Categories for Construction

Managing a Large Financial Project Essay

Managing a Large Financial Project Essay


As the manger of a large financial project for company Bev shoes I am facing some challenges. The project is running behind schedule and we have a new CEO. In the meeting with the CEO I had to make him aware that the project deadline is at risk and his response was to take staff from a project with less importance and put them on the financial project. From the outside this looks like a great solution to the problem because more staff could get the work done faster and put the project back on schedule.

I have to disagree with the CEO’s point of view because just assigning more people to this project will not solve the problem. We need to have staffs that are knowledgeable in the business process and the technology architecture related to the financial project. I will give my support to my response of why this is a bad idea by first explaining the importance of getting the business process correctly.

Process Definition

A business process is a group of activities designed to create a specific output for a specific objective. This is from having people and system interactions. Furthermore, a business process stresses how the work is performed within a business. This process should be clearly defined with a starting point and an end point with input requirements and expected output results. We spend a lot of time studying and understanding business process for this project and involving new staff at this time would further extend the time line for this project.

On the financial project, the staff consists of individuals who have a deep understanding of the business process as it relates to what is being implemented. They have analyzed the existing business process and are actively working on implementing of these processes into the new financial system. In other words these staffs are considered to be a key user. According to Oliver Schmid … [a] “key-user is an employee that is intimately familiar with all business processes and requirements as it pertain to their job function and/or department”. This happens to be the case with the staff already in placed on the financial project.

Technology Architecture Plan

The staff on the financial project has already defined the types of hardware, software, and communication networks requirements .In other words they have a technology architecture plan in place for the financial project. In order to come up with this plan, the staff did some analyst work in each component of the technology architecture. Laury Verner describes an overview of the technology architecture: * Conceptual – The conceptual area is where we define the ‘what’. In technology terms this means ‘what’ technology capabilities are required to provide the appropriate technology infrastructure for the enterprise. For example, Data Integration Services is a technology capability that * Logical-The logical area is where we define the ‘how’. In technology terms this is the next level of abstraction of ‘how’ the ‘what’ will be achieved.

These deals in terms of the classes of technology and the technology products that is available to realize the Technology Capabilities. * Physical – The physical captures the implementation and deployments of technology in the enterprise. In the technology layer this means the lowest level of abstraction and captures the instances of the technology products and where they are physically deployed. The staff has a clear understanding of what work for the implementation of this project and it would be disruptive to add staff to this project that they would have to spend time training at this late stage (p.1).

Impact from lack of Process and Standard

A successful project implementation has to adhere to certain standard and process. The person working on the financial project at this time has exhibit this understanding. Just because we are behind schedule for completing this project does not mean that we can just add more resources as the CEO recommended. The result of this would just further delay the project. Taking staff from a lesser important project to work on this financial project means that they lack clarity of the business process. This would require some significant amount of time to bring them up to speed. This new staff would come in with a poor understanding of the business process and ultimately impact the project in a negative way. Solution to CEO questions

The solution to the problem with the financial project falling behind schedule is to hire consultant with expertise in implementing a financial project of this magnitude. These resources would come with years of experienced and it would be easier for them to understand the business process and the technology architecture. This would put the project back on track to meeting the deadline.


Simply adding more staff to the financial project is not the solution to getting this project back on track to meeting deadline as the CEO recommend. There are key process that an individual needs to understand first before they can contribute this project such as the business process and the technology architecture. It is more than just adding staff and that is why I recommend consultants with expertise that can have an immediate impact. The objective is to get the project back on track and this is the way to achieve that goal.

Satzinger, J.W., Jackson, R., & Burd, S.D. (2009). Systems analysis and design in a changing world (5th.ed.).Cengage Learning/Course Technology.

Trash, J. (2006). Enterprise Architecture VS. Technology Architecture. Retrieved August 9,

Verner, L. (2004).The Challenge of Process Discovery Retrieved August 9,…/05-04%20WP%20Process%20Discovery%20-

Annotated Bibliography Essay

Annotated Bibliography Essay

Based upon the journalist research of web based learning environment and different learning styles; it seems that web based learning environment is an excellent medium for enhancing learning, due to its ability to adjust to individual student learning styles and preferences. The article investigates the impact of students learning style and their performance.

Online degrees have increased since 2006. More learners are becoming more technologically savvy, and it is those learners that are technologically inept, who relies on instructional design from classroom settings and interaction with instructors and peers.

The investigation leads to the assessment and learning style on student achievement in a Web based learning environment. If it was just a matter of instructional learning it would be a good fit for all, however, all does not possess technology abilities. If all learners had these abilities, web based learning styles would increase. Web based instructional design modules are not conclusive to certain learning styles. Consideration should be given to the learners characteristics whether the learner is able to grasp the material via the web based instruction.

Learners should consider their learning style, motivational level, ability to interact with the instructor and their peers. However, without these abilities, students’ learning styles will be impacted because they lack the abilities to learn via web based instruction modules. Lai, I K. W. & Lam, F.K.S. (2010). Perception of various performance criteria by stakeholders in the construction sector in Hong Kong. Research is conducted to examine different points of views of the importance of performance outcomes in a construction project in Hong Kong. ANOVA was used to analyse the data relative to how the performances were measured. Performances were measured using a performance criteria starting with the most important first, which is time. Timely completion of a project would prevent loss of revenue and penalities to the contractor. Lai and Lam noted that construction projects require concise planning, and are divided between the consultant and the contractor. However, each party plays a significant part in the projects’ success.

The difference between the client and the contractor; the client usually push for timely completion and would offer an incentive bonus for timely completion, however, the contractor would prefer a reasonable duration of time, therefore to avoid penalities to the contractor. The client, consultant, and the contractor, all parterner together to make the project a success by bringing job satisfaction, quality, safety, environment, generation of innovative ideas, performance criteria, and effectiveness to the project. Avoiding any mishaps that will delay or keep the project from running smoothly. Williams, A BTM7101-8 Activity 6, pg 2 The results of the research found that time was the most important factor of the project and should be taken into consideration early on in the planning process, and certain allowances should be factored into the budget, such as time constraints, delays, and mishaps that could happen during the construction of the project. References

Wang, K.H., Wang, J.H., Wang, W.L. & Huang, S.C. (2006) Learning styles and formative assessment strategy: enhancing student achievement in Web-based learning Wang T., Wang K., Wang W., Huang S. & Chen S. (2004) Web-based Assessment and Test Analyses (WATA) system: development and evaluation. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 20, 59–71

Ford N. & Chen S. (2000) Individual differences, hypermedia navigation and learning: an empirical study. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia 9, 281–312.

Seckel, S. (2007 Characteristics and Responsibilities of Successful e-Learners

LAI, I. K. W. (2010). Perception of Various performance criteria by stateholders in the construction sector in Hong kong.

Assaf, S.A. and Al-Hejji, S. (2006) Causes of delay in large construction projects. International Journal of Project Management, 24(4), 349-57.

Naoum, S. (2003) An overview into the concept of parternering . International Journal of Project Management 21(1), 71-6.

PAH (2008) Project Administration Handbook for Civil Engineeering Works, 2008 Edition.

Civil Engineering Essay

Civil Engineering Essay

The material used for construction or the materials used to produce other materials which may be used in construction is called construction material. construction material are: Cement,sand ,water. Concrete, Lime, Stones, Paints and Varnishes, Wood and Timber, Engineering Metals, Bituminous materials and Plastics, Rubber and Glass, Miscelleneous materials,

Bricklayer Joseph Asp din of Leeds, England first made portland cement early in the 19th century by burning powdered limestone and clay in his kitchen stove.

Portland cement, the basic ingredient of concrete, is a closely controlled chemical combination of calcium, silicon, aluminum, iron and small amounts of other ingredients sand to which gypsum is added in the final grinding process to regulate the setting time of the concrete. Lime and silica make up about 85% of the mass. Common among the materials used in its manufacture are limestone, shells, and chalk or marl combined with shale, clay, slate or blast furnace slag, silica sand, and iron ore.

Strength of cement

Also known as the mother of all engineering, it is the oldest, most simple and useful of all engineering sciences. Civil engineering is field of engineering sciences, related to construction, design and maintenance of buildings, dams, bridges, tunnels, highways etc.


Sand is an extremely needful material for the construction but this important material must be purchased with all care and vigilance. Sand which is used in the construction purpose must be clean, free from waste stones and impurities. It is important to know what type of sand is beneficial for construction purpose as sand is also classified into three different forms that make it suitable for specific type of construction.

Sand is classified as: Fine Sand (0.075 to 0.425 mm), Medium Sand (0.425 to 2 mm) and Coarse Sand (2.0 to4.75 mm). However this classification of sand is further has types of sand in particular and on that basis only they are being incorporated in the construction. Read out the detailing of the types of sand:

Pit Sand (Coarse sand)

Pit sand is classified under coarse sand which is also called badarpur in common language. This type of coarse sand is procured from deep pits of abundant supply and it is generally in red-orange colour. The coarse grain is sharp, angular and certainly free from salts etc which is mostly employed in concreting.

River Sand

River sand is procured from river streams and banks and is fine in quality unlike pit sand. This type of sand has rounded grains generally in white-grey colour. River sand has many uses in the construction purpose such as plastering.

Sea Sand

As the name suggest, sea sand is taken from seas shores and it is generally in distinct brown colour with fine circular grains. Sea sand is avoided for the purpose construction of concrete structure and in engineering techniques because it contains salt which tends to absorb moisture from atmosphere and brings dampness. Eventually cement also loses its action when mixed with sea sand that is why it is only used for the local purpose instead of structural construction.

There are different standards for the construction purpose which must be checked and considered for the better construction. The requirement according to which sand is chosen should be like: * For plastering purpose the overall fine sand used must not be less than 1.5 while silt is preferred to not less than 4 percent. * For brick work fine sand used must not be less than 1.2 to 1.5 and silt is preferred is 4 percent generally. * Concreting work require coarse sand in modulus of 2.5 to 3.5 with not less than 4 percent silt content. * water

Pure and hygienic water is not only important for our life but also needed for quality construction. From the foundation till the completion of construction we must ensure the quality of water used. Here are few tips to know about water. Water is one of the most important elements in construction but people still ignore quality aspect of this element. The water is required for preparation of mortar, mixing of cement concrete and for curing work etc during construction work. The quality and quantity of water has much effect on the strength of mortar and cement concrete in construction work.

Quality of Water

The water used for mixing and curing should be clean and free from injurious quantities of alkalis, acid, oils, salt, sugar, organic materials, vegetable growth and other substances that may be deleterious to bricks, stone, concrete or steel. Potable water is generally considered satisfactory for mixing. The pH value of water should be not less than 6.

Effects of Bad Quality Water on Cement Concrete

It has been observed that certain common impurities in water affect the quality of mortar or concrete. Many times in spite of using best material i.e. cement, coarse sand, coarse aggregate etc. in cement concrete, required results are not achieved. Most of Engineers/Contractors think that there is something wrong in cement, but they do not consider quality of water being used. Some bad effects of water containing impurities are following. * Presence of salt in water such as Calcium Chloride, Iron Salts, inorganic salts and sodium etc. are so dangerous that they reduce initial strength of concrete and in some cases no strength can be achieved. There is rusting problem in steel provided in RCC.

 Presence of acid, alkali, industrial waste, sanitary sewage and water with sugar also reduce the strength of concrete.  Presence of silt or suspended particle in water has adverse effect on strength of concrete. Presence of oil such as linseed oil, vegetable oil or mineral oil in water above 2 % reduces the strength of concrete up to 25 %. 5. Presence of algae/vegetable growth in water used for mixing in cement concrete reduce of the strength of concrete considerably and also reduce the bond between cement paste and aggregate.


Concrete is a composite construction material composed primarily of aggregate, cement, and water. There are many formulations, which provide varied properties. The aggregate is generally a coarse gravel or crushed rocks such as limestone, or granite, along with a fine aggregate such as sand. The cement, commonly Portland cement, and other cementitious materials such as fly ash and slag cement, serve as a binder for the aggregate. Various chemical admixtures are also added to achieve varied properties. Water is then mixed with this dry composite, which enables it to be shaped (typically poured) and then solidified and hardened into rock-hard strength through a chemical process called hydration. The water reacts with the cement, which bonds the other components together, eventually creating a robust stone-like material. Concrete has relatively high compressive strength, but much lower tensile strength. For this reason it is usually reinforced with materials that are strong in tension (often steel). Concrete can be damaged by many processes, such as the freezing of trapped water.

Types of Concrete.

Mix design

Modern concrete mix designs can be complex. The choice of a concrete mix depends on the need of the project both in terms of strength and appearance and in relation to local legislation and building codes. The design begins by determining the requirements of the concrete. These requirements take into consideration the weather conditions that the concrete will be exposed to in service, and the required design strength. The compressive strength of a concrete is determined by taking standard molded, standard-cured cylinder samples. Many factors need to be taken into account, from the cost of the various additives and aggregates, to the trade offs between, the “slump” for easy mixing and placement and ultimate performance.

A mix is then designed using cement (Portland or other cementitious material), coarse and fine aggregates, water and chemical admixtures. The method of mixing will also be specified, as well as conditions that it may be used in. This allows a user of the concrete to be confident that the structure will perform properly. Various types of concrete have been developed for specialist application and have become known by these names.. Concrete mixes can also be designed using software programs. Such software provide the user an opportunity to select their preferred method of mix design and enter the material data to arrive at proper mix designs.

Old concrete recipes

Concrete has been used since ancient times. Regular Roman concrete for example was made from volcanic ash (pozzolana), and hydrated lime. Roman concrete was superior from other concrete recipes (for example, those consisting of only sand and lime)[1] used by other nations. Besides volcanic ash for making regular Roman concrete, brick dust can also be utilized. Besides regular Roman concrete, the Romans also invented hydraulic concrete, which they made from volcanic ash and clay.

Modern concrete

Regular concrete is the lay term describing concrete that is produced by following the mixing instructions that are commonly published on packets of cement, typically using sand or other common material as the aggregate, and often mixed in improvised containers. The ingredients in any particular mix depends on the nature of the application. Regular concrete can typically withstand a pressure from about 10 MPa (1450 psi) to 40 MPa (5800 psi), with lighter duty uses such as blinding concrete having a much lower MPa rating than structural concrete. Many types of pre-mixed concrete are available which include powdered cement mixed with an aggregate, needing only water.

Typically, a batch of concrete can be made by using 1 part Portland cement, 2 parts dry sand, 3 parts dry stone, 1/2 part water. The parts are in terms of weight – not volume. For example, 1-cubic-foot (0.028 m3) of concrete would be made using 22 lb (10.0 kg) cement, 10 lb (4.5 kg) water, 41 lb (19 kg) dry sand, 70 lb (32 kg) dry stone (1/2″ to 3/4″ stone). This would make 1-cubic-foot (0.028 m3) of concrete and would weigh about 143 lb (65 kg). The sand should be mortar or brick sand (washed and filtered if possible) and the stone should be washed if possible. Organic materials (leaves, twigs, etc.) should be removed from the sand and stone to ensure the highest strength.

High-strength concrete

High-strength concrete has a compressive strength greater than 40 MPa (5800 psi). High-strength concrete is made by lowering the water-cement (W/C) ratio to 0.35 or lower. Often silica fume is added to prevent the formation of free calcium hydroxide crystals in the cement matrix, which might reduce the strength at the cement-aggregate bond. Low W/C ratios and the use of silica fume make concrete mixes significantly less workable, which is particularly likely to be a problem in high-strength concrete applications where dense rebar cages are likely to be used.

To compensate for the reduced workability, superplasticizers are commonly added to high-strength mixtures. Aggregate must be selected carefully for high-strength mixes, as weaker aggregates may not be strong enough to resist the loads imposed on the concrete and cause failure to start in the aggregate rather than in the matrix or at a void, as normally occurs in regular concrete. In some applications of high-strength concrete the design criterion is the elastic modulus rather than the ultimate compressive strength.

Stamped concrete

Stamped concrete is an architectural concrete which has a superior surface finish. After a concrete floor has been laid, floor hardeners (can be pigmented) are impregnated on the surface and a mold which may be textured to replicate a stone / brick or even wood is stamped on to give an attractive textured surface finish. After sufficient hardening the surface is cleaned and generally sealed to give a protection. The wear resistance of stamped concrete is generally excellent and hence found in applications like parking lots, pavements, walkways etc.

High-performance concrete

High-performance concrete (HPC) is a relatively new term used to describe concrete that conforms to a set of standards above those of the most common applications, but not limited to strength. While all high-strength concrete is also high-performance, not all high-performance concrete is high-strength. Some examples of such standards currently used in relation to HPC are:

Properties of concrete.

Uses of concrete.

Concrete is widely used for making architectural structures, foundations, brick/block walls, pavements, bridges/overpasses, motorways/roads, runways, parking structures, dams, pools/reservoirs, pipes, footings for gates, fences and poles and even boats. Famous concrete structures include the Burj Khalifa (world’s tallest building), the Hoover Dam, the Panama Canaland the Roman Pantheon.

Manufacture of lime

Lime stones are burnt in either clamps or kilns.1. Clamps:For small quantity of limestone, burning is done in a clamp. On a clear surface about 5 meters in diameter, layers of broken limestones and fuel are laid to form a heap about 4 meters high.First and the last layers should be of the fuel. In case coal is used as fuel, it could be well mixed up with limestones and lay in a heap. Sides of the heap, which incline slightly inwards, are plastered over with mud to stop loss of heat. A little opening at the top is provided for draught. The clamp is then fired at the bottom.Disappearance of blue flame at the top is an indication of the burning of lime having completed. The clamp is then allowed to cool down and pieces of quick lime are then handpicked.Clamp burning of lime is uneconomical as the fuel consumption is more due to loss of heat and as some lime powder is lost in fuel ash. Also the quick lime carries any admixture of ash.|

2. Kiln for large quantity of lime, permanent structures of kilns are constructed.A. Intermittent kiln:Whenever the lime is desired intermittently or the supply of stones or fuel is not regular then the intermittent kiln is used. An intermittent kiln in which the fuel is not in contact with the lime is shown in the figure.Big pieces of limestones are used to make a sort of archon with which smaller pieces of limestone are loaded. Fire is lighted below the arch formed with big pieces of limestone. It is only the flame not the fuel that comes in contact with the stones. Burning should be gradual so that the stones forming the arch do not get split. It normally takes two days to burn and one day to cool the charge.

B. Continuous kiln:Wood or charcoal could be used as a fuel. Limestones or kankars free from earth or impurities are broken into small pieces to about 5cm gauge. Alternate layers of 75 mm stone and 6mm coal dust are fed into the kiln. Top should be covered with mud, leaving a hole of 0.5 meter diameter in the center. Burning proceeds continuously and the kiln is not allowed to cool down. Burnt material is drawn out daily and fresh charge of stone and fuel is added from top. Over burnt pieces are discarded whereas the under burnt ones are reloaded into the kiln. Remaining material is slaked or ground in grinding mill for use. |

a. Eminently rich lime:

It slakes rapidly. It consists of less than 5% of impurities such as silica and alumina (in clay form) and high %age of CaO. It is slow in setting and hardening and setting depends on CO2 from atmosphere, therefore rich lime is used for plastering but not mortar making. It may be used for inferior and temporary structures. B. Lean and poor lime:

It contains more than 5% clayey impurities and other impurities like silica, alumina, iron and magnesium oxides, exceeds 11%. Due to large amount of impurities it slakes slowly. It also sets and hardens very slowly. It is used both for plastering and mortar making for inferior class of work.

Advertisements| 1. Composition:Fat lime is produced from sea shell, coral deposits etc or from lime stone containing impurities like free sand and soluble silica combined with alumina, magnesium, carbonate etc. If the proportion of free sand is large, the resulting lime becomes progressively poor and is called poor or lean lime.2. Behavior in slaking:Fat lime slakes rapidly when water is added giving out considerable heat and making hissing and cracking noise and increases 2 to 3 times its original volume. Fat lime if exposed to air, it absorbs moisture and CO2 from the atmosphere and becomes inert CaCO3 or chalk again and loses its cementing power. For developing the cementing power, quick lime must be slaked with water as early as possible, after it is obtained from the kiln.|

3. Shrinking:Fat lime has a greater tendency to shrink and crack as it dries. To prevent this, a large quantity of sand (2 to 3 times) must be mixed with it to prepare mortar.4. Hardening or setting:Fat lime is hydrated calcium oxide and sets by the absorption of CO2 from the air.Ca (OH) 2 + CO2 ==> CaCO3 + H2OCrystals of CaCO3 are formed and the water goes by evaporation. Thus fat lime hardens only where it comes in contact with air, as in plaster work.In the interior of thick walls, it does not acquire strength as CO2 i.e. air cannot reach there. Mixing of sand (2 to 3 times) forms pores for access of CO2 and helps hardening.5. Strength:Crystals of CaCO3 formed by fat lime are not very strong. Fat lime, therefore, does not possess much strength and is used for plastering walls, while washing etc in exposed positions.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions in House Construction

Background and Justification of project

Buildings are climate modifiers which provide indoor environments. These are essential to the well being and the social and economic developments of mankind. However, they are also intensive resources consumers and hence, they require enormous amount of materials and energy in their construction and maintenance. During the construction period and while they are demolished at the end of their life, buildings generate huge amount of solid wastes and various types of emissions, such as particulates, noise and various kinds of liquid effluents.

According to Hall (2003 ) and Anink (1996) the building industry accounts for around one-tenth of the world’s GDP, at least 7% of its jobs, half of all resources used and up to 40% of energy used and green house gas emission. Hill and Bowen (1997) discussed how the applications of modern technology, together with the increasing population, are leading to the rapid depletion of the earth’s physical resources. Hall (2003) also estimated that by 2025, the world population would reach 8 billion and 98% of the increase in the population would be in developing countries. With time, the construction industry is expanding and the rate of resource depletion is not sustainable.

As it can be imagined, construction materials and products are essential to life – with respect to both buildings and infrastructure. Humans spend around 80% of their time (on average) in some type of building or on roads. Construction products play a major role in improving the energy efficiency of buildings and also contribute to economic prosperity (Edwards, 2003). On the other hand, construction products also produce a considerable impact on the environment. The Worldwatch Institute estimates that 40% of the world’s materials and energy is used in buildings. However, according to Anink (1996), the construction sector is responsible for 50% of the material resources taken from nature and 50% of total waste generated. Also, Rodman and Lenssen (1993) pointed that buildings account for one-sixth of the world’s freshwater withdrawals, one-quarter of its wood harvest, and two-fifths of its material and energy flows. The impact of construction products relative to the overall lifetime impact of a building is currently 10-20%. For infrastructure this value is significantly higher, greater than 80% in some cases.

In Mauritius, nearly all the main resources in a building are imported, e.g. steel and cement. An average of 600 000 tonnes of cement are imported annually in Mauritius. As our country is currently going through a boom in the construction sector, the figures are expected to increase. The price of crude oil has more than doubled on the world market during the past years. This has had a direct impact on nearly all the construction materials which are imported and produced locally. While choosing for construction materials, many do not think about the impacts that the material have on the environment.

The environmental impacts of building materials are increasing day by day. Therefore, environmental impacts have become an increasingly important consideration in selecting building materials for the construction. Consequently, life cycle assessment has become an important tool in analysing natural resources and emissions generated in manufacturing processes. Winistorfer and Zhangjing (2004) said that life cycle assessment refers to the analysis of the environmental impact of a product through every step of its life. It includes environment impacts while the product is manufactured, used and disposed. The objective of a life cycle analysis is to quantify environmental influences of a product through input and output analysis.

Aim and Objectives

The aim of the project was to calculate all the resource energy and associated greenhouse gas emissions linked to construction of a typical residential house in Mauritius. Simapro Life Cycle Analysis software was used to calculate all the resource energy and greenhouse gas emission from the building.

The objectives were to:

  • quantify all the resources required for the construction of the typical residential house
  • estimate the weight of the building
  • minimise the use of resources in building thereby reducing the greenhouse gas emission and ensuring a cleaner production.

To satisfy the aim and objectives of the project, a virtual house was selected to carry out the analysis. The house used was obtained from the central statistics office. It represents the most common type of building in Mauritius. The size of the house is 128m2. All the quantities of materials used for the construction of the building were calculated. Using Simapro life cycle assessment software, the energy requirement and CO2 emission of each material was obtained. Also, the weight of the house was calculated using the unit weight of reinforced concrete and concrete blocks.

Structure of Report

A literature search was done and the findings were included in chapter 2. The latter describes how the building consumes all the different resources, energy requirements and the environmental impacts of building. Also, the benefits of sustainable building and of recycling waste, in order to recover the energy, were discussed. A detailed methodology, which was adopted to achieve the aim and objectives of the study, was described in chapter 3. The key results and discussions were presented in chapter 4. Finally, conclusions, recommendations and further works were dealt with in chapter 5.

Literature Review

Building: direct consumption of resources

There is growing concern that human activity is affecting the global and local ecosystem severely enough to potentially cause permanent changes to some ecosystems and potentially cause them to crash. Boyle (2005) suggested that there must be a reduction factor of 20 to 50 in resource consumption and efficiency in order to achieve technologies which are sustainable.

Sustainable technologies will be particularly significant to the construction industry which is a major consumer of resources. The pie chart below gives a repartition of all the primary materials resources used in the construction industry in 1998.

Figure 2.1 – Repartition of primary resources in the construction industry (Source: Construction Resource Efficiency Review, 2006)

Despite the fact that every house makes use of different quantity of resources, according to US DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network, a standard wood-frame house uses 4047 m2 (one acre) of forest and produces 3-7 tonne of waste during construction. Lippiatt (1999) stated that building consumes 40% of the gravel, sand and stone, 25% of the timber, 40% of the energy and 16% of the water used globally per year.

Boyle (2005) estimated that in UK itself, about 6 tonnes of building materials were used annually for every member of the population. Much of the waste and consumption of resources occurred during the extraction and processing of the raw materials. For example, mining requires water and energy, consumes land and produces significant quantities of acidic contaminated gas, liquid and solid wastes (Boyle, 2005). A second example which can be used is that of timber. The cultivation of trees requires significant space for cultivation and amount of fertilizers. Moreover, the harvesting and processing phases of timber make use of considerable amounts of energy. Trees are also grown in plantations which require old-growth forest and significantly reduce biodiversity.

Energy is also used extensively in the transportation of raw materials. Fossils fuels are used for the transportation, extraction and harvesting of the material, thereby releasing greenhouse gases and a range of air pollutants. Processing of metals and mineral often results in major gas emissions. The concrete industry is a major producer of carbon dioxide whereas on the other hand, aluminium smelting produces perfluorocarbons (Boyle, 2005). These two are very powerful greenhouse gases. According to the Construction Resource Efficiency Information Review (2006), emissions to the air by the construction industry in 1998 were just over 30 million tonnes in total, of which over 97% was carbon dioxide. Of the 30 million tonnes of emissions, over 70% came from mineral extraction and product manufacture.

The table below shows the total carbon dioxide equivalent emissions generated by the construction industry in UK.

Table 2.1 – Carbon dioxide equivalent emissions generated by the construction industry in UK (Source: Construction Resource Efficiency Information Review, 2006)

Emission generated by:

Tonnage (Kt )

Mineral extraction, product and material manufacture


Transport of product and material


Transport of secondary and recycled product


Construction and demolition site activity


Transport related to construction and demolition site activity


Transport of waste from product and material manufacture


Transport of construction and demolition waste


Total CO2 equivalent emissions to the atmosphere


As it can be seen, from Table 2.1, a total of 28 327 Ktonnes of CO2equivalent emissions were generated by the construction industry in UK and much of these emissions occurred during the mineral extraction and product and material manufacture.

Over the lifespan of a building, the material will have to be maintained and stored in good condition whereas, in some cases, replaced. Every five to fifteen years, exterior coatings, guttering, piping, walls, and flooring will require repair or replacement. By effective maintenance, requirements for replacement are reduced by a significant amount. The decisions here are not taken by the builder or designer regardless of the original design. Concerning the material used for the repair and the maintenance of the building, it is the owner who takes the decision.

During the lifespan of a building, the overall investment of resources into the building needs to be considered (Boyle, 2005). Buildings can be constructed and designed in such a way that they can last for more than hundred years. Additionally, many traditional buildings are designed in such a way that they can last beyond 200 years (Morel, 2001). However, many designers are now planning buildings for a lifespan of only 50 years or even less despite using durable materials requiring minimal maintenance. Such materials reduce the requirement for repairs or replacement. Hence, simply designing and maintaining a building for 400 years rather than 50 can potentially reduce its environmental effect from material resources by up to a factor of 4 (Boyle, 2005).

Energy requirements of a building

Cole and Carnan (1996) found that the energy that is consumed during the life cycle of a residential building includes energy used in producing building materials and constructing the structure. Also, energy is used in occupying and maintaining the building, and in demolishing or deconstructing the structure at the end of its serviceable life. According to Cole and Carnan (1996), the energy consumed in building can be classified in three categories:

  1. energy to initially produce the building;
  2. energy to operate the building, and;
  3. energy to demolish and dispose of the building at the end of its effective life.

During the extraction, processing and transportation of material as well as during the construction as mentioned earlier large amount of energy is consumed. Morel et al. (2001) found that costs could be reduced by more than a factor of 6 during construction by the use of energy of local materials. The local materials studied by Morel et al. (2001) included rammed earth, stone, timber which were compared to the use of imported concrete. Consequently, Morel et al found that the imported concrete required significant energy for processing. Treloar et al. (2001) found that, by using a concrete binder, rammed earth had an energy load equivalent to that of a brick veneer construction due to the energy required in processing the cement.

Boyle (2005) stated that energy is the major resource consumed in buildings and 90% of the energy consumption is over the operational lifespan of the building. Therefore, significant decrease in energy consumption assists in reducing the resource consumption and improving efficiency. Although a house can be designed to a totally self-sufficient condition for energy and water, much depends on the location, that is, the climate, the availability and potability of local water sources as well as the attitude of the user. The designer or builder can incorporate some energy saving devices and design such a water heater, passive heating, and composting toilets, which are suitable for local conditions. Furthermore, such devices and designs will only be incorporated if a significant profit can be generated. Many developers resist including energy- saving measures unless they are required by local councils or are considered essentially by buyers in the local community. Cole and Kernan (1996) found that the energy used to heat, cool, provide artificial lighting, and power typically used appliances in buildings accounts for more than 30% of Canada’s national energy use. Approximately two-thirds of this consumption is attributed to residential buildings and the remainder to commercial buildings. The US DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network estimated that, the annual average energy consumption for one story concrete building, the annual average energy consumption is 63GJ.

However, Zydeveld (1998) pointed out that up to 80% savings in heating water and improving the indoor air quality and thermal comfort could be made in the Netherlands with the inclusion of passive solar design with an additional 10% cost in construction. Therefore, savings of 90% could be achieved. Four major design principles enabled architects and builders to incorporate passive solar design into their buildings: solar orientation; maximizing the solar gain through low surface loss and high internal volume; high mass within the insulation and avoiding of shading.

The rise in use of material in the low energy building can, however, mean that there is an increased consumption of material and energy overall. Thormark (2002) discovered that up to 45% of the total energy used is in the embodied energy in a low-energy building and that such a building could have a greater total energy use than that of a building with a higher operating energy consumption. Besides, he also said that 37-42% of the embodied energy could be recovered by recycling of materials.

Embodied Energy

According to an unknown author (2007), Embodied Energy is the amount of energy that has gone into the making of a material or things made with materials. A very high percentage of the world’s energy is derived from fossil fuels which, when burnt, release vast amounts of CO2. As the production of energy from fossil fuels is environmentally unfriendly, materials and things that have a lower embodied energy are more sustainable than those with a higher embodied energy.

On average, 0.098 tonnes of CO2 are produced per gigajoule of embodied energy (Sustainable built environment 2007).

Source: Sustainable Technologies (1996)

Figure 2.2: Embodied Energy of the different building materials

The embodied energy per unit mass of materials used in a building varies enormously from about two gigajoules per tonne for concrete, to hundreds of gigajoules per tonne for aluminium.(Figure 2.2). The reuse of materials commonly saves about 95% of embodied energy which could otherwise be wasted (Sustainable Built Environment 2007).

According to Fichtner Report (1999), in Mauritius, steel is the only waste material generated from the construction industry which is recycled, implying that most of the embodied energy of the materials is wasted.

Resource Efficiency in a building

According to the report “Construction Resource Efficiency Review” (2006), resource efficiency is about the sustainable use of resources. Indeed, there should be effective use and management of all the resources available to the industry while at the same time optimising output and profit. There is much emphasis on the use of all the physical resources (water, energy, etc) and materials used in the production and operation cycle. As minimum resource is used in the manufacture of the product, profits can be made by increasing productivity. Resource efficiency can also be achieved by reducing the wastes.

As far as the construction industry is concerned, there is a need to focus on sustainable consumption of resources. Buildings can be built with fewer resources while looking at the same time at the impacts of the building on the environment.

Sustainable Buildings

Buildings have a tremendous impact on our environmental quality, resource use, human health and productivity. According to Nicholas S. (2003), sustainable building meets current building needs and reduces impacts on future generations by integrating building materials and methods that promote environmental quality, economic vitality, and social benefit through the design, construction and operation of our built environment. Sustainable building, also referred as green building, involves the consideration of many issues, including land use, site impacts, indoor environment, energy and water use, lifecycle impacts of building materials, and solid waste.

Benefits of Sustainable Building

There are a number of environmental, social, and economic benefits which we can enjoy from a sustainable building. Miriam L. (1999) gives some benefits of sustainable building to the environment, which are as follows:

  • air and water quality protection
  • soil protection and flood prevention
  • solid waste reduction
  • energy and water conservation
  • climate stabilization
  • ozone layer protection
  • natural resource conservation
  • open space, habitat, and species/biodiversity protection

Also, sustainable building can have other benefits for designers, contractors, occupants, construction workers, developers, and owners. These benefits include:

  • Improved health, comfort, and productivity/performance

As mentioned earlier, people spend 80 % of their life in some buildings. It is reported that 30 % of new and remodeled buildings worldwide may be linked to symptoms of sick building syndrome (WHO 1984). Particular Symptoms are:-

  • Headache
  • Eye, nose or throat irritation
  • Dry cough
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Sensitivity to odors

Sick building syndrome (SBS) is normally caused by fungi and bacteria that build up because of inadequate fresh air ventilation in structures. Therefore, improving the indoor environment of the building can reduce the effect of SBS.

Lower construction costs

The cost of the building can be lowered by reducing the use of material and saving on disposal costs because of recycling. For example, recycled aggregate can be used as filler material.

Lower operating costs

As discussed earlier in chapter 2.10, the use of energy can be reduced in a building by designing the building such that it gets maximum sunlight, and in so doing, cutting down expenses concerning electricity. This has a great impact for people with low income, who spend much of their salary in paying utility bills.

Life Cycle Assessment

“….Life Cycle Assessment is a process to evaluate the environmental burdens associated with a product, process, or activity by identifying and quantifying energy and materials used and wastes released to the environment; to assess the impact of those energy and materials used and releases to the environment; and to identify and evaluate opportunities to affect environmental improvements. The assessment includes the entire life cycle of the product, process or activity, encompassing, extracting and processing raw materials; manufacturing, transportation and distribution; use, re-use, maintenance; recycling, and final disposal….” Guidelines for Life-Cycle Assessment: A ‘Code of Practice’, SETAC, Brussels (1990).

There are four main components of LCA, which are as follows:

– Goal definition and scoping:

Identify the LCA’s purpose and the expected products of the study. Also, he needs to determine the boundaries and assumptions based upon the goal definition

– Life-cycle inventory:

Quantify the raw material and energy inputs during each stage of production. Moreover, environmental releases are also taken into account.

– Impact analysis:

Assess the impacts on human health and the environment associated with energy, raw material inputs and environmental releases quantified by the inventory.

-Improvement analysis:

Evaluate opportunities to reduce energy, material inputs, or environmental impacts at each stage of the product life-cycle.

For this project, only the environmental impacts (carbon dioxide emission) and energy used from the manufacture of all the materials utilised in the construction of a typical residential house were considered.

Construction Waste

The construction energy generates an enormous amount of waste. Rogoff and Williams (1994) pointed out that in the USA, wastes from the construction industry contributed to approximately 20 %, in Australia 30% and in UK more than 50 % of the overall landfill volumes in each country. The Building Research Establishment (1982) has defined waste as the difference between materials ordered and those placed for fixing on building projects. Serpell and Alarcon (1998) defined construction waste as any material by product that does not have any residual value.

But this is not true for the construction and demolition waste as much as the waste can be reduced or recycled. By reducing the level of waste in the construction industry, it benefits the environment and lowers the cost of the project.

Bossink and Brouwers (1996) estimated that about 1-10% by weight of the purchase construction material leaves the site of residential projects as waste. However Guthrie et al. (1998) found that at least 10 % of all the raw materials which are delivered on most construction sites are wasted through damage, loss and over-ordering.

A study carried by Dabycharun (2004), pointed out that a residential house in Mauritius generates about 0.2-0.5 tonne/m2 of waste. He carried out questionnaire interview in order to get this figure. However, the Fichtner report (1999) states that during the construction of an average private house of 140 m2, 8-10 tonne of mixed waste are generated.

Skoyles and Skoyles (1987) identified two main kinds of building construction waste and finishing waste. Structure waste consists of fragments, reinforcement bars, abandoned timer plate and pieces which are generated during the finishing stage of a building. For example it comprises of surplus cement motar arising from screeding scatters over the floors inside the building.

There are two distinct procedures in minimising the amount of in landfill sites through the construction process. The first one is to reduce the amount of waste generated through source reduction techniques both on site and during the design and procurement phases of a building project. The second procedure is to improve the management of the unavoidable waste generated on site. In managing the unavoidable waste, there are three options in order of preference. They are as follows:

  • Reuse
  • Recycling
  • Disposal

The balance between the three will depend upon the nature of the materials wasted, legislative requirements for the specific materials and the cost effectiveness of each option. The cost will in turn depend upon the availability of reusing and recycling options and the opportunities for reuse on a specific project.

Recycled materials, while requiring transportation and reprocessing, consume significantly fewer resources compared to the extraction and processing of raw materials. This is particularly true for metal such as iron, copper and aluminium. These metals can be reproduced to a quality equal to that of raw material processing. Both concrete and timber can be recycled or reused but with the defect that the quality of the final product is often diminished. By crushing concrete, we can reuse it as an aggregate for some purposes, particularly like paving (Boyle, 2005). But, it was found by Millard and al. (2004) that from the recycled aggregate found in the construction and demolition waste, concrete blocks can be manufactured. Also, coarse recycled aggregates can be used in new concrete (Limbachia, 2004). Good grade timber can be used in the making of furniture. It is strongly stated not to use supporting timber since it is difficult to determine whether a used timber beam has stress cracks or other weak points. In other countries, plastics can be recycled into a number of construction products, including tiles, lumber, heating and wire insulation and carpet. According to Huang and Hsu (2003), each year in Taiwan over 10×106 tonnes of construction material are extracted for their usage and more than 40×106 tonnes of construction waste are disposed without recycling. Significant amounts of asphalt were present in the waste. However, if it was recycled, this would have decreased the amount of asphalt which was imported. Thormark (2002) pointed out that recycled concrete, clay brick and lightweight concrete can meet the total need for gravel in new houses and in renovation.

Materials and Methods

The next part of the dissertation was the methodology. In this section, an analysis was carried out on the different resources used for the construction of a single-storey house and the CO2 emission from each of the different resources. Therefore, a house had to be selected to carry out the analysis

Selection of a typical house

The house model used for the analysis was basically a virtual detached house which occupied a space of 128.30 squares metres floor area. The floor area was measured at plinth level to the external face of the external wall. The plan of the typical house model was obtained from the Central Statistics Office which was originally provided by the Mauritius Housing Company Limited. The house represented the most common type of residential house in Mauritius. The plan of the house is found in appendix A.

The building constitutes of two bedrooms, a living-dining room, a kitchen, a toilet, a bathroom, a verandah and an attached garage. It was assumed to be built up of concrete block walls, reinforced concrete flat roof, internal flush plywood doors, glazed metal openings, screened floor and roof, tiling to floor and walls of W.C, and bathroom and kitchen worktop; the ceiling and walls were rendered and painted both internally and externally.

It should also be noted that in the event the single-storey building would need to be converted into a two-storey house, an additional provision of more substantial foundation and of stub columns of the roof has already been made.

Calculation of different resources

Various materials and other resources were needed during the construction of the house.

These can be broken down in different input categories. The input categories (different components) for the construction comprised of labour, hire of plant, materials and transport. The materials were further broken down into hardcore fillings (remplissage), cement, sand, timber for carpentry and joinery, metal openings, ceramic tiles, glass and putty, plumbing, sanitary installation, electrical installation and other miscellaneous expenses.

The weightage of the components, shown in table 3.0, was calculated by a private firm of Quantity Surveyors for the Central Statistics Office’s use. The firm had identified nineteen stages through which the construction of the house had gone through. The cost for each stage was calculated. Detailed cost of each inputs in terms of plant, labour, materials and transport that go into the construction of typical residential house were calculated. According to the Statician, Jagai D. (pers. Comm., 19 November 2007), the construction of the single storey building, in the year 2001, was estimated by the quantity surveyor to be Rs 550,000. the weight was calculated so that each input category represented a fraction of the price for the residential building.

Table 3.0 – Weightage of different Input categories

(Source: construction price index,2007)

Input categories

Weight / %


Skilled workers

Unskilled workers






Metal plaques




Advantages and Disadvantages of Green Building

Green building was developed in the 1970s, during the energy crisis, when people finally realised that they needed to save energy and alleviate environmental problems.

The idea originated on the United States, as they were one of the largest contributors of pollution in the world.

Due to the fact that Buildings account for a large amount of land, energy and water consumption, and also contribute hugely to air pollution, green building aims to reduce the environmental impact buildings have on the environment.

Practices and technologies used in green building are constantly improving. Many are different from region to region, however there are fundamental principles that must be followed.

Green building is an outcome of a design philosophy, which focuses on increasing the efficiency of 4 main resources:

  • Energy
  • Water
  • Materials
  • Health

Along with increasing efficiency, green buildings also aim to reduce the impact buildings have on human health and the environment during the building’s lifecycle.

This is achieved by improved design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal of waste materials.

It is generally agreed that green buildings are structures that are sited, designed, built, renovated and operated to energy-efficient guidelines, and that they will have a positive environmental, economic and social impact over their life cycle. Green specifications provide a good set of guidelines for the building industry, but these are still in the process of being formalised into UK regulation and many are open to interpretation.”


Green building requires a holistic approach that looks at each component of a building and how it relates in context with the whole building. This allows us to look at the impact the building will have on the wider environment and community around it.

Green Building is a difficult approach, which needs builders, architects and engineers to think creatively, and increase the level of integration throughout the project.

There are several resources and published guides that can help builders with the green building process, such as BREEAM (Building and Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), the Code for Sustainable Homes, and EcoHomes.

In Conclusion:

“Green Building is not simply about protecting the biosphere and natural resources from over-exploitation or over-consumption, nor is it simply about saving energy to reduce our heating bills. It considers the impact of buildings and materials on occupants and the impact of our lives on the future environment.”

(Source – Tom Woolley, Sam Kimmins, Paul Harrison and Rob Harrison 1997. Green Building Handbook. Oxford: Spon Press . 5.)

Green Building Essentials

There are four main criteria that need to be considered in green building.

They are:

  1. Materials.
  2. Energy.
  3. Water.
  4. Health.


The materials used in Green Building projects need to be:

  • From a natural, renewable source that has been managed and harvested in a sustainable way.
  • Obtained locally in order to reduce the embedded energy costs of transportation.
  • Sourced from reclaimed materials at nearby sites.

Materials are graded using green specifications which look at their life cycle and analyse them in terms of their embodied energy, durability, recycled content, waste minimisation, and their ability to be reused or recycled.

Some examples of building materials that are considered ‘green’ include:

  • Renewable plant materials such as straw.
  • Timber from sustainably managed forests.
  • Recycled stone
  • Recycled metal.
  • Products that are non-toxic, reusable, renewable, and/or recyclable eg. linoleum, sheep wool, compressed earth blocks, rammed earth, clay, flax linen, cork, sand stone, and concrete.

Building materials should be sourced and manufactured locally to the building site where possible in order to minimise the energy used through transportation.

It is also desireable for building elements to be manufactured off-site, then delivered when needed. The benefits of this include minimising waste and maximising recycling as manufacturing is in a set location.


Energy consumption is a major issue, which green building principles aim to address.

Nearly all UK houses are extremely inefficient when it comes to heating and lighting consumption.

One method of reducing heating and ventilation costs for a building is to incorporate Passive Solar Design. This is when the suns energy is used for heating and cooling various living spaces. These passive systems are extremely simple in design, having very few moving parts and usually require no mechanical systems therefore they have a minimal maintenance issue.

Common features of passive solar heating include windows that can be opened and closed. Passive solar design incorporates the use of thermal mass also. This is when materials such as masonry, concrete and water actually store heat for a period of time this can prevent rapid fluctuations in temperature.

High levels of insulation and energy-efficient windows can help to conserve a lot of energy from escaping through the buildings envelope.

In regards to lighting a building, natural daylight design reduces the need for electricity in a building while improving the occupants health and productivity.

Green buildings also incorporate energy-efficient lighting, low energy appliances, and renewable energy technologies such as wind turbines and solar panels.


Reducing water consumption in a ‘Green’ House is an important aspect in many of the green building rating systems. It is therefore essential that water can be recycled around the house. This can be achieved by installing greywater and rainwater harvesting systems which will re-use water for tasks like watering plants or toilet flushing. Incorporating water-efficient appliances in kitchens and bathrooms, such as low flow showerheads, self-closing or spray taps, low-flush toilets, or waterless composting toilets, will all aid in reducing the amount of water required for the day to day running of the house.


This aspect of Green Building refers to the health of the buildings occupants.

Using non-toxic materials in construction will help to improve indoor air quality, which can reduce the rate of respiratory illnesses such as asthma. The materials and products used in a green design need to be emission-free and have very little or no VOC (Volatile organic compound) content. They also need to be moisture resistant in order to prevent moulds, spores from growing inside the house.

Indoor air quality can be improved through ventilation systems and using materials in the construction of the house that control humidity and allow a building to breathe.

A major factor which isnt included in the main four topics I have discussed above is what happens after the construction of the building has been completed.

It wont matter how sustainable the design and construction stage of the project was if the building is not maintained responsibly. This needs to be considered at the planning stage of construction and the occupant must be briefed on the green building concept. They should also be informed that in order to keep the ‘green’ status the building will have, careful and considerate maintenance methods will need to be employed, with the possibility of the need to upgrade aspects of the building to keep up to date with changing regulations and standards.

It is also important that the occupier continues green practices such as recycling throughout the life-cycle of the building.

A green building should provide cost savings to both the builder and occupant. It should also benefit the community through the use of local labour.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Green Building

I am going to first outline some of the disadvantages of green building, as most people tend to focus only on the positive aspects. Considerations such as cost, funding, material availability and location restrictions must be taken into account when planning a green build project.

One of the most common disadvantages of Green Building is the additional cost incurred. This is due to the increase in the quality of construction methods and materials used. Although energy savings can balance the extra costs out, it is still seen as a disadvantage the fact that extra money needs to be spent at the construction stage.

Eco-friendly building materials are often difficult to find in many areas of the UK, which can lead to prices being much higher than standard building materials. While projects close to larger cities may have no difficulty finding green building materials, suppliers may be scarce in other areas.

Many materials require special ordering, which could increase costs. Some other materials may only be available through Internet orders, which will increase the cost due to shipping and handling. The green building market is becoming much more competitive due to the increase in demand for this type of construction, and Green Building costs are predicted to decrease in the near future.

Apart from the initial cost of green building, finding a mortgage company or bank that offers loans for a building that is not built in the traditional way may be difficult.

The time taken to complete a green building can also be viewed as a disadvantage. Green building projects encourage the use of recycled materials and trying to source these can add to the time to complete a certain stage of the build that the contractor and client haven’t allowed for in the project.

One overlooked disadvantage is the fact that in recent years houses have become more airtight, which has added to the problem of indoor air quality. Houses have become so sealed that there is now an increase in indoor pollution.

An example of how this can occur is if a builder decides to use some recycled material but is unaware of any chemicals that may be contained in it. The chemicals may give off volatile organic compounds, which have in fact been found toxic to humans.

Most green building guides have a section on Indoor Air Quality, ventilation, filtration systems, and suggestions for low or no VOC products in the building process to address this issue.

The benefits of green building are what most people want to know nowadays, and below are some of these advantages. They have been categorised into three main areas, Environmental, Economic and Social Benefits.

Environmental Benefits:

Reduction of Emissions:

Using green building techniques such as solar power and daylighting increase the energy efficiency of the building, and also cut down harmful emissions released by fossil fuels. This can help reduce air quality issues such as smog and acid rain.

Conservation of Water:

Significant water savings can be created by introducing methods such as rainwater and greywater harvesting. These methods use and recycle various water sources, which can then be used for irrigation in gardening and for flushing toilets. Stormwater management can also be helpful to the environment by reducing localised flooding, which can carry pollution into water sources, and erosion. Rainwater harvesting and using building materials that are permeable for driveways can help reduce this risk.

Waste Reduction:

Green building promotes increased efficiency both during and after the construction phase. Recycling and reusing waste materials will lead to a decrease in the amount of waste that needs to be dumped in landfills.

Economic Benefits:

As I mentioned above, some people believe green building to be too expensive. Previous studies have shown that costs are not substantially higher than traditional developments.

As long as the designer and client have decided to go down the route of green building, the high construction costs can usually be avoided.

Although the costs may be higher at the beginning of a projects life cycle, they can be recouped throughout the life of the building.

Due to the increased efficiency from green design and new technology, operation costs from heating, electricity and water can all be reduced dramatically, resulting in a low payback time on the money invested at the beginning of the project.

Green buildings can also be sold or rented quicker, and at a premium rate because of the low maintenance and utility bills. This will prove to be a unique selling point if the cost of fuel continues to rise.

Social Benefits:

Another very impressive advantage of a green building is its ability to improve the occupier’s health. Conditions such as respiratory problems, skin rashes, nausea and allergies, which can result from insufficient air circulation, poor lighting, mould, toxic adhesives and paints, can be significantly reduced in a green built house. This is because green building emphasises the need for proper ventilation and the reduction in use of toxic material, which will create a healthier living environment.

Another key element of green building is the need to preserve the natural environment. This can provide a variety of recreation and exercise opportunities. Green buildings also seek to facilitate alternatives to driving, such as bicycling by awarding points for providing bike docks (In the Code for Sustainable Homes), which eases local traffic while increasing personal health and fitness.

Summary of Advantages and Disadvantages of Green Building

Below are the disadvantages and advantages summarised in point form.


  • Initial cost.
  • Funding for projects from banks hard to get.
  • Location Factor.
  • Availability of Materials.
  • Timescale.
  • Implications on air quality due to the use of some recycled materials.


  • Environmental Benefits.
  • Reduction of Emissions.
  • Conservation of Water.
  • Reduced localised flooding.
  • Waste reduction.
  • Economic benefits.
  • Low utility bills.
  • Increase in likelihood for the property to be sold or let.
  • Social Benefits.
  • Improvement to the occupant’s health.
  • Preservation of the natural environment.
  • Increased recreation and exercise opportunities.

As you can see there are significantly more Advantages than Disadvantages of Green Building.

Green Building Rating Systems

In this section of my report I am going to give a brief introduction to the main Green Building rating systems used in the UK.

These systems review a building or construction project, and score it on different sections. Points are usually awarded for issues addressed and an accreditation is awarded depending on the amount of points scored when the project is completed.

Although I have focused on Green building in houses, I will look at some systems that are used for commercial building and civil engineering works.

Below are some of the systems I will be discussing:


BREEAM is an abbreviation for the ‘BRE Environmental Assessment Method’.

BREEAM is the leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings. It sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design and has become the primary measure used to describe a building’s environmental performance.”

(Cited from the BREEAM website –

BREEAM was established by the BRE in the UK in 1990 as and aid to help measure the sustainability of new buildings.

BREEAM has grown since then with reular updates according to changes in building regulations and government legislation.

The BREEAM guidelines cover many different types of building, including Industrial, Residential, Education, Healthcare and Retail.

The BREEAM guidelines were last updated in 2008. In this upgrade, a new two stage assesment process was introduced. This means that the building will be assesed at the design stage and also after the completion of construction.

Mandatory scoring credits were introduced and a new rating level of BREEAM Outstanding was created.

The BREEAM standard is not only being used in the UK, it is fast turning into a global accreditation.

The BRE have set up a new division called BREEAM International. This division has already created versions of BREEAM for Europe and the Gulf, adapting them in accordance to local regulations.

The information below is also from the BREEAM website. This information outlines the reasons why BREEAM should be used:

BREEAM provides clients, developers, designers and others with:

* Market recognition for low environmental impact buildings.

* Assurance that best environmental practice is incorporated into a building.

* Inspiration to find innovative solutions that minimise the environmental impact.

* A benchmark that is higher than regulation.

* A tool to help reduce running costs, improve working and living environments.

* A standard that demonstrates progress towards corporate and organisational environmental objectives.”

(Cited from –

BREEAM addresses wide-ranging environmental and sustainability issues and enables developers and designers to prove the environmental credentials of their buildings to planners and clients.

* BREEAM uses a straightforward scoring system that is transparent, easy to understand and supported by evidence-based research

* BREEAM has a positive influence on the design, construction and management of buildings

* BREEAM sets and maintains a robust technical standard with rigorous quality assurance and certification”

(Information sourced from the BREEAM website –


CEEQUAL stands for, The Civil Engineering Environmental Awards Scheme.

It is a scheme for improving the sustainability of civil engineering and public sector projects, in the UK.

The aim of CEEQUAL is to encourage civil engineering companies to achieve improved environmental and social performance in the specification, design and construction areas of their projects. Launched in September 2003, CEEQUAL was mainly developed by the ICE (Institute of Civil Engineers) and various government departments and agencies also gave their support to the idea and helped to finance the initiative.

Since 2003, CEEQUAL has grown to be the main scheme for assesing the sustainability of civil engineering works. In 2008 CEEQUAL was included in the Government report “Strategy for Sustainable Construction” as a scheme to be used that can comply with the governments design agenda for civil engineering works.

Just like the BREEAM assessment, CEEQUAL uses a credits or points to score various aspects of a civil engineering project, including environmental aspects such as, water, energy and land usage, as well as other categories such as nuisance to neighbours, waste minimisation and management, archaeology, community amenity and ecology.

A project that has achieved an award from CEEQUAL will show the public that the designers, contractors and clients, have completed a project that is above the minimum environmental standards, which will portray that they care about sustainability in the construction industry.

Benefits of CEEQUAL:

* Provides a benchmark standard for environmental performance;

* Demonstrates the commitment of the civil engineering industry to environmental quality; and celebrates the achievement of high environmental standards in civil engineering projects

A CEEQUAL Award for a civil engineering project identifies an organisation that:

* Measures and compares standards of performance;

* Respects people and the society in which it operates;

* Undertakes its work in an ethical and sustainable manner;

* Acts in a socially and environmentally responsible way;

* Protects and enhances the environment; and

* Is concerned about the major impacts of construction on the environment and the earth’s resources.

Source –

There are several different CEEQUAL Award levels that a project can achieve, depending on the percentage number of points scored against the scoped-out question set. These are:

* more than 25% – Pass

* more than 40% – Good

* more than 60% – Very Good

* more than 75% – Excellent

Five types of award can be applied:

* Whole Project Award, which is normally applied for jointly by or on behalf of the client, designer and principal contractor(s)

* Client & Design Award

* Design Only Award, applied for by the principal designer(s) only

* Construction Only Award, applied for by the principal contractor(s) only

* Design & Build Award, applied for the designer(s) and constructor(s) of a project.

Irish CEEQUAL Certified Projects

Below are some examples of the Civil Engineering projects that have achieved CEEQUAL Awards in Ireland in the last few years:

2008 – 2009 Awards:

* Custom House Square, Belfast

Award: Excellent

§ Derry City Centre Public Realm

Award: Excellent

§ Armagh Environmental Improvement Scheme

Award: Very Good

§ Downshire to Whitehead Sea Defences Boneybefore to Edenhalt (section 3)

Award: Good

§ Balloo Waste Transfer Station and Recycling Centre, Bangor

Award: Very Good

§ Moneymore Flood Protection Scheme

Award: Excellent

§ N229 Newtownards Road Environmental Improvements

Award: Excellent

§ Belfast City Centre Streets Ahead

Award: Excellent

§ Knockmore – Lurgan Track Upgrade

Award: Excellent

2006 – 2007 Awards

§ N7 Naas Road Widening & Interchange Scheme

Award: Very Good

§ Carran Hill water treatment works

Award: Excellent

2003-2005 Awards:

* abbey & Kircubbin Wastewater Treatment Works

Award: Excellent

* Newtownstewart Bypass

Award: Very Good

(Source –


LEED stands for ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’.

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) developed LEED in 1998. The scheme was created to offer an American equivalent to BREEAM, a green building scheme that was created in 1990 in the UK.

Aswell as being a US equivelant to BREEAM, LEED was invented to help define what green building was, by recognising environment leadership in the construction industry. By doing this LEED also hoped to raise awareness of the benefits of green building and try to create some competition in the green building market.

The LEED evaluation method is voluntary and covers all types of buildings such as, homes, offices and retail space.

The main division of the LEED initiative is ‘LEED for New Construction’.

This LEED assessment is also used on some international building projects.

LEED has eight key categories where LEED points can be achieved.

1. Location and Planning

2. Sustainable Sites

3. Water Efficiency

4. Energy & Atmosphere

5. Materials & Resources

6. Indoor Environmental Quality

7. Innovation in Design

8. Regional Priority

In each of these six categories, multiple points can be achieved when specific needs have been met. The more points achieved, the higher the LEED rating will be. LEED has also introduced certain criteria, which is mandatory in each level of LEED.

The LEED assessment is a two-part process, involving a design phase review and also a construction phase review. After these reviews, a LEED certificate can be presented if the project is up to standard.

This table compares the old LEED v2.2 points system with the new LEED v3 system.

LEED Ratings LEED v2.2 LEED v3

Certified 26-32 points 40-49 points

Silver 33-38 points 50-59 points

Gold 39-51 points 60-79 points

Platinum 52-69 points 80+ points

(Table has been sourced from the Reed Construction Data website –

Below is a table showing the nine different rating systems and also the five overarching categories to correspond with the specialities available through LEED.

Green Building Design & Construction

· LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations

· LEED for Core & Shell Development

· LEED for Schools

· LEED for Retail New Construction (planned 2010)

Green Interior Design & Construction

· LEED for Commercial Interiors

· LEED for Retail Interiors (planned 2010)

Green Building Operations & Maintenance

· LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance

Green Neighborhood Development

· LEED for Neighborhood Development

Green Home Design and Construction

· LEED for Homes


A comparison between BREEAM and LEED

More and more organisations are realising that having green credentials is a must in todays society.

This is because the public are more sustainably aware thanks to the increased coverage for the subject of sustainability in the news and papers.

Having a Green Building as part of your companies assets will show that you want to reduce the impact you have on the environment, as well as cutting utility bills and increasing the occupants health.

With this increase in green buildings, there is now competition between the method of assement.

For years, BREEAM has been the main environmental assessment method for UK buildings. Now with the expansion of LEED out of America there is increased competition.

The principles of BREEAM have also spread worldwide, and while similar assesment methods have been created for other countries, BREEAM and LEED are the main methods used today.

The way in which projects are assesed is the main difference between BREEAM and LEED.

BREEAM uses assessors that have been trained by the BRE, who check for evidence in the building and score it against the specified criteria. The BRE then check the assesors report and award a BREEAM certificate.

LEED on the other hand does not require a trained assesor, however points are awarded if a LEED Accredited Professional is used. Evidence from the project is gathered and submitted to the USGBC who will review it and award the appropriate certificate.

Both BREEAM and LEED help to keep the market to improve building design. Both also regularly update their scoring criteria to keep up with changing regulations.

BREEAM is more relevant in the UK as it uses UK policies, however LEED can be used as a global accreditation.

BREEAM will more than likely be the favoured system in the UK, as it has backing from the government as they require BREEAM ratings for all of their buildings.

Below is a table that compares the similarities of BREEAM and LEED:

(Table sourced from –

Code for Sustainable Homes

The ‘Code for Sustainable Homes’ is an environmental impact rating system for houses in the UK. The Code was launched in December 2006, and addresses new standards, above current building regulations, for energy usage and sustainability issues.

The aim of this new code is to try and decrease the impact that housing has on the environment.

The code was created to try and help relieve the problems we have brought upon ourselves through climate change. Buildings contribute nearly half of the UK’s carbon emissions. In order to reduce these emissions by 80% by 2050, housing needs to become more sustainable.

Following this code can help minimise the environmental damage that has occurred during the construction process in the past.

It also gives homebuilders the chance to create a revolutionary design for new homes to be put on the housing market, promoting a more sustainable lifestyle.

Adopting the code for sustainable homes is a major step in reaching the Government target of all new homes being zero carbon from 2016.

A house that is built in accordance to the code for sustainable homes will be more energy efficient, use less water and create less carbon emissions. This in turn is better for the environment.

Houses that follow the code are built in a more efficient way as they use materials that are from sustainable sources. Because they are built in a more efficient manner, less waste is created, and the use of recycled materials is promoted. Due to the increase in quality and efficiency, running costs will be lower than that of a traditional build.

This way of sustainable building also encourages the occupier of the house to try to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

The Code for Sustainable homes has 9 separate categories with set scoring points covering:

1. Energy/CO2.

2. Water.

3. Materials used in the home.

4. Surface water run-off.

5. Waste.

6. Pollution.

7. Health and Well-being.

8. Management

9. Ecology

When the client incorporates a specific feature they are awarded points. At the end of the build these points are added together, and the total score forms the basis of a 1-6 star rating system.

The code for sustainable homes uses a ‘star’ rating system, which ranges from 1 to 6. Level 1 equates to a 10% improvement over current Building Regulations energy standards, Level 3 is a 25% improvement on building regulations, and level 6 is a Zero Carbon house.

A home rated as 6 stars will have achieved the highest sustainability rating.

Diagram showing the points scoring to achieve each code level:

(Source – The Code for Sustainable Homes)

In February 2008, the Government decided that all new homes must have a rating against the Code for Sustainable Homes by May 2008. Also whenever houses are sold it has been made madatory that they have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). If a house has not been assessed for an EPC then it will receive a rating of zero.

This was brought in as an incentive for builders and developers to aim to score higher ratings in the Code for Sustainable Homes as home buyers could now easily see a house’s performance from the EPC.

Below is an copy of the EPC carried out for my house:

Diagram explaining 1*, 3* and 6* energy requirements:

Diagram sourced from – “Greener Homes for the Future”.

In 2006 the Government made publ

Cost Overrun in Construction Projects


The aim of the dissertation is to identify and explore the various causes of cost overrun associated with construction projects.


  • Identifying the main causes of the cost overrun in the construction projects through literature review.
  • To identify the various measures of cost overrun in construction projects.
  • To examine the affects of the cost overrun by analysing the case of a construction industry.
  • Analysing the information from the literature review and case studies to provide further recommendation and suggestions to overcome the cost overrun effect.

Research Methodology

To achieve the above aims discussed above it is very important to do extensive research by studying books, journals, articles on internet. Qualitative method is the research method that will be the main research method used incorporating



Case studies

Present dissertation the author has used two main research methods questionnaire survey, case studies. The author has prepared questionnaire with 18 questions and forwarded to 10 companies. The questionnaire survey provided valuable data that can analyse, useful for outcome of the research. The author has studied different case studies from India to identify various causes for failure of the project. Analysis on the case studies gives the idea of various measures to overcome cost overrun.


Constructions are full of risks and include those that may relate to cost overrun, external commercial factors, design, construction and operation. In any construction projects the three primary factors that is time, cost and quality will be likely to subject to risk and uncertainty. This cost overrun can be minimised by the realistic estimation which can be anticipated from the experience and foresight. Managing project costs accurately and responsively is a challenging task for the design team, construction manager, builders and consultant. Effective cost management is dependent on following a consistent methodology, utilizing appropriate standards, concentrating efforts for maximum effectiveness and utilizing all the tools available. The major problem that arises in construction projects is that projects often overrun their cost estimate. This risk of the overrun of cost estimate occurs even with the projects where carefully constructed bottom up cost estimates completed to a very detailed level. In every construction projects the main problem where cost of the entire project is not getting most likely, is because of the usual way of constructing a project estimate at completion is that adding the estimates for all work breakdown structure components (WBS). By conducting a cost risk analysis provides a more accurate and realistic estimates of project costs.


2. Literature Review

2.1 Definition:

The process of project of an infrastructure project when planned is the sponsoring department prepares estimates of time and costs or funds needed to complete the project. The expected date of the completion is also announced. But there will arise some different between the actual date of completion from the expected date. We define “time overrun” as the time difference between the initially planned i.e. expected dates of completion. Therefore, for each project we can define percentage time overrun as the ratio of time overrun and the implementation phase of the project. The implementation of the project is defined as the duration in which project is completed, i.e. the time between the date of approval of the project and the expected date of completion of the project. Similarly cost overrun is defined as the difference between the actual cost and the expected cost of the project. The actual cost is the cost that can be calculated only at the end of the project and the estimated cost is the estimated when the project is planned. The percentage of cost overrun is defined as the ratio of the cost overrun and the initially anticipated cost of the project (Ram Singh, 2009).

According to Lewis and Atherly 1996 a delay may have the direct cost implications in terms of an extended construction period. In other words delay leads to the cost overrun and the extended time will have extra expenses or loses by both parties of the project. When a delay can increase cost and reduce profits then organizations will have more considerations on bottom line (Lewis and Atherly 1996)

2.2 Causes of Construction Cost Overrun

The survey conducted by Iyer and Jha (2005), on the factors affecting the cost performance of Indian construction projects, including the extent of adverse climatic and economic conditions; unfavorable project specific attributes; top management support; monitoring; feedback, coordination, conflict and knowledge of the project participants; and reluctance to make timely decisions. Of these, coordination among project participants was found to be the most significant of all factors, having a maximum positive influence on the cost performance.

Semple et al. (1994), examined causes of claims, delays and cost overrun on twenty four projects in western Canada. The study identified the following as critical factors that lead to cost overruns are (1) contract variations and extras, (2) disputes, (3) soil and site conditions, and (4) delays. The author stressed the need by the industry practitioners (clients, contractors, professionals) to pay maximum attention to the critical factors in order to minimize cost overrun risks.

Chan et al. (1997), examined the principal and common causes of delays which leads to cost overrun in Hong Kong construction projects. The study identified the following factors (1) Poor site management and supervision, (2) unforeseen ground conditions, (3) low speed of decision making by project teams, (4) client-initiated variations and (5)necessary variations of work, as major cause of delay.

Flybjerg (2003), pointed out to cost estimates as highly, systematically and significantly misleading. According to Flybjerg et al. (2004), the causes for the cost overrun in the construction projects is as follows (1) The length of the project in the implementation phase, (2) the size of the project and (3) the type of project ownership.

According investigation carried by Assaf et al. (1995), on causes of delay in high rise building construction projects in Saudi Arabia, the most important causes are found to be as follows (1) Inadequate designs, (2) slow work progress on site, (3) late payment for completed works and (5) design changes by owners. Here from the above investigation it is proven that all these factors are caused by the lapses in human input factor.

N R Mansfield et al. (1994), investigated and examined the causes of delay and cost overrun in Nigerian projects. The investigation identified the following factors that are attributed to the overrun are finance and payments arrangements, poor or in experience contracting management, material shortages or excess of the materials, inaccurate estimating, and overall price fluctuations

The analysis according to Ram Singh (2009), has shown that there has been significant decline in the time and cost since from early 1980s in India. The investigation shows that major causes for the delays and cost overruns observed in India are deficient project planning process, use of inappropriate procurement contracts and faulty contract management. In regards to project type, the bigger projects are much more vulnerable to cost overruns. Ram Singh also stated that several kinds of organisational-cum-institutional failure also affect greatly to time and cost overruns.

The studies conducted by Elinwa et al. (2001) on the relative contribution of human personnel parties to the projects time overruns and cost overruns in Nigerian Construction industry states that the contribution of clients, contractors and others were 62%, 32% and 6%. The study stated that on the government or private sector projects the delays were at 89% with irrespective of project size. The study also identified the important factors of cost overrun and time overrun are mode of financing, payment delays for the completed works, improper planning and project time and cost underestimation.

Kaming et al. (1997), examined factors influencing constriction delays (time overrun) and cost escalations, in Indonesian cities. They identified project cost underestimation and project complexity as the main causes of project delays and cost overruns.

Chan and KumaraSwamy had conducted a survey on the factors causing the delays in Hong Kong construction projects and had classified them into two groups: (1) the role of the parties in the local construction industry (whether client, consultant or contractor) and (2) the type of projects. The result shows that five major causes for the delays and cost overrun were poor site management and supervision, unforeseen ground condition, low speed of decision making involving all project teams, client initiated variations and necessary variation of work.

Cost underestimation is the one of the main factors for the cost overrun in construction projects. According to the Flyvbjerg, (2003), the cost underestimation exists across 2 nations and 5 continents and it is global phenomenon. The explanation for the cost underestimation is in four types.

  • Technical
  • Psychological
  • Economic
  • Political

Technical Explanation:

Most studies in infrastructure projects that compare actual cost at the completion of the project and estimated cost at the initial contract explain as Forecasting Error in technical terms such as imperfect techniques, inadequate data, honest mistakes, inherent problems in predicting the future, lack of experience on the part of forecast, etc,. [Flyvbjerg, 2003].

Psychological Explanation:

Psychological explanations attempts to explain biases in forecasts by a bias in the mental makeup of the project promoters and forecasters. Politicians may have a Monument Complex engineers like build things, and local transportation officials sometimes have the mentality of empire builders in building roads, railways and bridges. The most common psychological explanation is probably “appraisal optimism”. According to this explanation, promoters and forecasters are held to be overly optimistic about the project outcomes in the appraisal phase, when the projects are planned and decided. [coated in Flyvbjerg, 2003].

Political Explanation:

Political explanations construe cost underestimation in terms of interests and power (Flyvbjerg, 1998). According to Flyvbjerg, 2003, one of the key questions for political explanations is whether forecasts are intentionally biased to serve the interests of project promoters in getting projects started. Cost estimation cannot be explained by the errors and seems to best explained by strategic misrepresentation i.e., lying. These questions of lying are notoriously hard to answer. For legal, economic, moral and other reasons, if promoters and forecasters have intentionally fabricated a deceptive cost estimate for a project to get it started, they are unlikely to tell the researchers and others that this is the case.

Economical Explanation:

Economic explanations say that cost underestimation in terms of economic rationality. Flyvbjerg, 2003, in his journal stated that there exist two types of economic explanation. One explains in terms of economic self-interest, the other in terms of public interest. In case of the economic self -interest, during the process of the project it creates the work for the engineers and construction firms, and many stakeholders who are directly or indirectly attached with the project make money. These stakeholders in directly involved in would influence the forecasting process of the project, which in turn influence the outcomes the ways that make it more likely that the project will be built. Stakeholders would likely increase in their revenues and profit by having the cost underestimation and benefits over estimation which would be economically rational for such type of stake holders. In case of the second term public interest, project promoters and forecasters may intensively underestimate cost in order to provide public officials with an incentive to cut costs and thereby to save the public’s money. According to this type of explanation, the more cost estimate is the incentive of the wasteful contracts to spend more of the tax payer’s money.

Hence the both types of the economic explanation account well for the systematic underestimation of the costs.

Several researchers on the subject of construction cost overruns have come out with significant findings that factors that leads to time overrun (construction delays), will eventually leads to cost overrun. From the above literature it is also found that the size of the construction project is also one of the main reasons which influence the cost overrun. The researchers stated that the main factor leading to delays have been always studied alongside those leading to cost overrun.

2.3 Cost overrun in India


Cost overrun is becoming common in infrastructure projects. Through the various analyses it is found that the time delay and the cost overrun are the main reasons for the poor project performance. Morris and Hough found 63% of 1778 different types of projects funded by the World Bank between 1974 and 1988, experienced significant cost overrun. kamrul Ahsan and Indra Gunawan, (2008), in studies conducted on the time and cost performances in Asian countries had found out only few projects i.e. 13% are completed within time and budgeted cost. In contrast more projects are time delay and cost over run on an average amount of over spending U.S. $73million, i.e. 22% average planned cost. The case study conducted by the Standish group (2004) for IT projects the has found that the average cost overrun was 43%, 71% of projects were over budget, over time and under scope and the total waste was estimated at U.S. $5 billion per year in U.S.A alone. In-accuracy in cost estimates is also one of the main factors for the cost overrun in the construction projects. According Flyvbjerg (2002), the under estimation of costs in construction were almost 9 out 10 projects. For randomly selected projects, the likelihood of actual costs being larger than estimated cost is 86%. The likelihood of the actual costs for the construction projects is being lower than or equal to estimated cost is 14%. The actual cost of the projects on average is 28% higher than the estimated cost. The best example for the above case is Suez Canal was constructed at costs three times of the estimated cost with 1,900 percent (Flyvbjerg et al, 2002). The Kakkad hydro -electric projct could be commissioned in time in 1986 itself, 8 years after its construction started. Accounting for general price inflation during this period , thecapital cost of this project by 1986 would be atmost only rs 39.66 crores, savings as much as Rs. 113.86 crores, almost enough to construct 3 more similar plant, or to add to the system capacity y another 140 MW at the nominal cost of Kakkad project in Kerala (Kannan and pillai 2001).

The ultimate motive in undertaking the project is to make profit. These profits may be measured in different ways and the most familiar profit is money. The goals of the others in making the project may be to make work, to improve living standards, in produce of the products to the others who require it or in scarce, to obtain votes for the political carrier and many others. The ultimate result should be the positive outcome during the construction of the project or in the life of the project.

Every project has to undergo several stages starting from the planning of the project, approval, awarding the project to the actual construction and so on. The project life cycle has been divided into three phases they are development phase, construction phase, and operation and maintenance phase. For every project during the development phase the project authority will approves the time and funds needed for the completion of the project. Then after the approval of the project the construction phase will start with the signing of a contract between the sponsoring department and the contractor. Generally the contractor of the project will be selected through the tender or bidding process. For some projects contractor will be for only procurement process. During the construction phase it is very important for the timely completion of the project, so there should be the active cooperation between the sponsoring authority, the contractor and other departments. The project success i.e. whether the project can be delivered on time and on cost depends on how well all the activities of the projects, departments of the projects and individuals concerned are coordinated. The failures among the contractor activities will cause delays in the project and cost overruns. For the ease of exposition, it is helpful to divide the set of possible causes in the following subgroups (Ram Sing, 2009).

2.3.1. Technical and Natural Factors:

It is a complex problem for the estimation of the time and cost for an infrastructure projects, though the techniques for the estimation have been sophisticated there are many imperfect estimations. The contractors and the authorities of the project will better understand about the materials requirement and the necessary changes in the project as the work on the project starts. For example, during the construction phase of the road project, an unexpectedly poor quality of soil may make the changes in the design and quality of the bitumen, from what was initially planned. Because such changes the project may require extra time as well as funds. But in some cases the sudden changes may turn in favor of the project and the parties may find the excessive funds and time. Similarly natural factors like floods and so on also impact the cost and time and as well as destroy the project assets. The natural factors also make favorable conditions in saving the construction time and cost. However, one would expect the effects of the technical and natural factors to be random without any bias. Also form the above discussions the time delay and cost overrun is expected to come down over the years. Therefore if the decline in the time delay and cost overrun is expected to be statistically significant, we attribute the decline to the technical and natural constraints. Time and cost overrun. Hence, the Design changes, unforeseen geological and weather condition during the construction phase are the major causes of the cost overrun. (Ram Singh, 2009)

2.3.2 The Contractual Failures.

As explained earlier the contractor enters the project mostly through bidding in implementation or construction phase by signing the contract with the sponsoring department. Thus for a project to be successful, mostly depends on the implementation of the activities by contractor and the joint and timely efforts of the sponsoring authority and the contractor(s). The actual initial construction or procurement contract is signed between the employer and the contractor is on a particular date. The contract agreement specifies the activities that are performed and delivery of the goods at the project execution by the contractor. In general, contract known as “complete-contingent-contracts which can ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget. These types of contracts are assumed to give the each and every detail of the activities that are performed by the contractor in each possible case during the construction phase. But in real case scenario, however, this is difficult to explain the every work which unfolds in construction phase during the initial phase of the contract. Moreover it does not explain the complete every relevant aspect of the project activities. The bounded relationship of the parties along with the technological constraints makes the contract very difficult in specifying the every aspect of the project till last detail, this is because of the nature of different states require different modifications in the assets to be built. This happens commonly for the contracts of the infrastructure projects because of its complex nature of the activities. Therefore the procurement contracts of the infrastructure projects will be incomplete nature. The need for the future works arises once when the contractors starts the work. For example, on a railway project it may be necessary to have more of manned-crossings or railway-over-bridges than were planned initially. These unplanned additional works requires more funds and also in some cases it takes more time. Therefore, from the above discussion the contract incompleteness is also a cause of the cost overrun in some cases. This contractual incompleteness increases with the increase in the project size. Bigger the project size the complexity also increases. As the complexity of the project increases it is very difficult to provide the each every detail in the initial contract. However the initial contract should be kept with less incomplete. A proper planning for the technical, materials and the activities aspects of the project can enable the parties involved in the project to make the detail initial contract properly and once the proper detailed initial contract is made the contractor may have the scope to make some allowance for the future works by keeping the initial contract with less incomplete. In contrast, the poor planning may lead to the bad estimation of the time and cost and so will be the initial contract. The process of project planning in India is infamous for its ad-hoc and lackadaisical approach. The detailed project reports and feasibility are prepared for the formality purpose and hence they are sloppy. This leads to the incomplete initial contract for the infrastructure projects. Thus this leads to sever problems for the complex projects, because, a lackadaisical planning will produces only sketchy estimates of time and cost. So, in these cases the initial contracts for the complex projects will inevitably omit many more detailed works of the project, which leads in cost overrun in the construction phase of the project. Neither the contractors nor the officials find these contracts are lack of details. From this the major cause which is leading to cost overrun in India is because of the contractual failures caused by the poor contracting processes and inferior project planning (Ram Singh, 2009). The example for the faulty planning techniques and construction made the cost and time overrun of the project in the Kerala state hydro project in kakkad where the leakage in the tunnel had costs the project extra 15 Lacks to repair the damage.( Kannan and pillai 2001).

2.3.3 Organizational failures:

As discussed from the above literature, for the successful completion of the infrastructure i.e. timely and efficient execution the project should have active participation of the all parties involved in the projects and as well as among various ministries. However, the government sector projects are inherently weak in the desired efforts from the people involved in the projects. There will be conflicts at each and every stage of the project with the individual and the social objectives. The wages and rewards given by the government for the working organization are not as effective from the view point as a motivation. Therefore, the government infrastructure projects have to face many sources of failures within the organization. These projects mostly in need of the several other organizations joint effort. In India different departments are responsible for different projects. For example, project implementation of power lines, water lines, sewer lines and environmental clearances and other such activities are performed by the different departments. Execution of the activities is highly dependent on the timely and joint efforts of the department. However the interdependence of efforts is that it will be easy for one department to pass the blame on others. So the infrastructure projects particularly India is vulnerable to these inter-organizational failures. In the project implementation stage as explained earlier several departments were involved in performing there concerned role. After all, the activities like land acquisition, shifting of utilities, etc., are performed by the state government. This says that if the project is span across more than one state, the project has deal with particular department in each state. Therefore the project which is spanning more than one state will have more chances to inter-organizational failures. If these projects are statistically causes the delay in time and cost overrun, then the project which are spanning across multiple states should experience the cost overrun and time delay. Most construction projects in government sector are Roads, Rail ways and urban development sector. The projects should need permission from the central and state government for the environmental clearance. When compared other sectors, these projects require more active cooperation of the several departments such as land acquisition, shifting of power lines, water lines, sewer lines etc. Hence the projects in these sectors are having more chances of the organizational failure. Thus projects in road, rail ways and urban development sectors will exhibits more time delays and cost overrun (Ram Singh, 2009). Kannan and Pillai 2001, in their studies on the cost and time overrun in Kerala Projects suggested that main cause of the cost overrun is due to the human resource management and labours strike.

According to the Auti, et,al. (2008), there has been several changes which should be made to the quality and standards, personal interests, low transparency and corruption . This also suggests that changes should be made in government policy and the way public sector projects are carried out.

2.3.4 Economic Factors:

In India the projects are located in some states and the economy of the state also impacts the cost overrun of the projects. That is the states having the good transportation facilities, power and telecommunication infrastructure to easily execute the project. This shows that project with more economic factors like good infrastructure will face less cost overrun and time delays and vice versa. The income level of the state will also affect the project cost and time (Ram Singh, 2009).

2.3.5 Inflation:

The inflation is defined as the rate of increase in the price level of the materials than they are in an economy (Adamson, 1996). Thus because of the inflation the materials cost will be increased than they during the initial contract, thus increases the estimated cost of the project. The affect inflation may cause the loss in profit to the contractor and project overrun cost to the project sponsor by the nature of process and the return of the work undertaken during the construction process. For example the kakkad(Kerala, India), hydro electric plant which has the time overrun 13 years as in 1999, when it was finally commissioned, the cost escalation of this project was 725 percent over the above estimates i.e. 8 times more than the actual cost the author says the cost escalation of this project is because of the price inflation(Kannan and pillai 2001 ).

2.3.6 Quality of the materials

The low quality materials cause higher construction costs than expected because of lack of standards in the materials. This results in the loss of materials and poor management system (Thungphanich, 1997).

2.3.7. Shortage in materials

Shortages in basic materials like sand, cement, stones, iron and brick causes major delay in the construction. The non availability of the machinery at the right of the construction process is also major cause for the delay in the construction.

The following table shows that the various sectors which went the time overrun and cost overrun in India. These are the delays and the cost overrun during the years April 1992- September 208

S. No.




Total no. of projects completed


% of projects with Time overrun


% Time overrun (as % of implementation phase)


% of projects with Cost overrun


Cost overrun as a %age of initial cost of all projects


% Projects with cost but not time overrun


Atomic Energy








Civil Aviation
































I & B
















































Health and Family Welfare
















Road & Transport








Shipping and ports
















Urban Development







Total/Overall projects







Source: Ram Singh, 2009.

2.4. Measures for the cost overrun

2.4.1. Cost Estimates:

For any project the most important aspect in order to meet the funds of the project is the cost estimation. Small misleading in the cost estimation will lead to the project cost overrun or under run.

Kerzer (2006) have explained about the factors which are affecting the process of the estimation and which results in the faulty estimation for the construction. The factors such as Misinterpretation of statement of the works, Omission or improperly defined scope, poorly defined or overly optimistic schedule, inaccurate work break down structure, applying improper skill levels to tasks, failure to account of risks, failure to understand or account for cost escalation and inflation, failure to use correct estimating technique. The important aspect to be considered is that many of the above factors which are affecting the cost estimation of the construction cannot be found until and unless the cost control system is implemented within the project.

Kerzer (2006) also explained various types of measures in estimating and their accuracy in the cost overrun, they are as follows.

(1) Order -of-magnitude estimates: There is no necessary of any engineering data for these types of estimates. Hence they are prepared without any engineering data and mostly they are based on the past experience. The accuracy

Effect of Prefabrication Methods on Housing in the UK

Would the Increasing Use of Prefabrication Methods in the Construction Industry Significantly Reduce the Housing Shortage Within the UK?

Chapter 1

Problem Specification

There is a widespread belief that a housing shortage exists in the UK. Although all regions are expected to see growth in household numbers, the greatest pressure will continue to be felt in Southern England (i.e. London, the South East, South West, and Eastern regions.) For example, the population of the South East region alone is expected to increase by 50,000 a year – about 1 million extra homes in the next twenty years or so. While 70% of population growth is in London and the south of England only about 50% of house building takes place there. The housing industry has in recent years been under severe pressure to meet the increasing population. For this reason the UK is presently suffering from a high housing shortage, which is likely to rise over the next 15 years, due to the high volumes of migrant workers from the EU and the increase in population. The total number of people living in the UK grows whenever there are more inward migrants than people leaving the country. International inward migration is a significant contributor to population growth. Recently the Government Actuary’s Department increased its figures for net inward migration to the United Kingdom from 95,000 to 135,000 people per year for the period to 2021. It is therefore necessary for the construction industry to dramatically increase production in house building in order to reduce the effect this shortage will have on the UK such as consequent impacts on house prices, conditions, overcrowding and homelessness.

Despite the strong economy, housing production by both private developers and social housing providers has been falling. According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the number of homes built during each of the past five years has remained static at 154,000. It is for this reason that house prices continue to soar. It is clear that the construction industry must build faster and more efficiently to meet the increasing needs of the UK housing market. The UK construction industry has been known for its lengths and costs in completing construction projects therefore leading to slower completion of developments. This is a wide spread problem that needs to be addressed for the housing demands to be met.

Household projections, based on 1998 figures from the Government Actuary’s Department and past trends in household formation, suggest that between 1996 and 2021, England will need to accommodate an extra 4.3 million households. Estimates suggest that the backlog in 1996 was approximately 650,000 households. It seems likely that the figure has increased over the last five years because supply has not matched demand.

There are difficulties within the UK construction industry to which attention has been drawn by the Latham and Egan reports. Structural, technical and cultural change in the years ahead may lead to a sector better able to respond to the demands upon it. With the use of better management techniques and the implementation of new technologies in new housing markets, projects lengths (i.e. Construction time) and costs could be significantly reduced. There are many ways of rapidly reducing completion time of construction. In this day and age these approaches are known as Modern Methods of Construction, such as prefabrication. A radical approach for cutting project time by using different techniques, such as off-site construction and factory conditions.

Pre-fabricated homes – One area highlighted to improve the current situation by the Government and others within the industry, is that of off-site construction. Prefabrication was used to provide quick and cheap homes after the Second World War where nearly 160,000 homes were prefabricated, and is being proposed again as a solution for providing affordable homes. Off-site construction has made huge advances since the Second World War and even more over the last couple of decades, offering methods which have been proved to be quicker and cheaper than traditional house building methods. One of the major issues associated with prefabricated homes is the stigma attached to them, with many people seeing them as a poor alternative to traditional construction. A MORI poll in 2002 indicated that 90% of people would prefer to live in a traditional home rather than a prefabricated home, showing that the UK population along with the construction industry is still slightly reluctant to place their faith in prefabricated homes.

The benefits of prefabrication are well known, with off-site construction offering a controlled environment where building elements can be produced quicker than traditional methods, and at a supposedly lower cost. At its best, prefabrication can see some 40-week building programmes being reduced to 16 weeks, which if used on a wide scale could see rapid growth in the UK’s housing stock. There is also an advantage held within the factory environment, offering greater safety for workers than on-site and also the controlled environment makes it possible for a consistent, high quality finish to be achieved. With skills shortages on-site, the opportunity to produce standardised building elements in factories could also further improve standards and quality.

Built in clean, efficient, factory conditions not in the often chaotic circumstances of construction sites, in unpredictable and inclement British weather – may make for higher standards, faster construction as well as a safer industry. Better procurement methods may mean less friction between clients, professionals and builders. Shortages of sufficiently skilled labour may also be remedied, to some extent, by factory. Therefore this method of construction could be seen as a potential solution to the housing shortage in the UK.

Currently prefabrication is not a common approach for most contractors to use. The main reason for this is because off-site manufacture (OSM) of house building components currently has the capacity to produce around 40,000 homes a year, far short of the figure needed to meet official housing projections. As such, the Government is promoting pre-fabrication and off-site manufacturing techniques, looking to methods such as steel and timber frame to help solve the housing shortfall, particularly in relation to quality and site skills shortages. Even with prefabricated homes having been produced for the past 100 years, they are still relatively untested in the UK on a large scale, and therefore the verdict is still out on whether they are suited to the UK and its construction industry. There are already companies in the UK trying to build affordable housing by using off-site construction methods, such as BoKlok, Ikea’s biggest idea yet. Having seized the market for affordable home furnishings in the past decade, the Swedish retail giant is now planning to provide the homes themselves. Planning permission was approved for the first British BoKlok development: 36 flats in St James Village, Gateshead, due for completion within a year. More will follow – many more, probably, since BoKlok is quick to build, energy efficient and aimed at households earning between £15,000 and £30,000 a year.

Currently they tend to use more traditional methods, and therefore this issue has to be tackled to bring prefabricated construction further into the lime light of construction.

The affordable housing sector represents a prime area of growth for the prefabricated buildings market. The benefits of rapid build times and the cost efficiencies resulting from the volume production of cellular units incorporated in the overall structure tend to result in affordable rents and value for money for the public housing sectors. A wide range of house builders such as Bellway, Westbury, Bovis, Lovell, Willmott Dixon etc, are using prefabricated buildings in affordable housing projects and their use has increased substantially during 2003-05.

If every household is to have the opportunity of a decent home, some fundamental changes will be needed not just to the mechanisms we use to deliver new homes – with reforms to the effectiveness of our planning system and our house-building industry.

In conclusion, the issue of housing shortage within the UK may become one of the most significant social and economical problems being faced over the next twenty years. Therefore, the aim of this dissertation is to explore whether the implementation and use of Prefabricated Construction on a wide spread scale could have a significant positive impact on the housing Shortage currently being seen in the UK.

There is a concern that in a number of critical areas, the emerging policy framework is based on unrealistic assumptions. It is questionable whether it will in practice deliver the necessary supply of houses to meet the UK’s economic and social requirements over the next twenty years.

Literature Review

“Britain is heading for a property shortage of more than a million homes by 2022 unless the current rate of house building is dramatically increased, according to reports from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).”

The UK has been known for its shortage on housing over the past 10-15 years, and therefore there are many sources of literature relevant to the study. Such sources are Government Policies, reports, articles, books, surveys and case studies that outline the scale of the problem and give statistics, such as the number of homes that need to be built in order to relinquish this status in the UK. The shortage of housing is making house prices soar from year to year, making it much harder not only for general house buyers but especially for first time buyers. This issue does not seem to be focused on in any literature as there doesn’t seem to be any long term solutions for it, making this topic an ever growing problem.

Government Report – The Barker Report (2003) Review sets out a series of policy recommendations to address the lack of supply and responsiveness of housing in the UK. The report further goes on to outline a number of key factors which are to blame for the housing shortage, including the lack of houses being built as well as the extra provision of land by local authorities to make it viable for developers to achieve the build targets to decrease the housing shortage. The report argues that a UK housing Shortage is having widespread economic and social consequences. The government estimates that by 2016 there will be 3 million new UK households. It recently published the Sustainable Communities plan outlining a major new house building program to help meet the growth. The government is said to be encouraging Modern Methods of Construction, which it says can achieve “a step change in the construction industry to produce the quantity and quality of housing we need.”

Housing completions are expected to steadily increase in the longer term in line with proposals and initiatives to address the general housing shortage, particularly the provision of more ‘affordable’ housing in key urban areas. However, a significant increase in completions is largely dependent on the overall economic environment, consumer confidence levels etc, in addition to land availability and the planning approvals process, which remains a key barrier to growth at present. While this was focused on in the Barker Review in 2004, house builders are reporting few improvements to date in the planning process and the availability of land for development is a key long term issue.

On her follow up to the 2003 report, Barker 2004 states that planning authorities and processing of applications need to be improved, whilst also the availability of land is becoming increasingly harder. She pinpoints reforms to the planning system; incentives for local authorities to support development, and a higher turn around from the construction industry, including completing site developments as quick as possible. These issues need to be focused on as they are key elements that could be contributing to the current shortage in the housing market. Barker (2004) encouraged the government to change its planning policies to allow more houses to be built on Greenfield’s, as she claims at present there is not enough land available for the housing demand to be met. Barker also called for a substantial increase in productivity from the construction industry. She states in her review that to reduce the current rate of housing inflation from 2.4% to the EU average of 1.1%, an extra 120,000 houses will need to be built per annum on top of the current output.

The overall message from both Barker reports (2003/2004) is the clear need for more houses to be built in the UK, especially the large problem areas such as the South-East and London in order to become any closer to achieving larger number of homes available in the UK. However there are no recommendations on how it might be possible to reduce programme lengths and costs. This is a key area that needs to be identified within the dissertation.

Mathiason (2003), already claimed that as long as inflation continues to rise, house builders will be under no obligation to build as they will be profiting from the land that they already own, as the price is ever increasing due to shortage. Perhaps the use of MMC and faster construction times would drive the developers to building on these lands, but they will never be fully implemented unless planning policies are also reviewed.

Prior to the Barker review the Government drew up a Sustainable Communities Plan (OPDM, 2003) to tackle several issues, including the urgent requirement for affordable homes. The plan aims to set out a long term programme of action for delivering sustainable communities to both urban and rural areas. One of the vehicles highlighted for delivering these sustainable communities is off-site construction, with modern methods of construction earmarked for additional investment. It also suggests heavy investment in public transport and rail links in particular, to help with the decentralisation of London, which will combat the lack of available land and high demand for housing in the South east.

The Sustainable Communities Plan (OPDM, 2003) also provides the Housing Corporation with an extra £100m for its £200m Challenge Fund for encouraging modern methods of construction. The Challenge Fund, run by the Housing Corporation offers incentives to developers using innovative methods for building communities. It is however, one of the only initiatives running to encourage the use of modern methods of construction.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2002a) predicted that Britain was heading for a housing shortage of more than a million homes by the year 2022. As well as launching Land for Housing, the report from a JRF Inquiry, the conference is debating Britain’s housing in 2022, the first in a series of working papers examining the long-term measures needed to tackle social disadvantage. Both warn that the impending housing crisis will hit hardest in London and the South. Although these regions contribute 70 per cent of the rising demand for new homes, only 50 per cent of new homes are currently being built there. By contrast, in the Midlands and the North, there are growing problems of low demand in some areas, and of empty and abandoned property. Lord Best, Director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and author of the working paper, said: “We estimate that the difference between housing demand and supply will have widened into a yawning gap of 1.1 million homes in England alone by 2022: most of it in London and the South East. This genuinely shocking statistic shows why the time has come for policy makers to recognise that a plentiful supply of new and affordable homes is of the greatest importance the nation’s future health and prosperity.”

AMA Research has published the Fifth Edition of the “House building Market UK 2006”. Recent changes in the overall housing market and corporate activity amongst house builders have renewed interest in the house building market. The fifth edition of this report focuses on the recent developments in this specific sector along with the characteristics and corporate activity of the leading suppliers to the sector. The report provides information on national and regional suppliers within the house building market and provides a comprehensive review of the major aspects of the new house building sector.

Off-site construction has a reputation of producing drab, uncharacteristic boxes for homes within the UK population. However, the face of prefabricated homes has changed for the better with Dyckhoff (2003) commenting that they have been transformed into the speedy, affordable loft-style saviour of Britain’s housing market.

What the literature above demonstrates is that there is a clearly growing problem with the housing market. Shortage of housing is increasing and still nothing has been pinpointed as the route cause, this seems to be an ever growing problem and a clear solution has not been found. Certain claims made by authors in previous articles and reports will need to be looked into for there validity, so that a clearer understanding can be brought across as to the route cause.

In conclusion to the above, this dissertation will therefore be focusing on the following Research question:


It is necessary to begin the dissertation by looking into the theoretical ideas behind the emergence of the shortage in the housing market. It is important to ensure that key information and research is collected using different methods of gathering data. Collecting relevant data will continue to develop my understanding of the housing Shortage in the UK and will overall develop the strength and success of the dissertation. The data collected will also suggest whether any previous attempts have been made to tackle this problem, and if so, are there any solutions that have already been put forward.

The opening chapter will focus on the time where non-traditional constructions methods were called for. Special attention is given to how the Government and Local Authorities acted at the time. This will help in developing an understanding of when Modern Methods where first used and the reasons why they came about, which will follow on into the next chapter.

Acknowledging the reasons for there use, and developing a detailed background on the housing sector, Chapter 3 analyses the state of the current housing market and the scale of shortage being experienced. Taking into account the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and its perceptions for the next twenty years, I will look into how many new homes are required to be built over the next coming years so as to rectify the current issue. This section will be implemented with the use of surveys, and data collected over the years that show the current yearly house building rate, and the prospective increase needed. I will also be taking into account the population increase due to migrant influx, higher number of divorce rate, higher life expectancy, and the birth rate. This information can be compared with the projected number of houses being built so that I can get an idea of possible key issues that are contributing to housing shortage.

In conclusion this dissertation will focus on comparing the findings between traditional and modern methods of construction, which in whole will then be applied to the housing Shortage and possible methods of rectifying the problem. As well as comparing these methods of construction, it is also necessary to ascertain whether or not house builders today are building at their optimum rate. Once this is identified, the potential advantages of the scheme can then be applied to the rate at which they could be working. This will identify the possible gains from using MMC, and whether or not a significant reduction in house shortage can be adapted from this approach to construction.

Chapter 2

Background Research

Two features dominate the history of housing in Britain in the 20th century: state intervention in the mass production of housing for the working class, and the prolific suburban expansion of towns and cities. To some extent, the two overlap, but both emerged from a situation at the beginning of the century, when housing provision and quality of life had failed to keep up with the frantic pace of Victorian industrial development.

Before the 1890s, the dire state of working-class housing had been improved by trusts and societies, who produced grim but safe and sanitary tenements, and there was little direct state intervention. The 1890 Housing Act empowered local authorities to purchase and demolish slum dwellings, and re-house their inhabitants.

At the end of the First World War, there was an acute housing shortage. Beginning with Lloyd George’s ‘Homes Fit for Heroes’ policy, four million new homes were built during the interwar period, 1.5 million of them directly by local councils or with the aid of state subsidy. During the war construction projects came to a halt, progressively worsening the housing shortage that had already existed before the war. The government already set plans to reconstruct and renovate sub-standard housing that where out dated, this and many other projects where all affected.

1919 brought in the “Town and Country Planning Act” which imposed obligation on local authorities to plan housing provision for their local towns. During the same period, given the situation of materials and skilled labour shortage, the local government board appointed a standardisation and new methods of construction committees to consider the question of standardisation in regard to materials, structural fitting and methods of construction (BRE, 1987). Bye-laws were also modified to allow the wider use of non traditional methods and materials (Ley, 2000). As well as this many other institutes, including British Research Satiation which has now become British Research Establishments, were also founded under the governments initiative to look for and trial new alternative materials and methods (Davenport, 1990). Between the First World War and Second World War various types of housing systems (prefab) were approved by the committees.

At first, pressure applied to local authorities to provide houses in such a short space of time, with no direct incentive to economies, would encourage the use of those new methods regardless of their costs. However, detailed arrangements of subsidies changed several times after 1921 (Cornish and Clark, 1989) and local authorities could no longer disregard cost factor when considering new developments. In addition, the materials and skilled labour for the traditional construction methods came back on stream sooner than the government initially expected. As a result, construction of houses using new methods had virtually ceased by 1928 (Yates, 2001). The main contribution of the attempt was, therefore, providing a small number of additional houses, probably less than 250,000, compared to the total 4,500,000 buildings erected between 1919 and 1938 (Ross, 2002).

The economic depression of the 1930s slowed the pace of house building, but the Second World War caused much greater damage: by 1945 nearly half a million homes had been destroyed, a quarter of a million were seriously damaged, and another three million suffered lesser damage. The immediate crisis was partly met by the rapid construction of 125,000 cheap pre-fabricated homes, but it was followed by a housing boom that equalled and exceeded that of the 1920s.

As previously discussed in Chapter 1, after the world wars had ended in the UK and between the early 1950’s and late 60’s the construction industry experienced an extreme shortage within the housing sector which led to a great need of re-building. Due to the extremities the war created, traditional build was not an efficient enough method, leading to the introduction and use of Mass Production Methods. Following the Second World War there was an even greater demand for the rapid construction of dwellings. In 1942, well before the war had ceased, the government had appointed the Burt Committee which brought together people from different parts of the building industry, government departments and building research station (Bullock, 2001). The aim of the committee was to seek alternative materials and methods of construction suitable for the building of houses and flats, having regard to efficiency, economy and build ability, to be able to make recommendations for the post-war program.

Post-War, the government planned new construction projects for the redevelopment of the housing sector, one of which was the development of 500,000 new dwellings with a completion time of 2 years (Davenport 1990). In the twelve years after the war, two and a half million new dwellings were constructed, three-quarters of them by local authorities. However, the construction of new housing was outpaced by the decay of existing housing stock. By 1963, 3 million people were still living in substandard housing, and official housing policy moved once again towards slum clearance and redevelopment.

Prefabricated housing has been used in the UK during periods of high demand, such as after the World Wars and during the slum clearances of the 1960s. In total about 1 million prefabricated homes were built during the 20th century, many of which were designed to be temporary. However, problems arose over the quality of building materials and poor workmanship, leading to negative public attitudes towards prefabrication. Nevertheless it has continued to be used in the UK for hospitals, hotels and schools, as well as for housing in other countries. Although this is the case, prefabrication must be used in greater quantities widely, merely to see if it can make a difference to the housing shortage currently being experienced within the UK. MMC is a new term intended to reflect technical improvements in prefabrication, encompassing a range of on and off-site construction methods.

The 20th century saw an enormous improvement in everyday housing conditions. Even in the early 21st century, local authorities are demolishing remaining high-rise blocks to make way for low-rise, high-density housing.

During the early 60’s the Government set up the national building agency in order to urge local authorities to take up industrial system building (Rovetz, 2001). Local Governments and the Ministry of Housing also held a series of conferences to encourage and support industrial prefabricated system building in the mid 60’s (Jones, 2000). Additionally under the Housing Subsidy Act 1956, the arrangement of subsidies was changed in order that local authorities could receive more subsidies per flat if they built higher blocks of flats. The arrangement of this progressive height subsidy was abolished in the 1969 Housing Act. By the end of the 60’s, both high-rise and industrialised system building lost ground in the construction industry.

Chapter 3

The Housing Shortage at Present

“Britain is heading for a property shortage of more than a million homes by 2022 unless the current rate of house building is dramatically increased” according to reports from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).

There are a series of short and long-term factors playing their part. The government wants to steady the UK’s runaway housing market, and end its boom and break housing cycles. House prices in the UK have almost doubled since 1995 and many people are now unable to get a footing onto the housing ladder. There is also a lack of affordable or social housing. This problem of high house prices is compounded by the shortage of houses being built. In 2001 house building fell to its lowest level since 1924 excluding the war years and its immediate aftermath. New housing accounts for less than 10% of residential property transactions in England and Wales compared to 40% in 1965.

The circumstances are likely to get worse before they get better. According to estimates, there are between 220,000 and 230,000 new households being formed annually (OPDM). Yet, only 165,000 homes were built in the year of 2002. If this was the case 5-6 years ago, then how is the housing shortage coping now? The population is increasing, while the average size of households is declining. This is caused by a range of demographic factors, such as increasing life expectancy, and more divorces. All in all, it adds more pressure to housing supply.

The report lays much of the blame at door of the UK’s planning authorities. Many who have tried and failed to obtain planning permission in recent years may echo the reports findings that the system is complex and takes an “unacceptably long” time. All in all, the report calculated that refusals for planning permissions in major housing developments increased from just 15% in 1996-1999 to 25% in 2002. The report also points out that if house building was to take-off in the UK skills shortages are likely to come into play. At present more than eight out of ten construction firms report skill shortages – even modest growth would require 70,000 new workers the report concludes. As a result thousands of badly needed homes are not being built. However, at this stage the report makes no recommendations as to how the planning process can be quickened up.

Housing shortages are set to become one of the most significant social issues of the next 20 years. Unless we act now, shortages will lead to overcrowding and homelessness. But they will also have knock-on effects for the whole of society, driving up house prices in areas of high demand, inhibiting economic growth and making it harder for good quality public services to be delivered.

Property insiders, politicians and young people looking for homes in Britain’s thriving cities are united on one point: the country is in the grip of a serious housing shortage. But opinions are widely divided when it comes to placing the blame for a situation where, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the number of homes built during each of the past five years has remained static at 154,000, with the number of low-cost “social” houses being built falling from 16,999 in 2000-2001 to 13,601 in 2002-2003. As the buck is passed between housing professionals, planners, builders and the government, first-time buyers are left desperately trying get on the property ladder.

“Slow planning is stifling. The government says councils should decide on most planning applications for 10 or more new houses within a maximum of eight weeks. But only 16% of decisions come in that time,” (House Builders Federation, HBF), which accuses councils in the north of England of deliberately preventing new homes from being built. The councils say that they already have enough new homes under construction, but the HBF disagrees.

The Barker Review of Housing Supply was commissioned by the chancellor, Gordon Brown, to discover why Britain, the world’s fourth wealthiest economy, has a housing shortage with property prices beyond the reach of many.

House building is at its lowest level since 1924; the gap between supply and demand widens by 60,000 annually — an average of 219,000 new households is created each year through longer lifespan, more solo-living from choice and an increasing divorce rate — and will exceed 1.1m in England by 2020; and the number of low-cost homes being built for housing association tenants is lower than at any time since 1995.

Meanwhile, the government targets for about 225,000 new homes each year until 2016. The HBF says there is excessive public consultation and claims councils want ever-higher cash payments to improve the infrastructure in return for planning permission. It also says planners want so much social housing that it threatens the economi

Alternative Development Possibilities for Church


Description of the Development

The site is located in one of Corks most prestigious areas; the property is set on 0.8 of an acre of level ground overlooking the River Lee on the grounds of Our Lady’s hospital. It is ideally located on the Lee Road just 2.4kms west of Cork City adjacent to the historic University College Cork and close to the western routes leading to Blarney (8 kms) and Killarney (80 kms) which is accessible via the newly constructed Ballincollig bypass. Equally accessible, are Cork Airport and major routes to Limerick, Waterford and Wexford. The site is currently selling for €1,900,000 and is zoned commercial. All services including mains water, electricity and mains drainage are located adjacent to the site and are easily accessible.

The church is located at the front of the site and provides an excellent development opportunity for the conversion of the existing structure into a bar/bistro. The church is of rubble limestone construction, un-rendered and with cut limestone plinths. The internal area amounts to 100 sq.m with a planned extension of a further 100sq.m at the rear, to provide additional space for the kitchen, store and staff facilities. The walls of the interior are lined with brick and there is an exposed timber truss roof. Adjacent to the church is a parking area, three developments will be considered for this site which includes the construction of a medical centre, crèche or apartments. All services including water, electricity and mains drainage are located adjacent to the site and are easily accessible.

Development Region

The development is located in the province of Munster and in the county of Cork, which is situated in the South of Ireland. Cork is the commercial and industrial capital of the South West Region with a population of 190,384 people (2006 Census) rising to 454,850 within a 60km radius.

Historic Cork

The city’s name is derived from the Irish word Corcach, meaning “marshy place” and refers to the fact that the center of Cork City is built on islands, surrounded by the River Lee, which were marshy and subjected to instances of flooding. Traditionally, Saint Finbarre has been credited with the foundation of the monastery of Cork, known to be the earliest human settlement in Cork for which historians have incontrovertible evidence.

The location of this monastic settlement was on the area arnd the present-day site of Saint Finbarre’s Cathedral. However the ancestor of the modern city was founded in the 12th century, when Viking settlers established a trading community. In the twelfth century, this settlement was taken over by invading Anglo-Norman settlers. Cork’s city charter was granted by King John of England in 1185.

Over the centuries, much of the city was rebuilt, time and again, after numerous fires. The city was at one time fully walled, and several sections and gates still remaining. During the 19th century important industries in Cork included, brewing, distilling, wool and shipbuilding. In addition, there were some municipal improvements such as gas light street lights in 1825, a local paper, The Cork Examiner was first published in 1841 and, very importantly for the development of modern industry, the railway reached Cork in 1849. Also in 1849, University College Cork opened.

Lee Road Area

In the early 1760s the Pipe Water Company was established to provide a water supply to the city of Cork. The architect/engineer Davis Ducart designed the Waterworks which were completed by 1768. The site, located on the lee road included a pumping house and open storage reservoirs which were constructed on the hillside to the north of the river at the same location as the present Waterworks buildings. By the late 1840’s it was felt that the water supply to the city required upgrading, as the population of the city was increasing rapidly, new suburbs developing on the city’s north side could not benefit from the existing system. In 1854, the Pipe Water Company instructed John Benson, had prepared a plan for a new Waterworks, Work began with the laying of new cast-iron mains pipes in 1857 and continued for a number of years. By February 1859 these new water pipes had reached the military barracks on the Old Youghal Road. By this time the Pipe Water Company had been taken over by Cork Corporation, who remains in charge of the municipal water supply to this day. (Lifetime Labs)

Local Industry

Corks main area of industry is in pharmaceuticals, with Pfizer Inc. and Swiss company Novartis being big employers in the region. Cork is also the European headquarters of Apple Inc. where their computers are manufactured and their European call centre, R&D and Apple-Care is hosted. In total, they currently employ over 1,800 staff.

EMC Corporation located in the area of Ovens, in the outskirts of the city is another large I.T. employer with over 1,600 staff in their 52,000 sq metre (560,000 sq. ft.) engineering, manufacturing, and technical services facility. Many of these large multinational organisations have been attracted to the area due the low corporation tax rate of 12.5%.

Planning Issues and Restrictions

After consultation with a Cork City Planning officer a number of issues were raised regarded the conditions of the planning. The site lies within a category A Landscape Protection Zone as per Cork Coty Development Plan 2004. This category of land is defined in Table 8.1 of the Development Plan as “Visually important land, including land forming the setting to existing buildings” According to paragraph 8.20 of the Plan “There will be a general presumption by means of a landscape assessment and appropriate landscape and building design proposals” The proposed site at the Lee Road is a visually sensitive area, the design of the structures will therefore have to be landscape rather than building orientated.

As stated in Policy BE 8 of the Development Plan: “The City Council will endeavour to devise and implement policies to positively encourage and facilitate the careful refurbishment of historic built environment for sustainable and economically viable uses.” To comply with plan it will be necessary to adhere to following conditions:

  • The development shall be carried out in accordance with the drawings and specifications submitted.
  • A visual impact study must be conducted to determine how the how the development will affect the landscape.
  • The redevelopment of the chapel shall be supervised by a conservation consultant with appropriate qualifications and/or experience in conservation and restoration of historic buildings in order to protect the architectural characteristics and visual appearance of this existing structure.
  • The contractor appointed shall have an expertise and demonstrate high standards of workmanship and have previous experience in restoration of historic structures.
  • The site is not considered suitable for a “super-pub” or for a nightclub. In order to protect the character and amenities of the area, the development is restricted to be used as a restaurant with ancillary public house.

Under the Landscape Assessment Guidelines (2000) the classification of the site at the Lee Road was obtained from the following table:

The site is classified as a category A as it forms part of the setting for the existing landmark building (Former Our Lady’s Hospital). The guidelines state that:

There will be a general presumption against development in Landscape Protection Zones unless it can be demonstrated by means of a visual landscape assessment and appropriate building design proposal that the proposed development will enhance the overall landscape character of the site and its visual context.

Factors Favouring Refurbishment

In the initial feasibility for the Lee Road church, it was necessary to consider the advantages and disadvantages to its refurbishment. Consideration will be given to both the social and economic factors.

Social Factors in favour of refurbishment

  • Energy/Resource conservation – Just as there is a current growing awareness of the need to recycle domestic waste, buildings with a useable structure should also be recycled.
  • Preservation of historic buildings – The church on the grounds of the site is listed as a protected structure, buildings which are historic merit need to be refurbished to maintain their integrity and thereby the amenity for the nation.
  • Social resistance to change – Buildings are an integral part of an urban fabric and society may well demonstrate forceful views in restricting change. Its arguments will centre upon:
  • retaining historical and social continuity
  • preserving familiar landscape scenes
  • conserving existing communities and the social fabric

Economic Factors in favour of refurbishment

  • Shorter construction period – A refurbishment scheme can usually be carried out quicker than redevelopment which results in:
  • a prompt turnover of finance;
  • earlier occupation of the building;
  • quicker return on capital employed;
  • a reduction in the effects of inflation, high interest rates and other risks.
  • Condition of the building – In the case of the Lee Road church, the structure itself is in relatively sound condition, the savings on the building components may make a refurbishment scheme cheaper than reconstruction.
  • Expectation of high land values – The future expectation of high land values may provoke refurbishment to create a short life use so as to occupy the building and keep the site in its present use until fully ripe for exploitation. This will avoid leaving a building empty for long periods while long term plans are being formulated.
  • Constraints on development – site conditions and organisational constraints (e.g. Cork County Council planning restrictions) may make redevelopment unsuitable for a particular or intended use and therefore unprofitable.

Limiting Factors in refurbishment

One of the major factors in factors in favour of the refurbishment of the church is the cost saving from the retention of the existing materials, whilst this can reduce the total cost of the scheme, the following criteria required consideration.

  • Diminishing returns – The economic life of a building can be said to end when a site value in a new use exceeds the value of the existing building. A building requires redevelopment when the value of the building is below the potential use value of the land and hence yields a diminishing return.
  • Life expectancy – Property investment tends to be long-term in nature and normally a paying back of sixty year is allowed in property investment calculations. There is little doubt that a new building will last the sixty years or more, whereas a refurbished building may not have been designed and constructed with materials appropriate for long life.
  • High cost of borrowing – In general, financial institutions are unprepared to invest in old buildings due to inherent high financial risks. If they provide finance the assumption of high risk can often lead to a higher rate of interest.
  • Management of refurbishment – the extent of work is not predictable; hence very difficult to design, cost plan and cost control. It can often be a complex, non-repetitive and labour intensive operation and does not facilitate high productivity.
  • Attract high tender prices- the contactor will often assume a high undefined risk element and uncertainty of cost when the pre-contract survey is inadequate.
  • Increased cost of Health and Safety

Source: Harlow (1994)

Rationale for Refurbishment

After taking all factors into consideration, it was felt that the benefits of refurbishment outweigh the costs of redevelopment. Also according to Harlow (1994) the emphasis is moving towards conservation leading to the search for historical and social continuity by fining ways of re-using an existing fabric rather than accelerating the cycle of replacement”

The structure itself is in a reasonable sound condition with only minor restorations required; reusing the existing building will decrease construction time, reduce site overheads and retain the historical and social continuity of the Lee road area.

Review of alternative development possibilities

Development 1 – Medical Centre

The first development to contribute to the bar/bistro development is the construction of a medium sized three storey structures; this will comprise 2 No. doctor’s surgeries, a nurse’s office and associated accommodation including waiting, reception and storage areas. It has a floor area of approx 800m2 and an overall ridge height of 8.2m. Its overall design is of a contemporary nature utilizing feature glazing and an extended limestone surround to complement the features of the adjacent church.

Early Feasibility Study








Floor Area

Total Cost



Site Clearance















Internal Finishes





Fittings and Furnishings





Service Installations





External Works














Total Estimated Cost





Rental Price Per Month




Rental Price Per Annum




Total Income per Annum















Profit per annum





































Net Present Value




Internal Rate of Return




Development 2 – Crèche

This development entails the construction a crèche that will serve the 180 apartments in Atkins Hall, River Towers and The Mews. The structure will be single storey building with car parking at the rear. The crèche will accommodate up to 30 children (depending on ages). Other facilities would include a fully equipped indoor play area and an out-door playground. There is no doubt that there is demand for a crèche in the area, the development would cater for the residents of the nearby apartments. Students of the nearby University College Cork could also utilize these facilities.

Crèche Early Feasibility Study

Site Clearance


















Internal Finishes






Fittings and Furnishings






Service Installations






External Works






Building Information Modelling (BIM)

2.1 Introduction

As expressed in the Egan report (1998), the UK construction industry is a significant contributor to the domestic economy in the UK that it is simply too important to be overlooked. The construction process and its success are influenced by various factors and choosing the most effective investment to improve the construction process is a very important decision. Building Information Modelling has been said to represent a paradigm that will have comprehensive benefits brought to the construction industry (Eastman, 2009b). Popov et al. (2010) claimed that the growing diversity of disciplines, professionals, tasks, events in respect of the management during design and construction stages of projects, plus the more competitive cost and more intense deadlines with higher quality expectations as well as the need for enhancing technology are the driving force of information modelling in the construction industry.

Building Information Modelling, or better known as BIM is not; strictly speaking a new technology as it has been developing and used by other industry sectors since 1950s i.e. the automotive and aero plane industries. These industries have been way ahead of the AEC industry as for the past 20 years, fully utilizing the available technology for their industries (Augustsson, 2007).

Subsequently, this literature review will assess and evaluate the historic and current information in respect of Building Information Modelling to enable an understanding on the past development of BIM, the benefits that it could offer to our construction projects as well as identifying the barriers entailing for the full adoption of BIM among the contractors in the UK construction industry.

2.2 What is BIM?

As defined by BIMForum:-

“A building information model (BIM) is an object-oriented building development tool that utilizes 5-D modeling concepts, information technology and software interoperability to design, construct and operate a building project, as well as communicate its details” (BIMForum, 2007).

One common understanding to describe BIM is the building development tool that creates a three dimensional (3D) geometric model with computer softwares. The model then can be used to assist the design, construction and operational process and also acting as a communication tool (BIMForum 2007). Nevertheless a 3D geometric model wouldn’t be sufficient to answer the demanding construction requirements at present. A BIM model contains a high level of intelligence which not just limited to a three-dimensional geometric representation of the building, (GSA, 2007) but also includes 5D modelling where the 4th dimension is referring to time element whilst the 5th dimension is referring to cost. In addition, as indicated by BIMForum (2007), there might be further development that is inclusive of procurement application which is the 6D as well as the operational applications which is the 7D. In general, a building information model is a digital representation, “virtual” representation of all the physical and functional characteristic of a building which also acts as a resource of information storage for the building which could be shared/used from the inception period and throughout the lifecycle of the building.

2.3 The past development and revolution of BIM

Conventionally, constructing a building was merely the responsibility of the Architects and the Engineers, designing on papers and then the Contractors build it. Cyon Research (2003) stated that Construction projects have always been defined by various drawings and documents where at times might be in conflict with each other thus showing inconsistency. These inconsistencies are the typical issues that often aroused when the documents and drawings are maintained separately with different participants working on different or superseded documents. There will always be unanticipated field costs, delays and eventual lawsuits between various parties within a project team as a result of errors and omissions in paper based communication.

According to Vinod Kumar (2009), the beginning of orthographic drawings and perspectives can be traced back as far as during the Renaissance era when Filippo Brunelleschi represented the plans in drawing format for Santa Maria del Fiore in Italy in order for the patrons to understand how the building would look like. Vinod Kumar (2009) further explains the evolution of systematic documentation from manual methods all the way till our presently available technology by dividing it into three phases:

I phase – Till early 1980s:

Before 1980’s the traditional way of creating design documents are through manually drawn lines representing building i.e. plans, sections, elevations and etc.

II phase – 1980s to Late 1990s:

This was the period where major change took place from manual drafting towards computer aided drafting when computers were firstly introduce. There is more elaborated information as the complexity of buildings increased as well as more specialization in the design and construction process. Use of computers, especially for 2D drawings and reports are ground-breaking changes into the systematic Documentation.

III phase – Beginning of the 2K:

With the building’s degree of complexity presently, the number of parties involved in the process of drawing production has also increased. In line with the development of technology there are also more introduction of more interrelated and integrated building system i.e. HVAC system, energy requirement and etc. The computer based technology has also been constantly updated to reduce errors that occur but nonetheless they are still merely the collections of manually created, non-intelligent lines and text.

The diagram below shows the evolution from manual methods all the way till the introduction of new technologies.

A previous study by Autodesk (2002) which correlates with Vinod’s statement, mentioned that in the early 1980s the Construction industry took one step forward when the architects began using PC based Computer Aided Design, CAD. It is said that the CAD system was adapted with ease by the Industry as it was initiated from the pin-bar drafting which the Industry was familiar with. Thus many construction documents and drawings were completed using CADD rather than being drafted manually on drawing boards. DWS files were then exchanged in replacement of paper drawings, from simple graphics to the information content on the building. The CAD files developed significantly, communicating the information on the building which plotted drawing couldn’t. Following that Holzer (2009) also stated that in the late 70s and early 80s, CAD systems like RUCAPS was used where it operated in parametric environment enabling 2D information extracted from a 3D model. RUCAPS allowed multi user access and put forward a new way in generating, distributing as well as retrieving building information which was different fromt he common drafting processes. Unfortunately the down side of this system was the high cost and slow speed of the system as well as its inability of producing more complex geometrical shapes. Nevertheless, some of the fundamental concept of RUCAPS can be found in the current BIM software such as Autodesk’s REVIT, Bentley’s TRIFORMA, Gehry Tech’s DIGITAL PROJECT and etc.

Nowadays, the use of BIM is very common within the manufacturing and aerospace industries where new products or product changes are modelled virtually for the assessment of design, performance and production. . We are also in the process of experiencing a similar revolution in the construction industry. BIM and other related technologies have emerged since the past decade and developing up till the present where they have been acknowledge as the platform for the design and construction of various projects (Shen,, 2009). Nevertheless, FWCI (2009) argued that it is important to understand that BIM is not CAD+ or the “Son” of CAD as BIM functions in its own approach and discipline.

BIM, acting as a single source entry for project team involves the process of generating, storing, managing, exchanging and sharing building information in an interoperable and reusable way. Generally a BIM system is a tool that enables users to integrate and reuse building information and domain knowledge through the lifecycle of a building

Presently there are numerous BIM products on the market by various vendors. Autodesk Revit was considered as one of the leading BIM creation tools. Bentley Systems, Graphisoft, Vico software and Nementcheck are also currently very well-known in the market. They each provide various building model tools to design a building (Rosenberg 2006). With this technology, the information needed for a project’s design, construction and operation are contained in a model digitally which is centralized and could be shared across all associated project stakeholders (COBRA, 2008).

2.4 Various understanding of BIM in the Industry

At present there is a vast amount of information that is available in respect to the definition of premise of BIM. Holzer (2007) explained that even though the application of BIM becomes more accepted and common throughout the industry, but there has been a problem in agreeing the definition of BIM. The common definitions would be described as a method for project information management with the combination of non-geometry attributes with geometrical entities, or defined mostly by pointing out its capabilities for cost-control and to facilities management. Holzer (2007) continues to claim that because the term BIM is often used by vendors for their marketing strategies in order to promote their company software, the definition of BIM technology has become very confusing. On the other hand, Eastman et al (2008) has suggested that in order to deal with this confusion it is useful to describe modelling solutions that do not utilize BIM technology. This includes tools that create models containing only 3D data with no object attributes, models that do not utilize parametric intelligence, models composed of multiple 2D CAD reference files that must be combined to define the building as well as models that allow changes to dimensions in one view that are not automatically reflected in other views.

Furthermore, another popular “talk about” issue within the industry is the multi dimension product models, the ability of BIM to provide multi dimensional application. (GSA 2007) has stated that 4D models represent 3D models plus time which include project phasing, construction scheduling whilst 5D models incorporate the costs elements. Nonetheless, Lee (2005) has identified the additional numbering of the dimension as “nD” modelling. Lee stated that nD modelling is an extension of the building information model that incorporates multi-aspects of design information required at each stage of the lifecycle of a building facility. On the other hand, in the year 2006, The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) also published “The Contractors’ Guide to BIM” which touched on the issue in respect of the continuing usage of the numbering i.e. 6D, 7D, and etc has therefore acknowledged the extended application of the 3D tool as “XD” (AGC, 2006). This research is mainly focusing on the 3D models with incorporation of time (4D) and cost (5D) elements.

2.5 Benefits of BIM

There are many obvious benefits that BIM could offer to various parties including the owners, planners, engineers, estimators, designers and etc. It is understood that different stakeholders would value BIM differently. They may share the same information but have different responsibilities and uses on the model. From a Contractor’s perspective, BIM brings essential value for enabling virtual construction of the structure within a single source file (Hardin, 2009). As quoted from the BIM 2009 Smart Report, “A model is Worth a Thousand Drawings”. Contractors are making use of the intelligent model for assisting them with various activities i.e. planning construction sequences, cost estimations and bidding, conflict resolution and visualization project demonstration for client and etc (Neeley, 2010). The incorporation of intelligent data improves the models construction and post-construction realities, which also enables the contractor to get closer to the world of the designer (Sage software 2008). The initial literature review has showed that costs are significantly reduced, time is saved and the quality improved.

2.5.1 Single source Model

In conventional process, the Project Manager reviews the updated drawings and reflects any changes onto the schedule as the design progress. Many times the same information is entered into different program. Every repetition increases the probability of inconsistency and error occurrence. BIM on the other hand allow direct changes applied to the single model. As both designers and contractors have access to the model simultaneously, this corresponding process also enables them to reduce lead times which normally take place throughout the period of sending back-and-forth the documents. The collaborative environment contributes to a substantial time saving during pre construction. Extra coordination checks are also unnecessary because the information generated from the model will lead to fewer errors on site which normally is caused by inaccurate and uncoordinated information. In the case of any last minute design changes, addendums, clarifications and etc it could be altered and updated to the model automatically across the project team, from early design through completion (Hardin, 2009). These ensure that all parties are working with the latest information. With all the information contained within the BIM database it will definitely increase the efficiency between the Architect, Engineer as well as the Contractors.

2.5.2 The 3D Visualization & Clash Detection

The 3D visualisation capability of BIM models can be of great benefit as a means of testifying the workability and demonstrating aspects of the construction itself such as construction sequencing, logistics, access, storage and security (C3 System 2009). BIM allows for “building twice” which offers various benefits like improvement in Constructability, maintainability, cost estimate accuracy and etc. This reduces ambiguities before commencement of actual construction (Robert, 2005). The construction issues for layperson or non layperson are also made easier to understand as the 3D visualisation helps them to understand any constraints that the client had not made clear earlier, or were misunderstood (Furneaux and Kivits 2008). One of the major benefits which BIM could provide for contractors is clash detection. As identified by FWIC (2009), a hard clash is where more than one object is being designed to occupy the same space whilst a soft clash is where the objects in the design is too close to each other that there is no space for access or construction, or are too close that they have violated the building codes. The BIM system automatically detects and manages interferences which prevent possible delay or additional cost. The system could be set to run the check either the entire model or between certain parts of the model.

2.5.3 Construction Phasing (4D Simulation)

Furthermore, one of the obvious BIM applications for improved time efficiency is construction planning. Hardin (2008) argued that the construction planning is one of the most important tasks and also one of the driving factors that determine the success of any projects. It is noted by Eastman et al (2008b) that Construction Planning and scheduling involves sequencing activities in space and time, procurement consideration, resources, spatial restrictions and etc. BIM is said to contribute in project planning solutions via the use of 4D simulation. Napier (2009) claimed that the conventional scheduling methods are labour intensive and is not easily understood by laypersons. BIM enables better communication and understanding how the schedule would impact site logistics as a result of the 4D construction phasing/planning tools that incorporate direct links to the design model, capturing spatial information which the traditional Gantt chart is unable to demonstrate. The 4D model incorporates time as added 4th dimension which enables the planner to visually plan and sequencing of construction activities with space and time consideration. Also, there might be specific materials and products selected from a potential range of refinements and substitutions that meet the project specification but may result in changes to some aspects of the design. As Neeley (2010) have stated, with the allowance of “what ifs”, a significant of cost, project risks and unnecessary waste could be saved by shifting the “try-and-error” process from construction site to the virtual environment on beforehand.

Resource Allocation/Reducing Waste

According to Egan (1998) in “Rethinking Construction”, within the construction industry almost 10% of materials are wasted and 30% of construction is rework. As mentioned by Articlesbased (2009) construction projects are very often planned based on resources availability as well as other external factors. With the 4D construction phasing/planning, the team members are able to understand the scope of work and the availability of various resources in order to optimize the resources and labour accordingly.

In addition, Eastman (2008b) highlights that BIM is also accurate in providing the design model and material resources required for each segment of the work, it effectively assists in utilization of critical resources like labour, material and time during the building construction life cycle. With the improved monitoring of site logistics and the progress of project, the site management via BIM fosters just-in-time (JIT) of materials, plant/equipment and labours.


Accuracy of design details are critical for determining the success of pre-fabrication, and a data-rich BIM model can have a positive impact and provide greater confidence on pre-fabrication. As BIM brings clarity towards a complex project, more contractors appreciate that BIM offers the advantage of effective coordination as the complexity level of project increases. The “Design to Build and Build to Design” concept improves accuracy for estimation and design specification for prefabricated elements thus reducing unnecessary wastage (BIMJOURNAL 2009). With greater confidence in the coordination process, many contractors are approaching more prefabrication options to help ease schedules. (BIM Smart Report, 2009)

2.5.4 Cost Estimates/schedule management

From the costing aspect, Jernigan (2008) stated one of the main benefits provided by BIM is the accuracy in cost estimate during earlier stages. Conventionally, estimators have been relying on Excel spreadsheet to carry out their construction cost estimating (Autodesk, 2007), Eastman (2009b) then revealed that BIM include features for extraction and quantification of BIM component properties. By using a building information model instead of drawings; the takeoffs, counts, and measurements can be generated directly from the underlying model and the information can be linked to generate bills of materials, size and area estimations along with other related estimating information. Therefore the information is always consistent with the design and reduces the potential for human error or misunderstanding (Autodesk, 2007). This contributes to substantial time and cost saving as well as ensuring good quality of the BOQ. BIM offers the opportunity to develop more accurate cost estimates based on actual elements (Hartman and Fischer 2008). Moreover, the linked cost information evolves in step with the design changes (Ashcraft, 2008). In addition, an indirect advantage that BIM could offered is the estimator would be given more extra time to bring in more value engineering, more time for risk evaluation and to more time to find any additional cost savings as the “technology” has taken up most of the grunt work from the estimator (Hague, No date).Using cost attributing features of the model to assess alternative design and construction schemes to enhance and improve the value engineering process; BIM certainly contributes in supporting the Contractor to present value for money to the Client.

Neeley (2010) has claimed that the use of BIM and IPD (Integrated Project Delivery) is reducing project costs around 10%- 20% below construction costs compared to non BIM/IPD projects.

2.6 Case Studies No 1: One Island East, Hong Kong

One of the popular examples of the actual Building Information Modeling Project that has been mentioned by various Authors in their research is One Island East Office Tower in Hong Kong which was developed by Swire Properties Limited. Together with the project BIM consultant, Gehry Technologies (GT) they began the process of working together to create a single, 3D electronic Building Information Model (Riese, 2006).

The Project Details are summarized as follow:

Project name

One Island East, Hong Kong, China

Project scope

$300 million (approximate figure)

Project Scale

70 Floors with 2 basement levels

Total floor area: 141,000 m2

Typical floor area: 2,270m2


Construction Period: 24 months

Expected completion: March 2008


Reinforced concrete


Aluminum curtain wall


Swire Properties Limited


Gammon Construction Limited


Wong & Ouyang (HK) Ltd


Ove Arup & Partners HK Ltd

Quantity Surveyor

Levett & Bailey

MEP subcontractor

Balfour Beatty

BIM Consultant

Gehry Technologies

BIM Technical Support

MTech Engineering Co. Ltd

BIM scope

Design coordination, clash detection, and work sequencing

2.6.1 Background Information

The One Island East is a 308 meter high skyscraper with 59 stories of office space and two basement levels. The building has 70 floors in total which comprise of a sky lobby on 37th and 38th floors (Elkem Microsilika, 2009). It was Swire’s intention to achieve a high-quality design while improving construction time as well as cost savings by the use of collaborative, collocated work methods and integrated 3-D modeling tools. The initial objective was to save 10 percent on the cost with reduced time for construction (Shelden et al, 2008). The software tool chosen to create the BIM for this project is “Digital Project” with some of the benefits stated as follows: (Riese, 2006)

  • Has automated clash detection and management
  • Has a complete M&E system routing tool.
  • With built-in scripting function, enabling project requirements to be integrated for customization.
  • Automated simultaneous file versioning and file sharing.
  • Able to handle and manipulate large amounts of data
  • Integrated with Primavera scheduling software with high interoperability

2.6.2 BIM Implementation (Pre-tender stage)

BIM commenced after the schematic design phase. The office building has been pre-designed virtually using Digital Project by assembling up to 300.000 building components in a single master file. Almost all coordination issues were resolved using BIM. The design team, BIM consultant and Project Manager worked in one room for the first year. They also communicate with each other via a portal site for the BIM process. The DP software was capable of identifying geometric clashes and generates a list automatically. There were already several clashes and errors identified and resolved before tendering and construction. The DP tool also measured most of the quantities automatically which reduced the time and effort compared to manual take off. Also, the quantities were linked to the BIM which automatically updates when changes were made.

2.6.3 BIM Implementation (Tendering Stage)

The model was provided to all tenderers which enabled them to have confirmation on the bill of quantities using the model without having to measure the quantities manually. As a result, tender process improved significantly with lower cost estimates and more accurate quantity takeoffs.

2.6.4 BIM Implementation (Post Tender Stage)

Gammon Construction Limited, which was the contractor awarded for the project had full responsibility for the BIM model and began the development of highly accurate and detailed 3D BIM model for construction, ensuring that all 2D information would be firstly scrutinize in the 3D prototype before it went to the site.

2.6.5 BIM Implementation (Construction)

During the construction period, the BIM model became the main visualization tool for the coordination of various project elements. There were full time modelers that assisted with the clashes identification and coordination issues where the design solutions were then incorporated into the model. A few subcontractors also participated in modeling their parts of work.

4D simulation was one of the main factors for the success of the OIE project. It was used extensively for improving construction sequence and managing risk.

2.6.6 Outcome

There were more than 2000 clashes and errors were identified prior to bidding and construction stage, which resulted significant cost savings. The figure below is an example of a clash that has been detected between an electrical cable tra y and an air supply duct. Without BIM it wouldn’t have been detected until the actual construction taken place which might potentially cause additional cost and time to the project.

According to Shen et al.(2009), the geometric coordination off the design prior to construction is thought to achieve 10% cost savings whilst construction process modeling is thought to contribute further 20% cost savings on the construction. Gammon Construction has also reported that Construction Process Modeling saved the project at least 20 days. This project was awarded the American Institute of Architects 2008 BIM award for design/delivery process innovation.

2.7 Implementing BIM and the Potential Challenges

From section 2.2 above it is demonstrated that BIM has brought numerous advantages and benefits to the industry. However there are also challenges and barriers that to be overcome before the full capability of BIM could be demonstrated and subsequently fully “enjoyed” by the industry stakeholders (Furneaux and Kivits 2008). In the very traditional and fragmented building industry, new technologies are not easily introduced. It should be noted that when a new technology is introduced, there will be a certain period of time in which the claims about the potential of the technology needs to be examined, tested and verified particularly the AEC industry which is known for the very long adoption periods of promising technologies (May et al. 2005; Salazar et al. 2006). Even though the technology of BIM is readily available and rapidly maturing but the adoption of BIM is much slower than anticipated (Fischer & Kunz, 2006).

Gillis (2008) made the criticism indicating that UK appears to be a more conservative and over protective country that demands proven effectiveness before considering adoption of new technology whilst Counties such as Norway, Sweden, and US attempts to proceed with new technology without 100% confirmation (Simon Gillis, 2008). As criticised by Prather (2007), most of the time, our professional would take the “wait-and-see” approach towards BIM. This is echoed by Safe software (2008) stating that our industry would mostly accept BIM only when the risk level has dropped and a clear return on investment is made known to the industry. Moreover, in these recessionary times, the money to spend on technology has got to have a good business case.

The current UK industry inhibitors include contracts that has not promote working in collaboration, no external incentive for innovation, no motivation for parties to seek ways to deliver a better or quicker product and etc (Steve Dunwell, 2008).

2.7.1 Installation and operation Cost

Eastman (2009) has highlighted one of the barriers to adopting BIM is the cost associated with the implementation. It is said that implementing new technology like BIM requires additional cost in respect of purchasing new software and hardware packages, training as well as changing the work processes and workflows. Also, if there are no technical expertises available within the organization, there will be a need to engage with external consultants to train employees prior to applying BIM within the organization which accounts for additional cost as well (Furneaux and Kivits 2008).

Corresponding to what Eastman (2009) as well as Furneaux & Kivits (2008) have said, a research done by Suermann et al. (2009) revealed that the whole installation of BIM for an organization is a costly plan when done at on one occasion, and even greater when done for several installations simultaneously for different projects. In addition, Suermann et al (2009) findings showed that there has been company which have had to increase their effort and cost allowance to do BIM due to the high learning curve.

Apart from that, there is also an implication for procurement policy where consideration needs to be given to the additional funding for the development of BIM models in the first instance. The large size of BIM files will involve a different system for data sharing i.e. real time access to the BIM database between firms which are geographically distant and high speed internet connectivity will be essential (Kiviniemi et al., 2008 p.64). This would constitute extra cost for the operation of BIM. Furthermore, in order to reduce the risk of data corruption, sabotage, and loss; it is important to pay any indispensable cost associated to ensure data stability and security.

2.7.2 Embracing BIM throughout the entire supply chain

Another apparent factor that has caused BIM taking the back seat is lack of commitment from the higher level of the supply chain. According to Oberle (2009), the transition to BIM requires support and commitment throughout the supply chain from top to down of an organization. In addition, The Crawley Schools PFI project in West Sussex has revealed the benefits which they have gained with the implementation of BIM but simultaneously also addressed one of their main barriers in implementing BIM was the reluctance of the supply chain in embracing this new technology, stating that some conservative individuals did not believe the benefits that BIM could offer thus were hesitant to undertake this new approach (Constructing Excellence, 2010).

It is also noted that some Contractors that have too much existing workload might give the excuse that they don’t have enough time to try out new technology. As quoted from Dunwell (2009), “Old habits die hard”. Most workers are reluctant to step out from their comfort zone and believed that their current handling approaches towards

Process Management Methods for Construction Performance


The purpose of this research was to study how the construction performance can be improved by adopting the process management approaches, in order to provide better client value and more cost-efficient production. The research focused on the manufacturing process , and referring point, and transfer this process thinking into the construction. The methods were tested in pilot tests in which the developed cost and value engineering prototype application was used.

This thesis demonstrates an integration of design and production planning based on the product model approach. The final outcome is that the main contractor can utilise information coming from designers as input in its own tendering and cost estimation applications.

The key methodology used for describing the information management process throughout the building process life-cycle was IDEF0. The analysis of the current process (as-is), in the form of an IDEF0 model, helped in identifying the main problems of current practice. The target process (to-be) definition was based on product model utilisation and takes into account the possibilities for process reengineering supported by product data technology. One specific requirement was deemed important in view of the anticipated developments in thearea of data exchange; the target system should be structured in such a way that it could easily be adapted to receive data according to the emerging IFC core model schemas.

The overall result of the research reported in this thesis is that the product model approach can be used for a substantially reengineered information management process of a main contractor, especially in design and construct type contracts



The construction industry is suffering from its fragmented nature¼ˆEuropean Commission, 1994¼‰. The lack of co-ordination and communication between parties, the informal and unstructured learning process, adversarial contractual relationships and the lack of customer focus are what inhibit the performance of the industry (Latham, 1994; Egan, 1998). Because the construction project is regarded as unpredictable in terms of delivery time, cost, profitability and quality, the industry has not been able to combine high quality with productivity, customer satisfaction and flexibility (Fairclough, 2002).

Howell (1999) pointed out that the ‘inefficiency’ of the industry has tended to be the way of life. However, Latham (1994) suggests using the manufacturing as a referencing point and transferring the practices and theories from manufacturing industry. And Howell suggests that the learning from manufacturing could be a two way process: manufacturing could learn from construction in areas such as project-based management; and construction could learn from manufacturing’s developed and developing solutions to improve competitiveness.

In manufacturers are accustomed to taking a process view of their operations, and they usually model both discrete product activities and holistic high-level process both internal and external activities. Base upon this, Egan (1998) recommends that process modelling could be used as a method to improve the construction performance. Furthermore, many other models derived from manufacturing and process management theories have been recognized and adopted by construction companies

Nevertheless, as Ball (1988) summarised, construction industry has distinctive characteristics differentiating from other sectors as well as manufacturing. Although solutions have been recommended, their implementation in manufacturing is far advanced in comparison to construction industry. Thus to what extent these process management approaches and models can improve the design and construction process will need to be examined. RESEARCH AIM

The aim of the research is to understand construction process management and to prove it as an approach that could help to improve the construction performance. In order to achieve the aim, specific objectives were set


The research project objectives are outlined below

l To explore the readiness of construction to embrace the process approach to deliver project

l to identify the present state of process management in construction

l To Study the current trends and developments of construction process management


The starting point of this research is exploring the construction process management approach and find out its influence on construction productivity and competitiveness.

A cross-section research method is adopted in the collection and analysing of the data and presentation of the findings. To obtain comprehensive understanding of the relationship between manufacturing process and construction process, as well as theories on construction process management, a great quantity of books and documents need to be looked through. Then the implementation of process management in construction is inspected by adoption of the case study qualitative research approach.


The general instruction and structure of the report will be provided in this section. The report is organized to consist of six main chapters. A brief description of the content of each chapter is outlined below

Chapter one

In this chapter, the research report is introduced. The research background is addressed. The aim and objectives are also presented.

Chapter two

Chapter two reviews the existing literature. A wide-ranging literature review was carried out to identify the current knowledge and keep up on any development on the field. The literature review covers the understanding of manufacturing process, construction industry situation and problems within it, process management theory, and the implementation of construction process management approach.

Chapter Three

In this chapter, an overall outline of various research methods that might applied in this research is presented. The selection and justification of the research methods are described. The chosen methods and research plan are highlighted in this chapter.

Chapter Four

This chapter examines the collected data and analyzes the data within cases, as well as a detailed cross-case analysis of cases.

Chapter Five

This chapter is directly linked to the chapter four. An in-depth discussion is held based upon the previous analysis and research.

Chapter Six

This chapter provides the conclusion of the report as well as the recommendation. The direction of further research is also proposed




Over the past few years, researchers and sponsors have increasingly turned their attentions to finding ways managing the construction process. After decades of neglect, construction process is high on the agenda. As the construction product has in most instances been a ‘one-off’, much emphasis has been placed on project management. However actually the industry is focused on design and development of a building product and should look to manufacturing reference on how to manage the design and development process. Examining the manufacturing perspective and understanding how it can be applied to design and construction and considering the use of techniques and technologies available to support the process and the issues relating to the implementation on projects is essential for construction industry . However, whether this process approach is needed in the construction field, and to what extent it contributes to the construction industry, this required to be researched and evaluated. Therefore in this project, why there should be process management in construction industry, the state-of-the-art, how it is applied and the future of it will be identified.

Being continuously criticized for its less than optimal performance by several government and institutional reports such as Philips(1950) and Latham(1994), The UK construction industry has been under increasing pressure to improve its practices(Howell, 1999). From the analysis of these reports, conclusion coming up that the fragmented nature of the industry, the lack of co-ordination and communication between parties the informal and unstructured learning process, adversarial contractual relationships and the lack of customer focus are widely and typically existing in the construction industry and are supposed to embarrass the industry’s performance. Furthermore, Fairclough(2002) indicates that construction are often seen as unpredictable in terms of delivery time, cost, profitability and quality, and the investment into research and development is usually seen as expensive when compared to other industry. According to Howell, the “inefficiency” of the industry has tended to be the way of life. This may be due to the fact that none of the reports, apart from Latham (1994) and Egan (1998), has been sufficiently acted upon. So Lutham suggests using manufacturing as a reference point and Egan, in his Rethinking Construction report, recommends process modelling as a method of improvement.

There has been a constant subject of discussion on the transfer of the transfer of practices and theories from other sectors as Lutham (1994) suggested in his report. Some construction practitioners are obstinate that their industry is unique and that the transference of principles cannot be adopted wholeheartedly. Due to it, Ball (1998) emphasized some of the arguments most commonly used to differentiate construction from other industries:

  • The one-of-a-kind product.
  • The spatial fixity of buildings.
  • One-site production.
  • The effect of land price on design and construction possibilities.
  • The requirement for long life expectancy.
  • The inexperience of clients
  • The merchant role of company.
  • The overwhelmingly domestic industry.
  • The masculine stereotype of the workforce.
  • The long cycle from design to production.
  • The high cost of the projects.
  • The amplified reaction to economic crisis.
  • The labour intensive production
  • The fragmented nature of the industry.

Nevertheless, there are also many practitioners and academics who believe that the construction industry has much to learn from other industries typically manufacturing. Howell (1999) goes so far as to suggest that this learning could be a two way process: manufacturing could learn from construction in area such as project-based management; and construction could learn from manufacturing’s developed and developing solutions, to improve its performance of competitiveness and productivity.

As stated by Love¼†Gunasekaran (1996) and Korenlius¼†Wamelink (1998), manufacturing has been a constant reference point and a source of innovation in construction for many decades. Solutions that have been recommended to help overcome the problems of construction include industrialization, computer-integrated construction, robotics and automated construction. However their implementation in manufacturing is far advanced in comparison to the construction industry. Koskela (1992) believes that the fundamental theories and principles of manufacturing should be harnessed to deliver the full benefits to construction rather than the ‘technological solutions’.

In recent years the realization that the construction industry might not be as unique as was traditionally thought has initiated new research, which In particularly, has resulted in a development of the concept that construction is a manufacturing process. Moreover a research fund under the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative (IMI) sector of the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC, 1998) to continue and expound upon current thinking.

a new phenomenon currently appears to being steadily exploited within construction companies at the side of the new technologies taken from manufacturing. It is based upon the development and use of fundamental core processes to improve efficiency of the industry, with great emphasis upon the basic theories and principles underlying the design and construction process. Egan(1998) draw attention to this factor by reporting that due to the fragmented nature of the construction industry very little work had gone into process modelling. Manufacturers are in the habit of taking a process view of their operations; they usually model both discrete product activities and holistic high-level for both internal and external activities. In particular, there has be a growing volume of research focusing upon the consolidation of the just-in-time(JIT) and the total quality management(TQM) theories, with an array of other practices such as productive maintenance, visual management and re-engineering. Investigations by construction practitioners and academics alike have now sought to develop the content and manufacturing, agile production and lean production.

Current Researches on Construction Industry

The Civil Engineering Research Foundation (CERT) Report observes that the construction industry is becoming frustrated over the lack of progress in removing or mitigating barriers to improving construction practices and is necessary to support sustainable development goals. the industry has to face Many difficulties as it approach this goal: facilities are designed by using least-cost technologies that ignore opportunities to improve productivity and enhance environmental quality; it seems to be complicated, to achieve agreement on government design and construction policies that advance sustainable development; what’s more, there are the frustration of knowing better technologies are available but not having the capacity o find and retrieve them; and international concentration on construction research and practice is far more inadequate. Also the report identifies specific constraints to innovation that characterize the challenges facing the construction industry which represent the areas where work needs to be done. The observers indicate that the design and construction process often discourage the introduction of innovative technologies and systems that have superior characteristics but are not necessarily the least-cost option, which can work to the detriment of owners and the environment; unsuitable building codes and disjointed regulatory systems that does not allow for adopting new and better materials and practices are often be applied when buildings and facilities are designed and constructed. There is a lack of understanding by the public and by industry of practices and opportunities to promote sustainable development; there is lack of timely and accurate information and a knowledge base on proven design and construction solutions and techniques for assuring quality construction, which results in lost opportunities to improve system efficiencies and productivity through adoption of innovative technologies; there are no consistent, accurate, and comprehensive predictive models available for designing for sustainability making the process difficult to validate, monitor, and evaluate. Therefore, the observers suggest, new tools and methods are required for advancing state-of-the-art technologies, including taking advantage of advances in information systems to increase the construction industry’s efficiency and productivity.

According to Kraiem & Diekman’s (1987) theory delays of project are classified into three groups: compensable, excusable and non-excusable. Generally, a delay is considered compensable to the contractor when its cause is within the control, is the fault of or is caused by the negligence of the owner. Excusable delays occur when the contractor is delayed by occurrences that are not attributable to either the contractor or owner. Non-excusable delays are caused by the contractor’s own action and/or inaction. These can be caused by the fault of the contractor, or his subcontractors, material, workforce or suppliers. The delay damages from the contractor is regarded could be retrieved by the owner conceivably. Lieshmann (1991) presented the consequences of delays in construction, especially from the legal point of view. Herbsman et al. (1995) catalogued the influence of delays on time, cost and quality. Baldwin & Manthei (1971) studied the causes of delay in building projects in the USA. The major causes of delay were the result of weather, labour supply and subcontractors. These authors found that adequate planning at the very early stages of the project is important for minimizing delay and cost overruns in most projects in developing countries. This study dealt with developing countries where workers are relatively skilled. The authors realised that some of these problems relate to the special characteristics of this part of the world, such as productivity, whereas others are inherent in the nature of construction projects, such as planning and control problems. Yates (1993) developed a decision support system for construction delay analysis called the delay analysis system (DAS). The main categories of delays in the DAS system include engineering, equipment, external delays, labour, management, materials, owner, subcontractor and weather. Assaf et al. (1995) studied the causes of delay in large building construction projects in Saudi Arabia. Some of the most important causes of delay included approval of shop drawings, delays in contractors’ payment by owners, design changes by owners, cash problems during construction, the relationships between different subcontractors’ schedules in the execution of the project, the slowness of the owners’ decision-making process, design errors, excessive bureaucracy in project-owner organization, labour shortages and inadequate labour skills. From analysing the factors causing the delay of project, there should be elicitation on whether it can be diminished by application of process management.

Atkin, Borgbrant&Josephson (2003) argues that ideas of what should be considered in the design stage of a new building often seems to be a headache for architects, engineers and clients. These ideas invariably lead to some compromise between the demands of hard engineering and softer issues, with the potential likewise to compromise on the physical characteristics and performance of the building leading to some measure of failure. Examples of failure include high energy costs, health problems and structural destruction because of moisture, for which the occupant must pay directly or indirectly. Long-term socio-economic consequences can occur from this as well. Current problems are failures resulting from neglect of building physics principles are examined and their causes are highlighted. Research is continuing into the development of tools to help reduce the risk of failure and to highlight the costs and risks attached to the insufficient attention to building physics principles.

Theories on Manufacturing Process and Process Management

According to Melan’s(1992) research, a well- managed manufacturing process has the following characteristics:

1. Clearly defined ownership. Traditionally, ownership of a manufacturing operation is generally clear and explicit; it resides with a manager. The manager responsible for the operation is readily identifiable. The organization objectives, its output, and what the manager is accountable for must be fully understood. Standards such as cost, schedule, and quality are established for judging the manager’s performance. However, in recent years, authorized work teams and self-directed work groups where employees are assuming some of the tradition roles of management have gradually take the place of the traditional management ownership. A process owner, whether an individual or a team, is fully responsible for yield, cost, quality, and schedule, and must management the process to the targets set on these standards. Further, an owner has the authority to change or oversee a change in the process within his or her area of jurisdiction.

2. Defined boundaries. Manufacturing processes have a clearly defined beginning and end. He final output, or deliverable, as well as the input required to create it are clear and unambiguous. What is sometimes not clear, however, is whether output specifications truly reflect customer requirements and whether input specifications represent what is needed in the ensuring transformations. The lack of understanding of requirements on either the input side or output side underlies many business processes. In a well-managed manufacturing process, requirements problems are minimized through conscious effort aimed at specifying the work product as it proceeds from one operation to another.

3. Documented flow of work. Work flow in a manufacturing process is generally documented in great detail. There are several reasons for this. Documentation provides a permanent record of the manner in which a physical transformation takes place for production purposes. This record also provides a reference point or baseline from which any changes are to be made and serves as a means for replicating the process. Finally, documentation also serves as both a training and reference aid for the personnel involved in the process.

4. Established control points. Control points serve as a means for regulating the quality of work. Because of the natural variation that occurs in physical process, control points are established to manage variation. These points involve such activities as inspection, verification of required characteristics, and the disposition of discrepant material.

5. Established measurements. Measurements provide a statistical basis for controlling the flow of work and managing variation. Statistical techniques such as the control chart serve as useful tools for managing variation in many operations of a repetitive nature.

6. Control of process deviations. In managed processed, corrective action is performed in a timely manner and from a statistical basis when an undesirable variation occurs. Feedback and regulation are the heart of process control and, without control, the process loses its capacity of providing consistent output quality.

Anderson’s (1994) theory clearly introduces the manufacturing process. He states that the most obvious characteristics of a production facility are the volume of items produced and the variety of different products made using the same resources. The volume and variety characteristics provide one way to look at the process of manufacture. Usually an increasing volume of production, in term of the number of individual units of each product, will go hand in hand with decreasing variety, in terms of the number of different products. And the author classifies the manufacturing process into three types: Mass Production involves producing a small number of different products in a great quantity, which provides the stereotype of manufacturing industry: long assembly lines where men or machines endlessly turn on the same product month after month. One characteristic of a mass production process is that operations are linked together in a line: when one operation is finished on a product it moves directly to the next operation; Batch Production is used when there are a greater variety of products being produced, with correspondingly smaller volumes. In this situation it is usual to have machinery and equipment which can be used to carry out operations on a number of different products. A single machine will carry out an operation on a whole batch of items of one kind and then be set up to carry out a similar operation on a whole batch of items of another kind; One-off production is used when individual customers each require an individual product, which is different from any product the company has made in the recent past. This implies low volumes but the greatest possible variety. With very large and complicated items the manufacturing process may be project based. This indicates that the manufacturing processes sufficiently complex, and over a long enough time-scale, that the major difficulties are associated with planning how various different operations and activities will fit together.

Born (1994) has provided a systematic method for integrating process management with quality management. It is based on a notion called the Quality Process Language (QPL), which is capable of representing and analysing all process within an organization. It also provides a basis for quality management approaches, such as ownership of processes, improved communication and compliance with requirements and regulations. QPL has been used in many types of organisation, large and small, highly structured and loosely structured. It provides a foundation for practical approaches such as facilitated workshops, process mapping and improvement, and documentation of procedures. The author also point out that activities and roles inputs and results of any organization can be well represented if the nation of QPL is mastered and then this notion can be converted into ordinary text and flow charts, for use in procedure and other documentation about the organization. The use of QPL as author states provides a common language for process and quality specialists to communicate directly. This offers an opportunity to discuss and design organizational and process changes without ignoring the effect on quality. QPL is a diagrammatic language, and it makes it easier for non-quality specialists to understand how processes affect quality and vice versa.

Process Management in Construction

Report (Kagioglou, Cooper, Aouad&Sexton, 2000) introduces the findings and recommendation on the process management relate to the state of the construction industry at the present time and recommend some solutions as t in respect of how some of the problems might be overcome by transferring established practices from the manufacturing industry. However, the authors deem that it must be very careful when transferring knowledge and practices from manufacturing into the construction industry due to a number of reasons. First, the differences between the level of maturity of both processes and practices are distinct, with manufacturing having the ‘lead’. Second, because construction depends heavily on Temporary Multi-organizations (TMOs) while long-term partnership arrangements normally play the operation role in the manufacturing industry, the structure of the industries and of the organization of project personnel is dissimilar. Finally, comparison between the processes and the practices of both industries must be made by considering the levels in which they exist, such as strategic, managerial and operational. Therefore, clarification of process levels can have an important influence on the management of those processes.

Kagioglou (1998) argues that there are two chief perspectives of manufacturing that construction can benefit from: the project process or New Product Development (NPD) and the operational and production processes. The first relates very closely, both in terms of nature and content, to the design and construction process. For itself, the development that of a solution from a demand identified in the market place or internally within an organization to the implementation is considered. This is achieved by organizing the activities that need to take place in a number of phases, which are made distinct by the determination of review points between the phases. This is very similar to the enactment of a construction project, the difference being that the distinction between the phases is usually determined by the entry of the different parties or functions, for example, architects, contractors, to the process. The second area is related to the way in which the production of a product, including material flow, process design and resources planning, is undertaken. Indeed, a number of very effective philosophies and practices such as Just in Time (JIT), lean production and others have a legacy of optimized production in the manufacturing sector. JIT aims to improve production by utilizing the internal and external supply chains in terms of people and material flow. The first two benefits can be realized in the construction industry perhaps more readily than the third one, which requires a significant reorganization and mind-shift of the litigation-driven industry. This investigation concentrates on what can be absorbed from the NPD project process of manufacturing, and reference to it is made throughout the description of the Generic Design and Construction Process Protocol (GDCPP).

Koskela (1992) expresses in his report that currently some construction subproducts are produced in processes that possess a manufacturing character. The assembly of such components with the building frame usually represents a minor share of the total costs. Windows, doors, elevators, prefabricated concrete components, and prefabricated houses, are examples of this kind of manufactured product. In regard to quality management, clear progress has been made in many countries. Many supplying firms have acquired quality certification according to the ISO standard. The application of the new production philosophy is least problematic in this part of the construction industry: the methods and techniques developed in manufacturing can be applied directly. However, except for quality management techniques, only a minor fraction of the factories and plants delivering to construction sites have begun to implement the new philosophy. It may be anticipated that this transformation will proceed rapidly after having gained initial momentum. Thus, industrialized construction might gain competitive benefits sooner than site construction.

Additionally, Koskela (1992) summarized the condition of Implementation of process improvement by engineering and construction organizations. The inherent recommendation of the new philosophy to construction practitioners is clear that the share of non value-adding activities in all processes has to be systematically and persistently decreased. Increasing the efficiency of value-adding activities has to be continued in parallel. Construction should adopt the new production philosophy. In manufacturing, the new production philosophy improves competitiveness by identifying and eliminating waste (non value-adding) activities. Traditionally, construction is viewed and modelled only as a series of conversion (value-adding) activities. For example, waste activities such as waiting, storing inventory, moving material, and inspection are not generally modelled by Critical Path Models (CPM) or other control tools. Construction has traditionally tried to improve competitiveness by making conversions incrementally more efficient. But judging from the manufacturing experience, construction could realize dramatic improvements simply by identifying and eliminating non conversion (non value-adding) activities. In other words, actual construction should be viewed as flow processes (consisting of both waste and conversion activities), not just conversion processes. As demonstrated previously by the manufacturing industry’s experience, adoption of the new production philosophy will be a fundamental paradigm shift for the construction industry. The implications of this for design are that the process of construction must be developed in conjunction with the design itself. An initial set of design and improvement principles for flow processes are presented that can serve as an implementation guideline. Major development efforts in construction, like industrialization, computer integrated construction and construction automation has to be redefined to acknowledge the need to balance flow improvement and conversion improvement. The conceptual foundation of construction management and engineering, being based on the concept of conversion only, is obsolete. Formalization of the scientific foundations of construction management and engineering should be a primary long term task fo