Task 2: Essay
Course Number/ Name
Task 2: Essay
Projects in the construction industry bear significant risks due to their complexity and involvement of multiple parties in undertaking the activities. This situation leads to differences in the projects’ efficiency and effectiveness, which determines their success. Various aspects are considered in evaluating a project’s success, while quality and safety are among some of the determining factors. The overall quality of a project depends on the quality of materials used, which necessitates an appropriate procurement strategy. Besides, a project’s relationship with the environment determines its appropriateness; construction projects bear implications on climate change. The safety elements during the execution of a project define the measures adopted to prevent and respond to hazards. Typically, such elements have founded the basis of the establishment of regulatory policies and guidelines.
Sustainability and green building are fundamentally imperative considerations when carrying out project activities in the construction sector. These factors define the capacity of a particular project to exist in harmony with the environment (O’Neill & Gibbs, 2018). Such existence involves the consideration of environmental factors where a project consumes fewer amounts of natural resources and does not generate or release toxins ad waste materials into the environment. Besides, such a project should not interfere with natural habitats and life support systems such as soil and water. Essentially, green building involves designing and constructing structures while considering recycling while preserving energy and natural resources.
Each stakeholder in the construction industry plays a crucial role in enhancing sustainability and green building. Consumers are bound to make structures sustainable by bearing awareness of the environmentally sustainable materials and designs. As a result, they express their concerns to the contractors whenever they need a project implemented. Manufacturers, on the other hand, are responsible for producing up-to-standards building materials that do not pose a threat to the environment. In most cases, such materials necessitate higher production costs, but the manufacturers should be more concerned with the safety of the environment over their expected returns. Contractors are also vital as they should be willing to utilize such buildings materials that are environmentally sensitive regardless of their high costs. Such parties and their significance in the climatic patterns establish the basis of the regulation act’s provisions.
The Climate Change Act, enacted in 2008, aimed at upholding the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and hence facilitating green building (Fankhauser et al., 2018). Initially, the act committed countries in the UK to achieve an 80% reduction in the emission by 2050. However, this commitment was adjusted in 2019 from 80% to 100% reduction by 2050 (“What is the 2008 Climate Change Act?”, 2021). For the UK to achieve this new ambition, the act provided a basis for measures, including the carbon budgets. A carbon budget fundamentally establishes a five-year statutory limit on overall greenhouse gas emissions in the UK. The Climate Change Act has a significant impact as the UK presently experiences greatly reduced emissions while it complements other related regulations.
The Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations have also been established to uphold the project’s effectiveness and safety. The regulations were first ratified in 1994 but significant changes were made in 2015. The regulations provide specifications for duty holders, including the clients and contractors, where they bear responsibilities related to risk management (Manu et al., 2017). Essentially, a client is a person or an organization whose project is implemented; for instance, the GAM Group acts as the client for the 1970s office complex refurbishment. A client is responsible for the appointment of the designers and the contractors for their specific projects. The regulations require them to allow such contractors sufficient time and resources for the project to be implemented efficiently. They should also notify the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) of a project’s timeline that would be more than 500 person-days. The appointed contractor is responsible for any possibly emergent health and safety risks that would harm the workers and members of the surrounding community. The regulations also expect the contractor to develop a construction phase plan and document it. While the regulations facilitate the health and safety of a project, they are also essential in defining the procurement attributes.
The duty holders, as specified by the CDM Regulations, are dependent on the preferred procurement routes by the client. Organizations in the UK usually use procurement strategies, including the conventional approach, management approach, and design/ build, which offer an integrated approach (“Contracts for Construction: In-depth | Croner-I”, 2021). Different procurement methods specify roles for the duty holders differently. But a recent proposition suggests a partnering approach where involved stakeholders inclusively consent to work under the “mutual trust and co-operation” basis. As a result, the entire team starts participating at early stages and hence deals with issues regarding health and safety timely. A modification of the partnering approach is referred to as alliancing where the conception of including all participants stretches to shared objectives and rewards. Such considerations are meant to uphold both the tendering process and the project implementation.
Value management discipline, as a way of improving project quality and effectiveness, is constantly gaining recognition in the construction industry. The discipline encompasses the provision of services regarding upholding functional development of a project from concept to completion (Coetzee, 2010). The facilitation is achieved through the establishment of a value system developed by the client where decisions and evaluated by comparing and auditing them. This consequently improves decision-making while facilitating value-for-money. Its increased recognition has rendered a crucial consideration in the major stages of construction project implementation. Value management has been established vastly in various sectors, as well as the construction industry, while the UK government-sponsored reports have endorsed the methodology.
Value management bears more implications on a project if integrated at its inception. The fundamental purpose of value management is to reduce the overall cost with improved value of the project. Costs in a construction project become committed as it progresses, and thus renders the Value Management concept less effective when introduced at later stages (“Value management in building design and construction”, 2021). At project inception, design can be adjusted according to the proposed changes, while alterations may be difficult and expensive once a structure is erected. Value management is most suitable in projects involving huge capital investments, complex projects, and projects that are similar but in different locations. Typically, value management presents significant implications on such projects where it is applied.
Value management is associated with numerous positive implications on a project. Primarily, the concept results in high benefit and low-cost exercise, especially when deployed at early stages in a project. Value management generally reduces the need for reviews, and hence, the cost of a project reduces consequently (“Value management in building design and construction”, 2021). This concept also presents other abstract benefits, including stakeholders’ consensus and improved relationship, improved communication, and clear objectives. As a result, value management is considered a tool for facilitating the effectiveness of a project and ensuring that it satisfies the client’s needs.
Fire hazards are common in buildings where an outbreak would lead to substantial material losses and injuries. The safety of buildings from fire, therefore, necessitates the establishment of regulations, a situation that forms the review basis on the Hackett report regarding building regulations and fire safety (“Hackitt review of the building regulations and fire safety, final report”, 2021). Modern fire safety systems are intricate and demand exclusive attendance. The report terms these systems as broken and unfit for application, and proposes a transition to a simpler framework that will be focused on effective outcomes. Professionals responsible for procurement, designing, constructing, and servicing buildings bear unclearly defined roles. While competence across the entire construction industry is questionable, set regulations and guidelines are ambiguous. This situation necessitates demands the need to reassert such professional roles and responsibilities.
Hackett’s report proposes an establishment of a new framework specifically for high-risk residential buildings (HRRBs) – 10 storeys or taller buildings. Besides, a Joint Competent Authority (JCA) ought to be established where fire and rescue authorities collaborate with the Local Authority Building Standards to realize improved risk management. There is also a necessity to establish a mandatory reporting system for emergent incidents in stipulated buildings. Since present duty holders’ roles and responsibilities are vaguely defined, the framework should consider defining them clearly and aligning them with the CDM Regulations. In addition, isolation and competition of objectives should be replaced with a joint system for building safety delivery (Connor et al.). For the total implementation of the newly established regulations, corresponding penalties should be put in place to prevent negligence – the current system does not include penalties and prosecution definitions for fire safety breaches. With such measures in place, the building sector is most likely to realize reduced fire hazards and other related risks.
Implementing construction projects is fundamentally a core competency where it should be effectively and efficiently achieved. The eventual quality and safety of a project define its success and satisfaction to the client. For that reason, it is essential to consider the aspects related to quality and safety acutely. Various attributes define quality, including a project’s sustainability, which necessitates consideration of green building. Besides, the addition of value and the corresponding reduction of cost complements a project’s quality enhancement course. The involved parties should also adhere to the established regulations as this promotes competence and effectiveness. Such regulations may require adjustments as new and improved construction designs arise. Essentially, the construction industry is a fast-developing sector and hence necessitates extensive research for enhancements to ensure its success.
Coetzee, C. E. L. (2010). Value management in the construction industry: what does it entail and is it a worthwhile practice?.
Connor, C. P., Demir, C. M., Gordon, C. R., Jogee, C. A., Denny, Y., Chapman, M., & Davin, L. Scrutiny Review: Fire Safety in High Rise Blocks.
Contracts for Construction: In-depth | Croner-i. (2021). Retrieved 12 March 2021, from https://app.croneri.co.uk/topics/contracts-construction/indepth
Fankhauser, S., Averchenkova, A., & Finnegan, J. (2018). 10 years of the UK Climate Change Act. Policy Paper. London School of Economics and Political Science, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy. http://www. lse. ac. uk/GranthamInstitute/publication/10-yearsclimate-change-act.
Hackitt review of the building regulations and fire safety, final report. (2021). Retrieved 12 March 2021, from https://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/Hackitt_review_of_the_building_regulations_and_fire_safety,_final_report
Manu, P., Mahdjoubi, L., Gibb, A., & Behm, M. (2017, May). New tool will help civil engineers meet CDM requirements to design for safety. In Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers-Civil Engineering (Vol. 170, No. 2, pp. 55-55). Thomas Telford Ltd.
O’Neill, K., & Gibbs, D. (2018). Green building and sustainability: Diffusing green building approaches in the UK and Germany. In The Palgrave Handbook of Sustainability (pp. 547-565). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
Value management in building design and construction. (2021). Retrieved 12 March 2021, from https://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/Value_management_in_building_design_and_construction.
What is the 2008 Climate Change Act? – Grantham Research Institute on climate change and the environment. (2021). Retrieved 12 March 2021, from https://www.lse.ac.uk/granthaminstitute/explainers/what-is-the-2008-climate-change-act/