Increasing the utilisation of hybrid concrete construction in South Africa

Hanekom, Rojean (2011-12)

Thesis (MScEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Hybrid concrete construction (HCC) is a construction technique that makes use of both in-situ and pre-fabricated concrete products by making optimum use of the advantages of both these methods in the same project. Although the advantages of this building method is well recognised throughout the world and a feasibility study illustrated that HCC is a suitable building method in South Africa, it remains under-utilised in the country. HCC encourages early involvement from the project team and provides clients with the best value projects and a "win-win" situation for the project team during the project development. The objective of this study is to identify barriers that prohibit an increased utilisation of HCC for the South African construction industry. Additionally, it provides possible solutions to overcome these barriers. These proposed solutions are similar to the programmes and methods that are implemented in other countries to improve their HCC utilisation. Furthermore, drivers are identified in this study to implement these solutions in the industry and a proposed "change model" is developed for private companies to assist with the change process. This study is unique because current South African conditions are used to establish the barriers and solutions. Furthermore, it takes into account that not all countries have such progressive construction industries as the European markets and therefore it considers solutions and drivers that are suitable for less advanced industries such as South Africa. The model that is proposed is applicable to any industry regardless of its nature or country. Although the United Kingdom is not the widest user of pre-fabricated concrete products, their HCC research is extensive, making it a suitable comparative country for the South African construction industry. During the investigation, the procurement methods in South Africa were found to be traditional and do not allow for early involvement or partnering in the project team. To obtain early involvement, it is critical to initiate methods such as design-and-build, contract management or public-private-partnerships during the procurement phase. Decision and design assistance from the whole project team and software tools are essential when HCC is considered. Because the South African construction industry does not provide such support it is advised here to incorporate contractors from an early stage and to develop software tools that can assist during the decision making and design process of HCC structures. The industry does not provide the project team with sufficient training programmes that increase knowledge of HCC. Training programmes that are cognitive stimulating must be developed for the industry. Furthermore, a database is required to illustrate the utilisation of different pre-fabricated products and in different projects within South Africa. Labour-intensive construction regulations and green building techniques (not compulsory) are promoted in South Africa. Labour-intensive programmes should consider the negative impact it has on the labourers and consider HCC as a building technique because the pre-fabricated elements are manufactured in a controlled and safe environment. It is advised that the toolkits that are used for green building accreditation, must be revised to accommodate the additional benefits such as less waste generation, that HCC offers to a project. Regardless of the country in which HCC is utilised, the environment must be acceptable for the innovation. By analysing the criteria that influences the use of HCC in a country and adding weighting functions to these criteria, the acceptability towards the innovation can be obtained. Furthermore, public clients and companies are recognised here as drivers of change. While public clients can commit to HCC for the cost, labour-intensive factories, green building methods, improved health and safety, training for labourers, private companies can utilise HCC to provide best value to a project. A model is proposed here for innovative companies that will allow them to change not only the company, but the industry towards a HCC "mindset".

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hibriede beton konstruksie (HBK) is ’n tegniek waarby beide voorafvervaardigde betonelemente en in-situ beton in dieselfde projek gebruik word ten einde voordeel uit beide metodes te trek. Alhoewel die voordele van die konstruksietegniek wel bekend is in talle lande van die wêreld en ’n uitvoerbaarheidsanalise getoon het dat HBK ’n voordelige konstruksiemetode vir Suid-Afrika is, is dit tans onderbenut in die plaaslike sektor. HBK bied vir kliënte projekte van goeie waarde en omdat dit vroeë betrokkenheid verg vanaf die projekspan, resulteer dit ’n "wen-wen" situasie tydens die projekontwikkeling. Die doel van hierdie studie is om die hindernisse te ondersoek wat veroorsaak dat HBK nie meer gereeld in Suid-Afrika gebruik word nie. Ten einde die effekte hiervan te verminder, word moontlike oplossings vir hierdie hindernisse voorgestel. Die oplossings is gebaseer op tegnieke en metodes wat geïmplimenteer word in ander lande waar HBK gebruik word. Rolspelers wat hierdie verandering na HBK kan dryf word geïdentifiseer en ’n model om verandering binne ’n maatskappy te lei word voorgestel om die rolspelers te ondersteun tydens die proses. Hierdie studie is uniek omdat dit inligting gebruik van die huidige situasie van die Suid-Afrikaanse konstruksie-industrie om die hindernisse en oplossings te identifiseer. Omdat nie alle konstruksie-industrieë so vooruitstrewend is soos in Europese lande nie, is die oplossings en rolspelers relevant vir enige land wat ’n industrie het wat soortgelyk is aan Suid-Afrika. Die model wat voorgestel word is ook relevant tot enige industrie afgesien van die land waar nuwe tegnieke geïmplimenteer word. Alhoewel dit bevind is dat die Verenigde Koningkryk nie die grootste gebruikers van HBK is nie, is hulle navorsing in die veld omvattend. Daarom word die Verenigde Koningkryk beskou as ’n voorbeeld om Suid-Afrika se konstruksie-industrie mee te vergelyk, asook om inligting van HBK te verkry. Tydens die studie is bevind dat die projekaanstellingsmetodes van projekte in Suid-Afrika tradisioneel is, aangesien dit nie toelaat vir vroeë betrokkenheid of vennootskappe binne die projekspan nie. Om vroeë betrokkenheid te verkry, is dit noodsaaklik om van ontwerp-en-bou, kontrakbestuur of publiek-privaat-vernootskappe gebruik te maak. Tans is daar geen hulp wat aan ontwerpers verleen word ten opsigte van besluitnemingsmodelle en ontwerpsagteware wanneer HBK oorweeg word in Suid-Afrika nie. Die behoefte aan sulke bystand dui daarop dat sagtewarepakkette ontwerp moet word wat toepaslik is vir Suid-Afrika se konstruksie-industrie. Die industrie bied nie doelgerigte en genoegsame opleidingsprogramme aan om die industrie se kennis van HBK te verbreed nie. Addisionele opleiding wat kognitiewe stimulasie sal bied vir die hele projekspan word aanbeveel. ’n Databasis wat HBK projekte insluit, moet geskep word om die industrie bloot te stel aan die verskillende moonlikhede. Arbeid-intensiewe konstruksie-regulasies asook groen konstruksietegnieke (nie wetgedrewe nie) word sterk bevorder in Suid-Afrika. Dit word hier aanbeveel, dat voorafvervaardiging se addisionele voordele in ag geneem word wanneer hierdie regulasies en tegnieke relevant is. Hierdie voordele sluit onder meer in: die veiligheid wat aan werkers gebied word in arbeid-intensiewe fabrieke en die vermindering van afval in HBK projekte. Afgesien van die land waarin HBK gebruik word, moet die omgewing ontvanklik vir die tegniek wees. Deur verskillende kriteria te analiseer wat die gebruik van HBK beïnvloed binne ’n land en geweegde faktore daaraan te koppel, kan die ontvanklikheid van die innovasie bepaal word. Laastens word publieke kliënte en maatskappye as die drywers (of katalisators) wat verandering kan meebring, beskou. HKB bied onder andere die volgende voordele aan publieke kliënte: koste-effektiwiteit, arbeid-intensiewe werk, groen konstruksie, beter gesondheid, veiligheid en opleiding vir werkers. Maatskappye kan gebruik maak van HBK om waarde tot hul projekte toe te voeg. ’n Model word hier voorgestel om innoverende maatskappye in staat te stel om nie net hulself nie, maar ook die industrie as ’n geheel te help om ’n gesindheidsverandering jeens HBK te skep.

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