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The Project File Details
Building, civil engineering, and heavy engineering projects are major contributions from the construction industry to national development. Buildings occupy the central focus of any infrastructural development and it is constructed to basically provide the citizenry with safe and comfortable enclosure for abode, business and industrial activities in enclosures free from the vagaries of the open environment” (Amobi, 2009). Emmitt et al, (2005) further highlighted the basic requirement and performance of a building to accomplish the following: Adaptable and durable; Ease of maintenance (periodic repair and replacement); Ability to recycle materials and components. Thermal and acoustic performance; Service life of the building and its elements;; Availability of materials; Sequence of construction and tolerance Reduction in waste (labor, material and time).
The building culture of pre-independence Nigeria was an absolute dependence on earth building techniques such as use of adobe bricks (sun-dried bricks) and wattle and daub (mud wall construction) Alagbe 2011. After the independence the craving for westernization resulted in the import the Conventional Building System (CBS). This system according to Benfield, (2010) implies construction with the use of in-situ masonry for the outside walls (blocks, bricks, stones and concrete walls or other ‘in-situ’ materials). Its heavily dependence on the use of cement and other imported building materials for its construction and maintenance in recent times have been proven to be inefficient and wasteful due to enormous amount of resources consumed (Ghosh 2002).
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In most developed and developing countries of the world the need for innovation in the construction industry has long been stressed from within and outside the industry.
Changes in global markets, increased customer expectations, need for new technologies and processes, improving existing products and services, and government pressure, have all led to innovation which is becoming a key focus for the construction industry. The industry is fast evolving as the world is evolving, changing and seeking more integration, innovation and better services in all sectors of the economy. Most nations are seeking how to improve their standards of living; others are seeking to protect their environment. Most nations are seeking innovative means towards every sector of the economy, thus providing public services and products that are innovatively conceived.
The construction industry is almost seen as the backbone of every other sector of any nations economy. That is why Seadan et al (2001), stated that the industry accounts for about 15% of the national product of most nations. This not withstanding, the industry is perceived as not being innovative for various reasons such as the nature of construction industry, its regulations and standards etc. Therefore attention ought to be given to the industry in determining its level of innovation and innovation practices, otherwise it will affect the activities of other sectors in any economy. The reasons are that if new ideas in the industry are not developed, how could better facilities of construction products be used in other sectors of an economy.
In Nigeria, the construction industry has been characterized by poor performance and productivity. Osofisan (2007), criticizes the Nigerian construction industry for being one of the slowest to integrate technological advancement. The Nigerian construction industry is however, a large industry and does contribute largely to the economic growth of the nation, but most elements especially of materials and technology that make up the construction process are not proudly Nigerian. If innovation and innovative practices are adopted in the industry, costs could be saved, utilization of resources could be more efficient, adjustment for the sustainability of the environment could be improved etc., These and other construction demands could be met; either by solving them with existing knowledge or by creating new solutions.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Lack of innovation or innovative ideas hinder the performance of the construction industry and other sectors of the economy by inefficient utilization of resources.
Costs, time and quality standards are most times not achieved due to lack of creativity and innovation.
Lack of innovation and creativity in the construction industry could result to;
The construction experts, the government and indeed all stakeholders in construction must evolve ways and means of introducing new ideas to improve construction.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES
This study aims to examine the exiting innovative construction processes and practices, and assess the level of innovation in the construction industry in Anambra State, with the following objectives:
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF STUDY
Innovation in construction is a vast area of study cutting across, technology, management, construction material manufacture, marketing and channel strategies of construction companies.
The focus of this study is on the technology and construction management aspect of innovation in the industry. The study investigated the current innovative practices and their impact on the Nigerian construction industry. The study covers three (3) major stakeholders i.e. (clients, contractors and consultants) in the construction industry, which will be limited to Anambra State of Nigeria.
The study was however limited by some difficulties which were encountered in the course of administering questionnaire. These include:
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