• 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.
    • 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.
    • 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)