The Benefits and Uptake of UK Modular Construction
The objective of this dissertation is to examine the size and dynamics of the UK modular industry now whilst exploring the government legislation and policies impacting its growth and uptake. A review on how the industry is set to evolve and grow in future is undertaken by study of present literature and qualitative interview analysis. The dissertation goes on to examine the benefits that will occur in the future as a result of this growth, both to the industry as a whole and at a more detailed level the modular construction industry.
The UK construction industry has continued to grow year on year since 2012 with an increased activity in commercial building, the housing market and civil engineering infrastructure. With this steady growth construction firms have been more willing to invest and expand to meet demand as government incentives such as the ‘help to buy’ scheme has made the housing market especially buoyant, helping to boost the whole industry but especially the modular construction sector.
The construction market is forecasted to slow in growth throughout 2018 however the construction industry will still receive the most investment of any major industry due to the rise in demand for office blocks, infrastructure and housing. With this steady growth it is to be expected that modular construction within the industry will also increase in correlation with this. The benefits of modular construction have been well documented. Its use throughout the history of the UK construction industry started with the introduction of prefabricated sections which were fast to install and avoided longer assembly times on site. The ability for offsite fabrication to reduce construction time has been seen as a benefit since the skill shortages and large scale need for fast construction that was created after the end of World War II. However, at this time the technology was not in place to provide this combination of high quality building and faster programme and so it fell out of favour with contractors and clients alike who were not willing to compromise quality with speed.
This bad image through the ages has left a stigma on pre-fabrication in the construction industry which developers are trying to shift in order to access the rewards offered by it. More recently however technological advances have now improved to accommodate a combination of quality and speed however uptake is still not as high as one might expect for such a seemingly revolutionary technology.
Investigate the government policies that promotes the use of modular construction in the UK industry
Research what benefits modular construction can provide to the current housing shortage faced by the UK
Investigate the economic benefits that a more active modular construction industry would bring
Investigate areas of future expansion for modular construction, exploring less conventional methods of application
2: Literature Review
An overview of modular construction
What is modular construction?
Benefits of modular construction
How large is the modular construction industry
Government legislation affecting the modular construction industry
Government strategy pushing modular construction
Modular building framework
Modular construction to help with skill shortage
To what extent can modular construction alleviate the UK housing shortage?
Previous impact of modular construction on the housing sector
Benefits that modern modular construction can bring to the UK housing shortage
What areas of future expansion are there for modular?
Hybrid modular systems
Removing limitations of delivering modules to site
Modular construction in civil engineering
What benefits will a more active modular construction industry bring
3: Research Methodology
Selection of Data Collection Method
4: Analysis and Results
Analysis and results
The importance of modular construction
How important government policy is on construction trends
Experience of working with modular construction
Making modular a more attractive alternative in the industry
The future of modular construction
Discussion of objectives
Discussion of research questions
6: Conclusion and Recommendations
Conclusion on the Results
Limitation of the Research
Further Research Recommendation
For more tips on how to write your own construction management dissertation check out the Construction Management Dissertation Collection today. It contains many dissertation topics and dissertation titles. I would very grateful if you can share this post on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you.
In recent years there has been an increase in UK construction companies forming Joint Ventures (JV) in order to compete for construction projects. JVs are an arrangement where companies combine their expertise, capital, property, skills and knowledge in order to execute a specific project. Despite the rise of Construction Joint Ventures (CJV), it has been reported that Joint Ventures are often problematic and result in disputes between the partners.
There is an abundance of research which focuses on different countries like China, Japan, and UAE, but there is very limited research that examines CJVs in the UK construction industry. This research aims to examine this CJV formation in the UK. It will identify the motives of UK companies forming Construction Joint Ventures, the reasons of failure, the factors of success. It also investigates the spike of UK CJV formation.
Initially, a literature review was carried out on the existing body of knowledge. Then a series of interviews were conducted with professionals that have been involved in different lengths with UK CJVs. The interview questions addressed all the aims and objectives of the research. Following an in-depth discussion of the literature and the data findings, it was revealed that the main motives that companies have to form a joint venture are to gain enough financial strength, exchange expertise, satisfy client needs, share risk and enter new geographical markets within the UK.
It was identified that the main risks of failure are choosing an unsuitable partner and inefficient collaboration. The study found that the spike of CJVs is due to the recession of 2008, the ‘Egan reports’ and client demand. The factors of success that were found are partners having common aims and objectives, clear procedures and being compatible with each other. In conclusion, the study provided an insight into the formation of CJV in the UK that did not exist previously.
Identify the motives of companies to form a CJV
Identify the risks and reasons of failure of CJVs
Investigate the increase of CJVs in the UK construction industry
Provide an updated account on factors of success of UK CJVs
1 – Introduction
2 – Literature Review
Definition of Joint ventures
Difference between JV and CJVs
Operation of CJVs
Motives to form Joint Ventures
Risks and reasons of failure of CJV
Determinant of Success
Factors of success of CJV in different industries
Differences between Industries
Common Trends throughout the Literature
CJVs in the UK industry
3 – Methodology
Comparison of types of research
4 – Data Analysis
5 – Discussion
Key objective 1: Identify the motives of companies to form a CJV
Key objective 2: Identify the risks and reasons of failure of CJVs
Key objective 3: Investigation of increase of CJVs in the UK construction industry
Key objective 4: Provide an updated account on factors of success of UK CJVs
6 – Conclusions
Aim of the research
For more tips on how to write your own construction management dissertation check out the Construction Management Dissertation collection today. It contains many dissertation topics and dissertation titles. I would very grateful if you can share this post on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you.
Title: NRM – Is New Rules of Measurement A Real Success Story? There has been many pieces of literature in the UK construction industry which say the implementation of NRM has been successful however there has been very little surveys carried out which provide true data not opinions. Through analysing NRM in depth looking at the perceived advantages and barriers to their adoption it provided a better understanding of what the RICS were trying to achieve with New Rules Measurement. The dissertation aimed evaluate the impact of New Rules Measurement has had on the UK construction industry and how well the suite of documents were understood and utilised.
The method of data collection used in this research dissertation was questionnaires; this provided quantitative data which there was a lack of on this subject. This data was collected through the questionnaire which was sent to various companies to gain a greater understanding of the impact of New Rules Measurement across the industry. The main findings in the research were that many QS’s surveyed had not been given any training on New Rules Measurement as there was a small number of projects requesting its use. Quantity surveyors surveyed also believe there are benefits to using New Rules Measurement however they are not willing to seek training without a higher demand in New Rules Measurement use from clients.
A conclusion that can be drawn from the dissertation is that New Rules Measurement has yet to impact the industry as a whole, as many quantity surveyors do not fully understand what the documents are or what they are trying to achieve. The RICS should endeavour to keep promoting this publication to ensure the benefits are realised across the industry so that it becomes industry standard. The aim of this dissertation is to investigate the impact of New Rules Measurement and how it is being utilised in the UK construction industry and to evaluate the impact and utilisation. This research hopes to identify any barriers that may hinder the full integration of New Rules Measurement and therefore allows any issues to be clearly identified for the UK construction industry.
Investigate the need for the UK construction industry to update from SMM7 to New Rules Measurement
Critical appraisal of New Rules Measurement to produce an understanding of its contents
Identification of barriers that hold back New Rules Measurement
Evaluation of New Rules Measurement’s potential benefits
What are the opinions of those in industry on New Rules Measurement and how it is being used
Research Aim Research Objectives
Research Method and Scope
Analysis of NRM and its impact
Problems in current Quantity Surveying Practice
The need for NRM
Barriers to use of NRM in UK construction industry
Advantages of NRM
Innovation in the construction industry
Rational for Questionnaire
Experience of Participants
Knowledge of Current Industry Standards
Use of Current Industry Standards
Knowledge of NRM
Use of NRM
Training on NRM
NRM being beneficial
Projects that used NRM in 2015
Projects that will use NRM in 2016
Barriers to NRM
NRM providing cost consistency and accuracy
Opinions on NRM
If it were your choice would you use NRM
Advantages of NRM
Conclusion and Recommendation
Aims & Objectives
Comments on objectives
Investigate the need to update from SMM7 to NRM
Critical appraisal of NRM
Barriers of NRM
Opinions on NRM and how it is being used
I do hope you enjoyed reading this post on New Rules Measurement and Is New Rules of Measurement A Real Success Story? There are many other titles available in the construction dissertation collection that should be of interest to construction management students and building professionals. There are many dissertation titles that relate to other aspects of construction such as project management techniques, environmental management, building and construction methods to name a few. It took a lot of time to write this post and I would be grateful if you could share this post via Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you.
The most pressing issue in the 21st century is climate change. The positive advances in sustainable construction indicate the dedication to lowering emissions and making sure that sustainable living is widespread throughout society. The UK Government has instilled various climate change initiatives, subsidies and targets into the industry in attempt to boost the uptake of sustainable development in the construction industry. However, the pressures for building green detriment the ability to build low cost developments. The economic recession faced by the UK is inaugurating the conflict between sustainable development and value for money. In order to determine the consequences that the sustainable building culture has had on the construction costs a literature review was carried out on a number of resources containing Government reports, Regulations and Laws, manufacturers information, research from professional bodies and academic reports. A survey was also conducted, gathering the opinion of people with invested interest in the construction industry. The findings of this report suggest that at present, sustainable construction is costing more to implement during the initial construction phase, which is understandable due to the increased levels of technology installed. The majority of sustainable developments are occupied by business use, which indicates that zero carbon homes are not yet affordable as domestic homes. However, market trends suggest that in the future, once all homes are sustainably built, the prices will level off with the eradication of the prestige value.
The hypothesis of this research dissertation is that with more and more pressures and new legislation applied to sustainable construction this may be forcing contract costs to rise. With the client in mind, rising capital costs may hinder their objectives. It will be considered that there may be methods of lowering cost while still achieving an element of sustainable construction. The main aim of this research dissertation is to ascertain the relationship between sustainable construction and the costs associated with building green.
Sustainable Construction Dissertation Objectives
Review current legislation and framework in place to endorse sustainable construction
Examine the relationship between the initial cost of sustainable construction and the whole life cost of completed projects
Outline the trend in construction costs in relation to advances in sustainable construction
Explore the reactions and opinions of construction professionals on costs of building green
Determine recommendations to be used in order to best develop the sustainable construction industry while achieving the clients objectives
I do hope you enjoyed reading this post on sustainable development on the UK construction industry. There are many other titles available in the construction dissertation collection that should be of interest to construction management students and building professional. There are many dissertation titles that relate to other aspects of construction such as project management techniques, environmental management, building and construction methods to name a few. It took a lot of time to write this post and I would be grateful if you could share this post via Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you.
From the oxford dictionary, architecture is the science or art of designing and constructing buildings. Architecture involves a lot of this including the planning construction, designing structures by manipulation of materials so that they can meet a social environmental, functional, technical or aesthetic value. Estimation of construction costs, scheduling and the administration of construction of the buildings is also part of what architecture encompasses. In the past architectures conducted almost everything involving a construction, except the practically building work. As of today, for a building to be constructed, there is a lot of collaboration involved. Interior designers, engineers, electricians, construction managers, governing authority representative and owner’s representatives are only a few of the players that collaborate with architectures to ensure a structure is brought up successfully to meet the specifications and the requirements of the owner. It is therefore very evident that architecture is no longer a one man’s game. The collaborations have brought with them benefits and also a few challenges.
Research suggests that architecture is not a one man’s game. Architecture is old. The very first publication on the topic was in the 1st century AD. This publication was by a roman architect known as Vitruvius. According to this architect, a building had to poses three main principles for it to be considered satisfactory. The three principles were:
Beauty- the building had to be of aesthetic value meaning it had to be appealing to the eye.
Durability- for a building to be termed as satisfactory, it had to stand strong and in good condition for a very long time.
Utility-the suitability of a building to the purpose it was meant for was also a major principle in determining the quality of a building. Over the years architecture evolved from construction of buildings to roads and even bridges.
An architecture industry requires an integrated approach for faster completion and desirable outcome. According to Collins (2011), different teams including the owner, project manager, interior designer and the architect are brought together to ensure that the project outcome is viable and efficient. Coming up with a workable team for delivering successful integrated project requires commitment. All the participants are supposed to: identify a mutually agreeable goal and objective; develop arrangements to define roles of each participant; and recognize the organization structure to avoid conflicting roles.
Every integrated project has stages in which each actor has a responsibility to carry out. From the conceptualization phase through construction, every actor has relevant role (Collins, 2011). Below is a description of each phase and the collaborating responsibility of each of the actors.
The manager, interior designer, engineers and architect with other stakeholders must come together to define WHAT is to be built, WHO is to build, and HOW it is supposed to be done. The manager is expected to come up with goals that define the performance and function of the project to be executed (Lowe, 2009). He also determines the project procurement process, he gives out data regarding the physical factors of the area in which the project is to be constructed and provide policies and legislative framework affecting the project.
According to Yazici (2010), the prime designer must come up with the project schedule i.e. commencing time through the completion period; visualize the adjacency concerns of the project and its massing; and provide a sustainable design that has the least cost and least impacts on the surrounding. Together with the engineers and the architect, the designers must be involved in cost information, the procurement process and awarding of tender, and validation of the scope of work.
Criteria and Detailed Design
After decisions are made on the scope and schedule of work, the project commences. Each option and decision is analyzed and evaluated, tested and selection of best option is done. It should involve all the actors to finalize the scope of the project, design of the building systems such as the structure and skin, the schedule and cost estimates (Lowe, 2009).
The project manager facilitates site input and reviews of user group. He/she then gives a feedback to the team in regard to revision. Together with the project coordinator, the manager coordinates the overall schedule of performance of every actor, organize and direct the overall team (Collins, 2011). The designers also have a role to play; they integrated the design input, issue regulations required for the project, outline the specifications of the project and refine the design schedule.
In the detailed design concludes WHAT is to be done in the project. All design decisions are made here. All the project systems are defined. Engineers define and coordinate the project elements (Lowe, 2009). The quality levels of materials are established and the project commences after verification of schedule, cost, prefabrication decisions and tolerances by all actors.
Documentation of the Implementation of the Project
At this stage, everything shifts from WHAT to HOW the project is to be implemented. The actors come up with construction methods and means, the schedule, finalized costs, and a document defining and visualizing the final project (Lowe, 2009). The construction health and safety guidelines including control of noise, infection, vibration and injuries are all defined as per the owner and legal standards.
This is the phase where each actor actualizes the project. Every person has his/her role to play as per the schedule and responsibility allocated. The manager ensures compliance in terms of obligations, organize the procurement required equipment and materials and also coordinates the team (Yazici, 2010). The interior designer is qualified to select and procure all accessories, furniture and materials of a project. At the early stages of construction, the architect can work together with the designer in making the floor plan and placement of artwork and furnishes. Interior designer can also give a helping hand in making the architectural details of cabinetry, lighting and carpentry design.
Use of BIM in the Collaborative Approach
An important model that illustrates the need for a collaborative approach is the Building Information Model (BIM). It is a digitized three dimensional representation of a project and its distinctive characteristics. A door, for instance, with its defined dimensions and material is hosted and related parametrically to the wall of the building. In addition, the BIM provides a consistent view of the representation which saves a lot of time to designers and engineers. According to the National BIM standard, 2010 (as quoted by Post, 2008), this model involves virtual designing and construction through the life cycle of the project.
There are two types of BIM: the lonely and the social types (Vardo, 2009). “lonely” BIM excludes the construction manager while the “social” involves all actors. The most collaborative BIM is the “social” since it enables architect, engineer, construction manager and the designer to share the model. Moreover, the building information from the model can be shared among the whole team. After collaboration of all actors, the information generated can be used to prefabricate the required products.
According to Post (2008), there is another form of BIM known as “intimate” BIM. This model involves the team members and the owner sharing the project rewards and risks. A combination of “intimate” and “social” BIMs enhances efficiency through reduction of the cost and time in the project and also in production of high quality drawings.
Each project actor can use the Building Information Modelling through the planning, design, construction and operation stages (Kenley, 2010). BIM can be used during the design phase since it has an influence on the cost of the project. The entire team can come together and analyze the projected issues which would otherwise incur extra costs to the owner. This can be done through cost-benefit analysis (CBA).
Kenley (2010) stated that at the design phase, the project engineer and architect are involved in energy analysis and also in testing of their design knowledge. Through the model, the construction manager can come up with value, sequencing and engineering reports. If the team comes up with a 3-dimensional plan, the owner can decide whether he/she likes the design before construction commences.
BIM can also be used at the construction phase for accurate building purposes. BIM can generate survey points for the sight which would allow for accurate positioning of hangers; this eases the work of the contractors (Lowe, 2009). Managers must also plan for transportation, fabrication, installation and coordination during construction; this information can be updated on the model.
According to Yazici (2010), BIM can also be used to monitor and plan for the workforce. The Laser Scanners of the 3D model are used to monitor the location of workers at the site and also monitoring the daily activities. Using the same model, deviations from the original plan can be detected and changes made before any damage.
At the post construction stage, space and asset management, building maintenance, disaster planning and management and record modeling facilitates easy building maintenance through its operation phase (Post, 2008). The model can be used to build system analysis based on lighting, energy and mechanical analysis. Moreover, the BIM can be used to upgrade the components of the building. The table on the following page shows the uses of BIM at each stage of project development:
Examining existing conditions
Estimation of costs
Site analysis and programming
Reviewing of design
Analysis of energy
Authoring of design
Site planning and utilization
3-D control and planning
Maintenance and scheduling
Analysis of building systems
Opportunities and Challenges of the Collaborative Approach
Whenever all the actors work together, the intensity of work is reduced. Conflict of interest and duplication of work is also minimized. Through BIM, all work done during construction can be monitored and corrections made in case of divergence from the existing plan; this minimizes emerging issues that would interfere with the whole process. Furthermore, all actors are satisfied due to transparency as they are involved in the whole process. Although collaboration is encouraged, it is undebatable that factors such as culture and consumerism would hinder full participation. Some designers would not be willing to share their materials and knowledge with engineers or architects and vice versa. The upcoming technology has also hindered collaboration as most of the work has been mechanized.
Case Study: Gensler Company Architecture
History and background
Gensler architecture was founded in the year 1965 by Drue and art Gensler and their associate James Follett. At that time the company’s main focus was corporate interiors but with time it has ventured into other numerous areas. They include: architecture and design of retail center, airport, education and recreation centers, urban planning and design, environmental graphic design, sustainable design consultation and brand strategy. The company has its headquarters in San Francisco, United States. The company is responsible for construction of major buildings all over the world and in 2000 it received an award for the architecture firm of the year from the American institute of architects. Structures like the Shanghai Tower in China, Facebook in London and The Avenues in Kuwait are products of this firm. As of today the company is home to a population of more than three thousand three hundred employees.
The company’s location is one of its strength, since it is easily accessible by customers from all over the world.
The company has built a strong brand that is recognized by people all over especially because of the breathtaking structures that they are associated with all over the globe.
Manpower- with the large number of employees in the company, there is delegation of duties which ensures that everyone produces their very best in the company.
Due to the various collaborations the company has with businesses dealing with interior design, manufacturers of construction materials and engineering companies they are able to come up with structures that are simply exquisite.
The company has a focused team in management meaning that the daily running of the business is under scrutiny and supervision of a very able team.
The company’s position in the architecture industry is also a major strength, since it is involved in setting standards in the industry.
Diversity- the company offers a variety of services having lately ventured into the health and wellness sectors which means they have a large and diverse source of revenue.
The company has not penetrated the markets in the world in the architecture industry. This means their market is not widespread and therefore there are parts in the world where no one has an idea that the company actually exists.
Dependence on material manufacturing companies- the firm does not produce is own material and therefore if anything goes wrong with the manufacture of materials, it could mean problems to the company.
Prices- the company charges prices that are considered expensive and hence some customers may prefer other companies to them.
The architectural industry is under rapid growth and being the best they can be able to maintain their standards and reap large profits.
Increased interest in real estate- all over the world, people have grown interest in the real estate business providing a booming market for architectural firms. This is a great opportunity for Gensler.
Developing countries- this is a great opportunity for Gensler since as a country develops, it requires lots of structures and infrastructure where the company comes in.
Interior design- this industry is growing rapidly and since Gensler also offers this services. It proves to be a great opportunity for the company.
The greatest threat for the company is competition. There is great competition in the architectural industry. The company’s main competitors are URS Corporation and HOK Groups Inc.
The other threat is government interference. Policies and regulations put in place by the government for construction of structures are a threat to the company.
Economic crisis- the current economic crisis that has hit the world is another major threat for the success and survival of the company.
Problems brought about by partnerships and collaborations with other businesses is another issue that poses a threat to the company’s success.
Technology- with the everyday of growth and change in technology, the company faces a challenge of keeping up with what’s new in technology.
Issues and challenges
Cultural variances are a challenge for the company since it has to meet a customer’s need despite differences in culture. The company also faces a great deal of problems when it comes to creating customer friendly costs and at the same time making enough profit to sustain the large task force. Managing the large number of staff and ensuring that every one delivers is another issue that is affecting the company.
Divided attention is also a problem though not a major one; it affects the company all the same. With the company venturing into different sectors, it become difficult to ensure every single one performs.
Economic crisis that has caused a recession recently is also a problem for Gensler.
The company should put up strategies that ensure that the company is not shaken by the economic crisis.
By ensuring that the staff is strictly professionally qualified in their area of work, the company will reduce the amount of supervision required and hence making employee management easier.
The company should also evaluate critically any business before getting into collaboration or partnerships with them.
One of the main reasons why the company has made it big in the very competitive industry is because they have encouraged collaboration with other sectors such as interior design unlike others who ensure that all the work is done by the architects.
Collins, R. (2011). “BIM for Safety, Virtual Design and Construction VDC Application.” Intelibuild
Kenley, R. (2010). Location-Based Management for Construction. Spon: New York
Lowe, R. H. (2009). Construction Lawyer28.1. Associated General Contractors of America.
Post, N. M. (2008). “Building Team Views Technological Tools as Best Chance For Change.” Engineering News Record.
Vardaro, M. J. (2009). “Weighing the Issues on BIM Technology.” Interview by Calvin Lee. Zetlin & DeChiara LLP Review. Web. May 2010
Yazici, O. C. (2010). “BIM, Scheduling and RFID.” Personal interview