• 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)
    • Impacts of stress on estimation performance in Hong Kong

      Leung, Mei-Yug; Olomolaiye, Paul; Chong, Alice; Lam, Chloe C. Y. (Routledge (Taylor & Francis), 2005)
      Cost estimation not only requires precise technical and analytical input from estimators but also involves the use of subjective judgement. An investigation on the impact of stress on estimation performance was conducted involving 177 professional estimators in Hong Kong. Using correlation analysis, regression analysis and structural equation modelling, the relationships between stress and various aspects of estimation performance are examined and a causal structural model is developed. The results indicate that stress is a cause of negative estimation performance (resulting in weak interpersonal relationships, unfamiliarity with organization and ineffective process), while, simultaneously, it is beneficial to the professional estimation performance. Furthermore, there is an inverted U-shaped relationship between stress and the organizational relationship. (Routledge)
    • Innovative Protocols and Technologies as a Means of Complying with the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payments Act 1999 (NSW) Australia

      Ward, Peter; Sher, William; Gameson, Rod; Aranda-Mena, Guillermo (Routledge (Taylor & Francis), 2007)
      The Building and Construction Industry Security of Payments Act 1999—updated 27 November 2003, New South Wales, Australia provides a statutory framework which governs compulsory progress payments for those who undertake works or provide goods or services as part of a construction contract. Respondents to the process are being disadvantaged as a result of complying with the Act. Claimants are purported to be taking months to prepare detailed and comprehensive payment claims, prior to serving them on the respondents, who, under the Act, have limited time to compile a detailed payment schedule in response. This research investigates the use of two recent innovations that could assist in the administration of the process. The first is the Society of Construction Law's Delay and Disruption Protocol's model clauses, and the second is the use of web-based technology as a project administrative tool. A literature search was carried out, together with semi-structured qualitative interviews, to determine opinions of their use and effectiveness. Results indicate a recognition and appreciation of the likely benefits of transparency, efficiency and improved cost effectiveness of the project administrative processes, possibly resulting in potential savings and improved cost recovery opportunities, with the potential to reduce and/or avoid disputes. (Routledge)
    • The Performance of Contractors in Japan, the UK and the US: A Comparative Evaluation of Construction Cost

      Xiao, Hong; Proverbs, David G. (Routledge (Taylor & Francis), 2002)
      Globalization of the world economy demands that performance comparisons are undertaken at an international level. A new research protocol has been developed for comparing contractor performance internationally by combining the appropriate characteristics of two established approaches in order to balance the requirements of comparability and representativeness. This new approach is used to reveal some important international performance characteristics among Japanese, UK and US contractors. Building costs in the UK, when adjusted for exchange rate fluctuations, are significantly higher than those in Japan and the USA. Furthermore, cost certainty and client satisfaction are higher in Japan than in the UK, but there is no significant difference between Japan and the USA. Disparities in cost performance between the three countries are believed to originate from differences in the relationships between contractors and clients and also in the construction process. (Routledge)
    • The Social Costs of Real-Estate Market Information Gaps in Ghana

      Hammond, Felix Nikoi (Routledge (Taylor & Francis), 2006)
      Real estate markets function efficiently when driven by information regimes in which legitimate information corresponds with information that must count in market decisions. Where there are mismatches between legitimate information and information that must count, gaps naturally emerge in the information order. If the conditions for the creation and widening of such gaps are not removed, tenure insecurity, real estate transaction constraints and social costs tend to be heightened. This article presents a view of the conditions that have created information gaps in the Ghanaian real estate economy together with their allied tenure insecurity and social costs. Propositions for alleviating these information gaps are consequently proffered. (Routledge)
    • Trends of 4D CAD Applications for Construction Planning

      Heesom, David; Mahdjoubi, Lamine (Routledge (Taylor & Francis), 2004)
      Since the early 1990s, there has been a growing interest in four-dimensional computer aided design (4D CAD) for construction project planning. Commercial 4D CAD applications are becoming more accessible and the use of this technology allows the construction planner to produce more rigorous schedules. A review of the technical competencies of these packages highlights that most of the commercially available packages concentrate on the use of 4D CAD simulations for aesthetic visualization purposes. Very few packages offer the ability to carry out analytical tasks on the developed simulation and this is often left to the interpretation of the user. A thorough appraisal of emerging research developments in 4D planning highlights that this technology is employed for various applications; however, the amount of detail required in a 4D simulation is still ambiguous. A model is proposed to determine the attributes required for use with each of the various applications of 4D CAD simulations. Finally, various lines of future research are highlighted, including the need for improved use of data exchange standards and the automation of linking the construction tasks to the 3D CAD model.