The role of civil engineering professionals within the housing environment in South Africa

Vosloo, Robert Nicolaas (2012-03)

Thesis (MScEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The development of mass housing is an excellent example of multi-disciplinary projects. Several housing projects have been unsuccessful due to a misunderstanding of the necessary collaboration and buy-in that are required from all parties concerned. The focus of this study is to identify the required skill sets and responsibilities of the Housing Project Manager in the Housing environment, and in turn, will support the development of the foundation of the civil engineering postgraduate curricula. Civil engineers are educated with a strong focus on technical subjects, but not much attention is paid to many of the less technical aspects as found in housing projects. Furthermore, the multi-disciplinary aspects of large projects do not receive sufficient attention in either the undergraduate or postgraduate curricula. Considering that many civil engineers become actively involved as managers of housing projects, this paper will present an investigation into the requirements of the curricula of a postgraduate qualification for civil engineers towards becoming managers in housing projects. The investigation will include aspects of multi-disciplinary coordination, the less technical aspects of housing development, but will not exclude a comprehension of technical involvement. In order to identify these skill sets and responsibilities several approaches were adopted. The approaches adopted in this dissertation include: (i) a comprehensive literature study regarding the housing environment and the position of the housing project manager, (ii) a review of several housing case studies with project management related problems, (iii) consulting with several housing management professionals from different sectors in the housing industry, and (iv) a review of existing formulations of the role and responsibilities of the housing project manager. The findings from this study provide evidence that civil engineers operating in the housing environment as project managers require additional education, due to the multi-disciplinary nature of housing projects. The main conclusion drawn from this study is that educating civil engineers towards the management of housing projects would contribute significantly to the housing environment through increasing productivity and quality, and can contribute to meet the housing targets of the government.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die ontwikkeling van massa behuising is 'n uitstekende voorbeeld van multidissiplinêre projekte. Verskeie behuisingsprojekte was al onsuksesvol as gevolg van 'n misverstand oor die nodige samewerking en bydraes wat vereis word van alle betrokke partye. Die fokus van hierdie studie is om die vaardighede en verantwoordelikhede van die behuisingsprojekbestuurder in die behuisingsomgewing te identifiseer. Hierdie kennis ondersteun die ontwikkeling van ʼn raamwerk vir ʼn nagraadse kurrikulum in behuisingsbestuur. Siviele ingenieurs is opgelei met 'n sterk fokus op tegniese vaardighede, maar relatief min aandag word geskenk aan minder tegniese aspekte soos gevind word in behuisingsprojekte. Verder, multidissiplinêre bestuursaspekte van groot projekte ontvang nie voldoende aandag in óf die voorgraadse óf nagraadse kurrikula nie. Wetende dat baie siviele ingenieurs aktief betrokke raak as bestuurders van behuisingsprojekte, ondersoek hierdie studie ʼn raamwerk vir ʼn nagraadse kwalifikasie vir siviele ingenieurs as bestuurders van behuisingsprojekte. Die ondersoek sluit in aspekte van die multidissiplinêre koördinasie asook minder tegniese aspekte van behuisingsontwikkeling, maar dit sluit nie 'n begrip van die tegniese betrokkenheid uit nie. Verskeie benaderings is toegepas om die vaardighede en verantwoordelikhede van behuisingsbestuurders te identifiseer. Die benaderings sluit in: (i) 'n omvattende literatuurstudie ten opsigte van behuising en die posisie van die behuisings-projekbestuurder, (ii) 'n oorsig van verskeie behuisings- gevallestudies met projekbestuur verwante probleme, (iii) raadpleging met verskeie professionele rolspelers van verskillende sektore in die behuisingbestuur omgewing, en (iv) 'n hersiening van bestaande beskrywings van die rol en verantwoordelikhede van die behuisings-projekbestuurder. Die bevindinge van hierdie studie verskaf bewyse dat siviele ingenieurs wat in die behuisingsbedryf as projekbestuurders optree, bykomende opleiding benodig as gevolg van die multidissiplinêre aard van projekte. Die belangrikste gevolgtrekking van hierdie studie is dat die opleiding van siviele ingenieurs in die bestuur van behuisingsprojekte ʼn aansienlike bydrae kan lewer tot behuising deur produktiwiteit en kwaliteit te verhoog. Dit kan bydra tot die bereiking van die regering se behuisingsdoelwitte.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20146
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