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[Vol. 18, No. 2, 2013]


Published by
Universiti Sains Malaysia Press

:: Forthcoming Issue

Volume 19, No. 1, 2014

Title: Nigerian Construction Professional Education and Deficiencies in Project Management Knowledge Area
Author: O. J. Ameh and K.T.Odusami
- Abstract  

The study examines the extent to which Nigerian construction professional groups are equipped with relevant degree specific knowledge in project management practice. A survey research design was employed. Sixty construction project managers who were based in Lagos, Nigeria were selected using snowball sampling technique. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics. The findings indicate that project managers are proficient in construction technology, project planning and control and contract administration while they are deficient in information technology, marketing, accounting and finance and human and industrial relation. The quantity surveyors’ group and the builders’ group are the most equipped whereas the civil engineers’ group are the least equipped in terms of their background education to practise project management. The study can be used as a guide by clients when engaging built environment professionals to perform the role of construction project management. The current study provides insight into the proficiency and highlight deficiencies of the various built environment professionals in the management of construction projects.

Keywords: Construction, education, project manager, knowledge, skills

Title: Benefits, Constraints and Risks in Infrastructure Development via Public Private Partnerships in Zambia
Author: Ngoma S, M Muya and C Kaliba
- Abstract  

Zambia, like many other countries, has embraced Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) as a project delivery method. The country faces budgetary constraints which have made maintenance and provision of new infrastructure a challenge. PPPs seem to create opportunities which can stimulate investment in infrastructure development and economic growth. The aim of the study reported in this paper was to highlight benefits, constraints and risks inherent in the implementation of PPP construction projects in Zambia. Using a questionnaire survey to collect data, the study identified benefits and confirmed the prevalence of constraints and risks in the implementation of PPP construction projects in Zambia. The major benefits, constraints and risks were identified and ranked. There was agreement among respondents regarding the ranking of benefits, constraints and risks regarding construction projects in Zambia. Appropriate improvements to the regulatory framework were recommended for the PPP procurement approach to be successfully utilised and implemented in Zambia.

Keywords: Public Private Partnerships, Benefits, Constraints, Risks, Zambia

Title: An Investigation of Project Failure Factors for Infrastructure Projects in Saudi Arabia: A Multivariate Approach
Author: Dubem I. Ikediashi, Stephen O. Ogunlana and Abdulaziz Alotaibi
- Abstract  

The rapidly changing face of the Saudi construction industry occasioned by boost in oil revenue means that the best project management practices must be accorded priority in order to be able to confront challenges associated with management of infrastructure projects. The study develops a framework for identifying and classifying causes of project failures in Saudi construction industry. Quantitative questionnaire survey was used to solicit responses from 67 respondents in the city of Jeddah, selected using an online questionnaire survey. Target respondents were mainly civil engineers, architects, quantity surveyors and building engineers who have had immense years of experience in the management of infrastructure projects in Saudi Arabia. Findings reveal that poor risk management was rated the most critical failure factor for infrastructure projects while budget overrun, and poor communication management followed closely at second and third respectively. Additionally, 8 components were extracted from the 24 items used for factor analysis. Among the extracted factors are project management deficiencies, risk challenges and government interference. It was recommended among others that project risk management frameworks should be re-design to guide clients and other stakeholders against incidence of unexpected risk exposures to projects.

Keywords: Factor analysis, Failure factors, Project management, Project delivery, Saudi Arabia

Title: Factors Influencing Construction Labour Productivity: An Indian Case Study
Author: Anu V. Thomas and J. Sudhakumar
- Abstract  

Construction productivity has always been a topic of interest to researchers and practitioners because of its impact on the performance of the construction projects. Although various studies have been carried out to identify factors influencing productivity in other countries, no study has addressed productivity issues in India. This paper reports the results of a questionnaire survey carried out on project managers, site engineers, supervisors and craftsmen, in the state of Kerala in India, to identify the factors influencing construction labour productivity. The top five factors identified to have a significant impact on productivity were (1) unavailability of material on time at the work site; (2) delayed material delivery by the supplier; (3) strikes called by political parties or hartals; (4) frequent revisions of drawing/design resulting in additional work/rework and (5) unavailability of drawings on time at the worksite. The findings provide a better understanding of the factors influencing productivity in the Indian context and will aid construction practitioners in making effective plans for productivity improvement.

Keywords: Construction, Labour productivity, Factors, Severity index, India

Title: Indoor Air Quality in Adaptively Reused Heritage Buildings in UNESCO World Heritage Site, Penang, Malaysia
Author: Rani Prihatmanti and Azizi Bahauddin
- Abstract  

This paper studies the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) level in heritage buildings that have been adaptively reused as office buildings. These buildings were located within the vicinity of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in George Town, Penang. This paper intends to determine the level of IAQ in the designated buildings, assessed by thermal monitoring, chemical and microbial tests. The cross-sectional study was employing mixed method to achieve the objectives. The IAQ tests variables are the temperature, relative humidity, air velocity, airborne pollutants (PM10, CO, CO2, formaldehyde), total bacteria count and total fungal count. These variables were adopted from the Industry Code of Practice on Indoor Air Quality, Department of Occupational Health Malaysia with considerations from the Malaysia Green building Index-Non Residential Existing Building (NREB) rating tool. The measurements reported that the IAQ level in the identified buildings is unacceptable within the standards stipulated. There are visible dampness stain and mould presence in all buildings due to high humidity and high moisture level. It can be concluded that the level of IAQ is due to the inappropriate adaptive reuse practice, the occupants’ activities, as well as the maintenance irregularities.

Keywords: Indoor Air Quality, adaptive reuse, heritage building, UNESCO

Volume 19, No. 2, 2014

Title: Influence of Labour-Related Factors on Construction Labour Productivity in South-South Geo-Political Zone of Nigeria
Author: Isaac Abiodun Odesola and Godwin Iroroakpo Idoro
- Abstract  

Construction labour productivity has continued to be researched into because of its importance in nations’ economy. This study assesses and compares the relative effects of labour-related factors on construction labour productivity across six geographical states that make up south-south zone of Nigeria from the perspectives of building craftsmen and project supervisors/engineers. A field survey involving a stratified random sample of 1,138 building craftsmen and 561 project supervisors/engineers was conducted. Data were collected through structured questionnaires and analysed using Mean Item Score, Kruskal-Wallis H-test and Mann-Whitney U-test. The result shows that there is no significant influence of labour-related factors on construction labour productivity across geographical states especially when those states seems to be similar in terms of contiguity, linguistics, ethnicity and cultural practices. In addition, building craftsmen and project supervisors/engineers agree on labour-related factors that significantly and insignificantly affect construction labour productivity. The study therefore, recommends that while construction managers may not bother on the influence of labour-related factors across geographical states they should instil confidence in craftsmen and improve their skills by providing opportunity for training, minimise rework through competent supervision and improve the socio-economic conditions of the workers in order to improve construction labour productivity.

Keywords: Construction, labour, productivity, building craftsmen, project supervisors/engineers

Title: Field Data Based Mathematical Simulation of Manual Rebar Cutting
Author: Mishra, Satya Prakash, Parbat, D. K. and Modak, J. P.
- Abstract  

The Activities of construction process are very complex in nature and there had been various attempts made to simulate it by numerous methods. Manual work that covers a larger proportion of total construction in India and the developing countries requires to be emphasized. The Field data based mathematical simulation suggests the process of developing an empirical relation between inputs and outputs, once the model is developed and weaknesses identified, methods can be easily improved and optimized for outputs. The paper covered in detail the process of developing models for Rebar cutting sub activity of Reinforced concrete construction in residential buildings, analyzed by sensitivity analysis, optimization technique, reliability analysis and validated using artificial neural network.

Keywords: FDBM simulation, Developing Countries, Rebar Cutting, Productivity, Human Energy and Performance error

Title: Key Characteristics of Rural Construction SMEs
Author: Ernawati Mustafa Kamal and Roger Flanagan
- Abstract  

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are at the core of the Malaysian construction industry. They account more than 90% of companies undertaking construction work. As the SMEs are the majority, their characteristics have a big impact on the current practices in the industry. This paper sought to understand the key characteristics of Malaysian construction SMEs operating in rural areas. The research was based on multiple case studies conducted in five construction SMEs operating in four different states in Malaysia. The case studies identified seven key characteristics of Malaysian rural construction SMEs: (1) Motivation for survival; (2) no policy for the implementation of new technologies and training; (3) no preference on the types of construction work undertaken; (4) dominated by a single owner; (5) small number of employees; (6) being impacted by political scenarios; (7) different business approaches between Bumiputera and Non-Bumiputera companies. This research gives an indication for the government agencies and CIDB on how they can assist SMEs improve their productivity and further improve the construction industry’s performance by addressing the special characteristics of SMEs. The research may also serve as a basis for understanding SMEs in other countries as different cultures, traditions and problems that are encountered by SMEs are viewed differently in different countries.

Keywords: SME, Malaysian Construction Industry, rural areas