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Innovations in Building Materials

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... The study will be significant because the topic has not been explored before. Manufacturers are a key source of product innovation on building and construction projects (M. (1960(M. ( ) Bowley, 1960M. Bowley, 1966;D. Gann, 2001;Larsson, Sundqvist, & Emmitt, 2006). Yet apart from previous work by Manley (K. Manley & Marceau, 2002;K. Manley, 2008a), there has been no significant empirical study exploring the role of knowledge flows in enabling greater adoption of innovative products. Existing literature on pre-ass ...
... The study will be significant because the topic has not been explored before. Manufacturers are a key source of product innovation on building and construction projects (M. (1960(M. ( ) Bowley, 1960M. Bowley, 1966;D. Gann, 2001;Larsson, Sundqvist, & Emmitt, 2006). Yet apart from previous work by Manley (K. Manley & Marceau, 2002;K. Manley, 2008a), there has been no significant empirical study exploring the role of knowledge flows in enabling greater adoption of innovative products. Existing literature on pre-assembly systems (Barlo ...
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Purpose: The goal of this conceptual paper is to provide tools to help maximise the value delivered by infrastructure projects, by developing methods to increase adoption of innovative products during construction. Methods: The role of knowledge flows in determining innovation adoption rates is conceptually examined. A promising new approach is developed. Open innovation system theory is extended, by reviewing the role of three frameworks: (1) knowledge intermediaries, (2) absorptive capacity and (3) governance arrangements. Originality: We develop a novel open innovation system model to guide further research in the area of adoption of innovation on infrastructure projects. The open innovation system model currently lacks definition of core concepts, especially with regard to the impact of different degrees and types of openness. The three frameworks address this issue and add substance to the open innovation system model, addressing widespread criticism that it is underdeveloped. The novelty of our model is in the combination of the three frameworks to explore the system. These frameworks promise new insights into system dynamics and facilitate the development of new methods to optimise the diffusion of innovation. Practical Implications: The framework will help to reveal gaps in knowledge flows that impede the uptake of innovations. In the past, identifying these gaps has been difficult given the lack of nuance in existing theory. The knowledge maps proposed will enable informed policy advice to effectively harness the power of knowledge networks, increase innovation diffusion and improve the performance of infrastructure projects. The models developed in this paper will be used in planned empirical research into innovation on large scale infrastructure projects in the Australian built environment.
... The mining, chemical and industrial processing of asbestos provides a case of what was once seen as a 'miracle material' or 'magic mineral' (Bowley 1960;Tweedale 2000), widely used since the days of the early Greek and Roman civilisations. And yet asbestos presents dangers at all stages of its extraction and preparation and this has been noted for centuries (Mesothelioma Center 2014). ...
Chapter
Taking a green criminology approach to discussion of what White (Crimes against nature: Environmental criminology and ecological justice, Willan, Cullompton, 2008) calls ‘brown crimes’ this chapter notes the current context of neo-liberal economic policies that demand pursuit of growth and minimisation of regulation. It then sets out five examples of damaging pollution and hazardous waste disposal before considering the irony of the growth of the de-manufacturing industries in China and India where recycling is producing heavy pollution and health harms. Discussion considers this state of environmental injustice, weak and failed regulation and the desirability of less rather than more growth.
... Newly innovated building materials such as carbon fibre, glass fibre, Teflon glass fabric, translucent glazing, carbon nana tubes, spider silk, Kevlar, Styrofoam are used by architects and engineers in innovating complex designs. These newly innovated building materials offered designers and engineers the opportunity to innovate all sort of complex designs (Bowley 1960, Brookes & Poole 2004). Conventional building materials have to give way to improved and newly innovated building materials due to rapid increases in population, urban requirements and climatic influence. ...
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Solution to a design problem can be achieved by understanding the holistic nature of the problem before adopting a problem solving process. As part of Architectural design problem solving Creativity and Innovation are among factors that incorporate new concepts and methods in designing. But, unfortunately these factors are affected by financial statues and designer level of experience. This study is about some of the factors that influence not affects creativity and innovation in architectural design management which is a process of observing design from inception to the concluding stage. The management process run from design brief, problem identification, search for solutions, design development, detail design, construction process together with pre and post occupancy evaluations. All these activities constitute architectural design management. This paper further identifies some of the functions of creativity and innovation in these managerial part of architectural design process. Among the functions identified are designer ideation processes, visual perception of aesthetics on physical elements use for façade design, together with choice and applicability of building materials. These entire factors represent function of creativity and innovation in architectural design considered for this study. Designer ideation process was explained as part of designer behavior/actions in generating and manipulating the concept of the design. Visual perception of aesthetics on physical elements use for façade design represents the perception of aesthetics attached to the building elements use for the façade design. Finally the choice of building material represents frequent choice and application of newly innovated building material in the design. Designer privilege to introduce and manage new design concepts such as shapes, texture, appearance, materials and technological advance in a given design was among other function of creativity and innovation acknowledged in this paper. The paper finally concludes that creativity and innovation are among factors that influence designer ideation, building appearance and choice of building material in architectural design.
... Newly innovated building materials such as carbon fibre, glass fibre, Teflon glass fabric, translucent glazing, carbon nana tubes, spider silk, Kevlar, Styrofoam are used by architects and engineers in innovating complex designs. These newly innovated building materials offered designers and engineers the opportunity to innovate all sort of complex designs (Bowley 1960, Brookes & Poole 2004). ...
Conference Paper
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Solution to a design problem can be achieved by understanding the holistic nature of the problem before adopting a problem solving process. As part of Architectural design problem solving Creativity and Innovation are among factors that incorporate new concepts and methods in designing. But, unfortunately these factors are affected by financial statues and designer level of experience. This study is about some of the factors that influence not affects creativity and innovation in architectural design management which is a process of observing design from inception to the concluding stage. The management process run from design brief, problem identification, search for solutions, design development, detail design, construction process together with pre and post occupancy evaluations. All these activities constitute architectural design management. This paper further identifies some of the functions of creativity and innovation in these managerial part of architectural design process. Among the functions identified are designer ideation processes, visual perception of aesthetics on physical elements use for façade design, together with choice and applicability of building materials. These entire factors represent function of creativity and innovation in architectural design considered for this study. Designer ideation process was explained as part of designer behavior/actions in generating and manipulating the concept of the design. Visual perception of aesthetics on physical elements use for façade design represents the perception of aesthetics attached to the building elements use for the façade design. Finally the choice of building material represents frequent choice and application of newly innovated building material in the design. Designer privilege to introduce and manage new design concepts such as shapes, texture, appearance, materials and technological advance in a given design was among other function of creativity and innovation acknowledged in this paper. The paper finally concludes that creativity and innovation are among factors that influence designer ideation, building appearance and choice of building material in architectural design.
... There is an intermediary (the contractor) between the client and the building product producers. Although the building product manufacturers engage in product innovation [22,23], their relationship with the contractors and designers is rather fleeting and often a result of chance rather than foresight. A general innovation process is often described as a sequential process starting with idea generation and ending with the diffusion of the innovation [24]. ...
Article
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The construction sector is often accused of being inefficient, conservative and noninnovative, although some commentators have suggested that the construction sector is not backward, it is merely different to other industries. One of these differences is the uniqueness of construction projects, which are determined by the characteristics of the site, interaction of project participants (also partly site specific) and the relationship between contractors and building product producers (which changes from one project to another). These factors are known to colour construction innovation. Previous research into the Swedish construction sector has identified a significant gap between the building product producers who are 'product focused' and the contractors who are 'project focused', with concerns expressed about effectiveness of communication between two. The findings of previous research imply, both implicitly and explicitly, that this gap may be hindering innovation within the construction sector. This appears to have implications for those concerned with construction, the building users and society as a whole. In this paper the authors provide an extensive review of the literature and research findings from which a number of unique insights are offered. The reasons for the gap between producers and contractors are discussed and a number of innovative measures are proposed that may help to bridge the gap, and hence improve innovation systems. The paper concludes with some practical findings for producers and contractors as well as some thoughts on where future research should be targeted.
... The historic development of offsite-MMC reveals a combination of various driving forces which have encouraged its use, including political, economic, social, technological and environmental factors (Bowley, 1960; Gann, 2000; Gibb, 1999, 2001; Groak, 1992; McCutcheon, 1989; White, 1965). A range of publications have explored the uptake of offsite-MMC from the perspectives of clients (Gibb and Isack, 2003), manufacturers and suppliers (Venables et al., 2004) and designers (Pan et al., 2004; Pasquire and Connolly, 2003). ...
Article
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This is a journal article. It was published in the journal, Building research and information [© Taylor & Francis] and the definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09613210701204013 In recent years the industry has been exhorted to increase its utilisation of offsite technologies, or ‘Modern Methods of Construction’, in order to address the under-supply and poor build quality of housing. Despite the well-rehearsed benefits of such technologies, the take-up within the industry has been slow. This paper reports on research which examined housebuilders’ practices and strategies regarding the use of offsite-Modern Methods of Construction (offsite-MMC). A questionnaire survey of the top 100 housebuilders in the UK and a series of interviews were used to reveal the extent to which such technologies are being utilised and the factors which impinge on their popularity. The findings suggest that current offsite-MMC usage in large housebuilders is low, but that the level is likely to increase, given the pressures to improve quality, time, cost, productivity and health and safety. The wider take-up of offsite-MMC is, however, inhibited by perceived higher capital costs, interfacing problems, long lead-in time, delayed planning process and current manufacturing capacity. Based on these findings, the paper provides a set of strategies for improving offsite-MMC practices amongst housebuilders. It is hoped that will help deliver an improvement of housing supply in the UK. Accepted for publication
Article
The research aims to identify the determinants of process and product innovation in a traditional and low-tech sector, supported in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), specifically European Construction Sector. The study uses micro data from the e-Business Survey of the European Commission. The dependent variables studied are binary (presence or absence of process or/and product innovation). The explanatory variables considered are: suppliers, clients, market orientation, turnover growth and size. In addition, some national context variables – GDP per capita and R&D weight in GDP – are also tested. The results show that the sector of construction innovates, and the factors that contribute more to this innovation are suppliers and growth of business. It is also concluded that firm size is more relevant for process innovation than for product innovation, and companies that are guided by international markets innovate more than those that focus on local and regional markets.
Chapter
Disasters threaten all parts of the world and they appear to be increasing in frequency, scale and intensity. Despite huge improvements in the emergency response, permanent reconstruction is often uncoordinated, inefficiently managed and slow to begin. International agencies are geared to an efficient response in terms of humanitarian relief, but they are not well versed in the requirements of long-term reconstruction, which is often constrained by lack of planning and poorly coordinated management. The construction industry is typically engaged in a range of critical activities after a disaster, including provision of temporary shelter in the immediate aftermath and restoration of permanent shelter and public infrastructure once the immediate humanitarian needs have been attended to. Post-Disaster Reconstruction of the Built Environment identifies the challenges that face the industry and highlights best practice to enable the construction industry to address those problems which make an effective response to these unexpected events difficult. Written by an international team of experts, this book will help researchers and advanced students of construction understand the problems faced by communities and the construction industry when faced with a natural or man-made disaster, and identify the planning and management processes required by the industry to mount an effective response.
Chapter
Beyond physical and performance characteristics, there are several other, often tacit, criteria that guide or influence designers' selection of materials. These criteria, or choices, reveal more about the designer – his or her tastes, values and preferences. These are not merely abstract matters, however, but rather the very essence of a designer's knowledge and experience that shapes and influences our world when applied in designed artefacts. Through a series of illustrated examples, this chapter explores some of the immaterial dimensions of material selection – not immaterial in the English sense of being unimportant, but rather immaterial because it deals with the intangible and deeper philosophical, social, cultural, environmental and political dimensions of material selection.
Article
This study investigates critical factors that significantly affect the benefits of an innovation to the clients and the project as a whole during implementation from the perspective of construction clients. A survey was conducted in Hong Kong, and data from 35 projects that had adopted innovations were collected via mailed questionnaires from project clients. The questionnaire requested respondents to provide specific data about their projects, the type of innovations adopted, and the enablers and barriers to innovation. We found that innovative solutions were particularly beneficial if they were mainly intended to solve technical difficulties in projects and if they were implemented by forming separate implementation teams and by establishing coordination and monitoring mechanisms at the project level. Moreover, we found that the construction clients' technical capabilities, provision of special training opportunities, and management interests before and after the innovation was implemented were also factors in attaining innovation benefits.
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Purpose – The production of the built environment, as any other industrial production, is a knowledge-intensive process. Knowledge resides in many teams/parties who are involved in the creation or production process. This paper seeks to discuss the feasibility of social network analysis as a tool for understanding the process of knowledge creation through communication among team members in the construction industry. Design/methodology/approach – Following a literature review of the characteristics of innovation, knowledge and social networks in a built environment context, a case study is presented. The case study investigates the networks in one project team in a planning and engineering consultancy, employing 5,500 people worldwide. Findings – The network analysis revealed a problem with the project caused not by a widespread failure in social networks, but the isolated failure of one or two sub-networks; however, these had a major impact on the performance of the project as a whole. The cause of this failure, while not clear, can be postulated as being in some part due to the lack of a collaborative culture across disciplines. Multi-disciplinary projects are vulnerable because, while most (disciplinary) teams may function well, failure of just one will jeopardise the project as a whole – a chain is only as strong as the weakest link. Mechanisms do not exist for addressing failure, mid-project, in social networks. The project-centric nature of the sector is also an issue, in that project teams are in a constant state of flux with relationships being established, then staff moving on and a new set of relationships being developed. This does not support long-term stable and trusting relationships. Originality/value – The paper concludes that the use of SNA techniques has practical benefits for inter- and intra-transfer of knowledge and information among team members.
Article
Continues to examine the provision of damp proofing in ground floors. Shows that damp proof membranes only became mandatory in floors laid after the mid-1960s. Examines the methods and location of damp proofing in ground floors. Considers the problems associated with dampness in, and damp proofing of, ground floors.
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Background to the study: the economic, political and social climateMain concerns of the report, conclusions and recommendationsThe impact of the reportConclusions
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