Exploring the Challenges to Usage of Building and Construction Cost Indices in Ghana

Price fluctuation contract is imperative and of paramount essence in the construction industry as it provides adequate relief and cushioning for changes in the prices of input resources during construction. As a result, several methods have been devised to better help in arriving at fair recompense in the event of price changes. However, stakeholders often appear not to be satisfied with the existing methods of fluctuation evaluation, ostensibly because of the challenges associated with them. The aim of this study was to identify the challenges to usage of building construction cost indices in Ghana. Data were gathered from contractors and quantity surveying firms. The study utilized survey questionnaire approach to elicit responses from the contractors and the consultants. Data gathered were analyzed scientifically, using the Relative Importance Index (RII) to rank the problems associated with the existing methods. The findings revealed the following among others: late release of data; inadequate recovery of costs; and work items of interest not included in the published indices as the main challenges of the existing methods. Findings provided useful lessons for policy makers and practitioners in decision making towards the usage and improvement of available indices.

Incentive Policies to Promote Green Infrastructure in Urban Jordan

The wellbeing of urban dwellers is strongly associated with the quality and quantity of green infrastructure. Nevertheless, urban green infrastructure is still lagging in many Arab cities, and Jordan is no exception. The capital city of Jordan, Amman, is becoming more urban dense with limited green spaces. The unplanned urban growth in Amman has caused several environmental problems such as urban heat islands, air pollution and lack of green spaces. This study aims to investigate the most suitable drivers to leverage the implementation of urban green infrastructure in Jordan through qualitative and quantitative analysis. The qualitative research includes an extensive literature review to discuss the most common drivers used internationally to promote urban green infrastructure implementation in the literature. The quantitative study employs a questionnaire survey to rank the suitability of each driver. Consultants, contractors and policymakers were invited to fill the research questionnaire according to their judgments and opinions. Relative Importance Index has been used to calculate the weighted average of all drivers and the Kruskal-Wallis test to check the degree of agreement among groups. This study finds that research participants agreed that indirect financial incentives (i.e., tax reductions, reduction in stormwater utility fee, reduction of interest rate, density bonus etc.) are the most effective incentive policy whilst granting sustainability certificate policy is the least effective driver to ensure widespread of UGI is elements in Jordan.

Analysis of Delays during Initial Phase of Construction Projects and Mitigation Measures

A perfect start is a key factor for project completion on time. The study examined the effects of delayed mobilization of resources during the initial phases of the project. This paper mainly highlights the identification and categorization of all delays during the initial construction phase and their root cause analysis with corrective/control measures for the Kuwait Oil Company oil and gas projects. A relatively good percentage of the delays identified during the project execution (Contract award to end of defects liability period) attributed to mobilization/preliminary activity delays. Data analysis demonstrated significant increase in average project delay during the last five years compared to the previous period. Contractors had delays/issues during the initial phase, which resulted in slippages and progressively increased, resulting in time and cost overrun. Delays/issues not mitigated on time during the initial phase had very high impact on project completion. Data analysis of the delays for the past five years was carried out using trend chart, scatter plot, process map, box plot, relative importance index and Pareto chart. Construction of any project inside the Gathering Centers involves complex management skills related to work force, materials, plant, machineries, new technologies etc. Delay affects completion of projects and compromises quality, schedule and budget of project deliverables. Works executed as per plan during the initial phase and start-up duration of the project construction activities resulted in minor slippages/delays in project completion. In addition, there was a good working environment between client and contractor resulting in better project execution and management. Mainly, the contractor was on the front foot in the execution of projects, which had minimum/no delays during the initial and construction period. Hence, having a perfect start during the initial construction phase shall have a positive influence on the project success. Our research paper studies each type of delay with some real example supported by statistic results and suggests mitigation measures. Detailed analysis carried out with all stakeholders based on impact and occurrence of delays to have a practical and effective outcome to mitigate the delays. The key to improvement is to have proper control measures and periodic evaluation/audit to ensure implementation of the mitigation measures. The focus of this research is to reduce the delays encountered during the initial construction phase of the project life cycle.

Critical Success Factors Influencing Construction Project Performance for Different Objectives: Procurement Phase

Critical success factors (CSFs) and the criteria to measure project success have received much attention over the decades and are among the most widely researched topics in the context of project management. However, although there have been extensive studies on the subject by different researchers, to date, there has been little agreement on the CSFs. The aim of this study is to identify the CSFs that influence the performance of construction projects, and determine their relative importance for different objectives across five stages in the project life cycle. A considerable literature review was conducted that resulted in the identification of 179 individual factors. These factors were then grouped into nine major categories. A questionnaire survey was used to collect data from three groups of respondents: client representatives, consultants, and contractors. Out of 164 questionnaires distributed, 93 were returned, yielding a response rate of 56.7%. Using the mean score, relative importance index, and weighted average method, the top 10 critical factors for each category were identified. The agreement of survey respondents on those categorised factors were analysed using Spearman’s rank correlation. A one-way analysis of variance was then performed to determine whether the mean scores among the various groups of respondents were statistically significant. The findings indicate the most CSFs in each category in procurement phase are: proper procurement programming of materials (time), stability in the price of materials (cost), and determining quality in the construction (quality). They are then followed by safety equipment acquisition and maintenance (health and safety), budgeting allowed in a contractual arrangement for implementing environmental management activities (environment), completeness of drawing documents (productivity), accurate measurement and pricing of bill of quantities (risk management), adequate communication among the project team (human resource), and adequate cost control measures (client satisfaction). An understanding of CSFs would help all interested parties in the construction industry to improve project performance. Furthermore, the results of this study would help construction professionals and practitioners take proactive measures for effective project management.

Traffic Congestion on Highways in Nigeria Causes, Effects and Remedies

This study investigates the causes, effects and remedies of traffic congestion which has become a common sight in most highways in Nigeria; Mowe/Ibafo section of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway was used as the case-study. 300 Structured questionnaires were distributed among the road users comprising drivers (Private and Commercial), passengers, pedestrians, traffic officers, church congregations, community leaders, Mowe/Ibafo residents, and other users of the road. 300 questionnaires were given out; the average of 276 well completed returned questionnaires formed the basis of the study and was analyzed by the Relative Importance Index (R.I.I.). The result from the study showed the causes of traffic congestion as inadequate road capacity, poor road pavement, poor traffic management, poor drainage system poor driving habit, poor parking habit, poor design junctions/round-about, presence of heavy trucks, lack of pedestrian facilities, lack of road furniture, lack of parking facilities and others. Effects of road congestion from the study are waste of time, delay movement, stress, accident, inability to forecast travel of time, fuel consumption, road rage, relocation, night driving, and environmental pollution. To drastically reduce these negative effects; there must be provision for adequate parking space, construction of proper drainage, enlarging the width of the road, rehabilitate all roads needing attention, public enlightenment, traffic education, hack down all illegal buildings/shops built on the right of way (ROW), create a separate/alternative root for trucks and heavy vehicles, provision of pedestrian facilities, In-depth training of transport/traffic personnel, ban all form of road trading/hawking, and reduce the number of bus-stop where necessary. It is hoped that this study will become the foundation of further research in the area of improve road traffic management on our major highway.