Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 11

11
10008847
Improvement to Pedestrian Walkway Facilities to Enhance Pedestrian Safety-Initiatives in India
Abstract:
Deteriorating quality of the pedestrian environment and the increasing risk of pedestrian crashes are major concerns for most of the cities in India. The recent shift in the priority to motorized transport and the abating condition of existing pedestrian facilities can be considered as prime reasons for the increasing pedestrian related crashes in India. Bengaluru City – the IT capital hub of the nation is not much different from this. The increase in number of pedestrian crashes in Bengaluru reflects the same. To resolve this issue and to ensure safe, sustainable and pedestrian friendly sidewalks, Govt. of Karnataka, India has implemented newfangled pedestrian sidewalks popularized programme named Tender S.U.R.E. (Specifications for Urban Road Execution) projects. Tender SURE adopts unique urban street design guidelines where the pedestrians are given prime preference. The present study presents an assessment of the quality and performance of the pedestrian side walk and the walkability index of the newly built pedestrian friendly sidewalks. Various physical and environmental factors affecting pedestrian safety are identified and studied in detail. The pedestrian mobility is quantified through Pedestrian Level of Service (PLoS) and the pedestrian walking comfort is measured by calculating the Walkability Index (WI). It is observed that the new initiatives taken in reference to improving pedestrian safety have succeeded in Bengaluru by attaining a level of Service of ‘A’ and with a good WI score.
10
10006140
Achieving Design-Stage Elemental Cost Planning Accuracy: Case Study of New Zealand
Abstract:

An aspect of client expenditure management that requires attention is the level of accuracy achievable in design-stage elemental cost planning. This has been a major concern for construction clients and practitioners in New Zealand (NZ). Pre-tender estimating inaccuracies are significantly influenced by the level of risk information available to estimators. Proper cost planning activities should ensure the production of a project’s likely construction costs (initial and final), and subsequent cost control activities should prevent unpleasant consequences of cost overruns, disputes and project abandonment. If risks were properly identified and priced at the design stage, observed variance between design-stage elemental cost plans (ECPs) and final tender sums (FTS) (initial contract sums) could be reduced. This study investigates the variations between design-stage ECPs and FTS of construction projects, with a view to identifying risk factors that are responsible for the observed variance. Data were sourced through interviews, and risk factors were identified by using thematic analysis. Access was obtained to project files from the records of study participants (consultant quantity surveyors), and document analysis was employed in complementing the responses from the interviews. Study findings revealed the discrepancies between ECPs and FTS in the region of -14% and +16%. It is opined in this study that the identified risk factors were responsible for the variability observed. The values obtained from the analysis would enable greater accuracy in the forecast of FTS by Quantity Surveyors. Further, whilst inherent risks in construction project developments are observed globally, these findings have important ramifications for construction projects by expanding existing knowledge on what is needed for reasonable budgetary performance and successful delivery of construction projects. The findings contribute significantly to the study by providing quantitative confirmation to justify the theoretical conclusions generated in the literature from around the world. This therefore adds to and consolidates existing knowledge.

9
10003687
Tender Systems and Processes within the Mauritian Construction Industry: Investigating the Predominance of International Firms and the Lack of Absorptive Capacity in Local Firms
Abstract:
Mauritius, a developing small-island-state, is facing a recession which is having a considerable economic impact particularly on its construction sector. Further, the presence of foreign entities, both as companies and workers, within this sector is creating a very competitive environment for local firms. This study investigates the key drivers that allow foreign firms to participate in this sector, in particular looking at the international and local tender processes, and the capacity of local industry to participate. This study also looks at how the current set up may hinder the latter’s involvement. The methodology used included qualitative semi-structured interviews conducted with established foreign companies, local companies, and public bodies. Study findings indicate: there is an adequate availability of professional skills and expertise within the Mauritian construction industry but a lack of skilled labour especially at the operative level; projects awarded to foreign firms are either due to their uniqueness and hence lack of local knowledge, or due to foreign firms having lower tender bids; tendering systems and processes are weak, including monitoring and enforcement, which encourages corruption and favouritism; a high lev el of ignorance of this sector’s characteristics and opportunities exists amongst the local population; local entities are very profit oriented and have short term strategies that discourage long term investment in workforce training and development; but most importantly, stakeholders do not grasp the importance of encouraging youngsters to join this sector, they have no long term vision, and there is a lack of mutual involvement and collaboration between them. Although local industry is highly competent, qualified and experienced, the tendering and procurement systems in Mauritius are not conducive enough to allow for effective strategic planning and an equitable allocation of projects during an economic downturn so that the broadest spread of stakeholders’ benefit. It is of utmost importance that all sector and government entities collaborate to formulate strategies and reforms on tender processes and capacity building to ensure fairness and continuous growth of this sector in Mauritius.
8
10004031
Association between Single Nucleotide Polymorphism of Calpain1 Gene and Meat Tenderness Traits in Different Genotypes of Chicken: Malaysian Native and Commercial Broiler Line
Abstract:

Meat Tenderness is one of the most important factors affecting consumers' assessment of meat quality. Variation in meat tenderness is genetically controlled and varies among breeds, and it is also influenced by environmental factors that can affect its creation during rigor mortis and postmortem. The final postmortem meat tenderization relies on the extent of proteolysis of myofibrillar proteins caused by the endogenous activity of the proteolytic calpain system. This calpain system includes different calcium-dependent cysteine proteases, and an inhibitor, calpastatin. It is widely accepted that in farm animals including chickens, the μ-calpain gene (CAPN1) is a physiological candidate gene for meat tenderness. This study aimed to identify the association of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers in the CAPN1 gene with the tenderness of chicken breast meat from two Malaysian native and commercial broiler breed crosses. Ten, five months old native chickens and ten, 42 days commercial broilers were collected from the local market and breast muscles were removed two hours after slaughter, packed separately in plastic bags and kept at -20ºC for 24 h. The tenderness phenotype for all chickens’ breast meats was determined by Warner-Bratzler Shear Force (WBSF). Thawing and cooking losses were also measured in the same breast samples before using in WBSF determination. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to identify the previously reported C7198A and G9950A SNPs in the CAPN1 gene and assess their associations with meat tenderness in the two breeds. The broiler breast meat showed lower shear force values and lower thawing loss rates than the native chickens (p<0.05), whereas there were similar in the rates of cooking loss. The study confirms some previous results that the markers CAPN1 C7198A and G9950A were not significantly associated with the variation in meat tenderness in chickens. Therefore, further study is needed to confirm the functional molecular mechanism of these SNPs and evaluate their associations in different chicken populations.

7
10001836
Improving Detection of Illegitimate Scores and Assessment in Most Advantageous Tenders
Abstract:
Adopting Most Advantageous Tender (MAT) for the government procurement projects has become popular in Taiwan. As time pass by, the problems of MAT has appeared gradually. People condemn two points that are the result might be manipulated by a single committee member’s partiality and how to make a fair decision when the winner has two or more. Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem proposed that the best scoring method should meet the four reasonable criteria. According to these four criteria this paper constructed an “Illegitimate Scores Checking Scheme” for a scoring method and used the scheme to find out the illegitimate of the current evaluation method of MAT. This paper also proposed a new scoring method that is called the “Standardizing Overall Evaluated Score Method”. This method makes each committee member’s influence tend to be identical. Thus, the committee members can scoring freely according to their partiality without losing the fairness. Finally, it was examined by a large-scale simulation, and the experiment revealed that the it improved the problem of dictatorship and perfectly avoided the situation of cyclical majorities, simultaneously. This result verified that the Standardizing Overall Evaluated Score Method is better than any current evaluation method of MAT.
6
10000762
Barriers to Competitive Tenders in Building Conservation Works
Abstract:

Conservation works in Malaysia that is procured by public organisation usually follow the traditional approach where the works are tendered based on Bills of Quantities (BQ). One of the purposes of tendering is to enable the selection of a competent contractor that offers a competitive price. While competency of the contractors are assessed by their technical knowledge, experience and track records, the assessment of pricing will be dependent on the tender amount. However, the issue currently faced by the conservation works sector is the difficulty in assessing the competitiveness and reasonableness of the tender amount due to the high variance between the tenders amount. Thus, this paper discusses the factors that cause difficulty to the tenderers in pricing competitively in a bidding exercise for conservation tenders. Data on tendering is collected from interviews with conservation works contractors to gain in-depth understanding of the barriers faced in pricing tenders of conservation works. Findings from the study lent support to the contention that the variance of tender amount is very high amongst tenderers. The factors identified in the survey are the format of BQ, hidden works, experience and labour and material costs.

5
10000423
Evaluation and Selection of Construction Contractors by Polish Public Clients
Abstract:

Contracting authorities in the public sector are obligated to apply the principles provided for in the Polish law for the evaluation and selection of contractors. In order to analyse the methods of contractors selecting applied in practice by public clients, the notices of contract award results for construction works were analysed. The analysis shows that the procedure selected more and more often is open competitive bidding, where the assessment of the competence of contractors is not very precise, as well as noncompetitive bidding, i.e. single source procurement. The share of procurement procedures, where the only criterion is price, is increasing. The solution to the problems existing here might be the introduction of one of the forms of pre-selection of contractors. The article also briefly discusses verification systems for companies applying for public contracts used in EU countries.

4
9997645
Flexible Development and Calculation of Contract Logistics Services
Abstract:

Challenges resulting from an international and dynamic business environment are increasingly being passed on from manufacturing companies to external service providers. Especially providers of complex, customer-specific industry services have to cope with continuously changing requirements. This is particularly true for contract logistics service providers. They are forced to develop efficient and highly flexible structures and strategies to meet their customer’s needs. One core element they have to focus on is the reorganization of their service development and sales process. Based on an action research approach, this study develops and tests a concept to streamline tender management for contract logistics service providers. The concept of modularized service architecture is deployed in order to derive a practice-oriented approach for the modularization of complex service portfolios and the design of customized quotes. These findings are evaluated regarding their applicability in other service sectors and practical recommendations are given.

3
1735
Procurement for Management Services in Delivery of Public Construction Projects in Poland
Abstract:

Construction projects can be implemented under various contractual and organizational systems. They can be divided into two groups: systems without the managing company where the Client manages the process, and systems with the managing company, where management is entrusted to an external company. In the public sector of the Polish market there are two ways of delivery of construction projects with the participation of the manager: one is to assign operations to another party, the so called Project Supervisor, whilst the other results from the application of FIDIC conditions of contract, which entail appointment of the Engineer. The decision is to be made by the Client and depends on various factors. On the public procurement market in Poland the selection of construction project manager boils down to awarding the contract for such a service. The selection can be done by one of eight public procurement procedures identified by the procurement law. The paper provides the analysis of 96 contracts for services awarded in 2011, which employed construction management. The study aimed to investigate the methods and criteria for selecting managers, applied in practice by the Polish public Clients.

2
11454
Chain Extender on Property Relationships of Polyurethane Derived from Soybean Oil
Abstract:
Polyurethane foams (PUF) has been prepared from vegetable; soybean based polyols. They were characterized into flexible and semi rigid polyurethane foam. This work is directed to production of flexible polyurethane foams by a process involving the reaction of mixture of 2,4- and 2,6-Toluene di Isocyanate isomers, with portion of to blends of soy polyols with petroleum polyol in the presence of other ingredients such as blowing agents, silicone surfactants and accelerating agents. Additon of chain extender improves the property then further decreases the properties on further addition of the same. The objective of this work was to study the effect of chain extender and role of phosphoric acid catalyst to the final properties and correlate the morphology image with mechanical properties of these foams.
1
5414
Preparation of Tender for Building Conservation Work: Current Practices in Malaysia
Abstract:

Building conservation work generally involves complex and non-standard work different from new building construction processes. In preparing tenders for building conservation projects, therefore, the quantity surveyor must carefully consider the specificity of non-standard items and demarcate the scope of unique conservation work. While the quantity surveyor must appreciate the full range of works to prepare a good tender document, he typically manages many unfamiliar elements, including practical construction methods, restoration techniques and work sequences. Only by fulfilling the demanding requirements of building conservation work can the quantity surveyor enhance his professionalism an area of growing cultural value and economic importance. By discussing several issues crucial to tender preparations for building conservation projects in Malaysia, this paper seeks a deeper understanding of how quantity surveying can better standardize tender preparation work and more successfully manage building conservation processes.

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