• A CASE STUDY OF JOINT PROCUREMENT AND PROVISION OF LEGAL SERVICES TO A GROUP OF A UNIVERSITIES IN THE MIDLANDS

      Charlson, Jennifer; Chinyio, Ezekiel A.; University of Wolverhampton (ARCOM, 2013-09-02)
      A Group of 5 UK Universities in the Midlands undertook a joint procurement process for the provision of Legal Services. The objective was to put in place common Framework Agreements. The Legal Services procured were divided into six lots and one of these was 'Property and Construction'. The lots were assembled into three packages and the contract for each package was awarded to one or more Service Providers. Albeit a service provider is to work for all the collaborating Universities. A competitive 'restricted' two-stage tender process was administered in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2006, SI 2006/5. The Framework Agreements were awarded in 2012 to the most economically advantageous Solicitors' Practices. The participating Universities are being interviewed about the reasons for the joint procurement exercise, any challenges faced in its implementation and lessons learnt so far. Two interviews have been conducted so far and evaluated via content analysis to reveal that advantages to be gained from 'economy of scale' were the main impetus for the collaborative procurement. The negotiations between the Universities which led to the establishment of the collaboration and its subsequent sustenance have been friendly. The challenge identified so far concerns how to distribute work more fairly to legal services providers.
    • A critical review of factors affecting manpower and equipment productivity in tall building construction projects

      Parthasarathy, Mudumbai Krishnaswamy; Murugasan, Rajiah; Murugesan, Kavitha (2017-12-05)
      Developing countries have seen an increase in construction of tall buildings in metropolitan cities due to space constraint. The construction of tall buildings in developing countries is undertaken as a combination of manpower and equipment to economize costs. This combination or interface of manpower and equipment, particularly in the basic activities such as concreting, reinforcement, formwork, blockwork, and plastering affects productivity of both the resources. This research aims at studying the factors affecting productivity of manpower and equipment at the micro level for the basic activities of construction for tall building projects. The factors have been further grouped and combined as sections. Responses collected through questionnaire survey from 109 personnel associated with the construction of 72 tall buildings in different geographies of India have been analysed using theoretical tools like frequency index, Spearman's rank correlation coefficient, and factor analysis. The factors have been prioritized in descending order of frequency indices. Based on analysis, it is found that factors in human and planning groups are more influential and affect manpower and equipment productivity significantly. Contract managers and cost engineers can use this study to make allowance while analysing productivity and estimating costs for tall buildings having combined usage of manpower and equipment.
    • A critical review of the effective use of expert witnesses in construction disputes

      Charlson, Jennifer; Smalley, James (Sweet & Maxwell, 2014)
      Discusses the role and duties of expert witnesses in construction law disputes, and considers the issues of concern that have been raised about the quality of their evidence. Presents the findings of research exploring the views of legal and construction industry professionals on: (1) the level of control that clients have over expert witnesses; (2) experts' standards of objectivity; (3) their qualifications and training; (4) the future use of tribunal experts; (5) the impact of the Supreme Court judgment in Jones v Kaney removing experts' immunity; and (6) the cost of engaging experts.
    • 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.
    • Absorption characteristics of metakaolin concrete

      Khatib, Jamal M.; Clay, Roger M. (Elsevier, 2004)
      The water absorption (WA) by total immersion and by capillary rise of concrete containing metakaolin (MK) is investigated. Cement was partially replaced with up to 20% MK. The results show that the presence of MK is greatly beneficial in reducing the WA by capillary action. There is a systematic reduction in absorption by capillary action with the increase in MK content in concrete. This reduction is further supported by visual examination of specimens. The absorption by total immersion, however, tends to increase slightly with the increase in MK content. Between 14 and 28 days curing, there is a slight increase in absorption by total immersion and by capillary rise for all MK concretes. Correlation between the absorption characteristics, dynamic modulus of elasticity (Ed), strength and pore size distribution was conducted.
    • Achieving Best Value in Private Finance Initiative Project Procurement

      Akintoye, Akintola; Hardcastle, Cliff; Beck, Matthias; Chinyio, Ezekiel A.; Asenova, Darinka (Routledge (Taylor & Francis), 2003)
      The wherewithal of achieving best value in private finance initiative (PFI) projects and the associated problems therein are documented. In the UK, PFI has offered a solution to the problem of securing necessary investment at a time of severe public expenditure restraint. In PFI schemes, the public sector clients must secure value for money, while the private sector service providers must genuinely assume responsibility for project risks. A broad-based investigation into PFI risk management informs the discussion in this paper. It is based on 68 interviews with PFI participants and a case study of eight PFI projects. The research participants comprised of contractors, financial institutions, public sector clients, consultants and facilities management organizations. The qualitative software Atlas.ti was used to analyse the textual data generated. The analysis showed that the achievement of best value requirements through PFI should hinge on: detailed risk analysis and appropriate risk allocation, drive for faster project completion, curtailment in project cost escalation, encouragement of innovation in project development, and maintenance cost being adequately accounted for. Factors that continue to challenge the achievement of best value are: high cost of the PFI procurement process, lengthy and complex negotiations, difficulty in specifying the quality of service, pricing of facility management services, potential conflicts of interests among those involved in the procurement, and the public sector clients' inability to manage consultants. (Routledge)
    • Active earth pressure acting on retaining wall considering anisotropic seepage effect

      Hu,Zheng; Yang, Zhongxuan; Wilkinson, Stephen (Springer, 2017-06-18)
      This paper presents a general solution for active earth pressure acting on a vertical retaining wall with a drainage system along the soil-structure interface. The backfill has a horizontal surface and is composed of cohesionless and fully saturated sand with anisotropic permeability along the vertical and horizontal directions. The extremely unfavourable seepage flow on the back of the retaining wall due to heavy rainfall or other causes will dramatically increase the active earth pressure acting on the retaining walls, increasing the probability of instability. In this paper, an analytical solution to the Laplace differential governing equation is presented for seepage problems considering anisotropic permeability based on Fourier series expansion method. A good correlation is observed between this and the seepage forces along a planar surface generated via finite element analysis. The active earth pressure is calculated using Coulomb’s earth pressure theory based on the calculated pore water pressures. The obtained solutions can be degenerated into Coulomb’s formula when no seepage exists in the backfill. A parametric study on the influence of the degree of anisotropy in seepage flow on the distribution of active earth pressure behind the wall is conducted by varying ratios of permeability coefficients in the vertical and horizontal directions, showing that anisotropic seepage flow has a prominent impact on active earth pressure distribution. Other factors such as effective internal friction angle of soils and soil/wall friction conditions are also considered.
    • Agricultural soil properties and crop production on Lithuanian sandy and loamy Cambisols after the application of calcareous sapropel fertilizer

      Bakšienė, Eugenija; Fullen, Michael A.; Booth, Colin A. (Taylor & Francis, 2006)
      Lake-derived organic-rich mud (sapropel) is used as a soil fertilizer on sandy loam Haplic Luvisols in Lithuania. Various application rates (50, 100, 150 and 200 t ha-1) were applied to crop rotations (maize, barley, clover, winter rye, potatoes and oats) and their subsequent long-term influences on soil physico-chemical properties and crop production determined. Soil agrochemical properties were evaluated before (1984 – 1985) and after the end of the first (1989 – 1990), second (1995 – 1996) and third (2001 – 2002) crop rotations from seven treatments with four replications. In most cases, after each crop rotation, there were notable increases in pH, total absorbed bases, total nitrogen content, available phosphorus and potassium and soil organic matter content (humus). After three rotations, changes in soil acidity, total nitrogen and humus on all sapropel treatments were significant (p < 0.05), but effects on phosphorus and potassium were not significant. In comparison, for most treatments, manure produced greater improvements in soil properties than sapropel. However, after 18 years of application, sapropel did improve crop productivity almost to the level achieved by applications of manure and fertilizers. Therefore, results demonstrate there are long-term benefits of sapropel applications, namely improvements in soil properties and crop productivity.
    • An analysis of passive earth pressure modification due to seepage flow effects

      Hu, Zheng; Yang, Zhongxuan; Wilkinson, Stephen Philip; Wilkinson, Stephen; Zhejiang University, 12377, Department of Civil Engineering, Zhejiang University, B700, Anzhong Building, 866 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China, 310058, ;; Zhejiang University, Department of Civil Engineering, B712 Anzhong Building, Zijingang Campus, Zhejiang University, 866 Yuhangtang, Hangzhou, China, 310058, ;; University of Wolverhampton, 8695, Department of Civil Engineering, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; (NRC Research Press, 2017-09-13)
      Using an assumed vertical retaining wall with a drainage system along the soil-structure interface, this paper analyses the effect of anisotropic seepage flow on the development of passive earth pressure. Extremely unfavourable seepage flow inside the backfill, perhaps due to heavy rainfall, will dramatically increase the active earth pressure while reducing the passive earth pressure; thus increasing the probability of instability of the retaining structure. In this paper, a trial and error analysis based on limit equilibrium is applied to identify the optimum failure surface. The flow field is computed using Fourier series expansion, and the effective reaction force along the curved failure surface is obtained by solving a modified Kötter equation considering the effect of seepage flow. This approach correlates well with other existing results. For small values of both the internal friction angle and the interface friction angle, the failure surface can be appropriately simplified with a planar approximation. A parametric study indicates that the degree of anisotropic seepage flow affects the resulting passive earth pressure. In addition, incremental increases in the effective friction angle and interface friction both lead to an increase in the passive earth pressure.
    • 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)
    • An Electron Microscope Study of Biomineralisation for Geotechnical Engineering Purposes

      Wilkinson, Stephen; Rajasekar, Adharsh (Springer, 2018-09-21)
    • Architectural design of integrated external speed adaptation with collision avoidance system for intelligent trucks

      Nwagboso, Christopher; Giorgakis, Panagiotis; Rangwala, Norman (InderScience, 2004)
      In this paper, the design and development cycle for integrated systems architecture for External Speed Adaptation (ESA) and Collision Avoidance Systems (CAS) is presented. It subsequently presents a new method of modelling the integrated system architecture based on structured analysis. Moreover, a vehicle kinematics model is developed and used as the basis for designing the systems decision logic. A description of an experimental hardware and CAN software simulation show the potential of the systems integration. In the experimental system, the speed limiter (vehicle throttle control and ECU) is a mechatronic sub-system and the collision avoidance system that deactivates the acceleration of the truck and controls the speed of the truck to a preset speed limit to avoid collision. This is based on communication between a roadside sensor and the vehicle and an interface between the collision avoidance and speed adaptation systems.
    • Assessing sustainability of employee suggestion schemes: a framework

      Arif, Mohammed; Rizvi, A.; Lasrado, Flevy (Emerald, 2015-11-16)
    • Assessment of Energy Consumption Pattern and Energy Conservation Potential at Indian Airports

      Malik, Kanika (Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia, 2017-11-24)
      With the growing energy crisis, the need to conserve and manage energy resources in a responsible manner is being increasingly felt by different sectors of the economy. India’s civil aviation industry is on a high-growth trajectory. India aims to become the third-largest aviation market by 2020 and the largest by 2030. The rise in the energy needs of airports to satisfy this demand has led to great concerns about the environmental impact of the aviation industry. Long term sustainability of airports is getting more important in this scenario. As demand for air travel continues to grow, aviation’s environmental impacts need to be addressed while continuing to maximize its social and economic benefits. This paper presents the problem of high energy consumption in the aviation sector by analysing the energy consumption data of three Indian airports in the composite climatic zone of India and the imperative need to design energy efficient airports. Data was collected from energy audits, which were conducted over a period of one year. The collected information was used to perform an analysis for assessing specific measures to reduce energy use at the passenger terminal building (PTB) and to identify possible actions for improving the airport performance.
    • Complete Genome Sequence of Carbonic Anhydrase Producing Psychrobacter sp. SHUES1

      Li, Mengmeng; Zhu, Xuejiao; Huang, Minsheng; Achal, Varenyam; Wilkinson, Stephen (2016-09-13)
      Recent advances in biotechnology have allowed the study of new bacterial strains, which can produce enzymes that can be used in the bioremediation of heavy metals. Microbially induced carbonate precipitation (MICP) is a recent well-recognized process that has the potential to precipitate heavy metals, mainly those with a valency of +2 (Kumari et al., 2016). There are two enzymes, urease, and carbonic anhydrase, that play an important role in the MICP process. The role of carbonic anydrase (EC 4.2.1.1) in MICP is generally underestimated and most of the studies in past mainly focus on urease-producing microorganisms (Li et al., 2013, 2014; Kumari et al., 2014). In the present study, Psychrobacter sp. SHUES1 was isolated from frozen alkaline soil sample collected at Shanghai, China. This bacterium produced lipase and protease at 4°C in a plate assay. The ability of Psychrobacter sp. to show extracellular lipolytic activity at low temperatures is widely known (Xuezheng et al., 2010); however, the remarkable property of this strain was in the precipitation of heavy metals including cadmium and zinc in parallel to the MICP process. Therefore, to know the type of enzyme or genes involved in the process of metal precipitation, this research aims to sequence the whole genome of Psychrobacter sp. SHUES1, and thus provide a genomic insight into its behavior. Genomic DNA from Psychrobacter sp. SHUES1 was extracted using the DNeasy Blood & Tissue Kit (Qiagen, USA), and its quantity and quality were evaluated on the Qubit. The extracted DNA was subjected to whole-genome shotgun sequencing using the NEBNext Ultra DNA Library Prep Kit (Illumina, San Diego, CA). Library construction was performed with the following process: DNA fragmentation, end repair, adding “A” to the 3′ end, adaptor ligation and amplification. After library construction, the generated cluster was sequenced on an Illumina HiSeq2500 sequencing system, according to a paired end 2 × 125 nt multiplex program. 13,716,515 raw reads resulted in 13,144,818 quality-filtered trimmed reads, yielding a not less than 3 Mb genome size. De novo genome assembly was performed using SPAdes-3.5.0. After purification, the assembly produced 3,115,590 bp of sequence across 115 contigs with an N50 of 47,049 bp, with a longest sequence of 182,144 bp, and a G+C content of 43.5% (Table 1). Gene prediction and annotation were carried out using Prodigal_v2.6.1, blastp in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) “nr” database. Gene ontology (GO) functional annotation of genes was carried out using the blast2GO algorithm, dominated by the following features: biological process (44%), molecular process (42%), and cellular component (14%). Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COG) annotation was carried out in the NCBI COG database using rpsblast. A total of 2627 protein-coding genes, 45 tRNA-coding genes, and 6 rRNA genes were predicted in the draft genome. TABLE 1 www.frontiersin.org Table 1. Genome features of Psychrobacter sp. SHUES1. The most significant finding of the whole genome sequencing of Psychrobacter sp. SHUES1 was the presence of carbonic anhydrase gene in it. Carbonic anhydrase participates in all physiological processes dealing with CO2 and HCO3, such as cellular pH regulation, calcification, acid, and ion transport (Smith and Ferry, 2000; Achal and Pan, 2011). It catalyses the interconversion of CO2 and HCO3, which ultimately promotes the precipitation of calcium carbonate in the presence of Ca2+ ions. Although there are a number of genome sequences of Psychrobacter sp. deposited in NCBI database, this is the first characterization of the genome sequence of strain SHUES1, which produces carbonic anhydrase which has a significant role in metal bioremediation based on the ability to promote the precipitation of metal carbonates. This sequencing result also suggests the importance of carbonic anhydrase in the MICP process which is a novel element in this field of research. The present study is especially valuable in the area of biomineralization based on MICP processes, in the bioremediation of metals and in the development of microbial concrete (biocement). Urease is the main enzyme responsible in such studies; however, in our study the urease gene was not present in Pyschrobacter sp. SHUES1. This indicates the importance of carbonic anhydrase, as a less studied secondary enzyme for the MICP process. It is hoped that this research will encourage other researchers to look for this carbonic anhydrase precipitation pathway when carrying out MICP studies.
    • Compulsory Land Acquisition in Ghana - Policy and Praxis

      Larbi, Wordsworth Odami; Antwi, Adarkwah; Olomolaiye, Paul (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2004)
      Compulsory land acquisition powers have been used extensively in Ghana since colonial times, as the main means of the state's access to land for development. The underlying principle is supremacy of the state over people and their private property, and is aimed at providing land for public and social amenities, correcting economic and social inefficiencies in private market operations and providing greater equity and social justice in the distribution of land. The paper analyses compulsory acquisition practice in Ghana in the light of these principles. It argues that few of the presumed principles have been met. Rather compulsory land acquisition has resulted in adverse socio-economic consequences including in landlessness, poverty and heightened tension in state-community relationship. The paper advocates for a new legal and institutional environment for employing compulsory acquisition powers.
    • 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.
    • Construction industry legal risk identification for SMEs

      Charlson, Jennifer; Oduoza, Chike (Sweet and Maxwell, 2016)
    • Creating a better healing environment in Qatari healthcare sector: Exploring the research agenda for the future

      Alhorr, Yousef; Arif, Mohammed; Bano, Tabassum; Egbu, Charles; Mazroei, Ahmed; Elsarrag, Esam (Elsevier, 2015-06)