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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2021

Alireza Ahmadian Fard Fini, Mojtaba Maghrebi, Perry John Forsythe and Travis Steven Waller

Measuring onsite productivity has been a substance of debate in the construction industry, mainly due to concerns about accuracy, repeatability and unbiasedness. Such…

Abstract

Purpose

Measuring onsite productivity has been a substance of debate in the construction industry, mainly due to concerns about accuracy, repeatability and unbiasedness. Such characteristics are central to demonstrate construction speed that can be achieved through adopting new prefabricated systems. Existing productivity measurement methods, however, cannot cost-effectively provide solid and replicable evidence of prefabrication benefits. This research proposes a low-cost automated method for measuring onsite installation productivity of prefabricated systems.

Design/methodology/approach

Firstly, the captured ultra-wide footages are undistorted by extracting the curvature contours and performing a developed meta-heuristic algorithm to straighten these contours. Then a preprocessing algorithm is developed that could automatically detect and remove the noises caused by vibrations and movements. Because this study aims to accurately measure the productivity the noise free images are double checked in a specific time window to make sure that even a tiny error, which have not been detected in the previous steps, will not been amplified through the process. In the next step, the existing side view provided by the camera is converted to a top view by using a spatial transformation method. Finally, the processed images are compared with the site drawings in order to detect the construction process over time and report the measured productivity.

Findings

The developed algorithms perform nearly real-time productivity computations through exact matching of actual installation process and digital design layout. The accuracy and noninterpretive use of the proposed method is demonstrated in construction of a multistorey cross-laminated timber building.

Originality/value

This study uses footages of an already installed surveillance camera where the camera's features are unknown and then image processing algorithms are deployed to retrieve accurate installation quantities and cycle times. The algorithms are almost generalized and versatile to be adjusted to measure installation productivity of other prefabricated building systems.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2019

Perry John Forsythe and Samad M.E. Sepasgozar

A problematic issue for new approaches to prefabricated timber construction is simply that there is insufficient productivity measurement data to assist estimation of…

Abstract

Purpose

A problematic issue for new approaches to prefabricated timber construction is simply that there is insufficient productivity measurement data to assist estimation of resource usage, speed onsite and best practice. A lack of information potentially results in increased pricing behaviour which may slow the uptake of prefabricated construction. The purpose of this paper is to measure installation productivity onsite for prefabricated timber floor cassette panels and develop sufficient understanding of the process to suggest improved practices.

Design/methodology/approach

A time and motion approach, paired with time-lapse photography was used for detailed capture of prefabricated cassette flooring installation processes onsite. An emphasis was placed on work flow around crane cycles from three case study projects. Time and date stamping from 300 crane cycles was used to generate quantitative data and enable statistical analysis.

Findings

The authors show that crane cycle speed is correlated to productivity including gross and net crane time scenarios. The latter is refined further to differentiate uncontrolled outlying crane cycles from normally distributed data, representing a controlled work process. The results show that the installation productivity rates are between 69.38 and 123.49 m2/crane-hour, based on normally distributed crane cycle times. These rates were 10.8–26.1 per cent higher than the data set inclusive of outlier cycles. Large cassettes also proved to be more productive to place than small.

Originality/value

The contribution of this research is the focus on cranage as the lead resource and the key unit of measure driving installation productivity (in cassette flooring prefabricated construction), as distinct from past research that focuses on labour and craft-based studies. It provides a different perspective around mechanisation, for resourcing and planning of work flow. Crane cycles provide a relatively easy yet reliably repeatable means for predicting productivity. The time-lapse photographic analysis offers a high degree of detail, accuracy and objectivity not apparent in other productivity studies which serves to enable quantitative benchmarking with other projects.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Perry John Forsythe

The impact of service quality on customer satisfaction during detached housing construction in Australia is investigated for a targeted customer – one whose expectations…

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2076

Abstract

Purpose

The impact of service quality on customer satisfaction during detached housing construction in Australia is investigated for a targeted customer – one whose expectations focus on “price and product” and not “service quality”. The purpose of this paper is to see if service quality impacts on customer satisfaction during construction, despite the apparent conflict in expectations.

Design/methodology/approach

A detailed single case study methodology is used, focusing on the aforementioned customer as the unit of measure. A longitudinal design is employed by measuring customer satisfaction and service quality “gap scores” at four stages during construction, using a survey instrument adapted from the consumer research literature. This is coupled with qualitative interview data coded into a linked set of definable service incidents.

Findings

The study finds that irrespective of having price and product oriented pre-purchase expectations, customer satisfaction is closely related to perceptions of service quality during onsite construction. This only occurs for a selective set of “active” service quality dimensions – especially responsiveness and reliability dimensions. These dimensions appear to be driven by the customer’s underlying level of exposure to both positive and negative service incidents, and the ratio between the two appears to direct the strength and direction of “gap scores”. Once the physical end product materialises, the customer gradually focuses more on the objectivity and realisation this offers, and less on service quality.

Originality/value

The paper facilitates theory development in terms of generating testable variables effecting the dynamic relationship between service quality and customer satisfaction, during construction. The approach enables an increased ability to identify and explain how contextual variables, linked to specific customer types, impact on the relationship. The generalisability and validity of the findings are discussed.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2012

Perry John Forsythe

The study aims to assist contractors in strategically managing customer satisfaction by applying marketing theory to housing construction. It specifically aims to…

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1490

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to assist contractors in strategically managing customer satisfaction by applying marketing theory to housing construction. It specifically aims to investigate service quality as an input to pre‐purchase (pre‐contract) expectations in the made‐to‐order housing construction market.

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical model is developed from the literature concerning the formulation of expectations during the pre‐purchase decision process. Data from 51 detailed telephone interviews with customers undertaking live housing projects are analysed using both thematic analysis and qualitative comparative analysis.

Findings

A revised model is provided, which includes a dimensionalised set of traits to suit housing construction customers. Strings of traits are then used to develop holistic customer profiles, including situations where service quality is fully present in critical pre‐purchase expectations and where it is totally absent (i.e. price and product design dominate instead).

Practical implications

The model and profiling technique offer a generalisable basis for contractors and others involved in housing delivery to better understand customer expectations, thus making it possible to better manage customer satisfaction.

Originality/value

The research contributes to new knowledge by providing a systematic means of understanding customer behaviour at a depth that is not apparent in the current body of literature. Theory is also developed in a way that has practical application, i.e. customer profiles can be used to assist daily marketing and management operations.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 19 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Taija Puolitaival and Perry Forsythe

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is becoming the new norm in the AEC industry and also part of many construction project management (CPM) programmes. The purpose of…

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2337

Abstract

Purpose

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is becoming the new norm in the AEC industry and also part of many construction project management (CPM) programmes. The purpose of this paper is to address the difficulty and challenges in walking the narrow line between an industry-ready BIM and a BIM that is good for student learning and offers a realistic and practical, but simultaneously achievable, learning environment.

Design/methodology/approach

An action research was conducted in an undergraduate CPM education setting.

Findings

Key challenges encountered were availability of appropriate teaching and learning resources for BIM; finding the balance between theory and practice, technology and process, and traditional and emerging CPM methods; and facilitating staff’s professional development. Closer look was given to the teaching and learning resources for BIM. Theoretical resources that are available for education in the form of books, articles and websites are easy and straightforward to locate. Likewise, a good share of various tools are available for educational purposes. On the other hand, actual building models represent a challenge in terms of preparing and optimising usage of the model for high-quality educational purposes. Several different approaches for obtaining BIM resources were identified with various challenges and benefits.

Originality/value

The results and recommendations will assist educators to better understand and overcome the practical challenges related to BIM education, especially those related to teaching and learning resources.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 34 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2004

Georgios I. Zekos

Investigates the differences in protocols between arbitral tribunals and courts, with particular emphasis on US, Greek and English law. Gives examples of each country and…

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2578

Abstract

Investigates the differences in protocols between arbitral tribunals and courts, with particular emphasis on US, Greek and English law. Gives examples of each country and its way of using the law in specific circumstances, and shows the variations therein. Sums up that arbitration is much the better way to gok as it avoids delays and expenses, plus the vexation/frustration of normal litigation. Concludes that the US and Greek constitutions and common law tradition in England appear to allow involved parties to choose their own judge, who can thus be an arbitrator. Discusses e‐commerce and speculates on this for the future.

Details

Managerial Law, vol. 46 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

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Book part
Publication date: 16 July 2015

Callie H. Burt

Heritability studies attempt to estimate the contribution of genes (vs. environments) to variation in phenotypes (or outcomes of interest) in a given population at a given…

Abstract

Purpose

Heritability studies attempt to estimate the contribution of genes (vs. environments) to variation in phenotypes (or outcomes of interest) in a given population at a given time. This chapter scrutinizes heritability studies of adverse health phenotypes, emphasizing flaws that have become more glaring in light of recent advances in the life sciences and manifest most visibly in epigenetics.

Methodology/approach

Drawing on a diverse body of research and critical scholarship, this chapter examines the veracity of methodological and conceptual assumptions of heritability studies.

Findings

The chapter argues that heritability studies are futile for two reasons: (1) heritability studies suffer from serious methodological flaws with the overall effect of making estimates inaccurate and likely biased toward inflated heritability, and, more importantly (2) the conceptual (biological) model on which heritability studies depend – that of identifiably separate effects of genes versus the environment on phenotype variance – is unsound. As discussed, contemporary bioscientific work indicates that genes and environments are enmeshed in a complex (bidirectional, interactional), dynamic relationship that defies any attempt to demarcate separate contributions to phenotype variance. Thus, heritability studies attempt the biologically impossible. The emerging research on the importance of microbiota is also discussed, including how the commensal relationship between microbial and human cells further stymies heritability studies.

Originality/value

Understandably, few sociologists have the time or interest to be informed about the methodological and theoretical underpinnings of heritability studies or to keep pace with the incredible advances in genetics and epigenetics over the last several years. The present chapter aims to provide interested scholars with information about heritability and heritability estimates of adverse health outcomes in light of recent advances in the biosciences.

Details

Genetics, Health and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-581-4

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2021

Daria Plotkina, John Dinsmore and Margot Racat

Augmented reality (AR) apps offer a great opportunity for brands to provide better service to customers by creating augmented customer service. However, not every AR app…

Abstract

Purpose

Augmented reality (AR) apps offer a great opportunity for brands to provide better service to customers by creating augmented customer service. However, not every AR app is equally effective in improving customer experience. Investigation of underlying processes and brand-related outcomes of AR marketing remains scarce and it is unclear how different types of AR apps influence brand perceptions, such as brand personality. This paper aims to fill in this knowledge gap and provide practical insights on how different AR apps can improve service brand personality.

Design/methodology/approach

Using an experimental plan, the authors investigate how attitudes towards AR apps contribute to customer perceptions of brand personality (i.e. excitement, sincerity, competence and sophistication) according to two different variables, namely, the location of the AR app (location-specific vs non-location-specific) and its orientation (augmenting the product, brand or store experience). The authors also examine the effect of expected customer experience with the AR app (i.e. playfulness and pleasure) and customer technological innovativeness and shopping orientation as predictors of attitudes towards the AR app.

Findings

The findings show that non-location-specific and product-oriented AR apps (i.e. virtual try-on apps) receive more positive evaluations and lead consumers to perceive the brand as more exciting, sincere, competent and sophisticated. Moreover, the playfulness and pleasure experienced with the AR app determine consumers’ attitudes towards the app. Additionally, AR apps improve brand personality perceptions amongst more innovative and adventure-focussed shoppers.

Originality/value

The authors show that brand announcements on high-technology, customer-oriented service offerings are an effective branding tool. Thus, AR apps perceived as pleasant and playful can signal and improve brand personality.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 21 June 2021

Dragana Nikolic, Fadi Castronovo and Robert Leicht

This study explores a pedagogical approach to teaching students a collaborative information delivery process in the context of BIM. The objectives were to understand how…

Abstract

Purpose

This study explores a pedagogical approach to teaching students a collaborative information delivery process in the context of BIM. The objectives were to understand how students approach this complex, open-ended problem of planning their collaborative process and then identify strategies for improving their process through a plan-do-check-act cycle and reflecting on the applicability of industry standards.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors present a longitudinal case study based on qualitative data from the 3 consecutive years of teaching a senior undergraduate course in a construction engineering program.

Findings

The findings offer a rich picture of how students approached this collaborative process and emphasize the complex nature of teaching BIM as information management process. The authors present instances of how students made sense of BIM standards through applied experience. The findings also demonstrate the value of an outcome-based approach whereby knowledge is gained through an iterative plan-do-check-act cycle. Here, the BEP and model deliverables served only as vehicles to test and apply a range of skills by making them more explicit.

Practical implications

The research contributes to the literature on mechanisms that support students in planning, managing and improving collaborative information strategies in a BIM context. Specifically, the authors illustrate a tension in how to pedagogically deploy industry-oriented process planning methods to establish relevance for students in order to effectively engage in interdisciplinary teams.

Originality/value

In this paper, the authors argue that teaching students how to plan, design and enact effective BIM collaboration information delivery is firmly nested within pedagogical management and communication skills. The authors illustrate with examples how students make sense of BIM approaches by making them concrete and meaningful to their own experience.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 28 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 14 October 2013

Harald Schoen, Daniel Gayo-Avello, Panagiotis Takis Metaxas, Eni Mustafaraj, Markus Strohmaier and Peter Gloor

Social media provide an impressive amount of data about users and their interactions, thereby offering computer and social scientists, economists, and statisticians …

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13265

Abstract

Purpose

Social media provide an impressive amount of data about users and their interactions, thereby offering computer and social scientists, economists, and statisticians – among others – new opportunities for research. Arguably, one of the most interesting lines of work is that of predicting future events and developments from social media data. However, current work is fragmented and lacks of widely accepted evaluation approaches. Moreover, since the first techniques emerged rather recently, little is known about their overall potential, limitations and general applicability to different domains. Therefore, better understanding the predictive power and limitations of social media is of utmost importance.

Design/methodology/approach

Different types of forecasting models and their adaptation to the special circumstances of social media are analyzed and the most representative research conducted up to date is surveyed. Presentations of current research on techniques, methods, and empirical studies aimed at the prediction of future or current events from social media data are provided.

Findings

A taxonomy of prediction models is introduced, along with their relative advantages and the particular scenarios where they have been applied to. The main areas of prediction that have attracted research so far are described, and the main contributions made by the papers in this special issue are summarized. Finally, it is argued that statistical models seem to be the most fruitful approach to apply to make predictions from social media data.

Originality/value

This special issue raises important questions to be addressed in the field of social media-based prediction and forecasting, fills some gaps in current research, and outlines future lines of work.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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