Kuwait City, Kuwait
Kuwait City, Kuwait

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Jarkas A.M.,Al Mazaya Holding Co. | Al Balushi R.A.,Engineering Innovation Design and Consulting | Raveendranath P.K.,Engineering Innovation Design and Consulting
International Journal of Construction Management | Year: 2015

Notwithstanding the technological developments, construction continues to be a labour-intensive industry, and hence labour productivity remains the industry's predominant determinant of performance. One of the primary challenges facing the construction industry in the Sultanate of Oman is low labour productivity. Therefore, the objective of this study is to identify, explore and rank the relative importance of the cardinal determinants of construction labour productivity in Oman. A statistically representative sample of contractors was thus invited to participate in a structured questionnaire survey comprising 33 productivity factors. Using the relative importance index technique, the findings distinguish the following factors as most significant: (1) errors and omission in design drawings; (2) changes to orders during execution; (3) delay in responding to requests for information; (4) lack of labour supervision; (5) clarity of project specifications; (6) coordination level amongst design disciplines; (7) working overtime; (8) rework; (9) inclement weather; and (10) physical fatigue. The outcomes not only fill a gap in knowledge of the critical determinants of labour productivity in the Sultanate, but may also be used by academics and industry practitioners to develop a deeper and wider perspective on the factors influencing the efficiency of the construction labour force. © 2015 Taylor and Francis.


Buildability is one of the most important factors influencing labor productivity. However, an extensive search of the literature revealed a dearth of research into its effects on labor productivity of in situ reinforced concrete construction, especially on the activity levels. Rebar installation is an integral, labor-intensive trade of this type of construction material. Its walls form major parts of reinforced concrete frames, which are typically associated with a higher unit rate cost compared with other structural elements, especially spread foundations and grade and one-way elevated slabs. Therefore, objective of this research is to investigate the effects and relative influence of the rebar diameter, quantity of reinforcement installed, wall thickness, plan geometry, and wall curvature intensity, on rebar installation labor productivity of walls. To achieve this objective, a sufficiently large volume of installation labor productivity data was collected and analyzed using the multiple categorical-regression method. The results obtained show a significant influence of factors investigated on the labor efficiency of the installation operation, which can be used to provide designers feedback on how well their designs consider the requirements of the buildability concept, and the tangible consequences of their decisions on labor productivity. In addition, a set of recommendations are presented, which on implementation, can improve the buildability level of this activity, hence translating into higher labor efficiency and lower labor cost. Moreover, the depicted patterns of factors explored may provide guidance to construction managers for effective activity planning and efficient labor utilization. © 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers.


Jarkas A.M.,Al Mazaya Holding Co.
Journal of Construction Engineering and Management | Year: 2012

Improving labor productivity of in situ reinforced concrete construction is necessary because of the importance of this material to the industry. Several factors influence labor productivity, but buildability is among the most important. Despite the plethora of research into construction productivity reported over the years, a thorough examination of the literature revealed a dearth of research into the effects of buildability factors on the efficiency of the concreting operation. Because concreting is an integral, labor intensive, trade of in situ reinforced concrete construction, the objective of this research is to explore the influence of primary buildability factors on concreting labor productivity. In achieving this objective, a sufficiently large volume of productivity data was collected and analyzed by using the categorical-regression method. As a result, the effects and relative influence of: (1) concrete workability; (2) reinforcing steel congestion; (3) volume of pours; and (4) height relative to ground level, on labor productivity of skipped and pumped placement methods are determined and quantified. The findings show significant impacts of factors investigated on the efficiency of the concreting operation, which can provide designers with feedback on how well their designs consider the requirements of the buildability concept, and the tangible consequences of their decisions on the productivity of the operatives. Practical recommendations, moreover, are presented, which upon implementations, may improve the buildability level of this trade, thus translate into higher labor productivity and lower labor cost. On the other hand, the depicted patterns of results can provide guidance to construction managers for effective planning and efficient labor and plant utilization. © 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers.


Jarkas A.M.,Al Mazaya Holding Co. | Kadri C.Y.,Mazaya Qatar Real Estate Development Co. | Younes J.H.,Amana Qatar Contracting Co.
International Journal of Construction Management | Year: 2012

Despite the significant developments in construction technologies, operatives remain the key drivers in the industry. In most countries, construction labour cost comprises 30 to 50% of the overall project's cost, and thus it is regarded as a true reflection of the efficiency and success of the operation. Following the announcement of awarding the FIFA 2022 World Cup hosting rights to the State of Qatar on December 02, 2010, the State will be spending tens of billions of dollars on hundreds of new construction projects. The objective of this research, therefore, is to identify, explore and rank the relative importance of the primary factors influencing the productivity of construction operatives in Qatar. To this end, a statistically representative sample of contractors was invited to participate in a structured questionnaire survey comprising 35 productivity factors, which were shortlisted based on previous relevant research studies and the input of local industry experts and professionals. Using the "Relative Importance Index" (RII) technique, the following 10 factors are perceived to be most significant to the productivity of operatives: (1) skill of labour; (2) shortage of materials; (3) labour supervision; (4) shortage of experienced labour; (5) communication between site management and labour force; (6) lack of construction managers' leadership; (7) high temperature weather; (8) delays in responding to "Requests For Information" (RFI); (9) lack of providing labour with transportation; and (10) proportion of work subcontracted. The results obtained fill a gap in knowledge of factors impacting construction labour productivity in Qatar, which can be used to provide industry practitioners and policy makers with guidance for focusing on, acting upon and controlling the most significant factors perceived to affect the efficiency of operatives.


Jarkas A.M.,Al Mazaya Holding Co.
Journal of Construction Engineering and Management | Year: 2016

Notwithstanding technological advancements, construction continues to be a labor-intensive industry, and labor productivity remains the industry's predominant determinant of performance. Numerous factors influence labor productivity, but buildability is among the most significant. Nevertheless, one of the barriers, and perhaps the most important to the implementation of the buildability concept, is the difficulty in measuring its tangible benefits to the construction industry; hence, the dearth of quantitative related research reported in the literature. Using a practical approach, this study has determined the relationship between relevant buildability factors and formwork labor productivity of building floors. The intermittent observation technique was applied to collect the data from 72 residential, office, and commercial buildings located in Kuwait. The factors explored included (1) variability of beam sizes in the floor, (2) usable floor area, (3) number of beams used to support the floor area, (4) number of individual slab panels formed within the floor due to beam-framing plan, (5) number of joints formed due to beam intersections, (6) floor configuration repetition criteria, and (7) number of angles formed around the floor perimeter. The relationship between each factor and formwork labor productivity was modeled by the categorical regression method. The results obtained show significant effects of the factors investigated on labor productivity, which substantiate the importance of applying the buildability principles to the design stage of building construction. The findings not only provide designers with feedback on how well their design schemes consider the requirements of buildability, but can also prove advantageous to construction managers for effective activity planning and efficient labor utilization. © 2015 American Society of Civil Engineers.


Jarkas A.M.,Al Mazaya Holding Co | Haupt T.C.,University of South Africa
Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology | Year: 2015

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to identify, explore, rank the relative importance and determine the prevalent allocation response trends of the major construction risk factors considered by general contractors operating in the State of Qatar. Design/methodology/approach A structured questionnaire survey comprising 37 potential risk factors was distributed to a statistically representative sample of contractors. The influence ranks of the factors explored were determined using the “Relative Importance Index (RII)” technique, whereas the prevalent trend of contractors’ attitudes toward risk allocation of each factor investigated was quantified and expressed as a percentage, based on the number of respondents who selected a specific option, in relation to the total number of respondents. Findings The results obtained indicate that risks related to the “client” group are perceived as most critical, followed by the “consultant”, “contractor” and “exogenous” group-related factors, respectively. The outcomes further show that the “transfer” option is the contractors’ prevalent response to “client” and “consultant”-related risks, while the “retention” decision is the principal pattern linked to “contractor” and “exogenous” group-related risk factors. Research limitations/implications The dominant respondents’ perception that the crucial construction risks are related to clients and consultants suggests that these two parties have an essential role in controlling the negative ramifications of the associated factors. Practical implications The findings suggest that increasing designers’ awareness of the significant effect of applying the constructability concept can considerably help reducing the risks concomitant of the construction operation. Policy makers may contribute, moreover, in alleviating the risk of incompetent technical staff and operatives’ employment by controlling the migration of inexperienced and unskilled construction workforce into the State. Originality/value Given the knowledge gap for the major construction risk factors considered by general contractors in Qatar, the results reported in this study can provide clients, industry practitioners and policy makers with guidance to effectively manage the significant risks determined, which can further assist in achieving a reasonable level of competitiveness and cost-effective operation. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Jarkas A.M.,Al Mazaya Holding Co.
Journal of Construction in Developing Countries | Year: 2011

Buildability is one of the most important factors that influence labour productivity. Nevertheless, a thorough literature examination revealed a dearth of research concerning the effects of buildability on labour productivity of in situ reinforced concrete construction. Beams are major components of building floors, and the objective of this investigation is to explore the buildability factors that influence their micro-level formwork labour productivity. Therefore, a large volume of productivity data was collected and analysed using a categorical interaction-regression method. As a result, the main and interaction effects of beam repetition, size, intersections and span geometry were determined. The obtained results indicate that the investigated factors significantly influence the forming operation labour efficiency and substantiate the importance of applying design rationalisation, standardisation and repetition concepts to the design stage of construction projects. The findings satisfy the explored activity buildability knowledge gap, which can be used to provide designers with feedback on how well their designs consider the buildability principle requirements, as well as their decision consequences on the forming operation productivity. © Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia, 2011.


Jarkas A.M.,Al Mazaya Holding Co. | Bitar C.G.,Projacs International
Journal of Construction Engineering and Management | Year: 2014

Construction labor productivity has become such a buzz word and one of the most frequently researched topics. In most countries, labor cost comprises 30 to 50% of the overall project's cost, and thus is regarded as a true reflection of the economic success of the operation. There are many challenges facing the construction industry in the state of Kuwait but one of the most important is low productivity. The objective of this research, therefore, is to identify and rank the relative importance of factors perceived to affect labor productivity on construction sites in Kuwait. To achieve this objective, a statistically representative sample of contractors was invited to participate in a structured questionnaire survey, comprising 45 productivity factors, classified under the following four primary groups: (1) management; (2) technological; (3) human/labor; and (4) external. Among the factors explored, the subsequent 10 are discerned to be the most significant in their effects on labor productivity: (1) clarity of technical specifications; (2) the extent of variation/change orders during execution; (3) coordination level among design disciplines; (4) lack of labor supervision; (5) proportion of work subcontracted; (6) design complexity level; (7) lack of incentive scheme; (8) lack of construction manager's leadership; (9) stringent inspection by the engineer; and (10) delay in responding to requests for information. The results obtained fill a gap in knowledge of factors affecting labor productivity in Kuwait, which can be used by industry practitioners to develop a wider and deeper perspective of the factors influencing the efficiency of operatives and provide guidance to construction managers for efficient utilization of the labor force, hence assist in achieving a reasonable level of competitiveness and cost-effective operation. © 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers.

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