AS 2006 Volume 13 Issue 1

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Informal¹ small brickyards in the Free State townships are enhancing local economic development
    (University of the Free State, 2006) Steÿn, Das; Jooste-Smit, Petria
    English: This article explores the role that small scale informal brickyards can play in providing bricks to the local housing market and in doing so create jobs for the local people. Most of these bricks are burned in kilns. The authors look into the possibility of introducing the manufacturing of raw earth bricks to these existing brickyards. Earth has a long tradition in South Africa (SA) and around the world. Many buildings such as mosques and houses were built with earth. Today an estimated 30% of the world’s population still lives in buildings made of earth. This is also the case in many townships around Bloemfontein. The poorest people live in self made earth houses. The production of raw earth bricks can play an important role in the development of the local economy. Case studies provide examples of the impact that such small and micro enterprises have on development. The impact on the environment and land use factors of the location of the brickyards are discussed. A scenario is sketched in which the economic impact of earth bricks are compared with other bricks like burnt and cement bricks and cement blocks. Some suggestions on how these brickyards can be supported by local government and planning policy to make them sustainable are discussed.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Evaluation of design criteria for economically viable sustainable housing in Gauteng, South Africa¹
    (University of the Free State, 2006) Minnaar, E.; Cloete, C.
    English: As a result of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Develop ment (UNCED) Earth Summit Conference in Rio de Janeiro, 180 nations adopted a program called Agenda 21: an international attempt to create a normative blueprint for sustainable development worldwide. It is, however, not really pos sible to define a normative blueprint for the whole spectrum of human settle ments worldwide, as economical, ecological, geographical, topographical and social contexts differ. In informal settlements, especially, design criteria for sus tainable development are of paramount importance. While this paper exam ines these problems from an international point of view, it does so in a South African context. Problems in five subsystems (political, economical, sociocul tural, environmental and technological) are examined. Recommended solu tions are summarised in tables of design applications concerning the site selection; passive solar design; watersaving measures; sanitation options and applicable energy conservation measures. To dispel possible doubts concern ing the use of traditional materials and practice, a further summary has been compiled to show the benefits gained by using these alternative construction methods, expounding vernacular building methods that have traditionally been used in South Africa and in similar climatic conditions elsewhere.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Mediation practice in the South African construction industry
    (University of the Free State, 2006) Povey, A. L.; Cattell, K. S.; Michell, K. A
    English: Dissatisfaction with the traditional methods of litigation and arbitration for set tling disputes has led to an increase in the growth of alternative dispute reso lution (ADR) processes. Presently mediation is the ADR process most frequently used for settling disputes that arise within the South African construction indus try. This paper presents the findings of an investigation into the practice of mediation in the South African construction industry. The main findings of the investigation were that the mediators are more intent on resolving the dispute for the parties, than assisting the parties in seeking their own settlement to the dispute. The majority of the respondents place greater emphasis on the im portance of their technical expertise, authority and their understanding of the matter in dispute rather than on moving the parties towards an indepth understanding of each other’s perspectives on the matter in dispute. Finally, it is concluded that the process being employed by mediators in the South African construction industry is not consistent with the generally accepted principles of the mediation process.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Cognitive computing tools in architectural project management education: approach, process and evaluation
    (University of the Free State, 2006) De Villiers, André J
    English: doing professional masters degree programmes at the University of Pretoria incorporates a variety of aspects related to planning, scheduling, finance, monitoring and control. In an effort to train future professionals in skills for the workplace, the module on Practice Management is using commercial off-theshelf software (COTS) as cognitive tools for simulating real-world architectural management. This paper reports on and evaluates the process whereby students generate their own framework of inter-linked spreadsheets and scheduling charts and contextually apply it, within their personal thesis projects, to integrate key aspects of management and financial control. The tools are used to manipulate knowledge and their interactivity provides dynamic modelling for decision making and the exploration of alternatives. Use of these cognitive management tools synergistically fosters cognition, reflection and comprehension of project management principles. Students’ perspectives on the venture are evaluated, the findings reported and discussed, and minor adjustments suggested for future offerings of the module
  • ItemOpen Access
    Tender evaluation methods in construction projects: a comparative case study
    (University of the Free State, 2006) Oladapo, Ade A; Odeyinka, Henry A
    English: A review of tender evaluation practices from around the world revealed the inadequacy of the ‘lowest bidder’ criterion for contractor selection. In response to this inadequacy, many countries have introduced qualifications to this cri terion and established procedures for the evaluation process. The objective of the qualifications is to select a suitable contractor whilst fostering compet itiveness. Using a multicriteria decision making (MCDM) approach, the study identified eight contractor attributes from the literature, which are thought to be indicators of contractors’ capability to execute a contract and meet certain projectspecific criteria. Employing a case study project, the tenders of eight contractors shortlisted for the project were evaluated with the attributes using the “lowest bid”, multiattribute analysis (MAA) and analytic hierarchy process (AHP) methods. The results showed that the two multicriteria decision making methods indicated the selection of contractors other than what the ‘lowest bidder’ criterion indicated. Comparing the results of the MAA and AHP meth ods, it is evident that the two methods differed very little in their ranking of the contractors. This implies that the more complex nature of AHP and the extra efforts it requires have only a minor influence on the final ranking of contrac tors and seems to suggest that the extra cost of using AHP is not justified.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Affordability of quantity surveying services on construction projects in South Africa*
    (University of the Free State, 2006) Cruywagen, Hoffie; Snyman, Emile
    English: surveyors to offer reduced professional fees on construction projects due to the competitiveness of the market. This reduction in fees offered by professionals usually falls somewhere between the recommended fees as published by the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors and a fee that is far below a fair remuneration for the services offered. Research was done by means of questionnaires to practicing quantity sur veyors, as well as analysing time spent on projects in order to determine how affordable professional services can be rendered and what the most influ encing factors for determining fees are. The current Tariff of Professional fees was also scrutinised to see how it evolved over the years, as it is still used as a basis to calculate the fees on which a discount is offered. The main findings of the research were that quantity surveying services can be rendered affordable, but the quantity surveyor is more exposed to the risk of not being able to render the service affordable on certain projects types and the risk further increases with a decrease in project value.