• A Decision Support Tool for the Valuation of Variations on Civil Engineering Projects

      Sutrisna, Monty; Buckley, Kevan; Potts, Keith F.; Proverbs, David G. (RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors), 2005)
      The valuation of variations has been recognised as a prime cause of conflict and dispute in construction management. Such disputes often concern the prices and/or rates to be applied to the varied works. Previous research has identified the subjectivity of the decision-maker in interpreting the valuation rules to be the major problem, particularly with regard to defining the work conditions and/or characteristics during a variation event. Findings of a survey, conducted to elicit the views and perceptions of experienced practitioners towards interpreting the valuation rules are presented. The development of a decision-making tool based on a robust framework for valuing variations in civil engineering projects is described. The tool was developed by analysing changes in various decision attributes. The result of the changes was then mapped to relevant sets developed using fuzzy-logic principles. Various operators were used to perform the fuzzy-aggregation operation. The modelling technique was demonstrated to be reliable in replicating the decision-making process performed by experienced practitioners. As such is considered a suitable aid for decision-making involved in valuing variations on civil engineering works. The results of the analysis reported here have suggested the fuzzy-logic as an appropriate tool to model human decision-making, particularly in valuing variations on civil engineering works. This is considered an essential progress of the current study in modelling human decision-making process, particularly since there are so many unknown aspects associated with such a process. The modelling technique successfully developed here is then used as the main algorithm for decision-making in the subsequently developed Knowledge Based System (KBS) which is intended to assist practitioners minimise conflict and dispute arising from the valuation of variations.
    • An Economic Assessment of the Institution of Land Use Planning in the Cities of Sub-Saharan Africa

      Egbu, Anthony; Antwi, Adarkwah; Olomolaiye, Paul (RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), 2006)
      The institutions of land use planning in the countries of sub-Saharan Africa have come of age. For more than 40 years, the received colonial town planning laws and associated regulations have guided urban land development processes in the region. In spite of the problems of ‘illegal’ developments and delays in the procedures for obtaining land and development rights, no economic assessment of the system of land use planning in Africa seems to have been attempted. This paper analyses the impact of land use planning on urban development and examines the incentive structure of the political market of planning in the cities of sub-Saharan Africa. The objective is to identify the institutional weakness of land use planning in the region. The paper concludes that it would appear the system of land use planning in sub-Saharan Africa operates in such a way that allows the externalisation of costs onto those actors of the society whose interests are not sufficiently represented within the land use planning system. (RICS)
    • CONBPS - an Expert System to Improve the Efficiency of the Construction Process

      Poon, Joanna; Potts, Keith F.; Musgrove, Peter (RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors), 2003)
      The aim of the research outlined in this paper is to develop a best practice process model for building projects based on the use of an expert system. The CONstruction Best Practice System (CONBPS) focusses on projects which are based on the traditional procurement strategy, using the JCT 80 standard form of contract. The model clearly identifies the sequence of construction activities. It also identifies the roles and responsibilities of the major parties on the building team and the issues within the project cycle, which can prove critical to project success. The system incorporates many user-friendly functions, including the provision of multi-choice icons and the provision of an on-line help function. Besides, it also provides interim and final reports which are used to advise the participants on the success factors that they have ignored and to which aspects they should pay more attention. A framework was initially developed focussing on the whole design process with a full knowledge-based system developed for the Inception Stage. CONBPS can be used as a teaching/learning tool to assist teachers and students to better understand the construction process. Also, it could prove useful to project managers and all the participants in the construction process.
    • Guide to Cradle to Cradle Inspired Business Sites

      Ott, Markus; Winter, Gerd; Hoffmann, Franz Josef (McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, LLC (MBDC)., 2014-11-01)
      The guide provides systematic and practical guidance on how to implement C2C on business sites. As each site development has its unique framework conditions, the Guide has a flexible structure that can be used independently, according to specific needs. In the past four years, experts all over the North-West of Europe have been creating tools to help entrepreneurs and policymakers to implement the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) principles on business sites. The Guide explains these tools in detail, provides specific documents, databases and worksheets that have been applied to pilot projects.
    • IGR Report: The Virtual Construction Site: A Decision Support System for Construction Planning (Award Numbers GR/N 00890; 00876; 00906)

      Dawood, N.; Heesom, David; Winch, G.; Penn, A. (EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council), 2002)
      The software was a direct outcome of the collaborative EPSRC 'Virtual Construction Site - VirCon' project involving UCL, UMIST, Teesside and Wolverhampton Universities and several industrial collaborators. The software provides a platform for current research and knowledge transfer activities through the West Midlands Centre for Construction Excellence and has directly informed the development of the '3-Centre' collaborative visualisation system which provides support to numerous construction companies.
    • Is Land Title Registration the Answer to Insecure and Uncertain Property Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa?

      Abdulai, Raymond Talinbe (RICS (The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), 2006)
      The importance of security and certainty of land tenure cannot be overemphasized. A key justification for it is that it provides incentives for investment in land and therefore an impetus for sustainable economic development. In the customary land sector in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), land is vested in communities represented by families/clans, tribes and chiefs. These families/clans, tribes and chiefs are commonly referred to as traditional landholding institutions. It is, however, believed that property rights to land emanating from these institutions are insecure and uncertain, implying a disincentive to investment and therefore a barrier to economic development. This belief appears to be premised on the fact that customary ownership of land is not formally recorded or registered. Thus, since the colonial era, governments have been embarking on various land title registration programmes supposedly to guarantee greater security and certainty of customary land tenure for sustainable development. Evidence, however, abounds in the sub region to indicate that: (a) land title registration has done little to guarantee security and certainty of land tenure; and (b) there is no clearly discernible link between land title registration and investment behaviour. These form the basis of the thesis pursued in this paper. The paper argues that increasing security and certainty of land tenure does not necessarily require the registration of land titles and therefore defines the ingredients of secure and certain land rights. (RICS)
    • Measuring the Economic Impacts of Sub-Saharan African Urban Real-Estate Policies: Methodological Discussions

      Hammond, Felix Nikoi (RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors), 2006)
      In recent times, the approaches used to the modelling of the economic impacts of exogenous interventions have become increasingly sophisticated. However, even though huge resources have been expended on developing and implementing development programmes in sub-Saharan Africa, many of which have a significant real estate component, little effort has been made to assess in any rigorous sense their true impacts. This paper presents a quantitative framework by which the impacts of these real estate policies can be more objectively ascertained. The framework devised in this paper harnessed the strengths of a number of existing conventional models that are popular in the west to evolve a hybrid model that has due regard for the generally noisy data conditions of sub-Saharan Africa. The formulated framework is portable across the respective countries of Africa and the developing world. (RICS)
    • Real-Estate Resource Control: Policy Incentives and Investment for Development

      Hammond, Felix Nikoi (RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors), 2006)
      Real estate investments are increasingly seen as the cornerstone for prosperity and stable economies in both the developed and the developing world. The potential for real estates to play this role effectively depends on the scale of real estate investment opportunities that exists in the society in question. These investment opportunities at any rate depend on the nature of government policies that regulates real estate markets and the general investment environment. The African policy environments that have given birth to the current regime of real estate policies in Africa are highly monopolised. These have led ultimately to real estate policies that have vested in respective government’s enormous control over real estate resources. The broadly skewed real estate resource control configurations that have emerged as a result are definitely generating perverse investment incentives. These policies are difficult to remove because of the incentives they offer and the costs of doing so. It is unlikely that even well meaning governments would succeed in reforming them in any definable way. Perhaps the most plausible way to get round this albatross would be to employ incentives/disincentives of development aid conditionalities to compel these governments to hand back controls of these real estate resources to the market and private sector so that the distortions of the past policies can be corrected. (RICS)
    • Summary of teaching and research activities on the Hilton experimental site, East Shropshire, 1976-2010

      Fullen, Michael A. (School of Applied Sciences, University of Wolverhampton, 2010)
      The Hilton Experimental Site is used for a range of studies on soil erosion and conservation and for studies on water, sediment and solute dynamics within the 40 km2 Claverley Brook Catchment. The site is located 15 km west of Wolverhampton and 8 km east of Bridgnorth at 52o33’05.7”N, 2o19’18.3”W (U.K. National Grid Reference SO778952). It covers 0.52 hectares (5,214 m2) and has an upper elevation of 67.46 metres O.D.. The soil is a loamy sand (Psammept) of the Bridgnorth series. The site was established in 1976 and possesses a meteorological station, 21 runoff plots and soil moisture measuring equipment, including lysimeters. Stream monitoring equipment includes an Ott stage recorder at a rated section, an automatic water sampler and bedload traps. The Hilton Site supports undergraduate, postgraduate and staff research programmes.