.: Journal Menu
     Journal Home
     Editorial Board
     Current Issue
     Past Issues
     Forthcoming Issue
     Submission Guidelines
     Subscription Form
     Contact Us
  .: Related Links
     Universiti Sains Malaysia
     Universiti Sains Malaysia    Press

View content online
[Current Issue]


Published by
Universiti Sains Malaysia Press

:: Forthcoming Issue

Volume 21, 2016

Title: Modelling the Effect of Housing Design Unit Contract Packaging on Mass Housing Project Team Communication Performance
Author: Titus Ebenezer Kwofie, Emmanuel Adinyira and Frank Fugar
- Abstract  

Studies exploring success on mass housing projects continue to cite communication ineffectiveness inherent from the unique attributes of mass housing as a major problem in the delivery. Unfortunately, these studies fail to establish the nature and extent to which the observed communication ineffectiveness is attributed to the unique characteristics displayed by mass housing projects. Here, this study aims at exploring the influence of the housing design contract packaging (HDP) features of mass housing projects on project team communication performance. By adopting a questionnaire survey and the use of structural equation model (SEM), the study used empirical data collected from project team leaders on mass housing project sites in Ghana to assess the communication ineffectiveness inherent in the HDP attributes. The evidence gathered from the empirical study indeed supports the hypothesis that the HDP features of mass housing projects significantly contribute to communication ineffectiveness related to information flow and information composition among the project team. These findings affirm the uniqueness of MHPs and suggest the need for project teams and stakeholders on mass housing to adopt communication methods, medium, strategies and management approaches that fit the mass housing project environment to engender managerial and communication efficiencies in mass housing delivery.

Keywords: Communication ineffectiveness, mass housing projects, Housing Unit Design and Contract Packaging

Title: Enablers and Barriers to Project Planning and Scheduling Based on Construction Projects in Oman
Author: Hammad Al Naseri and Radhlinah Aulin
- Abstract  

Whilst the concepts of planning and scheduling seem to be adequately discussed in the project management literature, relatively few examples of factors specifically affecting the performance of planning and scheduling are to be found. The study reporting in this paper has investigated a set of factors identified as enablers and barriers to successful project planning and scheduling on construction projects in Oman. The study adopted a questionnaire-based survey to measure the impact of the factors. The data were analyzed using the relative impact (or importance) index (RII). On the basis of RII rankings, the results revealed that the identified enablers and barriers were all considered as significant. This could be seen to imply that all of the factors should be considered equally from the perspective of project planning and scheduling, including schedule control. In addition, the results suggest that attention should be paid to the more significant barriers on the part of project managers to mitigate their potential impacts on planning and scheduling. Recommendations for mitigating those barriers are presented. The study provides useful insights into the impact of factors impacting the performance of planning and scheduling on construction projects in Oman and how improvement might be achieved.

Keywords: Project planning, Scheduling barriers, scheduling enablers, relative impact index, Oman

Title: Studying the Reasons for delay and Cost Overrun in Construction Projects: The Case of Iran
Author: Hamed Samarghandi, Seyed Mohammad Moosavi Tabatabaei, Pouria Taabayan, Ahmad MirHashemi and Keith Willoughby
- Abstract  

Undesirable delays in construction projects impose excessive costs and precipitate exacerbated durations. Investigating Iran, a developing Middle Eastern country, this paper focuses on the reasons for construction project delays. We conducted several interviews with owners, contractors, consultants, industry experts, and regulatory bodies to accurately ascertain specific delay factors. Based on the results of our industry surveys, a statistical model was developed to quantitatively determine each delay factor’s importance in construction project management. The statistical model categorizes the delay factors under four major classes and determines the most significant delay factors in each class: owner defects; contractor defects; consultant defects; and law, regulation and other general defects. The most significant delay factors in the owner defects category are lack of attention to inflation and inefficient budgeting schedule. In the contractor defects category, the most significant delay factors are inaccurate budgeting and resource planning, weak cash flow, and inaccurate pricing and bidding. As for the consultant defects delay factors such as inaccurate first draft and inaccuracies in technical documents have the most contribution to the defects. On the other hand, outdated standard mandatory items in cost lists, outdated mandatory terms in contracts, and weak governmental budgeting are the most important delay factors in the law, regulation and other general defects. Moreover, regression models demonstrate that a significant difference exists between the initial and final project duration and cost. According to the models, the average delay per year is 5.9 months and the overall cost overrun is 15.4%. Our findings can be useful in at least two ways; first, resolving the root causes of particularly important delay factors would significantly streamline project performance. Second, the regression models could assist project managers and companies with revising initial timelines and estimated costs. This study does not consider all types of construction projects in Iran; the scope is limited to certain types of private and publicly funded projects as will be described. The data for this study has been gathered through a detailed questionnaire survey.

Keywords: Construction projects, Delay, Statistical analysis, Regression, Developing country, Middle East, Iran

Title: Finite Element Modelling of Cyclic Behaviour of Cold-Formed Steel Bolted Moment-Resisting Connections
Author: Peter Foster, Gasser Abdelal, James B.P. Lim, Mohammad Hajsadeghi, and Daniel McCrum
- Abstract  

This paper investigates the accuracy of new finite element modelling approaches to predict the behaviour of bolted moment-connections between cold-formed steel members, formed by using brackets bolted to the webs of the section, under low cycle fatigue. Such joints are used for portal frames and potentially have good seismic resisting capabilities, which is important for construction in developing countries. The modelling implications of a two-dimensional beam element model, a three-dimensional shell element model and a three-dimensional solid element model are reported. Quantitative and qualitative results indicate that the three-dimensional quadratic S8R shell element model most accurately predicts the hysteretic behaviour and energy dissipation capacity of the connection when compared to test results.

Keywords: Cold-formed steel, Bolted connection, Finite element modelling, Cyclic performance, Energy dissipation

Title: Influences of Cost Factors Affecting Technical Performance of Local Government Projects in Nigeria: A PLS-SEM Approach
Author: Nuru Gambo, Ilias Said and Radzi Ismail
- Abstract  

The technical performance requirements of projects posed a challenge to the sustainable development of small size local government projects particularly in developing countries. Studies in the past focused mainly on the performance of major foreign construction firms mostly owned and operated by expatriates. Very few researches however, have been conducted to assess the relationship between major cost factors affecting technical performance of small size local government projects. This study is aimed at assessing the relationship between major cost factors that affect technical performance of small size local government projects In Nigeria. Three major constructs namely: cash flow problem, effects of fraudulent practice and effects of the nature of construction environment are identified as the main constructs affecting technical performance of small scale local government projects particularly in developing countries. Survey instruments were administered to major stakeholders in the construction industry comprising of project clients, contractors and consultants using proportionate stratified random sampling method. A Warp PLS-SEM software algorithm was used for the analysis of collected data. The software is one of the powerful software for data analysis and has an advantage of providing p-values based on the structure of the research model. The results indicated that cash flow problem, fraudulent practice and nature of construction environment have large negative relationship with the technical performance of small size local government projects in Nigeria. The study concluded that cash flow problem, fraudulent practice and nature of construction environment are the major factors affecting technical performance of local government projects in Nigeria, and further recommended the use of mediator variables like pay for performance and advance payment policy to minimized the negative effects of cost factors that influence the technical performance of small size local government projects in Nigeria. The governments in developing countries should devise a good cash flow policy and impose stringent penalties against any party involved in fraudulent activity.

Keywords: Cost, Factors, Technical, Performance, Projects, Nigeria

Title: Cost Shares and Factor-Cost Ratios in Owner-Built Incremental Housing in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Author: Samwel Alananga Sanga and Charles Lucian
- Abstract  

The adoption of incremental owner-built techniques in housing construction relies on the associated lower cost compared to developer-built approaches. The mechanism that lowers cost is however, not obvious. This study is based on survey data that were collected using questionnaires which were distributed to 200 respondents in Dar es Salaam Tanzania with a response rate of 22.5%. The analysis results, Bbased on descriptive statistics and regression analysis it was observedindicate that an incremental house-builder targeting an additional bedroom incrementally spends 28 percent lower annual construction cost and each additional square meter built, is associated with 0.4 percent lower cost. However, such lower cost comes at a 5-10 percent longer completion time. These observations suggest that spreading costs over time reduces construction cost through multiple cost-saving channels opened up by time itself and factor intensity. The intensity of incremental housing construction favours increasing expenditure on labour than capital yielding a 5 percent reduction in annual cost but the greatest cost reduction benefits of up to 26 percent is realised through increasing expenditure on "capital" with fixed spending on materials during construction.

Keywords: Developing countries, Construction, Housing, Labour, Project

Title: Prioritising Facilities Management Services for Benchmarking in Selected Cities in Nigeria
Author: Yewande Adewunmi, Modupe Omirin and Hikmot Koleoso
- Abstract  

Due to the high cost of Benchmarking It is often difficult to provide required resources for itThe application of benchmarking is limited in Nigeria. Benchmarking is a costly process so it is often difficult to provide the required resources for it, even in countries where it is widely applied. Therefore, to benchmark successfully, In view of this, it is is usually often necessary to identify services that are most important for the efficiency of the organization and prioritize them. in order to prioritise them for benchmarking. Hence the act of prioritising FM services for benchmarking becomes more important .Thise paper examines the facilities management (FM) services that are most in need of benchmarking the most in Nigeria. Data were collectedion was through self-administered questionnaires that were sent to 120 facilities management organisations in Lagos metropolis, 50 in Abuja and 15 in Port Harcourt. The survey achieved a total response rate of 76% in Lagos, 58% in Abuja and 87% in Port Harcourt respectively. The five top rankedfive services that needs benchmarking the most were found to be are: utilities, maintenance , security, cleaning and waste disposal, property management and Information Technology equipment in that order. Also, repeated measures analysis of variance results showed that the differences indicated by in the respondents’ rating of the how important it is toce of benchmarking to these FM services is statistically significant. Kruskal Wallis test showed that there was difference in the importance of FM services for benchmarking based on professional affiliation of the FM. The study helped to provided information on how to prioritize these services for benchmarking in order to conserve resources of Nigerian organizations.

Keywords: Benchmarking, Facilities management services, Nigeria

Title: Factors Affecting Contractors’ Bidding Decision for Construction Projects in Nigeria
Author: O.O. Oyeyipo, K.T. Odusami, R.A. Ojelabi and A.O. Afolabi
- Abstract  

Bidding is the most common means by which the contractors obtain works. The construction industry accounts for about three quarter of the GDP in the country. It is generally believed that wrong bidding practice is a major contributor to the construction industry’s inefficiency. This means that any improvement in bidding has the potential to enhance the industry’s performance, improve the quality of the decision-making process, increase and assist in achieving the strategic objective of contracting organizations. In an effort to uncover the main factors that characterize the bid/no bid decision of contracting organizations, a study to evaluate the factors that affect contractor’s decision to bid for a project and to evaluate the importance of the identified factors to decision makers was carried out. A structured questionnaire was used as the principal instrument for collecting data from respondents. A total sample of one hundred (100) was drawn from these collections of construction contractors from Lagos state. Fifty (50) were completed and returned representing a 50% response rate. Frequency, percentage, mean score and spearman correlation were used in analyzing data collected for the study. The results indicate that financial capability of clients, availability of capital and availability of material are the most important factors contractor consider when taking bid/no bid decision. The study also reveals that competition (number and identity of competitors) does not have significant influence on contractors’ bidding decision. The study recommends that contractors should also increase their reputation in the construction industry by acquiring technical competencies and capabilities as these qualities have become important considerations in assessing contractors’ competiveness, and key indicators of successful tendering in construction projects.

Keywords: Bidding, competition, Contractors, Decision making, Tender

Volume 20, No. 2, 2015

Title: Determining Significant Factors Influencing Malaysian Construction Business’ Performance in International Markets
Author: Che Maznah Mat Isa, Hamidah Mohd Saman and Christopher Preece
- Abstract  

Market expansion into foreign markets has become increasingly important for construction businesses including Malaysian contractors. Hence, it is imperative that these firms are able to sustain performance in international markets. This paper aims to determine the significant factors influencing the Malaysian contractors’ performance in international markets. This research adopts a mixed method adopting questionnaire surveys that were sent to 115 construction firms as a sampling frame. The quantitative findings were further validated through in-depth interviews with five firms currently operating at international level. It was found that the firms’ profit targets based on return on investment and revenues supported by the firms’ competitive advantages due to employees’ capabilities and competencies have significantly influenced the firms’ performance. However, further insights disclosed that having strong and stable human relationships were very important to enhance the firms’ performance in international markets. The findings build further understanding of international strategies for construction in developing countries. Finally, the study identifies the need for developing a suitable tool to measure firms’ performance by taking into consideration the complex elements within the identified significant influencing factors.

Keywords: Construction firms, Factors, International market, Performance, Quantitative, Qualitative

Title: Contractor Capacity and Waste Generation: An Empirical Investigation
Author: Krisanthi Seneviratne, Rameez Rameezdeen and Dilanthi Amaratunga
- Abstract  

This paper aims to test the hypothesis that an inverse relationship exists between the capacity of a contractor and the amount of waste generated in a construction site. In Sri Lanka, contractors are graded by an independent government agency, and this study uses fifteen projects undertaken by grade M1 to M5 contractors. M1 contractors constitute the highest grade and they have higher technical, financial, and managerial capabilities. These projects are examined to obtain cement wastages and link them to these respective grades in order to establish how their relationships work. The major finding is that upper grade contractors, who are more capable, generate less waste compared to their lower grade counterparts. It suggests that contractors’ capacity not only has desirable outcomes for better time, cost and quality objectives, but also benefits a client’s environmental objectives. While the present grading system in Sri Lanka does not take waste management into consideration, it is suggested that contractors’ waste management practices could vary immensely from M1 to the lower grades. Consequently, future revisions in the grading system should seriously consider incorporating waste management practices in order to provide an incentive to contractors who manage their waste appropriately. This will encourage more efficient waste reduction in construction sites.

Keywords: Construction waste, Contractor capacity, Waste reduction, Sri Lanka

Title: Unveiling the Challenges Faced by Malaysian Housing Developers Through Government Policy Changes
Author: Azlan Raofuddin Nuruddin, Syed Putra Syed Abu Bakar and Mastura Jaafar
- Abstract  

Despite being receptive to new ideas, Malaysian housing developers need to be responsive to the demands imposed upon the industry. One of the external factors that influence the growth of housing development firms is the intervention of government. The role of government in shaping the housing industry is especially pertinent since most land matters deal directly with local and state authorities. The regulations imposed by the government are perceived as imbalanced and serve only to increase the challenges confronted by housing developers to maintain their survivability. This paper is therefore aimed at disclosing the related challenges faced by housing developers with respect to current government issues. Appropriately, ten Malaysian housing developers were interviewed to unravel the reasons of their success in achieving business sustainability, including eliciting responses for the myriad of challenges faced. In order to analyse the findings, the qualitative approach was adopted through the content analysis method. All the interviewees highlighted several challenges that have impeded their progress in the management of the housing development business. Interestingly, the most notable challenge revealed by the respondents related to the vagaries of government rules and processes. Among the grievances mentioned by the participants were late approvals, sudden change of rules, non-uniform compliances and others of the ilk. Hence, there is a serious need for housing developers and the government to work in tandem, not only to minimise complaints directed towards the government, but to concertedly embrace changes in terms of policies and laws. A mutually beneficial wave of innovation is thus advocated, where the vested interests of both housing developers and house buyers will be protected accordingly. Also, with good comprehension of government procedures, the creation of economic empowerment and development will be easily realised.

Keywords: Challenges, Housing developers, Government regulations, Late approval, Qualitative approach

Title: Nature of Construction Industry, Its Needs and its Development: A Review of Four Decades of Research
Author: George Ofori
- Abstract  

The construction industry is not well understood. There is no common definition, and there are even arguments on whether it is an industry or a sector (comprising many industries). The contribution of the industry to economic growth and long-term national development is widely acknowledged. This highlights its importance, particularly to the developing countries. For the benefit of these countries, it is important to investigate the nature, essential characteristics and particular requirements of the construction industry, and use them to develop programmes for its improvement. A research programme which started in 1974 and is still continuing is discussed. The subjects studied in the research programme have included the nature of the construction industry, its importance in development, its needs and its development. Elements of the process of construction industry development which have been studied include ways and means of improving the performance of construction firms, focusing on contractors, and technology development. The findings from these early studies influenced the formulation of policies and legislation for establishing construction industry development agencies in a number of countries. Other aspects of the construction industry which are studied in the research programme include the parameters of performance in the industry, such as productivity and environmental performance. An information technology framework for construction was also developed. As the world was entering the information age, the implications for the industry were also studied. Finally, the concepts of leadership, ethics and transparency, and their importance on construction projects and in the construction industry have also been studied. The focus here is on industry development and its application to the delivery of housing. It is suggested that effective ways should be found to reduce the tendency to duplicate studies on the subjects, and to effectively build on relevant findings over time. A research agenda is proposed.

Keywords: Industry development, Technology development, Environmental performance, Leadership

Title: Documentation Management Based on ISO for Construction Industries in Developing Countries
Author: Sepani Senaratne and Jeevana Mayuran
- Abstract  

Improper document management (DM), which produces poor and erroneous documents, causes major issues such as claims and disputes in construction projects. Adopting proper documentation management system (DMS) will enable smooth running of construction projects and overcoming such issues. Quality management systems such as ISO standards are designed with generic DM requirements. In developed countries, it is seen that standard project management procedures and manuals are often used to guide such document requirements. However, construction industries in developing countries are still behind in this regard. Hence, this research aimed to explore the current DM requirements in the Sri Lankan construction industry with reasons for poor DM and suggestions to overcome. A questionnaire survey was conducted to a sample of 30 large construction contracting organisations operating in Sri Lanka, which had ISO certification. The findings revealed 40 DM related construction activities and their need and usage by the selected companies. Based on the suggestions given by respondents, this study offers a proposal on how to implement these activities and thereby develop an appropriate DMS for construction industry. This research will offer useful implications for developing countries, which use similar standards and encounter similar DM issues.

Keywords: Documentation Management, ISO, Quality Management System, Construction industry, Contractors

Title: Framework for Managing the Traffic Impacts of Building Construction Projects
Author: Khaled Hesham Hyari, El-Mohammad Mashaleh and Shaher Rababeh
- Abstract  

Major building construction projects are important to the economic development of urban areas. However, such projects have negative impacts on their surroundings, particularly on traffic. This paper presents a framework for mitigating the traffic impacts of building construction projects in urban areas. The proposed framework consists of two stages: identification of the logistical requirements of construction, and development of an impact mitigation plan to control the negative effects of construction traffic on the road network and the surrounding community. The adopted methodology includes: 1) review of available construction traffic management plans for twenty large building projects worldwide; (2) site visits to seven large building construction projects in urban areas; and (3) multidisciplinary focus group sessions to extract knowledge and synthesize the proposed framework for managing traffic impacts of building construction projects. The suggested framework provides systematic guidance for construction planners and site managers in developing a traffic management and impact mitigation plan for building construction projects. It could also help construction planners and site managers to better plan and manage construction activities so that they will have minimal impact on the surrounding roads and minimize unnecessary delays by organizing timely movement of resources to and from the construction site.

Keywords: Building construction, Project planning, Construction site, Impact mitigation, Traffic impact

Title: Key Stressors Leading to Construction Professionals Stress in Gaza Strip-Palestine
Author: Adnan Enshassi
- Abstract  

The aim of this paper is to investigate the key stressors which lead to stress among professionals in construction projects. A total of three hundred twenty questionnaire were distributed randomly to construction professionals in the Gaza Strip and 183 were returned yielding 51% response rate. Exploratory factor analysis was employed to explore the intererelationships among stressors attributes in four stressors groups (task, personal, physical, and organizational). The results of this study indicated that personality, and home-work conflicts are the most prevailing personal stressors caused stress to Gaza Strip construction professionals. This type of stress was induced because construction professionals did not give attention to their personal lives besides their job. Task stressors resulted from work overload of two types quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative overload came from working for long hours with too much work to do while qualitative overload resulted from wide range of responsibilities. Physical stressors were not recognized by Gaza Strip construction professionals as an important source of stress. Regarding organizational stressors it was found that policies, treatment, and reward were inadequate. Politicized environment and lack of feedback from supervisor were responsible for organizational structure stressors. This study will add value to the existing body of knowledge concerning Palestinian professionals’ perspectives of stressors in the construction industry. Professionals can take key stressors factors into consideration in managing stress in construction projects, so that stress can be minimized. Training sessions for construction professionals in managing and coping with stress is recommended.

Keywords: Stressors, stress, construction, professionals, factor analysis

Volume 21, No. 1, 2016

Title: Understanding Management Roles and Organisational Behaviour in Planning and Scheduling Based on Construction Projects in Oman
Author: Hammad Al Nasseri and Radhlinah Aulin
- Abstract  

There are many challenges associated with the construction processes of planning and scheduling. These challenges are relevant to all project parties or stakeholders and therefore management roles or organisational behaviours of those parties have to be properly considered and assessed. With this in mind, this study is aimed at assessing practitioners’ perspectives on the current significance and applicability of a set of criteria or factors concerned with management roles and organisational behaviour of the different parties based on construction projects in Oman. The study has adopted a quantitative approach in which a questionnaire-based survey was chosen and conducted to gather responses from construction projects in Oman. A total of 67 valid responses were analysed based on the rankings and means of the respondents’ perspectives on the significance and applicability of the identified factors to current practice. The overall findings indicated that all investigated factors should be critically considered as equally important to the development process of planning and scheduling. Nevertheless, the findings implied that a management priority should be given to the most important factors significantly affecting project planning and scheduling. The study provides some useful recommendations on how to improve project management (PM) roles and organizational behaviours (OB) in planning and scheduling on the part of key project parties.

Keywords: Project control, management roles, organisational behaviour, planning, scheduling, project parties, Oman

Title: Factors Influencing Success Rate of Contractors in Competitive Bidding for Construction Works in South-East, Nigeria
Author: Olugbenga Oladinrin, Olaniyi Aje and Chibuike Nwaole
- Abstract  

The focal point of this study was to assess the perspectives of construction professionals on factors influencing tender prices of construction works and the contribution of the factors to the success rate of contractors. Using literature review and questionnaire survey, fifteen factors were identified in respect to contractors’ tender price and success rate in Nigeria. The findings of this study based on the results of statistical analyses (mean score and chi-square) reveal that all the construction professionals (Architects, Builders, Engineers and Quantity Surveyors) are of the opinion that material availability, labour productivity and level of profit are the most significant factors that highly influence tender price of construction works and consequently affect the success rate of contractors in competitive bidding. Project definition and construction plan have least influence on contractors’ tender price. Also, it was found that government policy does not have significant effect on contractors’ success rate in competitive bidding in Nigeria. It is hoped that the information presented in this paper will be of interest to all parties concerned, including Nigerian construction companies and foreign companies planning to enter the Nigerian construction market. In addition, while the research focused on a particular country, Nigeria, the study can be replicated in other countries particularly developing countries and the results can be compared.

Keywords: Contractors; Bidding; Construction; Tender; Nigeria

Title: Evaluation of SPV Organization Skill Sets Taxonomy for Effective PPP Infrastructure Project Delivery
Author: Christy Gomez and Muhammad Gambo
- Abstract  

The necessary skill sets that public private partnership (PPP) stakeholders bring together is recognized as being paramount to the success of any PPP project. From preliminary research findings it is clear that there is a strong bias towards business-oriented skills rather than service-oriented skills by the special purpose vehicle (SPV) organization. This paper examines the skills sets required to ensure the effective delivery and implementation of the private sector–led PPP project with respect to the SPV organization in order to deliver Value for Money (VfM). A comprehensive literature review was conducted to establish the various skills needed by the SPV organization for the successful delivery of PPP infrastructure projects to form the basis of the research questionnaire. Questionnaire survey data obtained from a purposive sample of 48 public and private PPP stakeholders in Peninsular Malaysia was analysed using SPSS v18 to establish the relative importance of the various skill sets. The findings indicate ’Legal and contracting knowledge’ to be the most important; whilst ‘Conceptual skills’ as the least important skill for the SPV organization in PPP project implementation. The findings also indicated that there is a significant difference in the perception of public and private PPP stakeholders with respect to ‘Ability to clearly define technical and output specifications and standards for services to be procured’; implying less importance given by the private sector with regard to this skill. Drawing on the understanding that skill sets are critical denominators of the organizational structure, this research is expected to influence the development of appropriate guidelines for skills prioritization in the organization of SPVs and the effective management of PPP concession projects.

Keywords: Special Purpose Vehicle, Public Private Partnership, SPV skill sets, Infrastructure projects