed heavier levels of fungal manifestation than smooth materials. Aspects such as distance, wind direction and moisture are considered relative to the extent and level of fungal growth.

Originality/value

This investigation provides the first assessment of the extent and nature of the fungal growth in properties built in surrounding areas to bonded warehouses. Such information can facilitate open dialogue between stakeholders that recognise the aspirations of values of corporate social responsibility, whilst balancing the economic importance of distilling with recognition of the fungus's impact on property values and appropriate recurring remedial treatments.

Details

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

Keywords

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: 2 February 2022

Kenneth Lawani, Luis Alfredo Arias Abad, Nigel Craig, Billy Hare and Iain Cameron

Emotional intelligence (EI) and conflict management (CM) are essential skills for construction managers towards achieving organisational effectiveness. It is believed that…

Abstract

Purpose

Emotional intelligence (EI) and conflict management (CM) are essential skills for construction managers towards achieving organisational effectiveness. It is believed that an individual’s EI level (EIL) is a predictor of the preferred CM styles (CMS). This study aims to explore the relationships between EIL, preferred CMS and demographic factors in the construction sector of the Dominican Republic (DR).

Design/methodology/approach

The EIL and CMS of a sample of civil engineers in managerial positions were evaluated using the emotional intelligence appraisal and Rahim Organizational Conflict Inventory-II self-assessment tools.

Findings

There was a strong positive correlation between the rated EIL and the scores of collaboration and compromise styles, i.e. participants with higher EIL have stronger fit within the collaboration and compromise styles of managing conflicts. For participants with lower EIL, collaboration and compromise styles were also top preferences, but with no statistical significance. Significant relationships existed between gender, collaboration and compromise styles and between work experience and collaboration style. No significant relationship between demographics and EIL.

Practical implications

The construction industry needs innovative construction managers whose CMS and EIL are compatible with the culture and overall organisational objectives.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study appraising the EI and CMS of civil engineers working in DR construction industry.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 August 2018

Christopher Boothman, Nigel Craig and James Sommerville

The purpose of this paper is to explore how the data collected by the House Builders Federation (HBF)/National House Building Council (NHBC) surveys are used in practice…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how the data collected by the House Builders Federation (HBF)/National House Building Council (NHBC) surveys are used in practice to improve the service provided to the customers, the transition of any changes into practice and the overall management of the customer satisfaction process by the builder.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach to the research was adopted, and the findings from the interviews provide an indication of the views from a range of private/speculative house builders relating to the areas of customer satisfaction and the ratings provided through industry-based surveys.

Findings

This paper has uncovered the views and opinions of private house builders relating to customer satisfaction and five-star ratings. The findings provide evidence that the house building industry is not fully engaged with the HBF five-star-related concept and that they provide a differing level of service in relation to customer satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

The research concluded that the customer can be manipulated by the builders in some cases causing a bias in the market; on the whole, the customer satisfaction surveys and star rating are simply seen as a marketing tool, used by the builders marketing department as a sign of quality and a way to promote the company.

Practical implications

This paper is of interest to private house builders and the wider construction industry and will aid their understanding of not only generic customer satisfaction but also in particular customer satisfaction in new build housing and quality-related ratings/targets applied by industry bodies.

Originality/value

The paper provides an insight to house builders practices by examining the use of the HBF/NHBC survey results and how they are used to manage and improve the service provided to the customer, and the results therefore are of value to the end home buyer and the wider house building industry.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

James Sommerville, Nigel Craig and Sarah Bowden

Construction projects have become larger and more complex and yet still maintain a high drive for quality. As a result of this increase in size and complexity, the…

2673

Abstract

Construction projects have become larger and more complex and yet still maintain a high drive for quality. As a result of this increase in size and complexity, the quantities of documentation and information required to control the overall project process have themselves become more complex. Underpinning the goal of construction quality is real time information flow to and from the construction site along with communications between all the parties involved. Project information integration and collaboration is the key to achievement of coherent quality management and this can be attained through electronically sharing of information during the construction process. The residential sector of the construction industry continually experiences significant numbers of “snags”. Many site issues including snagging need to be resolved quickly and efficiently to avoid dispute and more importantly cost overrun. However, the distinct professions and artisans within the industry rarely acknowledge the needs of others. Indeed the snagging information they produce is often so incompatible that the next stage in many processes is to reconstruct the information into a workable format. Analysis of a range of organisations' approaches to snagging shows that they have their own distinct snagging process. What is required is a coherent approach to the use and implementation of an IT based, industry wide, snagging format which would revolutionise and streamline the recording and approval process of construction snagging.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 October 2007

Nigel Craig and James Sommerville

This paper aims to present findings from research that evaluate the defects/snagging management process at construction project level and review the potential for the

3309

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present findings from research that evaluate the defects/snagging management process at construction project level and review the potential for the operation of a novel, paper‐based, records management mechanism.

Design/methodology/approach

The design and use of a hybrid electronic/paper‐based snagging management system are discussed. The design and practicalities of the system are considered as a means towards demonstrating that a link currently exists between modern IT systems and traditional, paper‐based methods of document transfer.

Findings

The paper finds that the snagging aspect of construction projects is often overlooked and under‐estimated. Construction projects require systems that facilitate data input and records management processing, thus removing the reliance upon traditional methods of working. A highly advanced digital pen and paper technology is discussed which has the potential to totally revolutionise the collection of information on paper (for all organisations). The IT system can be adapted for a range of processes/needs which aids not only management but also the individuals on the frontline responsible for collecting site‐based records.

Practical implications

The system highlighted has the potential to be adopted within every construction‐based organisation and indeed wider industrial sectors due to its unique adaptability and ease with which features can be incorporated. There are a number of business benefits to be accrued from the adoption of digital pen and paper‐based IT systems.

Originality/value

Extremely novel technology is discussed. The value to the construction industry and wider industrial sectors is the opportunity to continue working using existing processes, whilst at the same time becoming wholly electronic.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 March 2013

Nigel Craig, James Sommerville and Antoinette Charles

This paper is a continuation of “No‐fines concrete in the UK social housing stock: 50 years on” published in Issue 4 of Volume 29 of this journal. It identifies the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper is a continuation of “No‐fines concrete in the UK social housing stock: 50 years on” published in Issue 4 of Volume 29 of this journal. It identifies the thermal performance of existing, un‐refurbished no‐fines concrete (NFC) walls; as about 33,000 NFC homes exist in Scotland. A majority of these properties are owned by social housing providers (SHPs) and are being upgraded to current building standards. Literature identifies the thermal performance (U‐value) of NFC walls ranging from 1.1 W/m2K to 2.0 W/m2K depending on the build‐up of the structure. The homes are classified as “hard to treat” and, as a result, the occupants experience “fuel poverty”. SHPs currently adopt a range of measures to refurbish NFC properties and adopt a broad brush approach, refurbishing a range of non‐traditional (NT) constructed dwellings under similar refurbishment packages. The purpose of this paper is to call for a re‐think in terms of such refurbishment approaches when seeking to improve the thermal performance of NFC properties.

Design/methodology/approach

Various cores were extracted from NFC homes in the West of Scotland to explore the heterogeneity of NFC construction. To measure the thermal performance of existing NFC homes, in situ u‐value calculations were undertaken through case studies and fieldwork.

Findings

The findings of this research highlight the heterogeneity of NFC construction. The paper discusses the different approaches adopted by SHPs and identifies the variations between individual NFC elements resulting from workmanship and build issues.

Practical implications

The findings expose the heterogeneity of individual NFC elements and further suggest that any decision to adopt a refurbishment approach must be based on a detailed consideration of the existing characteristics of the property including location and orientation of the property.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to discuss the in situ u‐values of NFC properties in the last 20 years. It will be of interest to SHPs planning to refurbish such properties.

Article
Publication date: 30 August 2011

James Sommerville, Nigel Craig and Antoinette Charles

No‐fines concrete (NFC) is an open textured cellular concrete obtained by eliminating either fines or sand from the normal concrete mix. Research in the 1950s showed this…

Abstract

Purpose

No‐fines concrete (NFC) is an open textured cellular concrete obtained by eliminating either fines or sand from the normal concrete mix. Research in the 1950s showed this material to be capable of energy and cement savings and worthy of being seen as a material that would revolutionise the way affordable homes could be built. In today's context, it may be argued that homes built using this material suffer from fuel poverty as a result of their thermal performance characteristics. This paper seeks to discuss the performance characteristics of NFC in social housing by identifying the nature of the material and the influence of pore structure on heat loss through the fabric of the building.

Design/methodology/approach

Exploratory work was carried out to determine the build and performance characteristics of NFC as used in a range of social housing units. The work includes both laboratory tests and site investigations to identify the physical, thermal, visual and quality characteristics of NFC in cores taken from existing housing units in Irvine, Scotland and units cast in the lab.

Findings

The findings from the tests are used to discuss the actual characteristics of NFC and highlight the nature of pores in NFC and, their influence on heat loss through the external fabric.

Practical implications

Identifying the nature of pores in NFC helps provide approaches towards optimising solutions aimed at improving the thermal performance of the building.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to discuss the on‐site build and performance characteristics of NFC and the nature and influence of pores on the thermal performance of NFC.

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2005

James Sommerville and Nigel Craig

The drive for intelligent buildings continues unabated. An intelligent building (IB) is one that provides a responsive and supportive environment within which an…

1875

Abstract

Purpose

The drive for intelligent buildings continues unabated. An intelligent building (IB) is one that provides a responsive and supportive environment within which an organisation can attain a range of objectives, i.e. a building within which the building fabric, space, services and information systems can respond efficiently to the initial and changing demands of the owner, the occupier and the broader environment. This responsiveness requires the ability to collect data and initiate processes which effect changes. Application of radio frequency identification devices (RFID) to the components and processes undertaken within the building allows enhanced data management and process manipulation. The purpose of this paper is to outline how buildings and their management are being changed by the adoption of RFID.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper discusses the characteristics of RFIDs and their application in one specific function: the evacuation of a building during a fire. The potential for RFIDs to aid surveyors/facilities managers in many facets of their working life is also highlighted, and a number of additional application areas are discussed in general terms with their impact reviewed in terms of responsiveness and support to the occupants.

Findings

The core area of providing a responsive and supportive environment is where RFID begins to truly deliver on the drive for an IB. The range and size of the devices and their capabilities renders them suitable for inclusion within the basic building materials and components and also the processes that drive provision of the built environment.

Originality/value

Discusses the possible applications of this new technology.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2010

James Sommerville, Nigel Craig and Julie Hendry

Writers over the years have sought to define the nature and roles of a project manager. The attempts at these definitions have been based on rather historic writings of…

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Abstract

Purpose

Writers over the years have sought to define the nature and roles of a project manager. The attempts at these definitions have been based on rather historic writings of what a manager should do. This paper seeks to provide an up‐to‐date understanding of the current roles of a construction project manager.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review is used to develop a time role analysis matrix which is completed by 24 project management staff working for a multi‐national contractor located in west‐central Scotland.

Findings

What becomes clear from this research is that the definition of the actual roles is vague and poorly defined and the role basket is loose with each project shaping the final range. The research shows that the number of roles undertaken by a project manager changes with age and also the nature of the roles undertaken moves with the maturity of the project manager.

Practical implications

The historic view of what roles project managers undertake needs to be moulded in light of the findings from this research. Specifically, the rather low response to the basket of commercial roles suggests that these functional areas are being addressed elsewhere in the project team.

Originality/value

The paper provides a snapshot of practising project managers from one geographic location and wider research needs to be undertaken to ascertain the broader view.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

Keywords

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