Reviewing The Traditional Approach To Construction Construction Essay

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For a long time, the construction industry has used the traditional approach in construction. The construction industry is one of the most dynamic, risky, challenging and rewarding fields. It involves numerous uncertainties and widely associated with a high degree of risk due to the nature of construction business activities, processes, environment and organization. As we enter the new millennium, technological advances will have a major role in changing the competitive work environment in the construction industry.

As the demand for quality increases, the construction industry must invest in innovations and new technological techniques in construction. One such option is to move towards industrialisation and that is by implementing the Industrialised Building System (IBS) in building construction. In Malaysia, government has announced that construction industries encouraged using more innovative method in construction. Nation building requires the involvement and contribution of an efficient, productive, cost-competitive and environmental-friendly construction. This is clearly stated in Construction Industry Master Plan (CIMP 2006-2015). Therefore, construction companies include a small, medium and large company have to focus more on industrialised processes and production methods. They have to identify and exploit any potential for increasing efficiency through a continuous improvement process to create innovations.

Construction companies be able to adopt the option that offered by industrial construction to develop the potential. The potential include market orientation and business strategies that allows construction companies focus on the fields of activity that offer the most value added, increase the share of value adding works and reduce the none-productive support works, improve the quality of service, improve cost transparency and cost predictability also possibly venture into new market sectors and develop new customer segments.

Contractors seeking to thrive in a competitive market need to focus on managing the risk associated with fixed-bid contracts and eroding profit margins. Because the construction industry is complex, business infrastructure must support the complex needs of the contracting operation. The contractors also need to explores the strategic management to achive the competitive advantage.

This paper are going to develop some maps, mindsets and methods of strategies that businesses employ and also to generate new strategies to the Bumiputra contractors. To achive the strategies, the problems and market positioning of Bumiputra contractors that involve in IBS construction will be studied first.

Problem statement

Today, the use of IBS as a method of construction in Malaysia is evolving. Based on the Construction Industry Master Plan 2006-2015, under strategic thrust 5, above 80% construction projects in Malaysia must used IBS. CIDB, (2010) (ibs digest) reported, the total registered IBS contractors in Malaysia stand for 674 in May 2010 and only 30% from the numbers are active in IBS construction. With 291 projects worth of RM 6.78 billion that given by government, shown the contractors that involve in IBS constructions in Malaysia are still low especially for the Bumiputra contractors.

Lack of involvement Bumiputra contractors in IBS construction is one of the problems in construction industry. The monopoly of 'big boys' limiting opportunities to Bumiputra contractors involve in IBS construction. Another issues related the call to use IBS is failed to get a project because of less attractive due to cost and risk issues, lack of professional trained in IBS, limited IT adoption and lack of guidance for the contractors.

This paper will investigate the market positioning of the Bumiputra contractors in IBS construction compare to the non-Bumiputra contractors. Besides that, this paper also will identify the success business startegies of contractors that involve in IBS as reported from the literatures, the data collection from the questionnaires survey and through a pilot interview with representative from the related company.


Based on the previous survey, the involvement of Bumiputra contractors in IBS construction is low. So, the major aims of this research are to find a method to increase the number of Bumiputra Contractors to get involve in IBS construction. To achieve this aim, three objectives have been delineated as follows:

To identify the problem faced by Bumiputra contractors in IBS construction;

To investigate the market positioning of Bumiputra Contractors compare to the non-Bumiputra Contractors.

To identify the Critical Success Factors for the Bumiputra contractors.

Scope of Work

A contractor is the person with main responsibility for the construction, improvement, or renovation project under contract, and is the party signing the prime construction contract for the project. The contractor is the person or entity who hires all of the subcontractors and suppliers for a project. It is an individual, partnership, corporation, or other business entity that is capable of performing construction with overall responsibility for the satisfactory completion of a project using its own forces to perform or supervise part of the work. Although, IBS implementation involves various parties along the supply chain for instance the manufactures, clients and designers, the authors will only focus on the contractor's perspective and aim to identify CSFs for Bumiputra contractors to embrace in IBS.

Significance of Study

Zuhairi (2009) (MIEE_2009_-_Zuhairi[2]) stated CSFs is the limited number of areas in which satisfactory results will ensure successful competitive performance for the individual, department, or organization and as the few key areas where things must go right for the business to flourish and for the goal to be attained. The CSFs will assists in our understanding of the role of contractors in IBS project also to capture the success elements and improve general readiness among the Bumiputra contractors.




The literature review carried out basically covered the meaning of Bumiputra, introduction to Industrialised Building System, current issues in IBS also the statistic of Bumiputra and non-Bumiputra contractors in Malaysia.

Bumiputra Definition

Bumiputra definition that been use is base on Federation Constitution of Malaysia, state as below:

Peninsular Malaysia

Article 160 (2) Federal Constitution of Malaysia (1970) stated; "If one of the parents is Muslim Malay or Orang Asli thus the child is considered as a Bumiputra".


Article 160A (6) (a) Federal Constitution of Malaysia (1970) stated; "If a father is a Muslim Malay or indigenous native of Sabah thus his child is considered as a Bumiputra".


Article 160A (6) (b) Federal Constitution of Malaysia (1970) stated; "If both of the parent are indigenous native of Sarawak thus their child is considered as a Bumiputra".

IBS Definitions

In general, according to Ahmad (2010), (challenge in the IBS industry-IBS outreach programme) definitions of Industrialised Building System (IBS) is a construction technique in which components are manufactured in a controlled environment (on or off site), transported, positioned and assembled into a structural into a minimal additional site works. In other countries IBS is known as modular construction, offsite construction and modern method of construction. The other definitions were found through literature by researchers previously who studied into this area. Chung and Kadir (2007) (mcrjvol2) defined IBS as a mass production of building components either in factory or at site according to the specification with standard shape and dimensions and transport to the construction site to be re-arranged with certain standard to form a building. Rahman and Omar (2006) (mcrjvol2) also defined IBS as a construction system that is built using pre-fabricated components. The manufacturing of the components is systematically done using machine, formworks and other forms of mechanical equipment. The components are manufactured offsite and once completed will be delivered to construction sites for assembly and erection. Lessing et al, (2005) (@IBS-current shortcoming and the vital role) defined IBS as an integrated manufacturing and construction process with well planned organization for efficient management, preparation and control over resources used, activities and results supported by the used of highly developed components. Warszawki (1999) (mcrjvol2) was defined IBS as a set of interrelated element that act together to enable the designated performance of the building . Trikha (1999) (mcrjvol2) defined IBS as a system in which concrete components prefabricated at site or in factory are assembly to form the structure with minimum in situ construction. Parid Wardi (1997) (@IBS-current shortcoming and the vital role) defined IBS as a system which uses industrialised production techniques either in the production of components or assembly of the building or both.

Types of Foundation

Shallow Foundation

Shallow foundations are those founded near to the finished ground surface; generally where the founding depth is less than the width of the footing and less than 3m. These are not strict rules, but merely guidelines: basically, if surface loading or other surface conditions will affect the bearing capacity of a foundation it is 'shallow'. Shallow foundations (sometimes called 'spread footings') include pads ('isolated footings'), strip footings and rafts.

Pad Foundation

Pad foundations are used to support an individual point load such as that due to a structural column. They may be circular, square or rectangular. They usually consist of a block or slab of uniform thickness, but they may be stepped or hunched if they are required to spread the load from a heavy column. Pad foundations are usually shallow, but deep pad foundations can also be used. The types of pad foundations are shown in Figure 2.1.

Figure 2.1: Types of Pad Foundations

Strip Foudation

Strip footings are used under relatively uniform point loads. The strip will distribute the concentration of the load sideways into an increased width of sub-strata to reduce the bearing stress and settlement to an allowable limit (Curtin, 1994).

The structure will also distribute the loads in the longitudinal direction when the loading is not uniform and when the sub-strata resistance is variable. The width of the strip is according to the bearing stress limit and also the excavator bucket size (Curtin, 1994).

Wide strip footing is used when the bearing capacity of soil is low enough to necessitate a so wide that the transverse bending occurs in projecting portions of foundation beam. Adequate reinforcement is required to prevent cracking in wide strip footing (Leow, 2005).

Raft foundations

Raft foundations are used to spread the load from a structure over a large area, normally the entire area of the structure. They are used when column loads or other structural loads are close together and individual pad foundations would interact.

A raft foundation normally consists of a concrete slab which extends over the entire loaded area. It may be stiffened by ribs or beams incorporated into the foundation.

Raft foundations have the advantage of reducing differential settlements as the concrete slab resists differential movements between loading positions. They are often needed on soft or loose soils with low bearing capacity as they can spread the loads over a larger area.

Deep Foundation

Deep foundations are used to transfer the structural loads to a deeper soil strata and when the soils are subjected to scour. The different types of deep foundations available are piles, piers and caissons.

Pile Foundation

Piles are relatively slender column used to transmit the structural load to a lower, firmer soil or rock (Cernica, 1995). Piles are used when the soil at normal foundation level cannot support the usual pad, strip or raft foundations. They are made of timber, concrete and steel. According to Cernica, 1995 the selection of type of pile depend on

a) The corrosive properties of the soil

b) The fluctuation in water table

c) The ease of installation

d) The length requirement

e) The availability of material

f) The installation equipments

g) The restriction on driving noise

h) Costs




The research methodology carried out the explanations on how the research will be conducted. This chapter will discuss the method, activities, questionnaires design, pilot study, pilot interview and data design and analysis. The research can be summarized in the following flow chart as shown in Figure 3.1 below.

Select the Study Area

Topic, Scope and Objective Identification

Literature Reviews

Data Collections


Secondary Data


Data Processing and Data Analysis

Conclusions & Recommendation

Figure 3.4: Flow Chart of the Methodology

Study area

To identify the most suitable problem to be investigated and the research are reliable and valuable to be anyone. Selecting and defining problems for research is the main focus of a research. The identification and location of the research problem is the first step of research. The problem must be specified and completely defined. This problem identification will need help by conduct preliminary literature review. This step is the most difficult task in research process.

Questionnaire Design

The questionnaire will design based on information obtained from the literature review and during the interviews with the relevant construction company also some idea by supervisor.

Data Analysis

Data will analyze when the result from construction site is collect. The questionnaire will be measure based on a Likert's Scale of five ordinal measures from one (1) to five (5) according to the level of agreement. The data generated from the questionnaire survey is analyzed using frequency analysis. The measurement tools in the survey provide quantitative indication of qualitative judgments.



Expected Outcome

It is expected the result from this study will achieve the objective that have been stated before, this research expect that various management concepts that are successful in improving the quality in the construction industry also to help raise its productivity level.

Schedule of Work


Jan-July 10






Briefing on the research

Select construction site

Find a contractor

Site investigation

Find reading material

Prepare the questionnaire questions

Pilot study

Data collection and analyzed

Prepare the research report