Browsing Department of Mechanical Engineering & the Built Environment by Subjects
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Culture in sustainable infrastructureThe high failure rate of infrastructures around the world is alarming, most especially when such failures constrain economic growth and development. In most cases, existing institutions or strategies designed to maintain and reproduce effective infrastructures in areas that lack them have been mostly unsuccessful, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. A carefully conducted survey covering the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria confirms the low-level stability, supply, quality and maintenance of infrastructure and its services. Using the severity index in matrix order model developed in this study, major factors responsible for unsustainable infrastructure delivery and failures are identified. The paper further argues that these major factors are interrelated rather than being peculiar to Nigeria or sub-Saharan Africa. Suffice it to say that the effects of these problems are widespread and of global impact. However, what cuts across all the major factors responsible for unsustainable infrastructure delivery and high failure rates are gross institutional lapses. In view of the fact that sustainable infrastructure is essential for sustainable development, this paper emphasises the uniqueness of the recipients’ cultures and values alongside the integration of indigenous communities and infrastructure users: from conceptualisation to delivery within the framework for institutional building and sustainable infrastructure provision.
Culture in sustainable infrastructure: the polycentric cultural framework modelThe state of infrastructure and services is widely perceived as a measure of development and a major catalyst for growth in both developed and developing economies. However, financing, maintaining and replicating existing infrastructures in areas of need have been mostly ineffective. In view of the widespread failures and poor state of infrastructure and services, there is a need to review current delivery and procurement frameworks. Given that sustainable infrastructure is also an essential prerequisite for sustainable development, this paper presents a polycentric cultural framework for infrastructure and service delivery; a framework which emphasises the integration of infrastructure users, communities, public and private sectors throughout the process of conceptualisation to actual delivery of infrastructure, by taking the recipients’ culture, beliefs and values into account. The framework also emphasises the use of systemic referendum among stakeholders by way of the traditional consultative processes and the collaborative consensus paradigm to achieve an effective and sustainable delivery of infrastructure and services.
Highway infrastructure and building information modelling in UKTraditional methods of design are becoming less relevant and prevalent, due to institutionalising of building information modelling (BIM) within statutory regulations and the huge amount of data that BIM presents to practice; especially in 3D models. This can be seen in the A1 Dishforth-to-Barton road infrastructure improvement scheme which comprises the A1 Dishforth-to-Leeming and A1 Leeming-to-Barton schemes. The traditional method of design was central to the A1 Dishforth-to-Leeming scheme and BIM central to the A1 Leeming-to-Barton scheme. So this report presents a comparative study of the traditional and BIM methods in relation to the A1 Dishforth-to-Barton improvement scheme through the perception of key professionals involved in this project. A qualitative research study was conducted through the use of an open-ended questionnaire intended to bridge gaps in perceptions and understanding of both methods. Judgemental sampling technique was used to select experienced respondents who understand and participated in the A1 Dishforth-to-Barton road infrastructure improvement scheme. The study reveals an incontrovertible complementary nature of both methods and that the realisation of the 2016 mandate appears doubtful due to lack of standardization, training and level of awareness. It is highly recommended that a statutory incentivization framework for BIM be conceptualised and considered for implementation to attract and encourage small scale participants. Of high priority is the subsidization of in-house training by local authorities and localized joint ventures by smaller companies for specialist training.
Housing infrastructure: contemporary issues in timber adoptionScotland currently has 76·7% of all implemented timber-framed buildings in the UK housing market. England’s figure is 16%. The English contribution is considered relatively low given its demand for more sustainable, low-cost social housing. The aim of this study is to investigate potential contemporary barriers to the adoption of timber as a primary structural material in residential housing developments in England. The research methodology is quantitative and findings revealed that a combination of economic, cultural and psychological issues rather than technical and durability performance are responsible. These are fundamentally due to lack of education regarding the use of timber, erroneously perceived increased maintenance costs of timber housing, developers’ influence and monopoly over timber technology, uncertainty in property resale value and the recent overall lack of confidence in timber technology. It is recommended that improved training comprising compulsory basic timber technology and sustainable construction is adopted as a formal prerequisite for the attainment of relevant qualifications within the built environment, civil engineering and architecture. To this end, the benefits of sustainable construction, specifically, timber, in housing should be introduced even at the pre-university level, within schools and colleges. Also recommended are public awareness campaigns through relevant institutions, in the public and private sectors and among construction professionals, of the merits and misconceptions surrounding timber technology.