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Australasian Journal of Construction Economics and Building
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
     ISSN (Print) 1445-2634 - ISSN (Online) 1837-9133
     Published by University of Technology Sydney Homepage  [6 journals]   [SJR: 0.13]   [H-I: 2]
  • Problems and problem attention in the construction sector –
           understanding the influence of human factors

    • Authors: Lars Sunding, Anders Ekholm
      Pages: 1 - 17
      Abstract: Problems concerning quality and productivity in the construction sector have been a recurrent issue for many years and seem to remain in spite of various initiatives for resolving them. This situation is a result of human action. From social sciences we know that psychological factors crucially influence action design. Knowledge of this influence seems however to be underestimated in the construction sector, and could represent a missing link between strategies, plans and instructions, and the actions carried out.In order to prospect for new problem solving approaches we undertook a questionnaire-based survey to investigate how individuals in the sector perceive the importance and occurrence of, and attention directed to, different proposed causes of inadequate performance. The design of the questionnaire enabled comparisons of different answers to look beyond the respondents’ overt answers.      The result suggests that (1) the whole problem solving situation, including individual, relational and contextual problem components should be addressed as ‘the problem’; (2) the workforce has the ambition and courage to do what is expected but does not always have adequate information and the ability or resources to do it; (3) mental information distortion might be responsible for affecting the way the world is understood.
      PubDate: 2014-06-18
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 2 (2014)
  • Spatial linkages among Australian construction markets

    • Authors: Heng Jiang, Chunlu Liu
      Pages: 18 - 30
      PubDate: 2014-06-18
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 2 (2014)
  • Modifications to standard forms of contract: the impact on readability

    • Authors: Raufdeen Rameezdeen, Anushi Rodrigo
      Pages: 31 - 40
      Abstract: Lack of clarity in contract documents can lead to disputes between contracting parties. Standard form contracts have evolved due to construction business becoming increasingly complex and the difficulty in drafting bespoke conditions of contract for each project. Numerous advantages have been identified in using standard forms of contract. However, clients often modify some clauses in order to include specific requirements for a project. While the consequences of ill-modifications to standard forms have been researched, no study has been done on the impact of these modifications on the clarity and readability of the document. Using 281 modified clauses from large infrastructure projects implemented in Sri Lanka, this study found that on balance modifications generally make the document more difficult to read; 60% of the sample clauses were more difficult to read compared to 40% becoming easier. More than 50% of the original and modified clauses were still at the ‘very difficult’ level of readability, which requires the equivalent of post-graduate level to understand. The study contends that modifications have not resulted in improved readability. The study highlights the necessity of clear and plain language when modifying contract documents.
      PubDate: 2014-06-18
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 2 (2014)
  • Effect of the Building Act 2011 on compliance costs in Western Australia

    • Authors: Elizabeth Bazen
      Pages: 41 - 56
      Abstract:  The Building Act 2011 commenced in Western Australia on 2 April 2012. It introduced private certification for design and construction compliance, and reduced fees and timeframes for local governments to issue permits. This research project assessed the effect of the Act on the time and cost of building approvals in WA, using an internet-based, self-completion survey to obtain feedback from people on their experience of the new building approvals process.   This research compared the cost of approval for 16 building projects under the new and old approvals processes. The research concluded that the new approvals process appears to be cost-neutral for the building industry as a whole. However, the cost of approval for the 11 building projects studied valued up to $1 million, particularly alterations to existing buildings, is an average of 4.0 times greater under the new approvals process.
      PubDate: 2014-06-18
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 2 (2014)
  • Business success and psychological traits of housing developers

    • Authors: Mastura Jaafar, Azlan Raofuddin Nuruddin, Syed Putra Syed Abu Bakar
      Pages: 57 - 72
      Abstract: Although the issues on entrepreneurship in the real estate industry are disparaging and have received little interest from global researchers, the significant roles played by the industry players warrant further investigation. The personal traits of the owners/managers are deemed to be the key factors to the business success of housing development firms. This paper examined the main determinants of successful business in the housing development sector under the lens of psychological traits of the owners/managers. To identify the success factors of housing development firms, interviews were conducted on 10 housing developers in Peninsular Malaysia. The study shows the significant psychological traits that distinguish the business success of housing developers compared with those in the existing literature. These factors are (1) high confidence and ambition, (2) vision and foresight, (3) industriousness, (4) perseverance and (5) integrity. As housing development is a risky industry, developers can use these findings as a guideline in managing their business toward superior performance.
      PubDate: 2014-06-24
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 2 (2014)
  • Boosting project outcomes through goal alignment: a case study of Vietnam

    • Authors: Florence Yean Yng Ling, Mai Bich Tram Hien
      Pages: 73 - 86
      Abstract: Goal alignment among members of a project team is important so that individual team members can work towards common project outcomes.  This study aims to identify effective goal alignment practices to improve construction project outcomes in Vietnam. With the aid of a survey questionnaire, data were collected from practitioners in Vietnam’s construction industry. The overall results show that although there is significant schedule overrun, projects in Vietnam are generally completed within budget.  These projects also have significantly good quality and client satisfaction.  The results show that goal alignment practices relating to having shared objectives, effective communication, flexibility, and fairness are significantly correlated with schedule performance, quality, and client satisfaction.  It is recommended that project team members share, align and adjust their goals and objectives in order to achieve a better schedule outcome.  Effective communication of problems pertaining to delivery and quality may lead to better client satisfaction.  It is also recommended that consultants and contractors make adjustments and customize their products to derive higher quality and client satisfaction.  Clients should also be fair in sharing project benefits and valuing variations.  
      PubDate: 2014-06-24
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 2 (2014)
  • Human resource management in the construction industry –
           Sustainability competencies

    • Authors: Renard Yung Jhien Siew
      Pages: 87 - 103
      Abstract: While environmental sustainability has been the subject of much debate in the last decade, it was not until recently that attention started to shift towards human resource management as an enabler for sustainability.  Yet, this is still a relatively under researched area.  Much is still unknown about the role of an individual worker in contributing towards sustainable development.  This paper addresses the gap by proposing a framework to measure sustainability competencies of employees within the construction industry sector.  As part of the framework, four proficiency levels together with relevant descriptions are defined for a total of eight sustainability competencies.  Suggested proficiency levels are then mapped to main construction related jobs based on the framework.  An example is also given to illustrate the manner in which competencies should be assessed.  This framework is original and of practical use to construction managers and human resource practitioners.
      PubDate: 2014-06-04
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 2 (2014)
  • Perceived benefits of adopting Standard – Based pricing mechanism
           for mechanical and electrical services installations

    • Authors: Ganiyu Amuda Yusuf, Sarajul Fikri Mohamed
      Pages: 104 - 119
      Abstract: Cost is an important measure of project success and clients will expect a reliable forecast at the early stage of construction projects to inform their business decision. This study was undertaken to investigate the current practices in managing cost of mechanical and electrical (M&E) services in buildings. The perceptions of practitioners on the benefits of adopting Standard – Based Pricing Mechanism for M&E services as used for building fabrics and finishes was ascertained. The methodology adopted for the study was semi – structure interview and questionnaire survey.  Inferential statistics technique was used to analyse the data collected. The results revealed that, M&E services tender documents are often based on lump sum contract. Practitioners are of the opinion that the adoption of Standard – Based Pricing Mechanism (SBPM) could enhance the quality of M&E services price forecast; ensure active post contract cost monitoring and control; encourage collaborative working relationship; enhance efficient whole life cycle cost management; improve risk management and facilitate efficient tendering process. The study suggested the development of local Standard Method of Measurement for M&E services and proposed strategies to facilitate the adoption of SBPM as basis for forecasting contract price of mechanical and electrical services in buildings.
      PubDate: 2014-06-03
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 2 (2014)
  • Construction contractors involvement in disaster management planning

    • Authors: Peter Stringfellow
      Pages: 120 - 132
      Abstract: Disasters, both natural and man-made, cause major damage and loss of life. Because of this, governments around the world are looking at building resilience to ensure communities can recover quickly and have minimal impact from a disaster. Part of building resilience is to plan for disaster management and recovery. Literature reveals that construction contractors can play a critical role within this process as they have control of resource supply chains and key knowledge and skills they are well suited to assist in disaster planning. However, as literature also reveals there is currently little involvement of construction contractors in the disaster planning process. This gap between what should be done and what is currently done is investigated. Representatives from industry bodies are interviewed to determine their understanding of the industry’s involvement in disaster planning and what capacity the industry might have to be involved. The interviewee’s responses agree with current literature that there is currently little or no involvement with disaster planning however there is interest in being involved with disaster management planning if there was a forum for this to occur. Based on the responses the researcher has proposed a model to engage construction contractors within state government disaster management planning.
      PubDate: 2014-06-18
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 2 (2014)
  • Construction Claims

    • Authors: Prue Vines
      Pages: 133 - 134
      Abstract: Philip Davenport and Helen Durham, 2013, Federation Press, 3rd ed, ppi-xiv, 1-338, index, case table, legislation table, glossary of terms, ISBN978-1-86287-912-6, Price AUD85.00
      PubDate: 2014-06-18
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 2 (2014)
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