The development of an offsite construction adoption strategic guideline for the Iraqi construction industry

Saffar, N 2020, The development of an offsite construction adoption strategic guideline for the Iraqi construction industry , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

Offsite construction (OSC) has been recognised as one of the alternative technological solutions to address the housing shortage and historical problems associated with the construction industry’s performance, such as labour shortages, time and cost overruns. Most developed countries have already adopted offsite construction and are benefitting from its advantages; however, the slow adoption of such technologies is evident in some developing countries. Iraq is one such developing country, despite the vital and urgent need to rehabilitate the country after the disasters of the last decade. This research aims to develop a strategic guideline to help increase the knowledge and use of OSC in the Iraqi construction industry by investigating the drivers and barriers affecting the adoption of OSC in Iraq. Therefore, in order to develop an appropriate and effective strategic guideline to support the adoption of OSC in Iraq, the researcher adopted a mixed-method approach, combining both quantitative and qualitative data. Questionnaires were developed and distributed to two different groups - construction companies (CC) and Universities’ Scientific Engineering Consulting Bureaux (USECB). The CC group reflects the practical facet of projects, while the USECB group reflects the theoretical side related to design with the use of modern technologies. Data from the questionnaire were further analysed using the Chi-Square for Independence test to determine whether there is a relationship between factors affecting the use of OSC in Iraq. Furthermore, a correlation test was conducted to identify the strength of these relationships, whilst the Kruskal-Wallis test was applied to identify differences between construction companies and USECB regarding the factors affecting the use of OSC in Iraq. To collect qualitative data, semi-structured interviews were conducted amongst 14 expert participants in the construction industry in Iraq. The collected qualitative data were analysed using a thematic analysis technique to identify themes and patterns. The results showed no significant gap in perception between both the CC and USECB groups on the adoption of OSC in Iraq. Both groups support the use of OSC in Iraq and strongly believe that its use will increase in the coming years; however, they are concerned about its adoption due to the existence of many barriers, such as client resistance, lack of guidance and information, the unstable security situation and financial issues. Nevertheless, the findings indicate that the presence of drivers is fundamental to the adoption of OSC in Iraq. Indeed, the effective availability of such drivers could ultimately enhance the successful adoption of such technology in Iraq, which in turn could increase housing delivery, improve construction performance, reduce CO2 emissions, and improve energy efficiency. The findings revealed eight main drivers enhancing the use of OSC in Iraq, and nine main barriers can hinder its use in the country. The results also highlighted significant relationships between time, quality and cost related drivers for both CC and USECB. In comparison, highly significant relationships are found between the related barriers of industry & market culture with skills & knowledge as well as supply chain & procurement with project complexity for both groups. These findings will not only benefit the construction industry in Iraq but also contribute to an increased understanding of these influences and their relationships in other construction industries in different countries. The valuable contributions of this research are the schematic diagrams of the relationships between the influential factors, which could be integrated into higher education programmes within construction-management-related disciplines. The strategic guidelines produced at the end of the thesis are designed to enable solutions and offer guidance on how to combat the negative factors that can inhibit the optimal outcomes following the application of OSC in Iraq. It also offers effective tools to facilitate the shift in focus of these construction companies towards the best management of OSC projects. The proposed strategic guideline is expected to benefit governments, policymakers, industry and academics by enabling them to identify areas of concern and determine best practice in order to take full advantage of the benefits offered by OSC for all types of buildings.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Keraminiyage, KP (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Depositing User: Nehal Lafta
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2020 10:23
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2020 10:23
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/58521

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