AS 2014 Volume 21 Issue 2

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Towards the establishment of a relevant national tender price index for the South African building industry
    (University of the Free State, 2014) Cruywagen, Hoffie
    English: There is currently only one published tender price index available in South Africa for use by built-environment practitioners. The purpose of this article is to report on an investigation into the nature of a more recent tender price index. A literature study was conducted to examine the theory of indices in order to establish which type of index as well as which formula would be appropriate for use in South Africa. Thereafter, the priced bills of quantities of a selected number of projects were analysed in order to identify representative indicator items as well as the weighting thereof for an index. Thirty-two indicator items were identified that could be used for calculating an index. In addition, sourced priced bills of quantities for a number of projects over a six-and-a-half year period were analysed to calculate average rates for the 32 selected indicator items. These rates, together with the established weightings of items, were used to calculate an index. The main finding that emerged from the research was that, by using the above methodology, an alternative tender price index could be determined for use by the South African building industry.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The influence of clients’ leadership in relation to construction health and safety in South Africa
    (University of the Free State, 2014) Okorie, Victor; Emuze, Fidelis; Smallwood, John; Van Wyk, Jacobus
    English: The South African Construction Regulations realise the contributions by each member of a project team to health and safety (H&S) improvement. These Regulations amplify the roles and contributions of clients to project realisation. The tenets of the Regulations conform with the observation that clients’ H&S leadership and behaviours are an effective means of improving construction H&S performance in the industry. This article reports on a study that examined current clients’ leadership approach and expectations in terms of H&S in South African construction. The review of relevant literature provides the platform for the research survey, which was conducted among selected clients of the industry. The findings show that clients’ H&S leadership roles and behaviours have a significant influence on construction H&S performance in South Africa. Findings reveal that unethical behaviour, in terms of procurement and contract awards, is a serious challenge to the improvement of H&S performance in the industry.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Sustainability impacts of building products: an assessment methodology for developing countries
    (University of the Free State, 2014) Gibberd, Jeremy
    English: This article investigates sustainability impacts of building products during production stage in developing countries. An analysis of literature is undertaken in order to establish current building product assessment methodologies and their relevance to developing country contexts. The review finds that many of these methodologies have limited applicability to developing countries and, therefore, an alternative methodology, termed the Sustainable Building Material Index (SBMI), is proposed. The SBMI methodology draws on both a life-cycle assessment approach and an expanded definition of sustainability, which includes social and economic aspects as well as environmental impacts, to develop a sustainability impact index of building products. The article describes and critically evaluates the SBMI and makes recommendations for further research. It appears that the SBMI has potential as methodology for establishing, and presenting, sustainability impacts of building products in developing countries. It is innovative as it provides a way of capturing simple socio-economic sustainability aspects related to building products that do not include other building product assessment methodologies. This aspect makes it particularly relevant to developing countries where there is a strong interest in using construction and related industries to create beneficial social and economic impacts such as job creation and training.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The strategic management of construction companies during recessionary cycles
    (University of the Free State, 2014) Buys, Fanie; Van Rooyen, Roelof
    English: This article reports on the results from a study done on the strident economic times in the construction industry following the FIFA Soccer World Cup – from August 2010 to December 2012. The research was conducted among Grade GB7, GB8 and GB9 main contractors in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, to identify the key strategies that are able to keep construction entities in operation. The study further investigated the key elements of a successful turnaround strategy, as well as the most effective methods of implementing strategies in construction organisations. A survey among twenty-two construction companies was conducted, using a questionnaire in which a 5-point Likert scale was used to assess the opinions of the respondents. Results from the study showed that companies tendered on more than one type of work (residential, commercial and/or industrial projects) during recessionary times, whereas they usually tendered on one type of work only. It was also noted that not only did the majority of the companies tender on different types of work (residential/commercial/industrial) during the recessionary period (2010-2012), but this was also found to be the most effective means of ‘keeping their doors open’. Construction industry companies are also advised that they should revise their short-term strategic plans on a quarterly basis, while the long-term vision should be assessed and adapted annually, whenever necessary.