Social Construction in Human Geography

Social construction in its purest form is not defined easily, the by the book definition from is “a social mechanism, phenomenon, or category created and developed by society; apperception of an individual, group, or idea that is constructed’ through cultural or social practice.” Social construction in layman’s terms is the foundation for everything everywhere you encounter in life. When a person is born and slowly learns the world surrounding them everything from what gender they are to what race they are is formed by society through social construct. Social construction is a concept that is completely created by humans, it is rather easy to make the connection why it would be such a predominant part of human geography. Since Social construction is covers such a wide array of areas, I am going to focus specifically on why it is important in human geography, and how time and space are socially constructed.

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Human geography, to put it simply is the study of humans. When humans come together they can form a Culture which is defined as “shared patterns of learned behavior, attitudes, and knowledge” (Human Geography 113). Culture continues to be a main factor of both human geography and social construction by being formed and created by society. Culture consists of single qualities known as culture traits. Culture traits are behaviors that are thought of and done as a normality by one region or more but not as the rest of the world. An example of a culture trait could be wearing a jersey to a sporting event, which is also seen as a result of social construct because society is the sole creator of the tradition such that should wear jerseys to sporting events. Culture is only the start of Social construction as people in these first cultures move to other regions different culture traits are developed leading to culture realms. Culture region are where society has created some of the same traits in surrounding areas, while also having differing traits of their own. An example is “In the United States, a region such as New England could be defined as the area in which many people root for the Red Sox, pronounce chowder “chowda,” and use the word wicked as an adjective for something extreme, as in “it’s wicked cold out there!”(Human Geography 113). The connection between social construction and culture was so obvious to me because neither one are limited to anything specific. The entire makeup of a person being from certain region could be created dramatically from his/her culture. All of those traits that create culture that has shaped said person is created through social construction, such as variations to language, traditions, and actions that are thought to be the norm. Since social construction is involved in all aspects of humans understanding the world around them it is easy to see why social construction is important to human geography.
Time, how is the concept socially constructed? Social construction being “a social mechanism, phenomenon, or category created and developed by society” ( The entire concept of time is created through a social mechanism by society. Time is measured in seconds, minutes, and hours, but before there were regulations placed on time society like everything else had created their own view on time. “The U.S. national time standard, for instance, didn’t emerge until 1883, when it was adopted by the railroads, which needed to maintain common timetables. Before that, cities largely kept their own local time, and many were not happy to have big government and big railroads force standardization on them. “Let the people of Cincinnati stick to the truth as it is written by the sun, moon and stars,” editorialized one newspaper when the changeover was going into effect” (Smithsonian). If time had not become regulated the differences could be substantial. There are differences in the social construct as far as culturally as well if you think in the terms of how long a work day or week would be. The United States, we think of 8 hours a day typically that is not the standard in other countries. In lecture we talked of vacation time which could also be created by society in the United States the normality is minimal, which is the opposite in much of the rest of the world. Another thought that is created by social construction is idea of being early, on time, and being late. That was created by society how do you decide if a person is on time, or early, or late.
Social construction is very versatile especially in regards to the process from when humans are first born to developing cultures and venturing further to social construction of space. The social construction of space covers a vast amount of topics, the textbook defines the term as “this is the idea that society shapes the spatial nature of our world. How is the cultural landscape of your community reflective of the valves of your community” (Human Geography 125). SO I take that definition that like the other aspects of social construction, humans if moving into a new area that has not already had a community developed on it, and then humans will shape the area with cities filled with structures that are unique to the culture of people taking the land. If humans take over land that has already been developed, the people taking over will make changes to shape it and make it their own something that would represent their culture well. Once on the land society can split the land according to ideology and/or power and example “many communities in the American south have great geographic disparities between where the whites live and where blacks live.”(Human Geography 125). Southern culture have adopted that ideology.
Social Construction “a social mechanism, phenomenon, or category created and developed by society; apperception of an individual, group, or idea that is constructed’ through cultural or social practice” ( Social construction covering such an array of things it is easy to see how it is such a major party of human geography. If through humans from the beginning of their lives until they create culture and ideology where they live by, all of these things are formed by society using social construction. All of those elements also are part of human geography. Humans would be lost without the social construction.
Work Cited
Essay 1:
“Social Construct.”, n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.>.
“Why Time Is a Social Construct.”Smithsonian. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014.>.
Environmental determinism “the controversial idea, popular in early twentieth century and largely discredited today, that climate or other physical qualities of an area dictate the culture of the people who live there” (Human Geography G-3). Essentially environmental determinism is that land and climate decided how cultures would act and how their societies would become form. As stated in the definition the idea is not as big in today’s society but in the past was thought of as the absolute truth. Environmental determinism rises and falls like many things through history it is close to the opposite of social construction where society shapes what things. To go more in depth about environmental determinism I am going to focus on covering the development of environmental determinism, who was arguing for it, what values it reflected, the obvious issues with environmental determinist thought, and the downfall of environmental determinism.
Even though environmental determinism is rather a new getting popular in early twentieth century, parts of the theory actually dates back to late classical era. “Climatic factors for example were used by Strabo, Plato, and Aristotle to explain why the Greeks were so much more developed in the early ages than societies in hotter and colder climates. Additionally, Aristotle came up with hisclimate classification systemto explain why people were limited to settlement in certain areas of the globe.” ( Aristotle may have been taking the theory in the simplest terms but it definitely relates to the theory of environmental determinism in its final form. Many scholars early on used environmental determinism there were a few that believed that society or surrounding areas/climates were the result of different skin tones such as Ibn Khaldun, speaking of Africa’s hot climate being the source of the darker skin pigment. ( which is a pretty good hypothesis considering he was alive during the 14th century.

Environmental Impacts From Dam Construction

The construction of large dams always change the relationship of water and land that destroy the existing ecosystem balance whereas in many cases, has taken thousands of years to create. Now, there are around 40,000 large dams that obstruct the world’s rivers, completely changing their circulation systems. This is not going to occur without dire environmental impacts. About past few years, the negative impacts of dams have become so familiar that most of countries had to stop building them altogether and are now forced to invest their money into fixing the problems created by existing dams.
Construction of the dam does not necessarily only bring benefits. But on the other hand there are adverse effects of dam construction that existed before and after construction must be considered. It will not only affect the construction environment, but can be up to the river mouth. Among the effects of dam construction is:-
No doubt the problem will arise in our ecosystem. It is usually starts from the beginning of the constructions until the affected downstream natural river. Many cases studies and much information can not be used as reference material before extinct. Indirectly, the genetic diversity of biological resources and destroyed. Many endangered species of aquatic animals, land, forest issues.
Construction of dams required extensive land clearing without any control. As in Bakun and at Lake Chini has a significant impact and can be seen clearly. The most obvious example of the Bakun dam has destroyed the natural habitat of 70.000 hectares of Singapore. Another example is the dam of Lake Chini, Pahang is also clear that there are 60 hectares of forest. Vegetative damaged ecosystems and hence have an impact on wildlife. Disturbed the natural habitat and cause the organism to find a new habitat or the continued extinction of the area.

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Extinction of flora and fauna, and disruption
In Temenggor, dam have been identified as causes of this problem with the number of fish in the Sungai Perak terubuk decreasing. Another problem is the transfer of animals from the forest to the occupation. This causes problems for local residents who live nearby. As an example was the construction of ordinary dam at Bakun. This problem will increase if no action is taken and control.
Other example, the reproduction of freshwater turtles is threatened by this situation. It also prevents the passage of freshwater turtles and fish and thus interferes with their breeding habits and movements.
In rivers with biologically productive estuaries, both marine and fish and also shellfish suffer from the changes in water flow and quality. Changes in fresh and quality water flows and the salinity balance in an estuary will alter species distribution and breeding pattern of fish. Furthermore, changes in nutrient levels and decrease in the quality of the river water can also gives bad impacts on the productivity of the fish.
These changes can also have major effects on marine species which is the feed of their life cycle in the marine, or are influenced by water quality changes in the coastal areas. The greatest impact on wildlife will come from loss of habitat. This is as result from the reservoir filling and land use changes in the catchment area. Migratory patterns of wildlife and the fish may be disrupted by the dam. This will make the aquatic fauna, include waterfowl, amphibians and reptiles can increase because of the construction of dam.
Water pollution / Water quality
Usually, the river will be effect on soil erosion and the silt occurs during the construction and disposal of water. Because of that, the water becomes brown and it was caused of a problem for growth of aquatic plants. But on the other hand, the river will be a shortage of minerals due to system problems slowed the flow of water caused water dam. Then, rate of mineral and oxygen was decreasing. Further problems arise when people cultivated their crops. The used of pesticides can not be drained and recycled in a river. The material from the construction of dam itself which is the steel consumption rates also affect water quality when water is released from the dam.
The obvious changes occur in the timing of flow, quality, quantity and use of water, aquatic biota, and sedimentation in the river basin. The area of influence of a dam construction projects extend from the upper limits of the catchment of the reservoir to as far downstream as the marine and coast or offshore zone. While there are direct environment impacts related with the construction of the dam for examples, dust, erosion, borrow and the disposal problems. The greatest impacts result from the impoundment of water, flooding of land to form the dam and alteration of water flow downstream. These effects also have direct impacts on soils, vegetation, wildlife and wild lands, fisheries, climate and also the human populations in that area.
Other effect
Construction of the dam has an adverse impact on river hydro ecosystem. Other disadvantages are affected fish population in the river if the construction of the dam occurred at the upper river. That situation took place on the Temenggor Dam, Bersia Kenering. Deep study was done in Lake Chenderoh. Fishery catches in the dam is low and only 22 species were captured, and 15 of them consisted of fish caught by family Cyprinid. Most using drift nets, and this small shows lack large fish in that dam. Results show catch per unit effort will be between (2.7 – 12.8 kg. per fisherman-day with a value between RM4.94-32.43-per-day fishing.

Timber frame and masonry construction

Modern construction comes in many forms, from traditional masonry, to precast concrete, to steel, and in recent times timber frame construction.
Timber frame and masonry construction are very similar looking buildings. Over the last thirty years in Ireland the main type used in domestic dwelling was masonry construction which consists of block inner leaf, cavity, insulation and a block outer leaf, externally finished normally with a brick or plaster rendered block. Over the last twelve years timber frame construction has grown to account for nearly forty percent of the market. Timber frame construction consists of an off site engineered building which arrives to site and the pieces are assembled to complete the unit. The external finish is similarly to masonry with brick or plaster rendered block. The reason for chosen this topic is to find why this change occurred. The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the Irish housing market over the last number of years, also to find out the reasons for timber frame construction becoming more popular.
To find out why the trend of building domestic housing in Ireland has changed from masonry construction to timber frame construction.
* To investigate the Irish housing market and find reasons for the trend change from masonry construction to timber frame construction.
* To examine the reasons why timber frame construction has grown to the level it has over masonry construction.
* To examine the views of homeowners and property developers towards timber frame construction.
Literature Review
The primary data will be sourced from RGU database, Internet sites, RGU books and journals. Relevant Irish government reports and websites will also be looked at to gain an unbiased view. Also the views of the construction agencies in Ireland will be explored.
Research and methodology
The author plans on doing a comparison of the two construction types in order to achieve reasons for the shift in trend. The brief comparison case studies will include cost, time, heat and energy of both types of construction.
Questionnaires provided the primary research for this dissertation. The author shall do up one and give it out to relevant homeowners and property developers to gain an insight into their views. By doing this the author will find out the market potential of timber frame construction.
Structure of Dissertation
Chapter One
This chapter explains the title of the dissertation, introduces the motivations and gives a background for the reasons for choosing this topic. The author explains to the reader the aim and objectives of the dissertation and how they are going to be achieved.
Chapter Two
The literature review will investigate in trend in Irish construction. Current construction agencies reports will be looked to try and gain an insight to the change in trend. The author feels that this will achieve the first objection of this dissertation.
Chapter Three
This chapter will investigate the two building options with regard to cost, time, heat and energy. This will be done by a number of interviews and case studies. Areas looked at will be construction cost and life cycle costs. Also will include a case study of both types of construction where U-Values and Building Energy Rating will be achieved and assessed to gain an insight into why the trend shifted. The author feels that this will achieve the second objection of this dissertation.
Chapter Four
This chapter the opinions and views of homeowners and property developers towards timber frame construction and masonry construction are explored by means of a questionnaire. The author feels this will achieve the third objection of the dissertation.
Chapter Five
In this finally chapter the conclusion provides a brief summary of the finding of the preceding chapters.
Literature Review
Over 70% of home in the developed world are timber frame homes. 60% of Scottish new dwelling are timber frame and over all in the United Kingdom timber frame accounts for 15% of new homes. Ireland is slowly following our neighbours. Over the last ten year Ireland had been experiencing a construction boom. Housing units been completed in 2000 being 49,812 units growing to 62,686 in 2003, peaking in 2006 with 82,980 unit completed. After 2006 the housing market in Ireland started to fall, numbers of units being built in 2007 being 71,356 continuing to fall in 2008 as 48,151 units and continuing to fall in 2009. (Central Statistics Office Ireland 2008)

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Many housing estates and apartment blocks had been popping up in every city, town and village mainly around the computer belt around the capital city of Ireland Dublin. Then slowly the rest of the country following. In 1992 timber frame construction account for only 5% of the new dwelling market. Since then it has grown to enormous levels to account for 30% of total housing construction nationally (Construction Industry Federation 2009).
Typical these building were constructed by masonry construction, this consisted of a 300mm cavity wall with block inner leaf, insulation, cavity and a brick/block outer leaf finished with a plaster render. Over the last seventeen years timber frame construction has shown steady growth. Timber frame construction consists of an off site engineered building which arrives to site and the pieces are assembled to complete the unit. The external finish is similarly to masonry with brick or plaster rendered block. Some industry experts predict that by 2012 it will account for 50% of the new dwelling market.
“The timber frame industry in Ireland has shown strength and resilience, despite these difficult economic times. When the upturn comes, timber frame construction will be presented with numerous opportunities.” (Maurice Buckley, CEO, NSAI – National Standards Authority of Ireland.)
Reasons for this happening?
In Ireland over the last number of years there has been a turn in attitude regarding the environment, which has in some part resulted in changes been implemented by the construction industry with regard to energy conservation. The main topic that has come to the fore on an Irish domestic level is the conservation of fuel and energy consumption. The construction industry has been identified as a considerable part of the national energy bill. Attitudes of developers and homeowner are changing to environmentally friendly buildings. Due to this timber frame construction has seen a steady growth. Timber frame is renewable building option, for every tree cut down two more are planted. The cost of turning the raw product into a building material is conceivably less than traditional methods.
“Timber is the only sustainable renewable commercially viable building material. The production of concrete produces vast amounts of Carbon Dioxide (C02), which has a negative impact on the environment and contributes significantly to global warming.” (Irish Timber Frame Manufacturing Association 2009)
As the construction boom grow so did the need for housing and more importantly fast housing. One of the main factors for this turn towards timber frame is speed of construction. The frame of the building can be erected in a number of days which compared to typical masonry building is incredibly faster. This is due to the timber frame been constructed off site in a factory and delivered to site as a planned process of assembly. Masonry on the other hand takes a number of weeks to reach roof level where as timber frame is erected in a number of days. Even in wet weather work can still continue as a scaffolding system is in place around the foundation, where as blocks for masonry construction can only be laid in dry weather. Also with timber frame construction the building is weather proof much faster so internal works can begin much quicker. Also a lot of the slower work for plumbers and electricians such as first fixing is much easily done in a timber frame house. “Timber frame has 30% shorter, more predictable construction time than brick and block” (UK Timber Frame Association 2009)
In masonry construction the use of wet trades in the build causes extra time needed for drying out. Because timber frame is a dry form of construction there is no drying out time which is a saving of a number of weeks. Also because of this there is less lightly a risk of cracking appearing on walls and ceilings for shrinking which can occur in masonry frequently.
Time scale for both for of construction
Standard Masonry Home
Timber Frame Homes
Bricklayer Ground Floor
Erect Timber Frame Structure,
Fix & Glaze Windows
Felt, Battens, Tile Roof
Fix & Glaze Windows
Brickwork & First Fix
Roof Structure
Felt, Battens. Tile Roof
Dry Line
First Fix
Second Fix
Decorate, Move In
2nd Fix, Plumber, Electrician
2nd Fix
Decorate, Move In
Drying out period
Taken from (Energy Efficient Homes Ireland 2009)
The cost of a timber frame house is similar to masonry built. Unlike masonry, costs of a timber frame build can be fixed long before the foundations are poured. This is due to most timber frame suppliers also fix the structure. So a fix price for a fixed solution. No rain days for wet trades or no additional costs.
“This ensures that the additional expenses that spiral as a building progress can be eliminated.” (Irish Timber Frame Manufacturing Association 2009)
The number of persons need to fix the structure is lower than a masonry build, also with regard to time, time is money so the faster the build the cheaper for the developer and homebuilder. Also the hand over time for a complete dwelling is must faster so this will benefit developer’s cash flow and profitability. Due to the speed of construction on site security cost or greatly reduced.
Flexibility of Layout
Because timber frames internal walls being construction out of light weigh partition walls the internal space of a timber frame build is very flexible. Any mistakes in layout of internal walls is easily rectified, where as masonry internal wall would be particularly more difficult to correct.
Case Studies
To get real reasons for the trend mover towards timber frame construction and to get a true indication of the cost difference in both timber frame and traditional masonry domestic construction the author looked at two key areas, construction costs and life cycle costs. In relation to construction costs the areas of preliminary costs; plant and equipment costs and site labour costs are looked at in greater detail.
Construction Costs
Preliminary Costs
Every construction project incurs preliminary costs. Preliminary costs are defined as,
“Costs which are directly involved with the overall completion of a construction project” ( Roy Chudley 2002)
These costs include items such as site management, insurance for the project, drivers and operatives. On larger sites where site cabins, offices, storerooms, toilets and canteens are required the costs incurred are also referred to as preliminary costs.
For each project there is an allowance set aside for preliminary costs. However in relation to timber frame construction these costs are included in the overall timber frame package. This is a result of the majority of the work required for timber frame construction being carried out off site, which in turn makes the budget costs a lot cheaper than traditional masonry. Derek Moore a director with Timberline building contractors Ltd Dublin states,
“by pre-manufacturing the timber frame off-site, houses are constructed more cost effectively”. (Pick a Pro 2009)
To back up this point the Irish Timber frame manufactures association states “this method of construction is not cheaper particularly if the builder hasn’t thought his practices through but because factory fabrication means much greater predictability, better controls and of course, a faster pace” (Irish Timber Frame Manufacturing Association 2009)
This is not the case for its traditional masonry counterpart as preliminary costs are required as a separate budget, this is due to the fact that all of the work required for traditional masonry is carried out on site. A majority of the preliminary budget for the traditional masonry method includes hire of plant and provision for skips and concrete silos on site etc. Another factor to be taken into consideration is the time period taken to construct a timber frame house, which is significantly lower than that of traditional masonry counterpart. Costs such as site supervision and the need for engineers and the like on site are greatly reduced.
Plant and Equipment Costs
Plant and equipment costs should be taken in to consideration when dealing with construction costs. Every project requires certain types of equipment and plant to carry out work to a conclusion. According to Colm Kilroy a quantity surveyor with Michael Higgins and associates in Galway, “plant and equipment costs are a major part of all construction projects, the utilization of such equipment is vital as a lot of money can be wasted due to bad management and planning on site”. He continued to say “if plant is required on site for a certain job it is vital that the site is ready for that equipment as once it arrives on site it has to be paid for.” (Colm Kilroy 2009)
The weather can also plays a part in plant and equipment costs, adverse weather conditions can lead to a lot of equipment being left idle while the cost for having it on the site is still being charged. Obviously the weather conditions cannot be controlled by the project team but in periods of forecasted inclement weather the ordering of plant and materials should be avoided if possible.
Site Labour Costs
This area of site labour costs greatly differs with both methods of construction. A lot of the factors in relation to cost for the timber frame method of construction are all inclusive of the over timber frame package, the majority of the work to be carried out by specialised labour is completed in the factory and once the timber frame unit leaves for the site their work is finished.
This in turn reduces any call back costs, to complement this, the Irish timber frame manufactures association states that,
“There are lower call back costs; any problems encountered can be eliminated immediately by the timber frame specialists before leaving the factory.” (Irish Timber Frame Manufacturing Association 2009)
The cost for the labour to rectify these problems is still inclusive of the timber frame package.
Traditional masonry construction is in comparison carried out differently with all the construction work associated with traditional masonry been carried out on site and with each individual trade requiring labour to carry out the work.
Cost Case Study
The author compiled a cost comparison from a construction contractor’s point of view for the development of a timber frame and masonry domestic dwelling. The house plans used to carry out this comparison were based on a single house within a development of five similar houses, only the major elements of the structures were included in the pricing. The figures for the comparison were obtained from Barry Doyle a quantity surveyor with a Co Carlow company and John O Connell a construction contractor in Co Galway.
Cost Case Study Findings
Timber Frame House
Masonry House
Raft Foundation
€ 3,855.50
€ 4,602.60
Supply and erection of timber frame Kit
€ 28,114.00
Block work
€ 3,680.00
€ 11,460.00
€ 5,382.00
€ 17,535.50
Windows and Doors
€ 11,000.00
€ 11,000.00
€ 5,780.00
€ 5,780.00
€ 5,275.50
€ 5,275.50
€ 3,191.00
€ 1,946.00
Supply & fit plasterboard
€ 3,210.00
€ 1,821.00
€ 5,815.00
€ 3,575.25
€ 4,485.00
External Works
€ 3,275.50
€ 3,275.50
Floor Screeds
€ 954.50
€ 954.50
€ 5,500
€ 5,500
€ 2,500
€ 2,500
Total measured work excluding Vat
€ 91,108.25
€ 83,350.60
Main Contractors Profit
€ 4,555.41
€ 4,167.53
Vat @ 13.5 %
€ 12,299.61
€ 11,252.33
€ 107,963.27
€ 98,770.46
The timber frame house is more expensive to construct than its masonry counterpart. There is a cost difference of approximately €9,000 between both methods to construct a single house taking the main structural elements in to consideration. For the development consisting of five houses where this house is located the total price difference in the construction of the five houses using both methods of construction can be up to €45,000 to €50,000. The following information shows the reasoning behind the price differences for the important elements of the construction.
Timber frame kit
This element looks to be very expensive but the majority of materials needed to complete the timber frame house including the labour needed for the construction are included.
Concrete raft foundation
The price of the raft foundation differs as there is less steel required in the raft for the timber frame house in comparison to the masonry built house, this leads to savings for both the labour and materials.
Block work
The difference in the price of the block work is due to the inner leaf and the internal walls of the timber frame house been constructed of timber.
The timber frame kit incorporates a majority of the roof in the over all package which leads is a massive price difference from the standard roof for the masonry dwelling.
Due to the requirement for more insulation in the timber frame house there is a difference in price over its masonry counterpart.
As with the insulation due to the amount of timber stud internal partitions and timber inner leaf walls the timber frame dwelling requires more plaster board than the masonry method which increases both the amount of material and labour.
The plastering element differs solely because of the reduced quantity of scratch coat required in the timber frame house.
The price difference in relation to carpentry is a result of a lot of the timber work coming pre fabricated as part of the timber frame kit, an example being the doors coming pre hung with ironmongery fitted and architrave already attached.
Main contractors Profit
The main contractors profit has been calculated on the standard percentage being 5%.
Life Cycle Costs
Life cycle costs are commonly interpreted as, “The operating costs of buildings over the forecast useful life attributed to them” (Bruceshaw 2009)
These costs include initial capital costs, occupation costs and operating costs. In relation to the building industry and in particular to the traditional masonry and timber frame methods of construction, life cycle costs are essential in deciding which is the overall cost effective method of construction is. In this chapter the author discusses areas such as the running costs and other costs that are involved with both forms of construction.
Design Differences and Alterations
From an aesthetic point of view timber frame and traditional masonry constructed dwellings when constructed look very similar, however timber frame houses,
“Allow for more versatile designs than block built houses” (Pick a Pro 2009)
The question is once the house is constructed how easy is it to carry out modifications to the design. In relation to these alterations Kingspan Century state,
“Due to the fact the inner leaf of your timber frame house is constructed of solid wood and plasterboard, and not concrete blocks and plaster, extensions and alterations generally have significantly reduced impact on the existing building”. (Kingspan Century 2007)
To further this statement MBS Timber frame Ltd state,
“Because the interior of a timber frame house is made of wooden panels and plasterboard, alterations and extensions will not involve the mess and severe disruption of knocking down solid block walls, and all the other trials and tribulations that accompany this type of work”. (MBC Timber Frame 2009)
Alternatively the block work internal leaf of a masonry house has distinct advantages over is timber frame counterpart. Tasks such as fixing a shelf or curtain rail can be a tricky with the timber frame method,
“There is no problem doing this in a masonry build home as all the walls are capable of holding shelves, curtain rails etc. it would be a simple matter of drilling the holes in the correct place and screwing your shelf into place” (Irish Concrete Federation 2009)
In comparison, with a timber frame house, according to John Meehan a carpenter with a Co Galway Company,
“If you are installing a new kitchen or television unit, you may find that there are no grounds in the wall where you need a fixing. If in this situation if your fixing is put in place without finding a stud, the unit is sure to fall down under pressure”. (David Treacy 2009)
Property Market and Selling Value
Influencing factors in relation to domestic construction include resale value and ease of sale. The traditional masonry constructed process has built up a reputation of been a good seller and a favourite with the Irish public, Galway auctioneer John Gilmore states,
“Block built houses are easier to sell as people generally go for the trusted method, a lot of people inquiring about timber frame houses are wary and are not easily convinced as to its benefits” (Liam Gordon 2009)
The view of an Irish timber frame company is that,
“Auctioneers and estate agents are generally of the opinion that not only is timber frame not an obstacle in selling a home, but on the contrary, is becoming more and more a major selling point. The energy efficiency of timber frame houses is becoming an increasingly valued characteristic”. (Kingspan Century 2008)
To reiterate this,
“For mortgage purposes and insurance, most lenders and insurers rank timber frame equally with block work. As far as resale value is concerned, there appears to be no difference at all between the two systems. However some individuals have their own preferences, built up from their own experience or things they have heard about either system”. (Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine 2005)
Running Costs
The timber frame method of domestic construction encounters large savings over its traditional masonry counterpart. These savings result from the timber frame house having an allowance for insulation on both the external and internal walls; this differs considerably from the traditional masonry method where in most cases only the external walls contain insulation.
“Because timber frame structures are extremely well insulated and have less mass than more traditional forms of construction, significant savings can be made in heating costs”. (Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine 2005)
A leading Irish timber frame company states,
“Savings of between 30% and 40% on heating bills are fairly typical”. (Devsan Timber Frame Homes 2009)
In relation to further savings in the future with timber frame,
“It is estimated that the heating cost of a timber frame home can be 30% lower than that of a masonry dwelling, and the rapid rise in energy costs these costs look set to increase”. Sunday Business Post Newspaper 2007)
In conclusion the savings to be made with the timber frame method of domestic construction in relation to heating and energy use are extensive over its masonry counterpart
Time of Construction
From a time to construct perspective the length of time it takes to build and finish both forms of construction differs. The construction of a traditional masonry dwelling has a longer time programme than its timber frame counterpart. The main factors contributing to the difference in construction times include.
Programme of works
The programme of works for both methods has a time difference of approximately seven weeks from foundation stage to decorating and moving in stage. Derek Moore of Timberline building contractors states,
“In terms of build speed, timber frame can deliver a significant 30% reduction on traditional construction times, which affect cash flow and reduces local disturbance”. (Pick a Pro 2009)
The view of another Irish timber frame supplier is the construction time of both methods of construction is even larger depending on the building,
“Construction time is cut by almost 40% as your timber frame structure is erected on site within days depending on size and complexity of building”. (Clark Group 2008)
Building Finishes
During the stage whereby the timber frame unit is erected the internal first fixing work can commence. This work can proceed inside the house as the masonry skin is being built, in comparison no internal work can commence on the masonry house while the block work element is being constructed. The long drying out period associated with traditional masonry construction is also a disadvantage in comparison to the timber frame method.
“Apart from the obvious labour saving, timber frame doesn’t need any drying-out time, unlike a standard masonry construction, which needs up to 1,500 gallons of water to evaporate before it is dry”. (Sunday Tribune 2001)
To reiterate this a leading Irish timber frame supplier states,
“Timber frame aids internal finishes, all walls are straight and plumb, corners are square and true. With timber frame there are less of the “wet” trades, plasterboard needs only to be skimmed and paint, decorative materials and floor coverings can be applied sooner to dried surfaces”. (Castle Timber Frame Homes 2009)
Heat Loss in Buildings
For the purpose of this dissertation the author compared the U Value of the external walls of both a timber frame and masonry constructed dwelling, the author also decided to obtain the Building Energy Rating (BER) for both methods of construction so as to make an accurate comparison. Both the U Value calculation and the Building Energy Rating are based on the house plans. With the expertise of Michael Sweeney of Sweeney Energy the U Value and BER calculations were compiled and the results are as follows.
U-Value Calculation
A U-value is the term given to the measure of heat loss through sections of a building. It measures the rate that heat transmits through a component or structure when there is a difference in air temperature at both sides.
“U Values are expressed in Watts per metre Kelvin which is the rate of heat transfer in watts through 1m2 of the structure for one unit of temperature difference between the air on the two sides of the structure”. (Roy Chudley 2002)
U-Value Terms
The following are terms associated with the calculation of the U-Value.
Thermal Conductivity
“It is the measure of a materials ability to transmit heat and is expressed as the energy flow in watts per square metre of surface area”. (Roy Chudley 2002)
Thermal Resistance
“This is symbolized by the letter R, as representative of a materials thermal resistance achieved by dividing its thickness in metres by its thermal conductivity”. (Roy Chudley 2002)
Traditional Masonry Cavity Wall
Thermal Resistance
External Res.
Ex. Block

60mm Insulation
Internal Block
Internal Res.

U-value =
Table Traditional Masonry U-Value Calculation
Timber Frame External Wall
Thermal Resistance
External Res.

Ex. Block

Internal Res.

Table Timber Frame U-Value Calculation
Timber Frame External Wall Cont.
Thermal Resistance
External Res.

Ex. Block

Timber Studs
Internal Res

Quality Assurance in Construction Projects

The main aim of this research is to let readers know how useful quality assurance is and its benefit to the community. To guide construction industries on how they can assure quality in their constructions and also how building industry to can achieve minimum loses and avoid risk on site. Furthermore, to also let contractors satisfy the need of their clients.
Quality assurance, implementation, improvement, effectiveness and comparison.
The main motive behind this research is to produce a reliable source to identify the need for Quality Assurance in Design (Construction).
Statistics has revered that lot of problems facing construction work is due to the fact that, Quality is not assured in construction. In my point of view, quality assurance can be done if we avoid all the following problems:
Poor coordination of subcontractor’s work, unable to supervise and verification on site, lack of communication among architects, engineer, subcontractors and material supplies, uncertain instructions and unqualified operators and also misinterpretation of drawings and specification.
As a matter of fact these problems can cause frequent delay in project, financial loss in companies and loss of confidence in contractors as result of inefficient quality assurance.
A project lacking all these effects could end up as indication in fig 1.1. See below how the demonstration of a good quality assurance project and non quality assured project could be.
As you can see from the diagram illustration, the red line explains the stability of a construction with good quality, however it also means that, the construction will not face any problems in some years to come. Whereas, the blue line indicate how a building can be of no quality and as a matter of fact, it is possible for the building to collapse in a short period of time.
I have therefore decided to research on the subject as I believe that construction industry could improve upon it performance if the above mentioned is avoided so that construction would be quality assured.
Besides, since construction work is team work and all members need to contribute to its effectiveness and quality of the construction, therefore this will allow the members of the project team to identify the main objectives of quality in a project.
In order to achieve this, it is better to establish a technique for modeling the relationships between the project environments, objectives, control systems and feedback in the construction process. In this case the purpose will make recommendations to clients of the construction industry and their advisers and about how to make sure projects are quality controlled and assured.
Quality Assurance is one of the major areas in construction in which much attention must be drawn into. As a result of this, it is my duty to figure out how quality can be assured in the construction industry. Generally speaking, there has been complains, delayance and financial losses in construction companies due to lack of quality in the construction industry.
Again, if a project lacks quality assurance, the consequences of a time overrun are always serious and hard to resolve. It also distracts a project from meeting deadlines and this brings financial losses to the users and, more often than not, it has a negative impact on the profitability of the project for the promoters.
Besides the above mentioned problems, lack of quality assurance in construction is causing litigation among architects, engineers, subcontractors and material supplies since each party is blaming each other for the problems at the building site.
As a matter of fact, the positive feeling and understanding of enjoying the beauty of a house is to give a full comfort and safety of the client but due to lack of quality assurance in construction, this comfort cannot be fulfilled. In addition to this, my argument will be basing on quality assurance in design and project scrutiny.
Before this research can be accomplished its main aims and objectives, the method to use will basically base on existing information’s, general observation and other internet sources which will be very useful to the topic.
However, this research will be limited within the information gathered on the internet, general observation and existing information from the researchers and will provide answers to the questions in the problem formulation.
Ø How can quality be assured in design
Ø Problems affecting construction industry as a result of lack of quality assurance.
The term quality means different things to different people. Some takes it to be the characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy a need. Whilst others take it as the degree to which a product exceeds a customer’s requirements and expectations. On the other hand, others think it is the attainment of prescribed standards. (
The international Organization for standardization (ISO DIS 9000:2000), formally defines quality as the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfils the requirement.
In the situation of quality assurance, quality is not a statement of excellence in a comparative sense. It is just a short cut for `desired quality` that should be laid down as clearly as possible. The producer, on the other hand, attempt to attain the desired quality at an optimum cost while the customer requires confidence in the producer`s ability to deliver and firmly maintain that quality.

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However, quality in construction is more difficult to explain. Firstly, the product is not a mechanical unit but a piece of work with specific characteristics. An example will be building construction, the product can be a whole building or just a prefabricated component that ultimately forms part of a building. Also the need to be satisfied includes not only the client but the expectations of the community as a whole, into which the completion of the building will be integrated. The construction cost and time of delivery are also important characteristics of quality. In other words, all these things must be properly introduced in designing the building and the outcome should be expressed absolutely in drawing and specifications.
Besides, in the building industries, it is a traditional practice to have different contracts for design to that of the construction with the designer taking up responsibility of supervising the construction. The quality of the finished works will be controlled by ways of inspecting and testing as construction process. For example, the quality of concrete and other materials on site is judged by samples of test and thorough inspection of the finished work is done without any exception before finial acceptance. The major aim of this “inspectional system” of quality control is to identify the mistakes after the product has been produce. Even high strength of concrete can be defective if it is not properly compacted, cured and the potential hazard of steel corrosion will not surface until some years later.
In view of this, many short comings are covered up with the existence of subsequent construction and consequently the quality of the finished works cannot be assessed by the final inspection. Unlike consumer goods, problems in building work are very difficult to replace. The client is often left with no choice than to patch up the original which is the source of recurrent troubles and huge expenditure in some years to come.
Sometimes, poor workmanship is disregard to keep up with expected productivity or just labour. However, to show commitment to quality, the senior management of the companies should therefore provide enough resources on site to avoid anybody cutting corners. Furthermore, an inclusive record of in process inspection is to ensure that the intended verification is actually done. The extra efforts are managerial in nature and complementary to the functional techniques of quality control in assuring the quality of the product.
Quality assurance is defined a set of procedures designed to ensure that quality standards and processes are adhered to, that the final product meets or exceeds the required technical and performance requirements. Whereas, (ISO 9001:2000) also defined Quality assurance as that part of quality management focused on providing confidence that quality requirement is fulfilled. In other words, all those planned and systematic actions necessary to provide adequate confidence that a product or service will satisfy given requirements for quality.
Despite all the wealth of site experience throughout the pass years, one out of ten building contracts still leads to client’s dissatisfaction and complains against contractors. Researches made by the (Building Researches Establishment) in the United Kingdom indicate that 40% of building defects occurs during the construction phase (BRE, 1982). In most cases, the defects are found to be the following:
Ø Inadequate supervision and verification on site.
Ø Misinterpretation of drawing and specification.
Ø Ambiguous instructions or unqualified operators.
Ø Use of superseded drawing and specification
Ø Poor coordination of subcontracted work
Ø Poor communication with the architects, engineer, subcontractors and material suppliers.
Perhaps, due to the above mention, it is obvious that the following defects rising in construction are mostly caused by poor management and communication. In this case, it is assumed that mistakes occurring on site are usually made on site. These mistakes somehow can be traced back to the purchase of incorrect materials and failure to recover the out-dated drawings. On the other hand, the end result of site problems can be of disregard or malpractices in the head office.
Obviously, quality can be achieved when such preventable mistakes are avoided in the first instance. Serious measures must be taken to minimize the risk of managerial and communication problems; this is basic concept of quality assurance. Besides, the conduct of an individual in an organization could directly or indirectly affect the quality of a finished product. Responsibility for quality can therefore stretches from the chief executive right down to the person on the job. If persistent quality is to be assured, all members in the organization, both in the head office and on site must; have proper organization structure, clear lines of responsibility and communication and also to have good motivation.
Before quality assurance can be practice, an organization has to be constituted and maintain a quality management system in its day to day operation. A quality system contains, among other things, a set documented procedure for the different processes carried out by the organization. Also implementing quality system does not replace the existing quality control function, nor does it conclude in more inspection and testing. It just ensures that, a proper type and amount of verification is performed when and where it is planned to be done. In short, quality assurance is oriented towards prevention of quality short coming. It also aims at minimizing the risk of making mistakes in the first place, therefore avoiding the necessity for rework, repair or reject.
From the indication of the diagram above, less time and money is used in the 1st and 2nd phase, whereas less time and money is used in the 3rd and 4th phase due to the fact that mush time and money was used in the earlier phase.
(ISO 9001:2000) Quality assurance ensures that a product has achieved it highest standard and that its production, modification or repair (in the case of a manufacture item) has been completed in an efficient and timely manner. The purpose of quality assurance is there to provide assurance to a client that the standard of workmanship within the contractor´s premises of the highest level of quality and that all the products leaving the industry is above a certain minimum level of specification.
It should also further ensure that the company personnel, sub-contractors and key suppliers are aware of customer requirements and that they are fully met. Conformance with requirements of the detailed procedures developed in accordance with the Quality Manual has to be mandatory for all staff employed in the company. It is essential to the system that encouragement is given to each employee to develop and maintain an attitude of continuing quality improvement and customer satisfaction. [11]
Also, to ensure that, the standard of productions are in order between the divisions or section and they have remain constant despite changes in personnel.
Construction industry has been struggling with it implementation of quality assurance for many years. The cost could potentially be reduced reasonably if the industry were to hold onto the concept of quality assurance with the use of great success by the means other companies. (Construction Quality Assurance White paper.) However, various case studies and initiatives have succeeded in introducing quality assurance to the construction industry on a small scale, but as a whole, it has mostly been ignored by the industries. The construction industry is unique and therefore the application of quality assurance requires to be implemented in the industry. Some of the major steps of this process are discussed below;
1. First of all, project managers in various companies have to form a team or groups who will be dedicated for quality assurance. This team will be responsible to value and report on the evaluation regarding every part of the company. The team will be working individually having authority and freedom of work, at each point of their operation. The team has to report to the senior management of the company and keep all results in files. [9]
2. Once the team is formed, the main responsibility of the team will be to define the tasks and assign them to respective persons. Some of these responsibilities are to review the products, tools, services as per the requirements, standards and guidelines, audit project processes, suggest various methods, standards or tools to be used in the project, report the outcome of the evaluation etc. [9]
3. The team then defines the plans for the quality assurance process. In this case, it depends upon the nature of company; the details of the plans in the company might change. However, it basic plan remains common for most of the companies. Mostly the list includes quality objectives, defining the tests and verificational activities, process evaluation, defining the individual responsibility of the team members, identifying training requirements, budgeting and funding for quality control jobs, scheduling all activities, documenting and tracking etc. [9]
4. Generating the test process, checklists and related activities to explain the way quality assurance will be performed is the next step. [9]
5. The team in simple sense has to perform according to the plans made to ensure the next steps of quality assurance process. These resources can be acquired to perform the procedures, when the team starts evaluating the project. Tools required for this evaluation are identified depending on the nature of the project. Any non conformance with the standards or requirement are notified and reported to the appropriate department. The problems are then corrected and again sent for testing to the quality control team. This way, testing and correcting goes on, till the project is proven to be in conformance with the standard. [9]
6. The next step is to identify the training requirement for the team members to perform the evaluation processes as specified in the quality control plan. [9]
7. The performance of the team should be monitored regularly by the project manager against the plans, schedule and budget. In case the progress of the team is not doing a good job, then corrective actions should be taken. [9]
8. The team activities and results are reviewed by the senior management of the company and their stakeholders on regular intervals. Any unsolved issue for the team procedure is taken care of by the senior management at this point of time. [9]
9. The team collects review information from various sources. Again, suggestions for improvement at any step of quality assurance process is accepted and implemented in the next session, if it satisfies the various limitations. Recommendations are accepted from any level of the company for future use. [9]
10. The team refines the total process to give it a defined structure with the team´s descriptions, templates and checklists. This structure can be reused as a model for future or might become an example to other companies or organizations. [9]
In the construction industry, quality assurance is adopted in nuclear and offshore works mainly for safety and reliability reasons. The process of construction involves different types of professional and tradesman with a wide range of skills and level of education. The environments where these processes are carried out are often revealing to aggressive element, in such condition it is arguable whether the procedures can be standardized at all. On the other hand some contractors think that trying to do so merely place another layer of administration in the industry.
Despite, the differences of the work handled by a construction company, the corporate procedures apply to all varying degrees. Some examples of such are tendering, procurement, document control and record keeping.
Mostly, the adoption of quality assurance in the construction industry has been mainly client-led. Noting that the implementation of contract in law cannot undo any damage already done, a progressive client, when awarding a contract, tends to take into account, the contractor´s capability to do it right at the first time down the hidden philosophy of quality assurance. Besides, there is a general movement towards making the enforcement of quality systems in a contractual requirement. Most of the government bodies that are responsible for public works and housing have begun to persist on an effective quality system as an obligatory for tendering; perhaps public utilities companies are doing the same thing.
In this cases, the basis of competition for industries will move from “price” to the combination of “price and quality”, meanwhile if the contractors do not want to keep out from bidding for available work, they should then wait no longer in establishing a quality system in their companies. Such contractors will be fighting a lose battle against their competitors who have already enhanced their product through better quality assurance or quality management.
More so, trying to satisfy a condition for tending or contracts may not be the best argument for practicing quality assurance, but it would have probably be the most compelling reason in the first place. However, the companies that benefit mostly from quality assurance are those who do so for the purpose of improving their own efficiency. These improvement leads to higher productivity on the on hand and client satisfaction on the other.
Let’s see some few constructions analyze with poor quality assurance.
1. Damage to the terrace roof surface.
2. Roof leakage through joints, bushings and so on, which lead to drenching of the thermal Insulation material and discolorations on internal surface layers.
3. Roof leakage at the eave with discolorations and flakiness on the façade surface layer underneath.
Sources: 5th semester project 2009
Moisture has caused many damages through the roof terrace covering because of different reasons. Some of which are discovered in the construction by some blemish on the façade and inside the building. The extent to which these damages can be determined is after the construction has been exposed. Besides, the deformation of this damage depends partly on changes in the supporting substrate and partly on movement of the building structure.
And the most common damage on roof construction is water leakage More often than not, the leakage can occur anywhere in the roof construction and also at other place then where the water from the outside normally penetrates. These leakages are caused by innumerable; another reason could be a damaged roof membrane. Above all, the roof membrane can be a reckless traffic, ice blasting and thermal movements in the roof coverings. Also there can be movement underneath the roof membrane duo to shrinkage in the thermal insulation boards. The water that comes through the openings in the roof membrane is partly absorbed by the thermal insulation boards and partly penetrates the roof covering.
On terrace roofs with external thermal insulation, the thermal insulation boards make up a substrate for the roof membrane. Terrace roofs with no thermal insulation or with internal thermal insulation occur more occasionally, but when it does the concrete surface becomes the substrate for the roof Membrane.
The roof membrane can consist of one or two layers. Roof membranes made of one layer are usually made of:
* Thermoplastic materials (mostly PVC)
* Rubber materials
* Polymer modified bitumen.
Quality Assurance has become basic part of most of the construction industries. Every construction industries nowadays face tough competition and hence it is essential for them to provide goods or services of high quality at low cost to their clients. Different systems are implemented in construction firms to improve upon the quality of the companies. Besides this does not only helps to satisfy the client requirements but also helps in reducing costs and increasing profits of the firms. Most of the construction industries understand the importance and necessity of maintaining good quality to survive in today market and that are laying even greater emphasis on their QA systems.
The first benefit is that, it helps in understanding the wants and expectations of the client. It thus aids the industries to focus on its processes to satisfy those needs and expectations, so as to keep it client happy and satisfied. For e.g. construction companies that offer good quality of buildings to their clients get lots of contracts from the community benefit from it. They can also over shadow their competitors and enjoy good sales and profits.
Secondly, quality assurance has increased the effectiveness of the construction industries. It requires that, the construction industries gives proper training to their employees so that they can understand their jobs better as well as get trained on the new technology to work and perform better. The entire construction industry works in a predefined fashion with the aid of these procedures. It helps the employees in knowing and understanding their roles and responsibilities. They also make the employees understand the different inter linkages within the departments. Thus, the employees understand the importance of teamwork in improving the quality of products and thus improve the brand value of the company.
Moreover, the quality assurance improves the flow of work within the companies. It helps to identify the problem areas within the companies very early. There are regular inspections and audits that pin point the problem areas of the companies. Not only the problems of the company, but also the low quality and other problems of the vendors are highlighted during these performance inspections. The aim of these systems is to continuously improve the entire quality of the companies, so as to attain high productivity while maintaining good quality.
Last but not the least, quality assurance help all the departments to work efficiently. There are fewer lags in the manufacturing of the products and as a result the construction companies benefits from a short cycle time. For e.g. if proper quality systems are implemented in a prefabricated company, it will benefit from fast and good production to its buyers. There are many big names in for instants the Danish companies that claim to serve their customers in a very short time. Such companies benefit tremendously from increased sales and clients satisfaction.
In short, quality assurance is essential for companies in order to get a strong foothold in the market. These systems help the companies to work effectively, which then reduces the operational costs of the construction companies. Also, it helps to infuse confidence in the employees though training and role clarity. All this helps the construction companies to serve their clients better every day.
Design in itself has four phases before a project can be completed. These phases include:
A project needs to go through all these phases before it becomes a complete one and legally accepted. Quality has to be ensured step by step as well.
In as much as, this project is a renovation project it still has the basis for drafting the client preliminary brief. (The Constricting Architect´s Manual) Preliminary brief is the sum total of the client´s visions and wishes / needs for a building.
In most cases the client’s idea should be put on paper which should comprise as follows: the client has to make the architect aware of the reason of the building; the function, location, rooms, space etc. Because the clients mostly have different backgrounds and experience with the construction projects, the brief should be presented in forms. Besides it is somehow necessary for the architect to assist or explain to the client some important information’s in the project.
Minutes of the conversation between the client and the consultants should be taking into consideration. These minutes can be used as basis for drafting the preliminary brief. The preliminary brief should be drafted in such a way that not only the consultants can use it but every one concern with the project, so as it can also be used as the basis for the project.
This is a phase where materials for construction have to be taken into consideration, analysis of where to place each room as long as design is concerned to fit regulations and demands.
In redesigning such a construction, the materials to be used must critically be taken into consideration. As to how and where to place for example the bathroom and the material to use in order to get a better construction and as a matter of fact it life span. As seen in the fig….the materials to use in the walls around the bathroom has be water proofed in order not to soaks with water. Sound and fire also has to be taken into consideration which also make construction meet the demands in law.
3.2.1 Budget
Ø To have a successful preconstruction phase, it is important to have an accurate first budget. The key to an accurate first budget is communication of expectations by all team members. This will lead the dialog among the team members, asking the right questions to clearly establish the scope of the project. This includes identifying phasing plans, finishes, systems, equipment and responsibilities of the owner, consultants, proprietary items and long lead items that might impact the project cost, schedule and quality.
Ø Preliminary detailed cost estimating and budget development must be performed at schematic design, design development and construction document phases. At each milestone design and budget must be evaluated against the master project budget for conformance with the established program price. Corrective action, if required, should be reviewed at each stage to keep the project on target.
Ø Contractors perform detailed independent checks of estimates with subcontractors pricing prior to competitive bidding to the subcontractor base. This is essential to ensuring accurate numbers in the variable mountain market.
Ø Value engineering must be done early in the process. When utilized at this stage, it is not cost cutting, but rather a process that balances the Owner’s goals of meeting quality, budget and schedule objectives.
Ø A Team if possible must be formed to provide quality assurance, constructability and multi-disciplined peer reviews to improve document quality and ultimately achieve lower base bids and reduce change order exposure.
Ø Proceeding to the issuance of bid documents, the bidding requirements must be established and clearly communicated to all bidders. A compiled ‘bid book’ must be made in addition to the plans and specifications that helps to clarify how they intend to build the project, as well as clarifying the role of each subcontractor. This eliminates doubling up on or missing a scope.
Ø Contractors uses an extensive select list of qualified subcontractors and suppliers who in a position to respond to the needs of the project.3.2.2 Schedule
Ø A project schedule should be developed and validated to maximize construction efficiencies and optimize owner’s program requirements.
Ø Schedules must be validated at each step in the design.
Ø Subcontractors must be asked for input in the schedules early on to ensure an accurate, achievable schedule.
3.2.3 Design Intent
Ø Evaluation reviews are performed in the design phase. Assemblies and systems are evaluated for ease of construction so they are not later discovered to be difficult or even impossible to build. The evaluation reviews can help avoid cost increases and schedule delays during construction. The Team’s experience in construction should allow productive reviews and analysis of the proposed design to identify these items.
Ø Submittal requirements and timing must also be identified in a submittal log so that the design intent can be properly validated.
Ø Contractors must compare the merits of various design ideas at the preconstruction stage, including a cost analysis, life cycle analysis, schedule impact analysis and an overall quality comparison. This will give the Owner the information needed to decide which design best meets the needs of the project.3.2.4 Workmanship
Ø Quality levels must be determined and incorporated in the Project Mission Statement.
Ø Drawings and specifications are reviewed with subcontractors and designers to identify potential conflicts, which may affect constructability and quality.
These stage shows where critical problems in the construction can be solved before it actually get to the detail design phase
Ø There must be a focus on constantly scrutinizing for value adding ideas to best meet the owner’s objectives.
Ø Contractors work to find creative solutions to problems during construction in an effort to minimize cost, schedule or quality impacts.
Ø Contractors provide a review of the proposed changes, with regards to cost, schedule, design, constructability and quality implications as part of the role in the change order management process during construction.
Ø The contractor meets all contractual schedules. This eliminates additional costs for owners due to schedule delays. 

Highland Tower Collapse and Ramp Construction

The purpose of this essay is to find out from a field, a building that experienced construction catastrophe, study its short comings and come up with solutions and recommendations of what could be done to ensure the same problem doesn’t happen in the future. The building upon which the research is based in this assignment is called the Highland tower, a building in Selangor Malaysia which collapsed and 48 people died and 12 others were evacuated from the other building. The Highland Towers collapse was an apartment building collapse that occurred on 11 December 1993 in Taman Hillview, Ulu Klang, Selangor, Malaysia. The collapse of Block One of the apartments caused the deaths of 48 people and led to the complete evacuation of the remaining two blocks due to safety concern. It was one of the most tragic building accidents in Malaysian history where residential towers collapsed and killed people. Since then, the government and its subsidiaries sat down in a committee to see a way forward for the construction industry especially construction in hilly areas to minimize casualties.
The event has been widely publicized, when an American tourist in particular because it is captured in the next ten days and taken to the Tower of photos a dramatic sequence, and crazy rescue operations.    
Building professionals with the case of several important influence in Malaysia, which will be the focus of this paper, but also lead to tort law in Malaysia interesting development and clarification.

Case study
Highland Towers consists of three 12-storey buildings in a steep hill, was later extensively on the terraces in the early 1980s in western base built in stages between 1974 to 1982. Each block is named:
Block1 (built in 1977, the most southern)
Block2 (built in 1979, north-west block 1, slightly elevated than the other two, the closer to the top of the hill)
Block3 (built in 1981, the Northwest block 1, block West 2).
Parking behind the mountain rain collapsed building in the swimming pool located on both sides and the rear between Northwest Northeast parking lot after the landslide caused by the failure of the retaining wall behind the building failed, for 10 days. The tower is home to the affluent middle-class families ; considerable proportion of residents are expatriates . Highland Tower was once notorious early 1980s and 1990s for wealthy people to hide their mistress popular place . The water tower is behind a small stream known as the ” East Creek .” Eastern Creek flows into the tower site tower ” before construction. Later, build a pipeline system to divert flow to bypass the tower in 1991, a new housing development project, called” Wu Antarabangsa Development Project “, located in the tower Peak behind the start . As a result, the mountain has been cleared of trees and other vegetation and land cover, soil erosion exposed land, which will lead to land slides from the construction site of the water diverted into the river to divert the flow of the same East piping systems. eventually, the pipeline system to become over- pressurized water, sand and silt from the Eastern Creek and the construction site. pipe burst at different locations in the mountains, the soil had to absorb excess moisture . December 1993 monsoon rains further worsening the situation .

(Block One of the Highland Towers collapsed)
Role and responsibilities
The Architect
(I) there is no defense of this contact is a limited one, at least you must ensure that other aspects of the work of others is competent to complete. Defensive architect, he only retained the design and supervision of three apartment buildings, and denied that his range extends to the drainage, earthworks and retaining walls. It was dismissed by that court. The court held that the architect must take into account the building on which is built in the vicinity of the land, and the land itself, the safety assessment of the building, it must be evaluated. [In addition, the court held that as a matter of fact, the architect concerned about the neighborhood and the building itself, when he submitted the layout plan, the authorities because it includes high tower behind the slope terraces and drainage. Therefore, he must ensure that the work carried out although others in a competent and workmanlike manner]
(Ii) there is no difference between the standard care of unqualified doctors
Although the architect in reality just a building draftsman, measure their behavior on the court has the ability to architect a standard that if a person is unqualified, but showed himself to have a skill, he will be judged by the standard a competent and qualified staff.
(C) there is no excuse to say that compulsory employer does not comply with regulations
Finally, the Court seems to have flatly rejected the architect’s excuse that he can not do anything to stop his boss (employers and engineers in obtaining certificates of fitness in three apartment buildings do not fulfill the conditions stipulated by the local authorities in collusion background, instead of terraces and retaining walls to ensure proper design, provide and sufficient to withstand, even though he knew it would affect the building, he was in charge) slope instability – the Court has made clear that, when the law is broken, the architect must report to the authorities – after the architect must ensure that the law, even in the risk of being discharged.
Defense engineer, he only retained the design and supervision of three apartment buildings, Highland Towers compound structures within two retaining walls, and submit plans, drainage, and two and denied his range extends to the drainage, earthworks. It was dismissed by that court. The court found that engineers must take into account the building on which is built in the vicinity of the land, and the land itself, the time to assess the safety of buildings, must be evaluated. He should ensure the stability of the slope behind Highland Towers.

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His duties not by a mere belief that they are built on terraced slopes and retaining walls were discharged by an engineer or other consultant. He should ask the professional is qualified, whether he was doing what impact the safety of cascading tower. [Neglect other aspects of engineers – a serious violation of the authorities to take care of his responsibilities to a notification issued by the buyer, and only 10 percent is based on the approved drainage construction]
In summary locations near building professionals need to be considered, as well as the safety assessment of the site itself, especially taking into account the adjacent hillside. Building professionals to participate in a limited range can not hide behind, these are the things that they themselves and their employers, but they may be subject to the duties owed to the scope of their service is not limited to this. Building professionals required to ensure that others do the work to engage them in the design may affect / supervisory structure is competent, workmanlike manner to carry out the work. If you think the general building professionals have expertise in a specific area of ​​eligibility when they are unqualified, their behavior will be a measure of this expertise qualified doctor. After building professionals must ensure that law and, if necessary to report to the authorities if their clients break the law, even in danger by their client to be discharged.
Case application on law of tort
The Highland Towers decision becomes another Malaysian High Court decision which diverges from the approach of the English Courts and adopts the approach taken by other Commonwealth jurisdictions in allowing the recovery of “pure economic loss”, especially where sufficient proximity can be demonstrated between the negligent act and the loss. Pure economic loss is the loss related to the product itself which is defective by reason of negligence, as opposed to the loss or damage caused to the property of the Plaintiff by this defective product.
In this cause of action, a Defendant is liable if the Plaintiff can show the Defendant is responsible for a condition or activity which interferes with use or enjoyment of his land, and that condition or activity is not a reasonable user by the Defendant. The Highland Towers decision, requiring the plaintiff must establish an additional requirement that is the type of damage whether the defendant could reasonably foreseeable, the principles adopted from English case law on the extension of the disturbance is limited in Malaysia, Cambridge Water Company leather Co. Ltd. v. Eastern European countries.
Cause of structural failure
The water tower is behind a small stream known as the ” East Creek .” Eastern Creek flows into the tower site tower ” before construction, so the establishment of the pipeline system is to divert the flow to bypass the tower.
In 1991, a new housing development project, called ‘Bukit Antarabangsa Development Project’, located in the tower under construction behind the top of the hill . The mountain is cleared of trees and other vegetation and land cover, land exposed soil erosion is a major factor causing landslides.
Construction site of the new water diverted into the existing pipeline systems used to transfer the East river flows. This heavy-duty piping and water, sand and silt from the river and east into the pipeline construction site . Pipes burst, several places in the mountains, and the surrounding soil to absorb excess moisture . December 1993 monsoon rains further deterioration of the situation .
The water content in the soil becomes super saturated, so that the soil has become viscous, actually become the degree of clay. October 1992 by the hillside is saturated with water, the water is flowing down the slopes and considered retaining walls .
Shortly thereafter, landslides, destroying the construction of a retaining wall. Landslide mud that contains an estimated one hundred thousand square meters – a mass equivalent to 200 Boeing 747 aircraft. Rammed earth base to first, gradually pushing it forward. After a month of this constant pressure, foundations snapped and November 1993, the residents began to see cracks forming and expanding the highlands surrounding the tower, on the road warning of collapse. Unfortunately, no further investigation before a collapse December 11, 1993.

Safety authorities and Investigation procedures.
These were the findings of the investigation that came from the accident. Also indicating who was to blame for the occurrence of the accident. Within the first 24 hours, only two women and an infant were pulled out of the rubble. Indonesian maid Umi Rashidah Khoruman, 22, and her 18-month old daughter Nur Hamidah Najib, survived the ordeal, but the second woman, Japanese national Shizue Nakajima, 50, succumbed to her injuries. Final report from the investigations showed that It was the fault of the property owners not to drain the land that caused the silt to build and thus the massive land slide that led to the collapse of the structure that claimed 48 lives.
The following are the court ‘s findings of liability :
The first defendant was negligent in assuming responsibility not to engage a qualified architect, building terraces insufficient, inadequate, could reasonably be expected to have caused the collapse of the retaining walls and drains eastward diversion from its natural course and failed to ensure that the slope is adequate water pipe culverts, and hate not maintained drains and retaining walls .
The second defendant ( the architect ) is assumed liability for negligence does not ensure adequate drainage and retaining walls built in the adjacent highlands tower site, which he foresaw or should have foreseen that the building would endanger the hillside, he is responsible for, not specified with the authorities on drainage, and the first defendant and the third defendant ( engineers ) collude to get fitness certificate does not fulfill the conditions by the fourth defendant ( local authorities ) are required, in doing so does not comply with his duties, the architect and no investigation retaining walls, even though he knew they would affect the terraced hillsides and construction of buildings, he was responsible for, and hate, because he is an unreasonable land users .
The third defendant ( engineer ) is behind the negligence of responsibility without considering the hillside or slope of the tower, there is no basis for the design and construction to accommodate lateral load or alternatively landslide has ensured that the adjacent slope stability, without implementation of the approved drainage plan, and the first and second defendants colluded to get fitness certificate does not fulfill the conditions stipulated by the fourth defendant and a nuisance, because he is irrational use of land.
The fourth defendant ( local authorities ) Although the negligence of its construction-related jobs. That is about the building plan approval process to ensure the implementation of the approved construction of drainage systems, and in the Certificate of Fitness problem remains because S95 Street, Drainage and Building Act (2 ) immunity.
The fourth defendant, but a maintenance function Eastern stream late in fulfilling its construction can not be spared for its negligence . It also attracted a nuisance liability .
The fifth defendant ( Arab – Malaysian financial BHD) is liable for the negligence of failure to maintain drains their land, and in the land after the collapse of the measures taken to restore stability .
Seventh defendant (Metrolux property ) and its project manager, the eighth defendant, who is the responsibility of negligence and nuisance, to prevent water from flowing into the downhill ( into their website ), but to guide the stream of water into the East, when they knew or ought to have known, this will increase the amount of water injected into the mud and, in particular, have their own extensive land clearing, go east into the stream, it will be deposited, which will in turn ( to prove ) cause or contribute to drainage fault system and a collapse.
The ninth and tenth defendant ( basically the state government ), found no liability due to a technical problem on the prosecution of a particular political party.
The sixth defendant ( who carried out the work site clean- Arab – abortion buyer of land in Malaysia ) found no evidence of responsibility .
About remedies the first this is find a qualified contractors and qualified Designer and construction engineer. In this case causes of building collapse the main reason is to find designer contractor caused by the irrational. So we summary have five points:
(i) Nearby locations building professionals need to be considered, as well as the safety assessment of the site itself, especially taking into account the adjacent hillside.
(Ii) building professionals to participate in a limited range can not hide behind, these are things that they themselves and their employers, but they may be subject to the duties owed to the scope of their service is not limited to this.
(Iii) building professionals required to ensure that others do the work may be engaged to supervise their influence in the design / construction is competent, will carry out their work, a workmanlike manner.
(Iv) if the building professionals think they have expertise in specific areas when they are unqualified, their behavior will be a measure of this general qualifications expertise qualified doctor.
(V) construction professionals must ensure that the law after a report to the authorities if necessary, if their clients break the law, even in danger by their client to be discharged.
The second thing to do is to ensure that the experience and expertise to this project.
Next to it is to ensure that all materials and components to be installed and used in order to test its functionality and satisfactory compliance with the required standards. For example; specific laboratory tests should be taken before using compressive strength, stability and durability.
Finally, before any part of the project is complete, responsible for the approval before its next regulatory bodies should be. The project is a model for all the items necessary tests, carried out before the actual implementation. Engineers can also use the cause of the weather and other aspects of the model.
The third thing is because this situation has occurred for many years, although the court has not yet made the decision, but still want to remind contractors, who together oversee project quality, and how to resolve some of the risk around. Do not let the tragedy happen again.
Percentage Frequency of Causes of Building Collapse(Malaysia 1960-2010)


Investigated causes of building collapse


Percentage (%)


Structural failure




Faulty design




Poor workmanship




Substandard materials




Due to surrounding building development




illegal conversion




Inexperience contractor




Building usage







So in this table we can see Causes of Building Collapse most reason is Inexperience contractor. Now we need clean know find an experienced contractor is very important,
faulty design and due to surrounding building development also account for a large proportion.
From the above analysis and discussion presented, you can infer that the main reason for the building’s structural failures, design errors and poor workmanship, which may also be applicable to other countries in the world .
Also from the results of this study,it is believed that there are three types of claims, can produce any buildings collapsed, that contract claims, tort claims and incidents of both contract and tort claims ; This means that a party can be made in this both his / her request. Therefore, the following recommendations for who had suffered losses in the square building collapse
Events so that their requirements:
(i) The Government shall endeavor to assist in the investigation of any incidence of building collapse, to allow victims to know the responsible party, and from whom to make a claim .
(ii) The Government should assist owners or who have suffered the loss of a building collapse in the event a third party to prosecute their cases in court as they do their other requirements, if they can not, because
The expensive nature of the proceedings.
(iii) The Government should enact laws that will improve the effectiveness and standards for the construction of buildings.
(iv) In addition, the government should monitor, manage and enforce the law, its effectiveness.
(v) Every building owner should ensure that qualified professionals and experienced contractors are engaged in carrying out their construction process .
(vi) Every professional body should monitor their members and also be ready to penalize any erring member who ISS found liable in building collapse incident.
Ramp construction led to landslides – like we definitely hear a lot of news, and landslides claimed more and more of life events, why is everywhere and felling of trees for the construction of the activities. Otherwise, this tragedy 21 years ago can be avoided! I hope the Government will seriously look at this issue!

Construction Methods in Colonial Adelaide

Examine three early construction types/methods in Colonial Adelaide. Locate local examples, describe and document each construction method, materials used and where these were sourced. What networks of technological dependency and/or economic exchange between this new world and the old did these methods sustain?  

When South Australia was first settled in 1837 [, 2018], the settlers relied on locally gathered materials to construct shelter. Up until 1850, Adelaide was seen as a town made up of 99% earth and stone cottages with thatched rooves. Some migrants were lucky enough to arrive with prefabricated timber houses manufactured by Mannings of London which came flat packed in a kit form. [Liveability, 2018] Stone was a predominant material used in the early colonisation of Adelaide and in the census conducted in 1911, it was found that over 62% of the homes at the time were constructed of stone compared to just 8% constructed of stone in the whole of Australia. [Bond and Ramsay, 1978] Only 9% were constructed from timber, compared to 55% nationally. This meant that 71% of Australia’s stone homes were located here, in Adelaide. [Bond and Ramsay, 1978]

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Construction in early Adelaide was quite different to what it has now come to be today. The early methods used varied. There were substantially different materials used by the rich and poor and all in all they shaped our city to be what it has today become. One of the main materials used to construct the outside façade of homes was limestone, commonly used in early public buildings which still stand today. [Early Bricks and Brickwork in South Australia, 1998] Timber shingle rooves were used by the poor while the rich were able to source other materials from overseas. Rooves in early Adelaide were quite different to what they have become today thanks to technology. People used various materials to form roofs depending on their economic status. [Early Roofing and Roof Materials in South Australia, 1999] Prefabricated homes and buildings were an alternative to the traditional construction of a timber frame with stone for the very first early settlers in South Australia. Prefabrication was one of the first methods of constructing a home and dates back hundreds of years. The homes were shipped over with the first settlers as they were easily and quickly constructed and did not require a huge number of resources. [, 2018]

Masonry work was one of the key methods in the construction of early Adelaidean buildings. Adelaide sits on a bed of nodular limestone which is located less than two feet below our surface. Making limestone one of the first materials used for construction as it was easy to obtain. [Early Bricks and Brickwork in South Australia, 1998] There are several buildings in Adelaide which are still standing today that are a clear example of this, The Adelaide Gaol, Government House, the Mounted Police Barracks and old Parliament house. [The City of Adelaide, A Thematic History, 2006] The stone for these buildings was sourced from several quarries located along the River Torrens, for example, the limestone used for Government house was quarried on the site now recognised as the Parade Grounds. Private dwellings constructed of limestone were often built with basements which created an escape for the hot summers heat. A great example of this is Nurney house, which is located between Kingston Terrace and Stanley Street dates back to 1846. The limestone was quarried on the Park Lands after 1855 by the Adelaide City Council. This continued throughout the nineteenth century. [Early Bricks and Brickwork in South Australia, 1998]

While limestone was popular for government buildings and the wealthier citizens bricks were also in high demand around this time. There has been a demand for bricks since the very earliest arrival of Europeans when the settled in South Australia. They were carried ashore from ships within the first days of arrival in 1836 and manufactured along the banks of the River Torrens a few months later. [Early Bricks and Brickwork in South Australia, 1998] Economically the cost of a brick was broken down into three parts, manufacturing, transport and bricklaying. Expert bricklayers were able to lay anywhere between two hundred to four hundred bricks on a good day, making the cost of bricklaying quite expensive as it was considered to involve a lot of skilled manual labour. A brick home around this time therefore, cost a lot more than a rubble or stone home. [Early Bricks and Brickwork in South Australia, 1998]

The actual process of making the bricks in Adelaide was also a timely and expensive process. It was actually cheaper to have them shipped in from Europe as the cost of sea freight was very low around this time. Bricks tended to be used in places with surrounding brickworks or nearby transport depots. Aesthetic considerations were however another one of the main contributors to bricks being used within South Australia at this time. Early one the people were not drawn to the patterned look that bricks created, making them less popular than the alternative stones available. [Prest, Round and Fort, 2001)] It was more dignified to build a home in stone than it was to erect a building in brick. Home owners who were constructing their house from brick often would use bluestone to create the front façade of the home as it put the icing on the cake. “It was like icing a cake; you built a brick cake and put bluestone icing on it” Architect Dean Berry [Bond and Ramsay, 1978]

In May of 1838, the brickworks located along the River Torrens were given notice from the South Australian government to quit and forced to close their doors. A few of these were able to move into their offices or warehouses where they were storing equipment, some moved further out into suburbs such as Norwood, Kensington and North Adelaide. [Early Bricks and Brickwork in South Australia, 1998] A clear example of this is one of the brickmakers who moved into Lower North Adelaide as the clay beds at the time made up Melbourne street and Jerningham street and using bricks from his backyard was able to construct several dwellings in the area such as Buffalo Cottage in Finniss street and several other cottages along Margaret, Stanley and Sussex streets. [Bond and Ramsay, 1978]

The roofing style and design is a clear reflection of culture, time and place. When South Australian was very first settled, people had to make do with what was readily available, which was not much. Materials were extremely limited and while the wealthy had clear access to many more materials the poor made do with whatever was cheap. [Early Roofing and Roof Materials in South Australia, 1999] The wealthy imported materials such as Slate, Zine tiles and lead which was all sourced from England.

The poor used Timber Shingling, Thatch and sometimes even Bark. The timber shingle rooves were cut from local timber and are still very evident on older cottages throughout the suburbs of Adelaide. While interstate, timber was used extensively within the entire construction of a home, timber was considered scarce in South Australia, with only 9% of homes being made from wood, with 55% used nationally. While timber was extensively used interstate, local timber was scarce in South Australia. There were “standard” sizes available at the time in South Australia, 460mm by 200mm and 750mm by 170mm. These were cut from common local trees. The shingle rooves lasted anywhere between twenty to thirty years, however galvanised corrugated iron was placed over the top of the original shingle rooves in many cases as it was a clear later improvement. In South Australia, the roofing style was often a simpled hipped roof (shown in image one) or a gable style roof without cutters (shown in image two). Shingling lasted into around the 1890s in rural areas but ceased in 1858 in suburban Adelaide when the City of Adelaide put a ban on the use of flammable roofing materials.

South Australia first imported rolled galvanised iron from Britain in about the 1850s. It became quickly popular because of its low cost, versatility, large size and the fact that they were relatively fast and easy to construct. People often laid the iron over pre-existing single rooves. Much like shingle rooves, there was a standard length of a galvanised iron roof, and it was extremely durable to all conditions, contributing to its popularity. It’s infact extremely common to notice houses within the Norwood area that have original shingle rooves underneath corrugated iron rooves, (those that have not been newly renovated or knocked down). Around a similar time, there was an extremely limited range of ancillary products which were also constructed from sheet galvanised iron. This included flashings, gutters, downpipes and ridge and hip cappings.

Half round gutters were used as they were available in various sizes and iron could be easily curved. This later then lead to the beginning of curved verandah rooves. Decorations made from cast iron were occasionally used on the exterior of verandahs depending on the wealth of the owners at the time. The great thing about galvanised steel was that if taken care of, it was able to last for some decades with its main problem being rust. Up until the late 60s steel came in standard and short lengths which required overlapping of sheets on roof tops which was one of the main contributions to the rust. Today, we are lucky to have the resources to create longer sheets at all kinds of dimensions which eliminates that issue.

Slate was also a commonly used roofing material in South Australia after it was discovered in 1840. This resulted in slate rooves being affordable, and they became quickly popular shortly after this. It was known to be a common roofing material used in Britain and throughout Europe, which meant there were a supply of tradespeople who were able to lay slate rooves. While it was considered to be slightly more expensive than a timber shingle roof, slate became quickly popular as it could be laied in various patterns and colours. People were impressed with the asthetic of the tiles which resulted in cost not being such a big contributing factor in some cases. There were the usual traditional sizes such as the Duchess, Countess, Ladies and Viscountess and the most common size in South Australia was 550x300mm. Commonly, parapets and were flashed into brick joints. Most of the buildings, such as Bonython Hall and St. Peter’s Cathedral featured the mid grey colour slate that was found in South Australia from Willunga. Some was also imported from quarries in Wales and England and imitation slate was introduced from overseas in the 1920s. Today, real slate is very rarely used as it is considered much more expensive in comparison to its alternatives.

Prefabricated homes date back to circa 43AD when the romans were using prefabricated building elements to construct forts in Britain. The peak of imported prefabricated buildings into Australia was 1835 when several hundred arrived from Liverpool, Boston and Singapore. By 1624 this style of construction had spread around the world, from new settlements to British colonies. An excellent early example of a prefabricated home is located here, in Adelaide. Known as the Friends Meeting House, it was constructed in 1839 and still stands today. Shipped in from England, the Prefabricated timber building included sixty-nine different packages. Complete with wooden sections and iron pillars. It arrived in early February 1840 and was the first of its kind. It is seen to be one of the most sophisticated prefabricated buildings of its time, as it was so far ahead of the then modern technology, hence its international importance.

Another example of a prefabricated home in early South Australia can be found in the Barossa. Also originally manufactured in London by master carpenter Henry Manning. The single roomed buildings manufactured by Manning are today recognised as the beginning of pre-fabrication and set the standard for the industry. This particular home stands on Gerlad Roberts Road at Seppeltsfield and is the only one of its kind located in the outer region of Adelaide. The main structure of the home consists of four walls and four triangular roof trusses, very common with prefabricated homes manufactured by manning as this was generally all that technology at the time would allow for him to create. Prefabricated homes and renovations are considered to be that way of the future and using the advanced technology that was have access to prefabricated homes can be built with minimal waste and minimal cost.

Today, construction methods and materials might seem extremely varied in comparison to these methods discussed, but the fact is there is not that much variation when it comes down to the construction of homes. While technology enables us to create homes faster, more cost efficiently and out of a wider range of materials, the general aspects of homes can remain the same. While some homes are now generally constructed from steel over timber and roofing is more commonly a modernised colour bond steel, both of these tie back into the original way homes were constructed when settlers first moved into South Australia.


Adelaide City Explorer. (2018). Walkley Cottage | Adelaide City Explorer. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Nov. 2018]. (2018). Quaker (Society of Friends) Meeting House | Adelaide City Heritage. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Nov. 2018].

Australian Design Review. (2013). The end of prefabrication – Australian Design Review. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Nov. 2018].

Bond, C. and Ramsay, H. (1978). Preserving historic Adelaide. Adelaide: Rigby.

Early Bricks and Brickwork in South Australia. (1998). 1st ed. [ebook] Adelaide: Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Available at: http://file:///Users/ellenbird/Downloads/heritage-3_3_EARLY_BRICKS%20(1).pdf [Accessed 11 Nov. 2018].

Early Roofing and Roof Materials in South Australia. (1999). 1st ed. [ebook] Adelaide: Heritage South Australia Department for Environment Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs. Available at: http://file:///Users/ellenbird/Downloads/3.10_Early_Roofing_and_Roof_Materials_in_South_Australia%20(1).pdf [Accessed 11 Nov. 2018].

Liveability. (2018). Prefab Homes in Action – Liveability. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Nov. 2018].

Prest, W., Round, K. and Fort, C. (2001). The Wakefield companion to South Australian history. 1st ed. Adelaide: Wakefield press.

Tauriello, G. (2012). City to reveal inner secrets. The Advertiser, p.1.

The City of Adelaide, A Thematic History. (2006). 1st ed. [ebook] Adelaide: Conservation and Heritage Consulants. Available at: [Accessed 11 Nov. 2018].

Preserving Historic Adelaide – Edited By Colin Bond and Hamish Ramsay

Accessed at the State Library of South Australia

• Page 37

• The cottages were simply planned, functionally finished and solidly built. The typical home was a single-storeyed cream stone rectangular box with brick dressings to the openings and corners, a symmetrical arrangement of doors, windows and chimneys, and with a wide neat cast-iron verandah stretched across the long street face.

Page 39

• Weather and white ants rapidly eroded these pioneer buildings (Manning Houses), and as the artisans arrived, more permanent buildings were erected.

• The artisans were almost entirely Englishmen, and the houses they built were copies of the house they knew, and had built in England, with certain compromises and changes due to the materials available, local conditions and, one assumes onsite compromise between artisans from different reginal traditions.

• The material that came to hand for building was stone. Adelaide has had a variety and abundance of stone readily available for building from the early days to the present, but it has never had native timber suitable for building, nor was there cheap fuel in the last century for large scale brickmaking.

• Quite often the Stone would be literally and immediately to hand as it was removed from the cellar and footing excavations.

• The limestone rubble walls were built from this excavated material, with roundish rocks set in a mortar which was usually not much better than mud.

Page 41

• Bricks became available due to Brickworks being established in 1837, however to build an entire house from bricks was unusual, and the bricks were normally used to form the corners of the building, and to form the edges of doors and window openings.

• Other kinds of stone surpassed limestone rubble including bluestone

Building Techniques in South Australia

D.W. Berry and S. H. Gilbert

Accessed at the University of Adelaide Library

Page 52

• In 1840 slate suitable for roofing and paving was discovered in the foothills near Willunga; the Delabole quarry being best known.

• Slates for roofing were used extensively throughout South Australia and were used extensively throughout South Australia and were exported to NSW and Vic

Page 78

• The Archives Department of the State Library of South Australia possesses a series of letter written in 1838-43 by Henry Watson to relatives and friends in England. These reveal that the timber house, though well-constructed, was unsuitable of heat and cold in Adelaide.

• Extended the accommodation over  the original verandah and enveloped the whole in an envelope of brick

• Meeting house of the Society of friends

Page 79

• Its ornamental brick parapet demonstrates the determination of the pioneers to recreate, as quickly as possible, some of the atmosphere of the homeland in which they had been nurtured.

Building South Australia CELEBRATING 125 YEARS

By Rosemary Cadden

Accessed through the University of Adelaide Library

Page 19

• The Master Builders Association of SA was established in 1884 at the peak of a spectacular building boom in Adelaide. In nearly 50 years the population had grown from a mere 300 residents to more than 300,000

Page 36

• At the 1911 census, more than 62% of SA homes were of stone including Auburn bluestone, Tantanoola dolomite, sawn Mount Gambier limestone and most notably Adelaide bluestone, compared with 8% nationally.

• While timber was extensively used interstate, local timber was scarce in South Australia. Only 9% of homes were made of wood, compared to 55% nationally.

• Lime was used for mortar, slate for the floors and limestone for the footings

Market Structure of the Construction Industry



Construction Market Structure Overview

1. Perfect competition

2. Monopolistic competition

3. Oligopoly

4. Monopoly

Competitive Strategy

Porter’s three generic competitive strategies

Cost leadership

Differentiation strategy

Focus Strategy

Corporate & Innovative Strategies

Porters Five Forces Theory of Industry Structure



According to a recent analysis of the construction market published by AMA Research (2017), the UK has experienced good demand since 2013, with construction output increasing by 11% between 2014 and 2016.

Not only is construction one of the largest sectors of the UK economy, construction also has a much wider significance to the economy, creating and maintaining the economic infrastructure, the homes, schools and hospitals which serve the society (Department for Business Innovation & Skills, 2013).

A modern, competitive and efficient construction industry is essential to the UK’s economic prosperity. The extent of control over prices is determined by a number of factors which will be researched in further detail below. The main factor is the amount of competition in a market, which is, in turn, determined by the number of firms and type of construction project.

This research paper aims to discuss the market structure of the construction industry and assess the impact on competition, prices, and costs, while examining the competitive strategies available to large contractors in the UK.

Different industries have different market structures. The market structure reflects the state of competition in a market: how firms of different sizes are distributed and how firms are diversified into different submarkets in which the firms compete with each other.

Before a firm can compete in a market, it has to be able to enter it. Many markets have at least some impediments that make it more difficult for a firm to enter a market (Caves et al., 1977). An entry barrier has the effect of reducing or limiting competition.

There are currently few significant barriers to entry to the building industry for small firms, and such barriers will continue to be low while the industry maintains current practices based on a large number of small, specialised subcontractors.

Because there are only a limited number of contractors capable of managing large projects, the barriers to entry at this level tend to be significant and contractors are chosen based on track record, financial capacity and technical capability. This is due to the risks associated with running a complex project (De Valence, 2017)

Economists identify four market types, each one has a set of distinctive characteristics:

1. Perfect competition

Where there is perfect competition, there are a large number of firms and the output of any firm is small relative to market output. The market product is homogenous. Under perfect competition, there are many buyers and sellers, and prices reflect supply and demand.

The main characteristic is that neither the buyer or supplier can influence the price of the product, and there is a high rate of market transparency.

2. Monopolistic competition

Monopolistic competition incorporates features of both perfect competition and monopoly.

In a monopolistic competition, there are a large number of firms but their products are different. For example, according to de Valence (2017) there are subcontractors that have developed the characteristics of monopolistic competition for services such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). Medium size builders that operate in niche sectors of the construction industry and/or have developed relationships with repeat clients are also in this category.

3. Oligopoly

According to de Valence (2017) oligopolistic competition focuses on competition through product differentiation, or in the case of construction through the specialisation of particular types of projects such as high end residential, or infrastructure such as bridges, roads, etc., forms of procurement (e.g. design and build, traditional etc.), finance, or relationships with clients.

4. Monopoly

A monopoly is the opposite of perfect competition.

The degree of monopoly power exercised by the largest firms in an industry is expressed in the concentration ratio, which typically uses the largest four firms in an industry, ranked by market share or sales as a percentage of total industry sales.

The table below portrays the relationship between the construction industry and the three most relevant models of market structure, with the characteristics of each type.

Strategy is a contested concept (Green et al., 2007). The generic literature on strategy is characterised by a diverse range of competing theories and alternative perspectives.

Traditional models of the competitive strategy of construction firms have tended to focus on external factors. Despite this, Green et al. (2007) emphasises the importance of internal factors like innovative capabilities of company or strategic management issues, etc.

According to Hampson et al (1997) for a contracting firm to stand out amongst its competitors, it can adopt one or more forms of competitive advantage—strategic management in construction, bidding strategy (choice of procurement method), technological and organisational innovation, technology strategy, strategic planning and strategic alliances (e.g. mergers & aquisitions).

Growth strategies deal with the expansion and growth of existing assets and improving productivity while developing the position of the company in the market.

Porter’s three generic competitive strategies

Porter’s three generic competitive strategies have been broadly used in the management field. Porter (1980) suggests that “…there are three potentially successful generic strategic approaches to outperforming other firms in an industry: overall cost leadership, differentiation and focus”.

Cost leadership

The cost leadership strategy was popular in the 1970’s and is based on a firm’s objective to become the lowest cost producer in its industry. Thompson and Stricklend (1995) describe how companies obtain cost leadership in two ways: (1) activities creating value and improving internal rate of return, (2) elimination of some insignificant cost parameters, for example this would include taking advantage of unskilled labour surpluses.

Cost leadership enables a firm to achieve an above- average performance in its industry.

Differentiation strategy

The differentiation strategy creates a product or service which is unique in an industry. Since the product or service is unique, the price elasticity of demand will be reduced.

“Differentiation can be based on the product itself, the delivery system by which it is sold, the marketing approach, and a broad range of other factors… a differentiator, therefore, must always seek ways of differentiating that lead to a price premium greater than the cost of differentiating… the logic of the differentiation strategy requires that a firm choose attributes in which to differentiate itself that are different from its rivals” (Porter, 1979).

Companies typically achieve differentiation with innovation, quality, or customer service.

Focus Strategy

When a company selects target markets for competition, this is known as the focus strategy according to Porter (1979). This strategy enables a company to better meet the needs of a specific market rather than compete more broadly. It is important to select the appropriate target market to implement this strategy. Often, it’s a tiny niche that larger companies may not necessarily serve. Ercan (2013) refers to Porter’s (1979) description of the focus strategy as segment structural attractiveness. Most industries have a variety of segments and some segments in an industry are much less profitable than others.

Corporate & Innovative Strategies

Construction companies are having to use corporate strategies which includes long-range plans, methods and approaches adopted to reach the company’s goals and to gain competitive advantage.

Innovation strategies can be described as R&D investments, organisational learning and use of new technologies in operations and organisational processes.

Bossink has emphasised that concept of innovation has a great impact on competitive strategies and furthermore it has been demonstrated in studies that while innovation is increasingly becoming important for the long-term success of the company, construction companies are all too often not putting such strategies in to practice (Ercan, 2013)

Valence (2010) claims that there is pressure within the construction industry to become more innovative, speed up construction, and deliver better value for money for clients, however there are certain characteristics of the industry that appear to slow progress and make innovation difficult.

Seadan et al. (2003) examine the relationship between strategies and innovative practices and noted that recent years innovation strategies became more important for gaining competitive advantage.

According to Porter et al (1985) the information revolution is affecting competition by changing industry structure which therefore changes the rules of competition. Innovation strategies create competitive advantage by giving companies new ways to outperform competitors.

Porters Five Forces Theory of Industry Structure

Essentially, Porter’s Five Forces of Competitive Position Analysis (1979) is a method to evaluate the competitive strength and position of a business organisation.

This can be of use both in understanding the strength of an organisation’s current competitive position, and the strength of a position that an organisation may be interested in moving to.

Strategic analysts often use Porter’s five forces to understand whether new products or services are potentially profitable. The theory can also be used to identify areas of strength, to improve weaknesses and to avoid mistakes.

The five forces are: Supplier power; Buyer power; Competitive rivalry; Threat of substitution; Threat of new entry.

To summarise, the market structure of the construction is determined by:

The number of firms in the market.

The nature of the product.

The extent of information available to market participants.

The freedom of entry and exit, existence of barriers to entry.

Some parts of the industry fit the perfect competition model, such as small and medium size contractors. However, it must be noted that the construction industry is also highly concentrated with a small number of large contractors.  At this level the industry is oligopolistic, with high barriers to entry due to the heightened levels of risk/importance associated with the project and the prequalification checks used by clients to select contractors for major projects.

Between these two market structures there are some firms in the industry that are in monopolistic competition. This includes contractors that have specialised and differentiated their product from others, or have contractors who have developed ongoing relationships with clients and are not considered to be in the price-driven competition end of the business (Valence, 2017).

The competitive strategy adopted by large UK construction companies tends to differ from company to company but according to Porter (1980) a “company must create clear goals, strategies, and operations to build sustainable competitive advantage and the corporate culture and values of the employees must be in alignment with those goals”.  Hampson et al (1997) go as far to say that contractors are likely to benefit from more cooperative arrangements with their subcontractors to create and enhance competitive advantage in building construction.

From the research conducted, it seems that construction management studies are generally more descriptive rather than quantitative.

Empirical studies need to be performed on the entire construction market structure to better understand the market and to formulate effective strategies.

Bossink, B.A.G., “Effectiveness of innovation leadership styles: a manager’s influence on ecological innovation in construction projects”, Construction Innovation, 4(4):211-228 (2004).

Caves, R. E. and M. E. Porter (1977) From entry barriers to mobility barriers: Conjectural decisions and contrived deterrence to new competition. Quarterly Journal of Economics 91: 241-62. Ison, S. & Wall, S. 2007. Economics (4th Ed)

Caves, R.E., “Multinational enterprises and technology transfer”, in Rugman, A.M. (ed.) New Theories of the Multinational Enterprise, St Martin’s Press, New York,254–79, (1982)

Green, S.D., Larsen, G.D., Kao, C-C, “Competitive strategy revisited: contested concepts and dynamic capabilities”, Construction Management and Economics, January (26):63–78, (2008).

Hampson, Keith D. and Kwok, Tommy (1997) Strategic alliances in building construction : a tender evaluation tool for the public sector. Journal of Construction Procurement, 3(1). pp. 28-41.

Porter, M.E., “Competitive Advantage”, Free Press, New York, (1985)

Seaden, G., Guolla, M., Doutriaux, J., Nash, J., “Strategic decision and innovation in construction firms”, Construction Management and Economics, 21(6):603-612 (2003).

Thompson, A. A., Jr. & Strickland, A.J. III., “Strategic management concepts and cases”, 8th ed., Chicago, (1995)


Safety in High-rise Building Construction

Chapter 1: Introduction
1.1 Background
In previous decades since workers balanced themselves at dizzying heights above ground with little to prevent them from falling, high-rise construction has been layered in safety regulations and equipment. Construction can be referred as a relatively hazardous undertaking. There are significantly more injuries and lost workdays due to injuries or illnesses in construction as compared to any other industry. In contrast to most industrial accidents, innocent bystanders also get injured due to construction accidents. Several crane collapses from high rise buildings under construction have resulted in injuries to passersby.

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Safety during a high-rise construction project is affected in large part by decisions made during the planning and design stage. Some designs or construction plans are inherently difficult and dangerous to put into practice, whereas other, similar plans may considerably reduce the possibility of dangerous accidents. Beyond these design decisions, safety also depends largely upon education, alertness and cooperation during the construction process. Workers should be always alert to the possibilities of accidents and avoid taken unnecessary risks.
1.2 Related Problems
The causes of injuries in high-rise construction are plentiful. The largest single category for both injuries and fatalities is individual falls. Handling of goods and transportation are also a major cause of injuries. An individual fall may be caused by a series of coincidences: inattentive worker or an insecure railing or slippery footing etc. Removing any one of these causes might serve to stop any particular accident, but again each casualty may have multiple causes.
Many measures are available to improve jobsite safety in construction. These include design, choice of safety equipment, education and vigilance. By altering facility designs, particular structures can be safer or more hazardous to construct. Choice of different safety equipments plays an important role in overall safety of project. Educating workers and managers in proper procedures and hazards also has a direct impact on jobsite safety. During the construction process itself, the most important safety related measures are to insure proper vigilance and cooperation on the part of managers, inspectors and workers. Vigilance involves bearing in mind the risks of different working practices. In also involves maintaining temporary physical safeguards.
1.3 Aim
To study and evaluate the Safety in High Rise Construction with special focus on safety at construction in Kuwait: issues, problems, procedures, and recommendations
1.4 Objectives

To study and understand the various risks involved, and the safety issues related to construction and analysis the previous work done in this field.
To evaluate the existing safety procedures, policies, regulations and accident prevention methods with respect to construction industry in Kuwait.
Development of questionnaire and conducting survey and interviews with the contractors and the consultants and safety engineers
To identify the root of safety problems related to construction in Kuwait and recommend potential safety programs and solutions and estimating the likely effect on project progress and accident reduction
Suggesting some recommendations for safety at construction based on the study at Kuwait

1.5 Expected outcomes
At the end of project, a reader will be able to understand the various risks involved in high rise construction and the various measures followed to reduce that risk. The practices followed and measures developed to make high-rise construction a safer job will be listed in report.
1.6 Resources used
The resources that will be used for this study will include various international papers and books regarding safety in high-rise construction. The papers and books will be generally taken from the university library and some of them will be taken from the internet, while the use of internet resources will be kept to a minimum.
1.7 Gantt Chart

Gantt Chart: Project on Safety in High Rise Construction









Selection of the Topic


Submission of the Project Proposal


Literature survey on the Topic


Submission of the Interim Report


Main Research on the Topic


Conclusion and Recommendations


Final Report Submission


2.1 Researches Done at International Level
In most countries, the building and construction industry has a high rate of occupational accidents. In the EU15, the rate of construction injuries leading to over three days’ absence from work exceeded 6,000 per 100,000 employees in 2005 (Arbetsmiljöverket, 2008). Although this is approximately three times the rate in the Swedish construction industry, Sweden’s rate still places building and construction among the top 10 occupational sectors for occupational accidents in the country. Much effort has been made to reduce the rate of industrial accidents, mainly through technical solutions, rules, and regulation. In an interview study of the Australian construction industry, Holmes, Lingard, Yesilyurt, and De Munk (1999) found that risk was largely attributed to the nature of the work, poor individual work practices, ignorance, andwork pressure due to budgetary and time constraints. To successfully approach these sources of risk there is a need to understand not only underlying structural and organizational conditions, but also psychological and social factors. Such a broadened and deepened perspective on safety should supplement rather than replace the engineering approach. The concepts of safety culture and safety climate are important contributions from the behavioral and social sciences to our understanding of occupational safety. Denison (1996) stated that the concepts of organizational culture and climate both suggest the existence of a shared, holistic, and collectively defined social context that emerges over time. The two concepts share many features, though organizational culture places greater emphasis on creating the social environment whereas organizational climate corresponds to how this social environment is experienced by the actors and thus is more external (Denison). Zohar (1980) defined organizational climate as “a summary of molar perceptions that employees share about their work environments.”Neal and Griffin(2006) defined perceived safety climate. as “individual perceptions of policies, procedures and practices relating to safety in the workplace” and suggested that group safety climate refers to perceptions shared within the group. According to organizational climate theory (Schneider, 1975), such shared perceptions will result in normative conclusions as to the correct way to behave in relation to safety in the organization. Climate serves to guide one’s own behavior and contributes to the predictability of the behavior of others (Guldenmund, 2000). Pidgeon (1991) suggested that organizational culture represents a shared meaning system (i.e., a system of symbols, ideas, rules, and cognitions, with certain observable behavioral consequences); furthermore, he defined safety culture as “the set of beliefs, norms, attitudes, roles, and social and technical practices which are concerned with minimizing the exposure of employees, managers, customers, and members of the public to conditions considered dangerous or injurious.” Pidgeon stated that such construed meaning systems specifywhat is important and legitimate to the group, and that this culture is created and recreated asmembers of the group repeatedly behave in a way that seems natural and unquestionable to them, thus constructing a particular version of risk and safety. Pidgeon also suggested that it is misleading to consider only organizational or corporate culture, as the cultures of workgroups, departments, divisions, and organizations, as well as cultures at an even broader macro level (e.g., nations) are nested within one another as well as overlapping. Both safety climate and safety culture are socially construed phenomena and the importance of these concepts to occupational safety is generally accepted (e.g., Zohar 1980; Zohar, 2002; Donald & Canter, 1994; Pidgeon, 1998; Guldenmund, 2000; Lee & Harrison, 2000; Cooper & Phillips, 2004; Mearns, Whitaker, & Flin, 2003; Neal & Griffin, 2006; Clarke, 2006b; Pousette, Larsson, & Törner, 2008).
Gun (1993) investigated contractors’ safety performances at 98 di.erent con struction sites over 2 years. It was concluded that management training and good management practices are most likely to prevent injuries which are associated with the violation of regulations. Hinze and Raboud (1988) studied safety on large construction projects; the study discussed the relationships between company size, level safety policy, project level safety policy, project coordination, and economic pressure on worker safety. It was found that higher frequencies of construction accidents occurred on projects that were over budget and those that were compete tively bid.
According to a Business Round Table report (Construction Industry Institute, 1988), the cost of an effective construction safety and health program in the USA is approximately 2.5% of direct labor costs. Successful safety programs have been developed by many construction companies and have shown remarkable results. Dupont’s safety training and observation program achieved good results in reducing work-place accidents (Peyton and Rubio, 1991). Bechtel reported that 83% of their projects are meeting the zero goal after applying the `Zero Accident Program’; this program reduced lost-time injuries in 1993 to less than half when compared with 1992 (Center to Protect Workers’ Rights, 1993).
Hakkinen (1995), developed a training program called “one hour for safety management” to provide safety education and training for top management. The program was applied in 100 companies and showed success in attracting management’s attention to safety issues. Ringdahl (1990) designed a simple model for cost benefit evaluation of improving safety measures at companies. Jaselskis et al. (1996) presented strategies for improving safety performance on both a company and a project level.
2.2 Safety problems in Construction
Construction sites tend to have several employers working on them simultaneously, making safety coordination in such a dynamic environment a very complex process. Temporary duration of work, together with the rapidly changing character of the site are in complete contrast to regular factory production and form a serious hazard to safety. These special features and problems arise from the following:
2.2.1. Competitive tendering
Contractors often feel that their bids will be considered even if they do not make proper provisions for safety costs. In the case of hard-pressed local authorities, struggling with government-imposed spending cuts, and smaller ®rms on the brink of survival in a business recession, this problem is usually more acute and seldom comes to the surface. These problems a.ected Kuwait after the liberation, due to expenditure cuts and a large number of small construction ®rms. The extent of cost cuts by government and the low number of governmental projects have increased the competitive tendering between companies in the last 5 years. As a result, contractors have been forced to reduce their pro®ts and costs to stay in the market and allow projects to sell to other companies or subcontractors to secure a pro®t margin. As shown earlier in the questionnaire distributed to construction ®rms, most contractors do not consider safety costs in their tenders unless it is recognized by the contract documents. Statistics show that lost-time accident frequency rates, which ranged from 2.5 to 6 per 100,000 man-hours worked on contracts where no provision for safety costs been made in tenders, could be reduced to a range of 0.2 to 1 per 100,000 man-hours worked on projects where proper safety planning and costing had been done and the costs accepted by the client (King and Hudson, 1985).
2.2.2. Lack of safety regulations
The absence of a uni®ed set of safety regulations adversely a.ects the enforcement of safety on the job site. The MPW has a safety chapter in its construction practices manual, KOC has its own manual, and no safety standard manual exists in KM. Projects constructed by American companies are ruled by OSHA and/or the US Army Corps of Engineers safety manual. International standards are not necessarily applicable to the Kuwaiti work environment since methods of practice in advanced and industrial countries from those used in Kuwait. Other national standards have not been updated to comply with the new technology and constructability methods; for example, the prohibition against using wooden sca.olding is not included in such standards.
2.2.3. Small size of most construction ®rms
The open trade and commercial lease given to its citizens by the Kuwaiti government encourages many citizens to establish small businesses, which are especially concentrated in construction. Small construction ®rms with less than 10 employees account for about 60% of construction ®rms in Kuwait. This high proportion of small undertakings is a handicap to the spread and adoption of safe working practices. After the liberation, private housing businesses ¯ourished, attracting many small ®rms and independent contractors with limited experience in building construction. These ®rms cannot a.ord the services of safety specialists or instructors, resulting in little opportunity for organized safety instructions either o.- or on-site. Compared to large ®rms, the small ®rms are usually short of capital and under great pressure to cut costs at the expense of safety. Construction at this level is a competitive arena, where the saving of a few dinars means the di.erence between success and failure. In addition, most small ®rms use temporary labor and may not assure continuity of work, so investing money in training and equipment for them is considered an unnecessary cost. Also, it is more dicult for government safety inspectors to inspect the work and practices of a large number of small ®rms than a smaller number of medium-sized and large ones.
2.2.4. Extensive use of subcontractors
The specialization of activities on building sites has been a main factor leading to the extensive employment of subcontractors. Many companies in Kuwait look for safe and fast pro®t, selling their projects to subcontractors for a certain percentage of the pro®t. This causes many problems in coordination, safety planning, allocating safety responsibility, and communication. In practice the e.ective control of site-safety practices is dicult to enforce when a number of small subcontractors, especially those with fewer than ®ve employees, are engaged on one site. The main responsibility is taken by the general contractor, who should insist that all necessary safety measures are written into the subcontractor’s agreement. Unless proper provision is allowed for the subcontractors to consider safety in their bid, it is doubtful whether they will take safety seriously.
2.2.5. Lack of relevant accident data
If you cannot measure safety, then you certainly cannot manage it. The lack of ocial safety data and records of construction accidents at sites makes safety the last issue to be concerned by the contractor and owner. The people on-site and at management level are not aware of safety problems, since they are not informed by the statistics or ®gs. of serious and fatal accidents that have occurred at sites, and the number of disabilities that resulted from such accidents.
2.2.6. Extensive use of foreign labor
Kuwait as a rich developing country attracts many investments and working labor. The employment of migrant labor has always been a special characteristic of construction sites in Kuwait. Different labor cultures and traditions reflect on human relations, different work habits, and communication problems. Most construction workers in Kuwait are unskilled, untrained, and inexperienced, especially after the liberation. They come from poor communities of other countries and are ready to work in any job to establish a reasonable life for their families; many do not see their families for 2±3 years in order to save some money for the future. The workers are emotionally vulnerable and preoccupied with their problems since most of them are working in unsecured conditions and not on their sponsor’s bail. All of these above conditions can a.ect the concentration and attention of the worker and may contribute to mistakes.
2.3 Research methodology for Study in Kuwait
Different research activities have been used to collect the necessary information and data related to this research. Among these are ®eld visits, questionnaires, and interviews.
2.3.1. Contractor’s questionnaire
To understand the problems associated with the implementation of safety pro- grams in construction companies, questionnaires were mailed to technical managers, safety directors, and in some cases chief engineers. Key persons in companies were identi®ed either by business contacts or by direct phone calls to the companies. Thirty-two questionnaires were mailed to various large, medium, and small-sized construction companies in Kuwait. The questionnaire covered a range of subjects related to safety, namely: (1) company’s profile; (2) safety records; (3) accident statistics; (4) training; and (e) safety policy.
2.3.2. Consultant’s questionnaire
Another study was conducted to determine the extent to which designers recognize the need to address the safety of construction workers in project plans, contractors’ selection criteria, contract clauses concerning safety, and procedures followed at job site supervision. Addresses of key consultants were identified from a bulletin distributed by the Kuwait Engineering Society.
2.3.3. Interviews
A number of interviews were conducted with safety engineers, heads of safety departments in government ministries, and company superintendents. The interviews stressed the diculties in implementing safety at job sites, government procedures and policies, safety standards, cause of most construction accidents, and methods of prevention. Interviews with contractor’s superintendents covered safety programs, labor behavior and company’s investment in safety. Visits were also made to two major insurance companies dealing with construction insurance in Kuwait. The questions covered insurance types, premiums, major accidents, companies commitment to safety procedures at the job site, labor compensation, accident records, accident investigation procedures, and insurance companies’ role in safety in general.
* Cooke, T., Lingard, H., Blismas, N., Stranieri, A., 2008. ToolSHeDTM: the development and evaluation of a decision support tool for health and safety in construction design. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management 15 (4), 336-351.
* Gambatese, J.A., Behm, M., Rajendran, S., 2008. Design’s role in construction accident causality and prevention: perspectives from an expect panel. Safety Science 46 (4), 675-691.
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* Mohamed, A. et al, 1993. Safety of concrete high-rise buildings during construction. Purdue University.
* Abdelhamid, T.S., Patel, B., Howell, G.A., Mitropoulos, P., 2003. Signal detection theory: enabling work near the edge. In: Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC-11), Blacksburg, USA. Proceedings, Virginia Tech.
* Ballard, G., 2000. The Last Planner System of Production Control, PhD thesis, School of Civil Engineering, The University of Birmingham, UK.
* Cameron, I., Hare, B., Duff, R., Maloney, B., 2006. An investigation of approaches to worker engagement. Health and Safety Executive, Research Report RR516, 96 p.
* Cherns, A., 1978. The principles of sociotechnical design. In: Pasmore, W., Sherwood, J. (Eds.), Sociotechnical Systems: A Source Book. University Associates, La Jolla, pp. 61-71.
* Hale, A., Heijer, T., 2006. Is resilience really necessary? The case of railways. In: Hollnagel, E., Woods, D., Levenson, N. (Eds.), Resilience Engineering: Concepts and Precepts. Ashgate, pp. 115-137, 392 p.
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Reducing Carbon Emissions Of The Construction Industry

It is ideal to mention that almost all things emerging around us are constructed out of carbon. However “carbons in forms of solid are less damaging; such forms are tree tail or a layer of coal in the ground” [1]. CO2 is produced from diverse sources, one of which is energy, i.e, the production of energy takes place from burning fossil fuels such as oil, gas, coal, used in power plants, transportation and other construction industrial conveniences and almost everything we do in our live is involved energy.
All of the carbon emitters ranging from energy generation to transportation are found for the benefit of humans. So it’s essential for us to seriously consider and work on reducing CO2 emission. Subsequently, the future will force us to reduce our emission as we will see clearly what negative affect our emitters have had on the environment
In addition, every facet of the UK’s economy from construction to transportation to agriculture is dependent on fossil fuel imitative energy in fact “the emissions of carbon dioxide were over 150 million tonnes in 2004″[2] that comes from burning fossil fuels. As we search and try to discover different means of energy sources, we are still facing the certainty that CO2 emission from UK economy is still rising and actions must be come into view to equalise and cut the emissions that we cannot yet eradicate.
Figure (2) [3]
“The UK is currently likely to reduce emissions of CO2 by 15-18% of 1990 levels by 2010” [4]as shown in the figure (2) above; In order from the government to meet these figures, variety of methods are implemented to reduce the CO2 emission, trees are one way to offset carbon emission. Planting tree is a probable process to deal with climate change and it is one of the few methods that in fact eradicate active CO2 from the environment by using a process called (carbon sequestration).
Trees are known of absorbing CO2 of the atmosphere and provide it with O2 instead. This operation is referred to as Carbon Sequestration, in addition to the mentioned above, plants do also give back some CO2 but it is of such a small amount, that the effect of tree to nature and the atmosphere is seen totally positive.
Other methods that can be used in reducing carbon footprint are factors such as Solar power, Recycling, Water saving and Thermal insulation.
Solar power can be used to convert the sun’s power into other energy sources typically heat, electricity or hot water. This mean of energy generation was adopted due to its extremely low carbon print and hence having no negative effect on the environment during the power generation process.
Recycling is significant in the process of reducing the amount of waste dispatched to land fill in comparison to new means of cutting the excessive use of natural sources and materials.
Saving water is necessary because there is an increase in population and therefore the rate of water usage is greater than ever, but the water suppliers have a limited contribute obtainable for drinking. Those water suppliers need to use energy to run their treatment plants and pumping water; therefore reducing the usage will save energy considerably.
Thermal insulation is used mostly in buildings to prevent having unnecessary heat driven in the structure; this will result in low running cost and less spending on central heating systems as well as reducing the power consumption from electricity.
Part 2:
CO2 emission in construction:
One of the major causes of CO2 emission in the UK is caused by construction. This is due to the fact that the construction industry uses untreated materials which are considered as major elements in generating noise, dust and considerable amount of waste.
Furthermore, the production and use of concrete has an enormous environmental effect this is because Cement is an energy consumer and CO2 fabricated material.
Other factors and causes of CO2 emission are things such as products that use high temperature processes to produce elements such as cement, bricks; these are considered as a main user of energy and emitter of greenhouse gases. Other material productions that can lead to CO2 emission are lead, iron and other chemical creation such as ammonia and titanium dioxide that can definitely cause negative impact to the environment.

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Changes have been made to meet targets of reducing CO2 emission
Currently United Kingdom is working for changes toward producing and distributing a Greener and environmentally friendly energy. Simple example of those changes is pay-as-you-electrical supply, helping homes produce their own clean energy and boosting electricity production from low carbon sources, which in turn aid in the reduction of CO2 emission.
“At the moment 21 % of reduction has already been achieved from different sectors. This is equivalent to cutting all emissions from a city four times the size of London”.[5] by making these necessary changes.
So The UK government has already set targets to meet its goal of making reduction in the CO2 emission and construction is one of the areas that need to be considered in order to meet these targets.
One of the actions the government has done to meet the targets is to reduce waste resulted from construction. Therefore, it has introduced the Site Waste Management Plans (SWMP) which came into force to make construction companies manage their waste generated on site, (more details of this scheme can be found in the recycling section). Other organisations supported by the government that help contractors to manage and reduce waste are (Norfolk Waste Recycling Assistance Project) (NORWRAP) and The National House Building Council (NHBC), these organisation are part of the commitment and changes the government has done to help reduce CO2 emission by launching an outline plan for these changes including waste collection and recycling.
Accordingly, this will reduce the landfill and the removal tax as well as reducing the labour costs of transporting these waste materials.
Other Ways in which the UK will meet its targets in further reduction of CO2 emissions are set out in the following areas:
Transport organism
Homes and society
Power system
Managing lands, Farms more sustainably
Figures of CO2 consumption in the UK from 1990 to 2007 resulted from different sectors are shown below:
Figure (4) [6]
Transport organism:
Most of the energy consumed in this sector is caused from different fuel types; few of which are petroleum, diesel and gasoline. As most types of transport means use these fuels, thus the emission of CO2 caused from the transportation sector continued to increase since (1990).
Transportation is deemed as one of the major sectors that can be mortified to meet CO2 reduction targets due to different reasons:
People can be greener in the present and future by choosing the most sustainable and lowest carbon ways of meeting their transport needs.
The government can support companies that generate low carbon vehicles to reduce greenhouse gas emission.
Homes and society (Residential):
The main goal in this sector is to make residential homes more efficient and support small scale renewable energy projects. This intern will be enhancing green infrastructure and reduce the production of CO2 as it can be seen in Figure (4). Which can then improve the flexibility of our places to impacts of climate change such as flooding and over-heating, therefore it is vital that we acquire a long-term view to develop the functioning of our existing places.
Different type of energy sources are consumed by housing some of which are related to lights, water heating and cooking space.
New targets according to Government’s resource [7] include:
‘Pay as you save’ pilots helping people make their house greener by using the savings made on bills to repay the upfront costs.
Encouragement on the new ‘clean energy cash-back’ scheme, which means people will be paid for generating electricity from low carbon sources.
The power system (energy supply):
The most effective way in which CO2 reductions can be achieved is by enhancing the way electricity is generated. Biomass is one of the means the government aim to use in producing electricity; biomass can be converted into gas or liquid fuels by using chemicals or heat to convert that energy into a usable energy source such as electricity. However, “CO2 that is released during the production of energy (electricity) from biomass is balanced by that which is absorbed during the production of the fuel itself” [8] which make this method considerably energy efficient.
Managing land, Farms more sustainably:
We have reached an era where we can use technical and methodological ideas such as recycling usable materials, converting the organic material into usable fuel and digging up landfills for extracting solid waste are all logical and feasible ideas whose time has come.
Reduction of emissions from agriculture, land use and waste can be achieved by sustaining the resources available for growing food and by well managing water and soil quality. Also allowing undeveloped land for development that greenly meet human needs, as well as supporting the “anaerobic digestion”, a process that turns organic materials such as food waste, slurries and manures into renewable energy in form of biogas “[9] this can be used as an electricity production source that’s why it widely spread across Europe.
Part 3:
Recycling is considered as a method of making the best use of the waste materials as well as, reducing the excessive use of the currently available natural materials. Recycling also plays a role in reducing pollution caused by dumping waste materials in the ground. Such strategy is very useful in these times where natural sources are of limited existences and need for those resources are gradually increasing day after another. This isn’t only for the sake of the current generation but the upcoming generation will live their entire lives in a world we left for them, hence, we must take maximum care.
From a technical point of view, recycling is a process that takes less energy to perform and complete than starting the creation of that certain material from scratch. A clear example of that is the use of steel in construction, where melting it and reforming it is by far, an easier process than making the mixing and forming process from the beginning. In figures, researches reached the fact that “Aluminium makes use of 5% less energy when made through recycling” [10], in comparison to making from the original composites.
In this project, the main recycling sector to be discussed is recycling in construction. Construction is considered in many researches as a result of its major impact on the total recycling in the country. The value of construction industry works out to be “£100bn a year and is responsible for 8% of the domestic product in the United Kingdom” [11]. Given this field has this crucial influence, it will of course, have a positive impact on the recycling process in total.
The recycle process in the construction industry is a process that is involved in the sub-fields of public buildings, houses, roads, public access points, marine structures and major factories. Despite of all the current policies to reduce the emissions and increase the efficiency of recycling, the UK still doesn’t meet the drawn targets. This only means, new methods and strategies must be taken.
In addition to the local preferences, government policies and legislations; the government was pushed by the EU in 2007 to come up with the Waste Strategy for England 2007.
As mentioned earlier, if recycling doesn’t take place, the alternative method to get rid of waste materials will be dumping them in the ground. The negatives of this process are a minimum if the dumped materials are bio-degradable, but in case they aren’t, recycling will play a major role in solving this problem, prevent causing damage to the environment and make a positive use of those non-bio-degradable materials.
Following those government legislation, the construction field has followed the following strategies:
Improve after-life of constructions to increase the efficiency and cause less need for waste removal.
Appropriate disposal of hazardous waste to avoid causing damage to the environment and categorise the waste accordingly.
Treat some of the materials those could be treated without the need for recycling to avoid unnecessary waste of energy.
In relation with government strategies; the Site Waste Management Plans “(SWMP) regulation was released in 2008; targeting major construction projects in England with a cost over £300,000” [12]. This scheme works on the basis of registering what materials will be used, how they will be demolished, when and how they will be dumped or recycled. This scheme stands on the following aims:
Reduce the amount of waste produced from construction, demolition or refurbishing.
Increase waste recycling and improve efficiency of the recycling process and the materials generated by it.
Ensure appropriate disposal of waste materials and diagnose when they are reach the stage to be dumped in the ground (after how many stages of curing), alternatively make better and second use of them to minimize any waste generated, this is presented in the simple flow chart below:
Process of minimising construction waste materials [13]

Use of Sustainable Materials in Construction


Belum Eco Resort or better known as the Belum Rainforest Resort is one of the hundred islands located in the Tasik Belum, Perak. It is located very near to the famous Royal Belum National Park. Belum Rainforest is an island free from air and noise pollution. It is also the largest manmade lake in Perak and it is15, 200 hectares big. Belum-Temenggor Forest Reserve ( BTFR) is among the last remaining virgin forest in Malaysia where biodiversity is practically unharmed. The Belum Rainforest Resort is one of Malaysia’s premier ecotourism holiday destinations until today. Set in the midst of a tropical paradise, Pulau Banding, the Belum Rainforest Resort, is everything nature-lovers and holiday-goers expect in a getaway destination. This island is a place with complete relaxation and serenity. It is surrounded by stunning views and surroundings. This adventurous island is definitely worth a visit for those who wants to get close to the nature.
Belum Eco Resort’s (BER) design revolves around green eco concept. Until today, BER continues to proudly practice ‘Responsible Tourism’. The development of the resort was completely manmade and hand-built, without using any technology.


Sustainable materials are materials that can be used throughout our everyday lives and it is used in the present without compromising its availability for use by latter generations. It also means that sustainable materials are materials that can be produced in required volumes without depleting non-renewable resources and also without disrupting the equilibrium of the environment. A sustainable material used in a building usually benefits the humans and also the general environment. It is this sustainability that is keeping the environment ecosystem balanced and it is actually accommodating the earth. It is not easy to fully describe what a sustainable material is and the best way of explaining it is to look at it as the materials that are being used to achieve environmental benefits unlike any other conventional materials. Sustainable materials do share some general characteristics which are the natural abundance, the help to extract some amount of energy used and also the help of recycling.
Both the Villa and the modern house are built using reinforced concrete as their building structure. Reinforced concrete, in its many forms, is an important building material that can provide many sustainable advantages by virtue of its economic construction, thermal mass, durability, fire resistance, acoustic performance, adaptability and recyclability. Concrete is one of the sustainable building materials that is always being used in most buildings and when both the energy consumed during its manufacture and its inherent properties in-use are taken into account. Whereas, reinforced concrete, it is a composite material comprising concrete and steel. Concrete provides high compressive strength while steel on the other hand provides its tensile strength in the form of embedded reinforcing bars and mesh. Reinforced concrete is chosen to be used in both the Villa and the modern house because concrete is a friend of the environment in all stages of its life span, from raw material production to demolition, making it a natural choice for sustainable home construction. Besides that, reinforced concrete construction has also been developed for low-energy construction and thus it is very suitable to be used in both the Villa and the modern house.

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Other than that, the similar sustainable materials used the in the villa and the modern house is steel. This is because steel is an excellent reusable material. Steel can also be recycled from time to time without any deprivation in the properties or even the quality of the steel performance. Steel construction in the industry nowadays has always been outstanding in the low waste credentials during all life cycle stages of the building. It is the fact where steel construction generates very little waste. Any waste generated during construction of steel is being recycled. This is therefore, not even any waste from steel products on the construction site can be found. Steel is chosen to be used as staircases in both the Villa and the modern house in the Belum Rainforest Resort because steel has one of the uppermost strength to weight ratio of any other construction material. Other than that, steel also provides a clean, effective and fast construction technique, which will not affect the building activities on the environment of the Belum Rainforest Resort. The entire steel used as the staircases there in the Villa and the modern house are 100% recyclable.
Lastly, the similar sustainable material used in the villa and the modern house in Belum Rainforest Resort is glass. Glass produces very little environmental influence to the resort that will make it a good sustainable material of choice to be used in both the Villa and the modern house. In addition to that, glass is made out of many unpolluted materials that are not contaminated and its developing process is highly energy efficient that will only require low level of water. The making of glass and the construction of glass actually generates very little waste. Glass is used as windows, skylights and openings in the Villa and modern house. Glass is an ideal sustainable material to be used because even if the windows or the skylights in the Villa and the modern house in the Belum Rainforest Resort is broken, the broken pieces of the glass are recyclable. Thus, this will contributes to even lower environmental impact. Glass is also very essential in the Villa and the modern house because glass allows maximum sunlight to penetrate into the buildings and also allow maximum views outside the buildings. These transparency characteristic of glass very special among the sustainable building materials and it definitely provide many advantages to both the Villa and the modern house.
In a sustainable building, professional workers like the architects, the engineers and the contractors are required to work together on the sustainable materials used and also the material constructions. Sustainable design and its construction method used actually helps to reduce on emissions of polluted gasses released into the earth’s ozone layer. It also helps to decrease the water and energy costs. The advantages of using sustainable materials in the Villa and the modern house can be commonly be categorized in the subsequent methods which are the environmental advantages, economic advantages and social advantages.
The main reason of using sustainable materials in the Villa and the modern house is to preserve our mother nature and avoid the reduction of the earth’s natural resources.
The environmental benefits when sustainable changes are made throughout each stage of the project’s progress in the Belum Rainforest Resort allow us to protect the ecology of the famous Royal Belum National Park and to reduce emissions of polluted gases. It also helps to enhance the air and water value, preserve water, decrease waste streams, conserve and restore natural resource, helps to control and reduce waste and lastly, to control the temperature. Not only does a sustainable material help to improve the quality of the environment in the Royal Belum Rainforest Resort but it also has many commercial advantages as well. From the usage of sustainable materials, decreasing energy intake, and improving water efficiency will allow us to reduce the operating charges, helps to optimize the life cycle of the Building, increase property value in Belum and improve the number of visitors coming to the famous Royal Belum Rainforest Resort. Eventhough the environmental and economic advantages of the sustainable materials and sustainable buildings are acknowledged, the social advantages of the sustainable materials and the sustainable buildings are often not being taken into account. By refining the interior ecological value in the Villa and the modern house, and at the same time, we can also improve the visitors comfort and health. Besides that, we are able to create an aesthetically pleasing environment in the Royal Belum Rainforest Resort. It also helps to minimize the strain on local infrastructure, helps to increase the awareness of the workers working in the resort and to increase the workers’ productivity.
Basically, a sustainable building’s life time environmental effect embraces all working and exemplified components. Working impacts are those materials that consume energy when it is in use whereas the exemplified impacts are always because of the production and construction of the building materials. The durability of reinforced concrete structures in the Villa and the modern house in Belum Rainforest is mostly reliant on the worth of the concrete, least amount of contraction or cracking in the concrete, little to literally nothing amount of oxidization of the reinforced steel in the reinforced concrete, remedial of concrete, and excellence organization of reinforced concrete structure. If the concrete structure is properly designed and constructed it is going to be very long lasting and only little maintenance is required. The durability of the reinforced concrete in the Villa and the modern house is influenced by the exposure conditions or the area of exposure, the type of cement used and the quality of concrete used.
Steel is used as the staircase in the Villa and also the modern house. One of the very good explanations for selecting steel staircases is their unbelievable strength and great durability. Steel staircases are very solid and are able of supporting huge quantities of mass. This is actually does not only benefits the people who use the stairs but it also means that we can actually create more rare stair plans. Steel itself is already very strong material and there is no need to even worry about the expanding or contracting of the steel in the weather disorders in Malaysia. Plus, steel staircases will not rot, warp or even succumb to termites.The steel staircases in the Villa and also the modern house are also being preserved so that it won’t corrode or oxidize even if they are in contact with water or air.
Yet another reason steel staircase chosen to be built in the Villa and the modern house is because it is very reasonable. Steel staircases, when it is properly bring about, will last for more than ten years and only very little maintenance or even no maintenance at all is needed. No replacement of structural component or painting is even needed at all because they last so long and they are very durable.
The durability of glass can be witnessed in our everyday lives especially in most cities with ancient churches.Glass in the Villa is used at the windows, skylights and openings. Whereas, Glass in the modern house is used as windows. Glass has extremely high durability and it will not break at all unless it is smashed by extreme masses. If not, the glass will continue to stay the same for an extended period of time. Actually, a normal glass can already resist masses applied at fast rates and it is better than the same weight being pressured over a slower period. The only thing is that glass actually agonizes from the pressure oxidization.
Green building or sustainable building concept basically concentrates mainly on two points which is to improve the efficiency of the buildings which consume energy, water and materials and also to decrease the building footprint on the environment and also the impact to the human’s health. All these can be taken through a better site selection, the design of the building, construction method of the sustainable materials used in the Villa and the modern house, procedure taken, maintenance when the work is done, and removal throughout the complete life cycle. The concept of green building includes and incorporates a variation of approaches during the design, construction and operation of building projects. The consumption of green building materials and products represents one important strategy in the design of a building. By using green building materials or sustainable materials, it brings a lot of advantages to everyone. By using sustainable materials in the Villa and also the modern house in Belum, it helps to reduce the maintenance cost or the additional charges over the lifespan of the building because sustainable materials does not really need maintenance. Sustainable materials help to conserve energy in the Villa and also the modern house. Besides that, it will also help to improve occupant’s health and productivity. Sustainable construction materials are always being used by many developers and its used in all the buildings in Belum Rainforest because it brings a lot of benefit and it has numerous features like nothing or little harmfulness, great recyclability, nothing or little off gassing of polluted air discharges. Sustainable materials have very high durability, it can be reused and recycled, and it is sustainably harvested material.
Both the Villa and the modern house are built using reinforced concrete as their building structure. However, both of these buildings have very different poetic quality. The usage of reinforced concrete in the Villa makes the building look huge and spacious and thus, it creates a very dramatic and welcoming feeling. In contrary to the former, the modern house itself has very limited area and the usage of reinforced concrete in the building makes the modern house looks clean and the fact that the house is actually very small is being concealed by the cleanliness and the simplicity of the reinforced concrete structure. The usage of steel in the Villa in Belum Rainforest is used at the staircase and also the windows framing. Steel staircase in the Villa creates a very open and light feeling as you are walking up and down the stairs. This is because the staircase itself is very light and and because of the gaps between the railings and the holes on the treads and risers, it gives the user a very open feeling and also it creates a floating feeling. The steel stairs in the modern house helps to soften the building because from far, the modern house basically looks like a square concrete box and with the stairs, the modern house looks balanced with volume and geometry.
Glass is used in the Villa in Belum Rainforest as the openings, skylights and windows. The glass in the Villa creates a very open area as if you’re standing or living outdoor next to the nature but you’re actually indoor in an enclosed space. The poetic quality of the glass in the Villa is that it creates an outdoor feeling even though you’re actually indoor. Glass in the modern house is used as a frame. It frames the trees outside the modern house and it creates and extra space outside the modern house to give a feeling as if the modern house is actually bigger than it is. It’s basically helps to volumize the indoor and outdoor space of the modern house.
7. Conclusion
The sustainable materials used in the Villa and also the modern house in Belum has successfully made the building a green building and has successfully Increase the efficiency of the buildings which are using energy, water and materials. It has also successfully reduced the building effects of people’s health and also the atmosphere. The Villa is to hold any event and to accommodate friends and a few families while the modern is to only accommodate a couple or two friends. It is fascinating how these two buildings that were built using the same building materials but have different poetic qualities in their building. The sustainable materials used in the two buildings have successfully created different poetic quality with the use of the same materials. I feel that it is time for the government and the developers to be aware of the importance of using sustainable materials in a building to save the environment and also the earth.