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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2020

Titus Ebenezer Kwofie, Clinton Ohis Aigbavboa and Wellington Didibhuku Thwala

The South African Construction Industry (SACI) in recent times has been characterized by a strong emphasis towards achieving sustainable building practices in…

Abstract

Purpose

The South African Construction Industry (SACI) in recent times has been characterized by a strong emphasis towards achieving sustainable building practices in infrastructural delivery. However, the lack of progress encountered in making gains in achieving sustainable practices has raised concerns over the effectiveness and understanding of the extent to which life cycle assessment (LCA) techniques may aid in meeting requirements of sustainable construction. Most efforts at LCA have been blighted with numerous barriers that have not been rigorously pursued and aggregated. Ironically, there is a lack of knowledge and understanding of the limitations and barriers to these methodologies, especially in the South African context. The purpose of this study is to delineate the cluster of barriers to the adoption of LCA methodologies in the SACI.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire survey was carried out from a deductive research design elicit primary data based on the experience of purposively sampled stakeholders in LCA in the SACI on the extent they perceived the presence of well-established barriers in LCA adoption culled from the extensive literature review.

Findings

Through the use of factor analysis, three aggregated clusters of key barriers to LCA adoption in the SACI were identified, which were knowledge and enabling conditions constraints, cost and time constraints and technical constraints. The results confirm that indeed human and technical barriers have been notable in limiting gains in LCA adoption and achieving sustainable practices.

Originality/value

These findings are, thus, useful in overcoming challenges to LCA methodologies in achieving sustainable building practices in building and infrastructural delivery in SACI.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 26 September 2019

Titus Ebenezer Kwofie, Clinton Ohis Aigbavboa and Wellington Didibhuku Thwala

In spite of the urge among stakeholders to increase sustainability in the built environment, the South African Construction Industry (SACI) continues to suffer from low…

Abstract

Purpose

In spite of the urge among stakeholders to increase sustainability in the built environment, the South African Construction Industry (SACI) continues to suffer from low level of adoption of strategies such as life cycle assessment (LCA) to increase sustainable building practices in building and infrastructure delivery, hence the need to increase the adoption of sustainable concepts and sustainability practices is an emergent necessity. This study aims to identify the measures that can increase the adoption of LCA toward overcoming the practical difficulties, theoretical concerns and structural differences encountered in making gains in achieving sustainable practices in the SA construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a deductive research design using a questionnaire survey with mean scores, Kruskal–Wallis and least square regression analysis done.

Findings

The study determined ten measures that can significantly influence about 88 per cent improvement in the success of LCA adopting in the SA industry. Also, there was a higher level of consensus in the findings which offers credence and good representation of the practical reality in the LCA adoption in South Africa.

Originality/value

These measures could be seen to embrace behavioural, social, technical and policy dimensions of LCA adoption. The findings are thus crucial in overcoming challenges to LCA methodologies in achieving sustainable building practices in the construction process in building and infrastructural delivery in SACI.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2020

Falaq Assad Nazir, David John Edwards, Mark Shelbourn, Igor Martek, Wellington Didibhuku Didibhuku Thwala and Hatem El-Gohary

Housing completions in the UK have fallen to 125,000 annually, while government targets have risen to 300,000. This dramatic shortfall raises concerns as to whether…

Abstract

Purpose

Housing completions in the UK have fallen to 125,000 annually, while government targets have risen to 300,000. This dramatic shortfall raises concerns as to whether current traditional construction approaches remain appropriate. This study aims to compare the traditional approach with modular construction, with a view to assessing whether a shift in construction systems offers the potential to alleviate the UK's domestic housing crisis.

Design/methodology/approach

A comprehensive interpretivist review of the available relevant literature is undertaken on construction methods within the UK; advantages and disadvantages. A bibliometric analysis is conducted to extract trends and findings relevant to the comparison at hand. The database is Web of Science; the analysis software is the VOS viewer.

Findings

The research illustrates that the UK housing market is in a state of crisis. A toxic combination of a rising UK population combined falling rates of housing delivery has resulted in an ever-widening housing supply gap. The construction industry’s capacity to meet this observed dearth in supply is further exacerbated by a number of chronic factors such as: falling participation in the construction sector workforce; lowering skill levels; reducing profitability; time to delivery pressures; and cost blow-outs.

Originality/value

While much information on the various construction methods are available, including comparative material, this study is the first to assemble the various comparative parameters regarding traditional and modular UK residential construction in one place. Thus, this study provides a definitive assessment of the relative advantages and disadvantages of these forms of construction.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 28 April 2020

Charlotte Dixon, David John Edwards, Monica Mateo-Garcia, Joseph Lai, Wellington Didibhuku Didibhuku Thwala and Mark Shelbourn

This study aims to investigate the behaviour of building users and how this impacts upon building energy performance. Specifically, the work examines the behavioural…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the behaviour of building users and how this impacts upon building energy performance. Specifically, the work examines the behavioural traits of able-bodied users of a large higher education building who erroneously access and egress the building using doorways intended for disabled users.

Design/methodology/approach

An inductive methodological approach is adopted that uses grounded theory to devise new insights into building users’ access and egress habits. Structured interviews are conducted to collect primary data from 68 building users of a large educational building over a four-week period. Responses to questions posed provide the basis for a tabularisation of behavioural traits.

Findings

Reasons for able-bodied building users’ preferences to using disabled access are identified and discussed; these are thematically grouped under the headings of apathy, convenience, emergency, ergonomics, ignorance and phobia. Building upon these findings, the research then offers insights into the approaches that could be adopted to change the erroneous behaviours. These approaches include education of building users on the impact their behaviour has upon building performance and environmental pollution, more stringent regulation to penalise repeat offenders and changes to building entrance design using obtrusive (i.e. radio frequency identification tags) and unobstrusive control measures (i.e. a second entrance doorway or slower opening mechanism).

Originality/value

To the best of the author’s knowledge, this study is the first of its kind to investigate the rationale for able-bodied building users erroneously using disabled persons’ access and egress doorways within a building, which as a consequence, inadvertently reduces the building’s environmental performance.

Details

Facilities, vol. 38 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2019

Iman Farah Mohamed, David John Edwards, Monica Mateo-Garcia, Glenn Costin and Wellington Didibhuku Didibhuku Thwala

The purpose of this paper is to explore contemporary attitudes amongst UK construction professionals regards fire safety post the Grenfell Tower disaster. Specifically…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore contemporary attitudes amongst UK construction professionals regards fire safety post the Grenfell Tower disaster. Specifically, the research examines practitioner’s perceptions of fire safety design, material specification, construction and maintenance of high-rise blocks throughout a building’s whole life cycle.

Design/methodology/approach

A multi-methodology approach was adopted that utilises a mix of research methods. Extant literature and media content is used as a secondary data source, providing a more insightful interpretivist analysis – the results of which guided the development of the survey’s main question set. Primary survey data are sourced from structured interviews and questionnaires completed by participating industry professionals and built environment undergraduate students using non-representative sampling methods. In addition, a Grenfell Tower special advisory panel member was interviewed to add further validity to the overall findings.

Findings

The quantitative findings present evidence to suggest that the Grenfell disaster (and media storm that has surrounded this event) has raised the general level of fire safety knowledge and competency amongst construction professionals. However, qualitative feedback from the special advisory panel member suggests specific fire prevention knowledge remains elusive within both industry and taught programmes at Higher Education Institutes. As a consequence, changes in the taught curriculum are proposed together with an extension of the role of facilities managers in practice to cover fire safety in greater depth.

Originality/value

This paper provides thoughtful insights into the contemporary discourse on fire safety within the UK construction industry. The research also provides critical suggestions to both industry and policy makers which seek to prevent a repeat tragedy occurring again.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

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Article
Publication date: 22 September 2021

Lerato Millicent Aghimien, Clinton Ohis Aigbavboa, Chimay J. Anumba and Wellington Didibhuku Thwala

The South African construction industry (SACI) is a huge employer of labour as the industry depends mostly on human resources to carry out its activities. However, the…

Abstract

Purpose

The South African construction industry (SACI) is a huge employer of labour as the industry depends mostly on human resources to carry out its activities. However, the industry has also been noted for its poor workforce management and lack of attention to human resource management (HRM) issues. Therefore, this study aims to assess the challenges facing the effective management of the construction workforce in South Africa with a view to improving HRM activities in the industry and improve overall service delivery through an effectively managed workforce.

Design/methodology/approach

A pragmatic philosophical view using a mixed-method research design was adopted. The study’s qualitative strand was achieved through a Delphi, whilst the quantitative strand was achieved through a questionnaire survey. In addition, descriptive and inferential statistics such as mean item score, Kruskal-Wallis H-test, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis were adopted for data analysis.

Findings

With high reliability, construct validity and model fit indices, the study found that for effective HRM to be attained within construction organisations, careful attention must be given to issues surrounding the nature of the industry, unhealthy working environment, employee-related issues, diversity and working condition in the industry.

Originality/value

Whilst several studies have been conducted on HRM, there is a lack of studies on the major challenges facing effective HRM in the SACI. The findings also offer future research studies a good theoretical platform to build upon.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 19 July 2021

Mpho Ndou, Clinton Aigbavboa and Wellington Didibhuku Thwala

This study aims to explore the influential role stakeholder play in the management of indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in facilities of higher education institutions…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the influential role stakeholder play in the management of indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in facilities of higher education institutions (HEIs) in South Africa. By defining the indoor environmental challenges facing HEI's, an alternative redress to these challenges can be achieved through stakeholder management.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a quantitative survey approach which was informed by a post-positivism philosophical stance. The closed-ended questionnaire survey was used to gather views from academic and administrative staff who were employed in various HEIs across South Africa. The literature review revealed 13 influential stakeholder management roles which were explored. The gathered data was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics that evaluated the influential role stakeholder play in the management of IEQ in HEIs.

Findings

Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) revealed three core categories of stakeholder management roles to being community engagement and awareness, organisational commitment and objective function. These roles play an integral part of overhauling the current IEQ conditions in HEIs, which subsequently improves the quality of education through efficient academic and administrative performance.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the body of knowledge as it reveals that HEI, particularly in developing countries like South Africa, can improve their current IEQ conditions through adopting critical stakeholder management roles. Also, this study provides further theoretical background for future research in the area of stakeholder management which has been lacking in previous IEQ studies.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

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Article
Publication date: 12 July 2021

Clinton Ohis Aigbavboa, Douglas Omoregie Aghimien, Wellington Didibhuku Thwala and Moleboheng Ntebo Ngozwana

This paper aims to determine the responses of construction organisations to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its associated lockdown and the impact on the South…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to determine the responses of construction organisations to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its associated lockdown and the impact on the South African construction industry (SACI).

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a quantitative survey with responses sought from 825 contracting organisation’s representatives drawn from the database of the construction industry development board. The data gathered were analysed using percentage, mean item score and one-sample t-test. The reliability of the research instrument was also tested using the Cronbach alpha test.

Findings

Findings revealed that most construction organisations implemented a complete travel ban and halting all business operations on sites and offices in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. Furthermore, whilst most construction organisations envisage significant disruption in their project delivery, the problem of job losses was regarded as a short, medium and long-term impact of the pandemic. Loss of revenue, a decline in the economy and business interruption are also some of the potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the SACI.

Originality/value

The study’s findings give practical insights on the potential impact of the pandemic on the construction industry and the possible approach needed to help cushion the effect on the industry.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 4 June 2021

Bradley Hughes, David J. Edwards, Igor Martek, Nicholas Chileshe and Wellington Didibhuku Thwala

A mixed philosophies epistemological design with inductive reasoning was adopted to develop new theoretical insights into the phenomena under investigation. First…

Abstract

Purpose

A mixed philosophies epistemological design with inductive reasoning was adopted to develop new theoretical insights into the phenomena under investigation. First, interpretivism was employed to contextualise the prevailing body of knowledge and source questions (and prompts) to be posed to practitioners. Second, a case study strategy (augmented by participant action research) was adopted to measure construction industry professionals' perceptions of the clerk of work's role and their impact upon both quality and safety of construction.

Design/methodology/approach

This research conducts a case study investigation of affordable and/or social home construction and examine industry's perception of the clerk of works (CoW) and their powers and responsibilities within existing legislation to impact quality of construction.

Findings

The findings illustrate that while the clerk of work's role positively impacts quality and safety of construction, it is hindered by cost and time constraints that are often prioritised. An analogy to “yield points” in materials science is then adapted to develop new theory to conceptualise the pivotal position that the CoW has in upholding quality construction. The research concludes with pragmatic recommendations (such as industry centric codes of practice) to mitigate quality and safety issues arising and signpost future academic research in this area.

Originality/value

UK construction has been criticised for prioritising costs and profits vis-à-vis quality and safety issues, as exemplified by the Grenfell fire. This study demonstrates the need for reinstatement of the CoW role in mitigating residential housing quality decline.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2021

Douglas Aghimien, Clinton Ohis Aigbavboa, Ayodeji Emmanuel Oke, David Edwards, Wellington Didibhuku Thwala and Chris J. Roberts

A scientometric review of extant literature is conducted to define and delineate upon the enabling dynamic capabilities required to engender the digitalisation of…

Abstract

Purpose

A scientometric review of extant literature is conducted to define and delineate upon the enabling dynamic capabilities required to engender the digitalisation of organisations operating in the architecture, engineering, construction and operations (AECO) sector. A secondary aim sought to provide direction for future studies and theories to be tested in this novel field of investigation as well as stimulate wider polemic debate amongst industry stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

An interpretivist philosophical stance and inductive approach was undertaken in this study, using a grounded theory strategy. Secondary data used was sourced from the Scopus journal database using specific related keywords. VOSviewer was used to prepare co-occurrence maps based on the bibliographic data gathered.

Findings

AECO organisations that seek digitalisation must possess the capability to sense and seize opportunities and threats within the business environment and reconfigure their business processes to best meet their market demand. This can be achieved by improving on attributes relating to industrial management and strategic planning, organisational learning, enterprise resource management and innovative information technology. Future studies should target novel areas such as AECO organisations' ambidexterity and service innovation.

Originality/value

This is the first study to explore the dynamic capabilities of AECO organisations in relation to digitalisation adoption. Therefore, the research serves as a robust theoretical background for signposting AECO organisations who seek to transition to digital solutions in the fourth industrial revolution.

Details

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

Keywords

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