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Article: 'Submarines don't leak, why do buildings?' Building quality, technological impediment and organization of the building industry in Hong Kong

Title'Submarines don't leak, why do buildings?' Building quality, technological impediment and organization of the building industry in Hong Kong
Authors
KeywordsBuilding technology
Housing quality
Industrial structure
Issue Date2003
PublisherPergamon. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/habitatint
Citation
Habitat International, 2003, v. 27 n. 1, p. 1-17 How to Cite?
AbstractThis paper addresses a naive question: Why do the new housing units in Hong Kong always leak? Conventional responses to this question, including slack construction supervision, poor workmanship, low construction cost, tight building schedule, are only superficial answers. This study addresses this question within the context of technology development and industrial organization within the house-building industry. The local building industry is notorious for its poor use of automated technology. This is reinforced by the existence of a fragmented industry that relies widely and increasingly on the use of subcontracting and procurement of labour services. Low technological applications in the house-building industry are further institutionalized by the practices of local developers, university educators and the government. This study explains why an off-site, assembly line mode of mass production of buildings cannot take off, and why the assembly work has to rely on human dexterity rather than technological precision. It is argued that the relationship between technological impediment and fragmentation of the building industry results in a vicious cycle. Unless this structural relationship is broken, poor building quality and technological backwardness will continue to linger in Hong Kong. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/167129
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 2.029
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.038
ISI Accession Number ID
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorChiang, YHen_HK
dc.contributor.authorTang, BSen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2012-09-28T04:04:32Z-
dc.date.available2012-09-28T04:04:32Z-
dc.date.issued2003en_HK
dc.identifier.citationHabitat International, 2003, v. 27 n. 1, p. 1-17en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0197-3975en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/167129-
dc.description.abstractThis paper addresses a naive question: Why do the new housing units in Hong Kong always leak? Conventional responses to this question, including slack construction supervision, poor workmanship, low construction cost, tight building schedule, are only superficial answers. This study addresses this question within the context of technology development and industrial organization within the house-building industry. The local building industry is notorious for its poor use of automated technology. This is reinforced by the existence of a fragmented industry that relies widely and increasingly on the use of subcontracting and procurement of labour services. Low technological applications in the house-building industry are further institutionalized by the practices of local developers, university educators and the government. This study explains why an off-site, assembly line mode of mass production of buildings cannot take off, and why the assembly work has to rely on human dexterity rather than technological precision. It is argued that the relationship between technological impediment and fragmentation of the building industry results in a vicious cycle. Unless this structural relationship is broken, poor building quality and technological backwardness will continue to linger in Hong Kong. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.en_HK
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherPergamon. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/habitatinten_HK
dc.relation.ispartofHabitat Internationalen_HK
dc.subjectBuilding technologyen_HK
dc.subjectHousing qualityen_HK
dc.subjectIndustrial structureen_HK
dc.title'Submarines don't leak, why do buildings?' Building quality, technological impediment and organization of the building industry in Hong Kongen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.emailTang, BS: bsbstang@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityTang, BS=rp01646en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltexten_US
dc.identifier.doi10.1016/S0197-3975(02)00030-9en_HK
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-0037359524en_HK
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-0037359524&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume27en_HK
dc.identifier.issue1en_HK
dc.identifier.spage1en_HK
dc.identifier.epage17en_HK
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000180548700001-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdomen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridChiang, YH=7201593363en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridTang, BS=7402560881en_HK

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