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European Projects of Common Interest: Impact on Fuel and Energy Markets in Poland

Abstract

Projects of common interest are projects serving the implementation of priority corridors and areas of energy infrastructure, mainly trans-European electricity, gas and oil transmission networks in order to reduce the European Union’s energy dependence. They also help strengthen the energy security of individual countries, including Poland. The article aims at reviewing projects and assessing an impact on domestic markets in the context of the challenges of the fuel and energy sector in Poland. The article is an analytical study, in the “desk research” formula. Research methods used during the elaboration of the research include the analysis of national and EU strategic documents and the subject matter of energy security. In order to evaluate the impact of the implementation of projects of common interest on a variety of supplies of a member country (Poland), an exemplary assessment of the diversification status is presented using Hirschman-Herfindahl concentration index for gas supplies.

Open access
Efficient Procedure to Scheduling Construction Projects at the Planning Phase

Abstract

The construction industry is one of the most important activities that contributes towards the economic growth of any nation. However, the sector has been experiencing problems of cost and time overruns, particularly the problems are significant for the lowest-bid awarded construction projects in the developing countries where inappropriate planning is reported to be one of the major causes. Thus, the paper aims at developing an integrated scheduling approach for construction projects during the planning phase from a project owner’s perspective. The proposed approach integrates cost estimation and schedule in light of practical activity precedence and mathematical cost optimization using different project commencement dates. The study has shown that cost and time optimization model could yield impractical results unless double precedence relations (start-to-start plus finish-to-finish) are imposed between some activities such as trench excavation and pipe laying. It has also demonstrated that the cost and time budgeted during the planning phase would substantially deviate from actual if the planned construction start date slips from the plan, particularly for short period projects. The proposed approach demonstrated in the paper can sufficiently allow planning engineers to develop a comprehensive construction schedule so that the cost and time overruns in the lowest-bid awarded construction projects can be reduced. The paper provides empirical insights into how a robust construction schedule is developed from an owner’s perspective. Cost-time optimization and risk analysis results obtained from manual computation might reduce the reasonable accuracy of the desired cost and schedule integration unless each activity is assigned its own calendar.

Open access
Infrastructure Development and Property Sales in Low Income Residential Properties in Bulawayo

Abstract

There is a usual positive correlation between infrastructure development and property sales, because infrastructure development has positive externalities on property sales. However, in Bulawayo this correlation is not usually present in all aspects of properties transactions. The research seeks to find out the trends in infrastructure development and property sales in the city of Bulawayo. The research also aims to unearth some of the factors other than infrastructure development that determine property values in Bulawayo’s low-density suburbs. The research took a mixed methods approach to data collection where both qualitative and quantitative methodologies were utilised. Questionnaires were administered to the people in low income areas of Pumula, Cowdrey Park and Emganwini. In depth interviews with key informants in the real estate sector were conducted to cross fertilise and enrich the inquiry. The research found out that in most cases there is a strong correlation between infrastructure development and property sales, but in some cases, this is not the case as some forces are put in play to distort the market play. The research also discovered that apart from infrastructure, property sales in Bulawayo’s low-income residential suburbs are also affected by income, supply of houses and demand for these houses. In Bulawayo, there are bottle-necks in the supply of houses and this has distorted the market because people are taking whatever there is on the market at any price. This has reduced the influence of infrastructure development on property sales.

Open access
Investigation of the Adoption of Building Commissioning Practices in the Installation of Building Services Items

Abstract

Of recent, the need to increase the performance of services installations in buildings has been a major point of interest amongst construction professionals through the consideration of commissioning practices required to be adopted during execution of building projects. The aim of the study is to investigate awareness of building professionals on the adoption of building commissioning practices in the installation and use of building services equipment. The study therefore examines the characteristics of building commissioning practices, examines the level of awareness and adoption of building commissioning practices amongst construction professionals in Lagos State, Nigeria, as well as investigates the factors influencing their adoption. A survey method of research was employed with questionnaire administered on construction professionals available on the list of firms of the Federation of Construction Industry (FOCI) registered with the Lagos State Government. The data collected were analysed with the use of statistical tools, such as frequency distribution, mean item score, analysis of variance and factor analysis. The study shows that amongst the characteristics of building commissioning practices, lighting services have the highest level of engagement with a mean score of 4.45, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning 4.15 while vertical transporting services have a mean score of 3.82. A significant proportion of the respondents are aware of building commissioning practices through different professional training courses and practices. The study also shows that there is relationship between the level of awareness and adoption of building commissioning practices at 95 % confidence level. The indicators in group one are found through the factor analysis to be contributing mostly to the adoption of building commissioning practices by the respondents. The study concludes that with the existing level of its awareness in the study area, efforts should be made by stakeholders to entrench building commissioning practices provisions in the country’s institutional framework/regulatory code, which covers the installation and use of service items in building stock so as to further deepen their adoption in order to enhance performance and comfort of building projects.

Open access
Measuring the Efficiency of Indian Real Estate Firms During the Pre- and Post-Demonetization Period by Adopting Data Envelopment Analysis

Abstract

Indian real estate segment has been one of the utmost affected segments of economy contemplating the changes in economic policies. The Indian economy experienced a radical change as an outcome of demonetization and the consequences are perceived on the real estate segment. The current study has been proposed to evaluate the efficiency of Indian real estate firms by adopting the technique of data envelopment analysis during the pre- and post-period of demonetization. The aim of the research is to understand the effect of demonetization on the performance of the Indian real estate firms during the post-demonetization period compared to pre-demonetization period. Eight real estate firms have been considered for the analysis. The firms have been ranked on the basis of the efficiency score. It is evident from the results of the study that there is a significant difference between the ranks of the firms during the period of pre and post demonetization; and it can be elucidated that the demonetization has an impact on the performance of the firms.

Open access
The Paradigm Shifts of Community Governance in China

Abstract

This paper provides a description of the community governance paradigm shifts in China over the past 4 decades. By taking a historical review of Chinese tradition in community governance, a brief history of the transformation of property rights in the former Soviet Bloc, plus a theoretical analysis from the perspective of social physics, this study clarifies the inherent logic for the community governance evolution across China. The influence that ancient dynasties, up to 1949, exerted upon the modern community governance has been large, which has formed certain social governance inertia. However, there have emerged many new forms of power among which the homeowners are the strongest group to demand more autonomy. By using a social physics framework, this article sheds light on the ongoing tension between the traditional inertia and the emerging trend of autonomy in real estate. Furthermore, the logic could be employed for predicting the future community governance style in China.

Open access
Performance Assessment Methods of Managers in Kosovo Businesses

Abstract

Performance measurement is a constant challenge to economic sciences in general, and this study is a response to an increased need for performance measurements to ensure maximum efficiency on the use of human resources. The main goal of this study is to evaluate employee performance as a key component of employee performance management. This paper aims at determining the current development level of new performance measurement techniques experienced by the businesses in Kosovo. In this study, linear regression, Pearson’s Chi-Squared test, and case study methods were used. The total number of case studies comprised 391, out of which 27 study cases were excluded because they did not apply any method of assessing the performance of the penitentiary. The results of the study have shown that businesses in Kosovo applying new evaluation methods of the performance of management staff ensure higher organisational performance. This study brings an added value to the field of application of performance measurement methods, exercising control and motivation of employees and contributing to the encouragement of businesses in Kosovo to apply new performance evaluation methods.

Open access
Preliminary Construction Cost Estimate in Yemen by Artificial Neural Network

Abstract

The construction industry in Yemen is currently facing challenges associated with rapid development of technology; thus, cost estimation is considered a key factor that should align with this technological advancement. The main problem in the area of preliminary estimate in Yemen is how to make estimate accurately. The aim of this study is to analyse a modern method of preliminary cost estimation in Yemen to prove its efficiency over the traditional method. Therefore, a wide range of literature sources regarding the preliminary estimates using Artificial Neural Network (ANN) as a modern technique is considered. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches were adopted in this study depending on the theoretical premises discussed in literature and the ANN technique, respectively. The independent variables were chosen in the course of literature review. The collected data were classified and processed regarding the ANN constraints and encoded for building and analysis of the ANN model. NeuroSolution 6 software was used to build, train, and test the network as well as to perform sensitivity analysis. In addition, the results of training, testing, and sensitivity analysis were obtained and discussed showing high effectiveness of accurate estimates with less than 1 % error. The ANN model is a more powerful technique for estimating costs in the preliminary stage that should be used in the developing countries instead of the traditional methods.

Open access
Rental Housing Market in Riga: Price Determinants and Lesson Keys of Helsinki

Abstract

The research focuses on the rental housing market in Riga and reveals that among factors that affect the rent level in neighbourhoods of Riga the most are distance from the city centre, neighbourhood safety, quality of housing and transport infrastructure, access to shopping malls, and employment opportunities. The aim of the research is to analyse the housing market in Riga, by putting a special focus on price determinants and lesson keys of Helsinki. Quantitative and qualitative research methods are used in the paper with the biggest contribution being extraction and analysis of data about more than 1800 rental apartments in Riga from the largest Latvian online real estate advertisement platform. Quantitative analysis is based on investigating relationships between average rent levels in different neighbourhoods of Riga and index values of 23 urban environment factors. In addition, the rental housing market in Helsinki is researched, emphasising few guidelines for rental housing market improvements in Riga, such as introducing government subsidies.

Open access
To Remove Walls or Not: Analysis Into the Dilemma of Chinese “Block System Policy”

Abstract

Property right protection has gradually become a major concern for the emerging and expanding group of homeowners in China, which entails an institutional change regarding community governance. The aim of the paper is to identify the reasons why the Block System Policy initiative in China has caused a social resentment and had to be suspended under considerable social pressure. Employing qualitative grounded theory research method, including an analysis framework of the torque equation from a social physics perspective, as a method of analysis, this study analyses the contrasting arguments around whether or not the community walls should be torn down in China, to expound the tension between the different agents’ preferences on BSP initiative, and to shed light on the inherent logic of the debated policy. The key variables used to predict the trend of BSP have been supposed to be the preference intensity and the effective multitude of the organized stakeholders, whose multiplied products will count for the general balance of the policy direction. Additionally, by reviewing Chinese historical idiosyncrasy for walls, this paper particularly stresses the importance of the homeowners’ intensity of preference to protect their property rights and resources, which substantially shaped the destiny of the policy.

Open access