AS 2015 Volume 22 Issue 1

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Toward improved construction health, safety, and ergonomics in South Africa: a working model for use by architectural designers
    (University of the Free State, 2015) Goldswain, Craig; Smallwood, John
    English: The construction industry produces a high rate of accidents. Despite evidence that up to 50% of accidents can be avoided through mitigation of hazards and risks in the design phase of construction projects, architectural designers do not adequately engage in designing for construction health, safety, and ergonomics. The article reports on the development of an architectural design-oriented model toward a reduction of construction hazards and risks. The research intertwined a range of secondary data with four provisional studies undertaken in the Eastern Cape Province considered representative of South Africa, and involved quantitative and qualitative methodologies directed at architectural designers registered with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP). These served to provide local insight and a line of structured questioning for use in the main study, which was positioned in the action research (AR) paradigm and used focus-group (FG) methodology to solicit vast qualitative data from SACAP-registered participants. Synthesis of the FG data with literature and the provisional studies gave rise to a provisional model comprising six main model components and a range of subcomponents. The provisional model was validated and refined. The evolved model includes a core model embedded in a greater process model, and implementation and use of the core model relies on appropriate knowledge of architectural designers. It is recommended that tertiary architectural education institutions and those involved in architectural CPD programmes take ‘upstream design ownership’ and use the model as a basis for designing and implementing appropriate education and training programmes.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The construction project manager in South Africa: analysis of industry-specific knowledge
    (University of the Free State, 2015) Burger, Michelle; Venter, Basie; Zulch, Benita
    English: Construction project managers in the built environment come from various backgrounds and knowledge bases; therefore, the project managers’ project management set may differ. The type of knowledge required to improve CPD training of project managers thus needs to be determined. This would raise the knowledge levels needed for built environment project managers. The aim of this article is to determine the knowledge needed for the successful management of projects within the built environment. Industry-specific guidelines for construction project management (PMBOK and SACPCMP) were obtained and analysed. Expert interviews were conducted with experienced specialists (n=10) who held a senior managerial position within project management in the built environment. A case study and email questionnaires (n=40) were also analysed to determine the type of knowledge required. Data analysis was done using Microsoft Excel 2003®. Three areas of knowledge were identified, namely project management knowledge, industry-specific knowledge and knowledge through experience. Of these, industry-specific knowledge was considered the most important, although all three were very important. Project management knowledge areas essential to project managers included the nine PMBOK knowledge areas from the PMI PMBOK guide, 4th edition 2008, four additional PMI Construction extension to the PMBOK areas, experience as well as built environment-specific knowledge. This study was limited to the nine knowledge areas and did not include stakeholder management as the tenth area. The results from all three test methods (interviews, questionnaires and a case study) indicated that knowledge was essential for effective leadership, trust and communication within a project. Without knowledge, these organisational factors were compromised and project success could be negatively affected. It is concluded that the knowledge needed for the management of projects within the built environment had to include industry-specific knowledge pertinent to the built environment. The knowledge required does not currently appear in a single document, and it is recommended that a new document or set of required skills be established.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Project manager attributes influencing project success in the South African construction industry
    (University of the Free State, 2015) Gewanlal, Colin; Bekker, Michiel
    English: The South African construction industry has suffered the loss of many qualified middle-management-level project managers in recent years. This has resulted in many young, inexperienced project managers being forced to manage large complex projects. In addition, senior project managers, who are still practising locally, are too busy to mentor and guide the younger project managers, due to the shortage of professionals in the local industry. This article reports on a study done to identify the most important attributes that influence project success in the South African construction industry, by extracting a list of factors identified in the existing literature and grouping these factors into six main categories. Each category contains six factors. A questionnaire was compiled and distributed via an online survey tool. The data was analysed using statistical methods including concordance and correlation. The results indicated that ‘interpersonal factors’ was considered the most important category, followed by ‘application of theory’. ‘Personal contribution’ and ‘personal character’ were considered the least important categories. However, the most important attributing factors were ‘communication skills’ and ‘leadership style’, neither of which was listed under the top two categories. In general, a low level of concordance was achieved, confirming the belief that level of knowledge, experience and mutual agreement among participants in the industry is low.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The use of the critical path and critical chain methods in the South African construction industry
    (University of the Free State, 2015) Deacon, Henry; Van der Lingen, Elma
    English: The purpose of this article is to report on an investigation of the use of critical path and critical chain methods in the South African construction industry. Through a questionnaire survey, data was collected to establish which construction sectors apply these methods, the percentage of construction professionals using these methods, the reasons why these methods are applied, and the factors that influence the use of these methods. Based on the findings, the critical path and critical chain methods are mostly used in the South African construction industry by the building sector, in comparison to the civil and industrial sectors. The critical path method is used more than the critical chain method, with over 70% of the responding companies applying the critical path method and only 22% applying the critical chain method. The latter method is considered to be a relatively new project management tool and requires a culture change in the company. Users of the critical path method believe that the method mainly improves their project understanding, planning, scheduling and control, with all these improvements ultimately leading to better on-time completion of projects and cost saving.