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  • Subject area(s): Business
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  • Published on: 21st September 2019
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1) The name of the topic is engineering practice in building and construction . The building and construction industry is one of the most important industries in Malaysia. Good engineering practice will ensure safety of the people . Safety on the site is important and It affects the prestige of other sectors for example development sector . Sir John Hollands AC says there are 6 principles in construction safety . The principles are safety leadership , design safety , safety communication , manage safety risks , improve safety performance and entrench safety practices . According to Board of Engineers Malaysia , some of the good engineering practices are listed below :

i) Ensuring all slopes and retaining structures are safe for buildings

ii) Being around to supervise the workers during construction

iii) Designing the proper building structures and foundation to suit the drafted platform by supervising engineer

iv) Analysing the geographical aspects of the construction area before starting construction work

v) Carrying out the proper actions and investigations required she or he decides to change the slope profile or any loading

vi) Submitting any endorsed design and works to the local authority and the client

vii) Design the building and certify form G3 and G4    

 

                     In 2017 , Nicolas [6] wrote an article discussing about making environmentally         

             friendly cement to be used in construction . According to Nicolas , The electricity   

             and heat demands of cement production are responsible for 50% of the carbon

             dioxide emission . The other half comes from the heating of limestone to form   

             quicklime .  According to the BZE report , some of the concrete can be replaced with

             geopolymer concrete , which contains cement form other products besides limestone .

             The other 2 types of cement which can be used is high blend cement and carbon

             negative cement . Besides that , the carbon dioxide can be capture using mineral

             carbonation . This technique is capable of capturing 90% of carbon dioxide emitted .

                    Building information modelling(BIM) [5] is process of creating and using 3D

             parametric CAD for design to enable the exchange of information within a team in

             a construction project . BIM is a fast processs and reduces human error . It helps

             different parties to communicate and discuss a construction project . However , many

             people do not know what is BIM or its uses , believing that it is difficult to learn costs

             them an arm and foot . The government is attempting to introduce BIM to the

             construction industry by implementing and supporting BIM plus providing training

             to those in need .

                     Gul [7] says that the frequency of slope failures is not just due to rainfall but

             also many other factors. One famous incident is the Highland Towers collapse in

             1993 . Inedequate drainage system is to be blamed for this incident . 48 lives are

             lost in this incident .  From the computational analysis done by Prof Simon, (Nguee,

             2006) , the high walls around the block have a low safety factor at just 1.52 , not

            taking into account water pressure . Following this incident , the government has

            taken some action including amending existing acts related to construction sector.    

                    The common point in these 3 articles is that the parties involved are willing to go

              to great lengths to ensure that the construction industry is able to keep up with the

              modern technology in order to improve the quality of the final product . The main

              difference between these cases is the acceptance of the people towards new additions

              In The first case , I assume that the people welcome the new ways to capture Carbon

              Dioxide .  In the second case , not many people know about BIM and some of them

              may not like the idea .  After the Highlands Tower incident , I believe that people

              are now afraid of staying near slopes .

         2)  The construction industry is not free of challenges and difficult issues . One of the

         challenges is the shortage of labour . The trend of the construction labour has declined

         over the past few years . When this happens , the cost of hiring labours and buying

         construction materials is expected to rise by 2018 , putting employers in a difficult

         situation . Some employers are forced to buy cheap building materials , which threatens

         the safety of the building . This situation has improved by upgrading their knowledge of

         construction sector to keep up with the current trend . In December 2017 , the GOP tax

         bill was passed to relief the burden on employers . (Todd Bryant , 2018 )

   

               Besides that , it is found that designers tend to design the building in such a way that

         is not safe . They are afraid of liabilities if someone gets injured by the additional safety

         design . They dare not take the risk to add extra safety features . Nowadays , this has

         changed in such a way that design build firms now take charge of the designing and

         building process . The government has introduced Leadership in Energy and Environmental

         Design (LEED) certification to incorporate safety elements . (Scott Schneider , 2012)

              On the other hand , some large companies rely on construction firm to do the more

         dangerous jobs in the project so that they do not suffer the consequences of any mishap

         during the project . The firms themselves also divide out the work to smaller subcontractors.

         The big companies  monitor the performance of the subcontractor to ensure that their work is

         up to standard . In fact , one way to improve is to train the workers on safety during work .

         (Scott Schneider , 2012 )

3) The building and construction project is usually handled by civil engineer . There are a few

        responsibilities and ethics which are important in this field . One of the ethics is to maintain

        good behaviour at work . An engineer must behave in such a way that will help to uphold

        trust and confidence in the acquisition procedure . Thirdly , engineer must not attempt to take  

        advantage of other people of his or her own benefit for example workers . Next , the engineer  

        must honour the  policy of the company and legislation plus avoid conflict of interest . (United  

        Nations , 2006 ) .

           

In the design and development in construction industry , the engineers will be working in a

      team . The main professional ethics are quality , experience , commitment . Competency of  

      the  design team is the ability of the team to work effectively during a project . (Norizan, 2008)

     . Clients will trust the team if they are properly qualified . Experienced design team are able to  

  guide the clients, help them to understand the project better and forge teamwork for better

  information gathering .When there is something wrong with the project , they are able to solve  

  the problem based on past experience .

        Commitment by engineers and design team is very important to gain the trust of the client in

    the future . Involvement of the engineer’s team in the design is important to help the client gain

    understanding regarding the project . The quantity surveyor’s commitment in the advising

    of  costs assists the clients to appreciate cost implications and realistically manage their briefing

    process .                     

           I do believe that the construction company play an important role in maintaining a country’s

    economy. Therefore , proper ethics and attitudes are required in this field . The construction sector

    would be held respomsible for any loss of lives due to poor design and ethics .

4) In the construction sector , engineers have professional rights which is right of professional

   conscience , right of conscientious refusal and right of recognition .  The main code of ethics  

   include accepting projects that are suited for the engineer’s abilities and qualifications instead of  

   making false promises to clients . Engineer should not be biased toward any client or have racism  

   thinking . Engineer must serve the client with integrity and commitment . Engineer must be  

   honest and not withhold any information from the client .

           There are four forms of accountability for engineers . First is licensure . An engineer must

  obtain a professional license in order to work for a client . Those without license can work but they

  are limited to working under a fully-licensed manager .  The second accountability is requirement .

  To be a qualified engineer , we must go through at least 4 years of study in engineering school and

  in this case , civil engineering . We must pass the engineering board examinations too . Third is

  quality .  Engineers, like all professionals, are required to follow procedures and precautions in

  order to produce quality building . Using cheap and choddy materials in building will land the

  company in trouble . The last accountability is ethics . An engineer can be charged if he or she

  is guilty or violating professional rules . He or she can be charged if found guilty of withholding

  other engineer’s wrongdoings . (Anthony Fasano , 2017 )

          I would like to give my opinion on the Highlands Tower incident . I believe the engineers

  who are in charged of building the Highlands Tower did not designed the building properly and

  may have used cheap materials to cut cost . One example is the hig walls around the tower . It has

  low safety factor because of inappropriate materials used and it was constructed in a haphazard

  manner. This is in violation of the code of ethics which is honesty and integrity .

          

         

5) As a conclusion , no matter which profession we work in , we must constantly uphold good

    ethical behavior and professional behavior in order to gain the trust and the acceptance of the

   clients . Engineers , in particular are important to ensure the safety and welfare of the public  

   especially in the construction sector ,where people’s lives are in their hands . Being an engineer is a        

   big calling and a vocation , yet it comes with great responsibilities for the happiness of those around

   us .  

 

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