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Abstract

In recent years, Kosovo has had a strong volatility in attracting foreign investment into the domestic market, which has been accompanied not only by the decline in FDI flows but also by the quality of investments. Kosovo has not been able to catch the trend of FDI absorption just as it takes place in an important part of developing economies; it is also failing to follow the success of neighbouring countries. The success of further development of Kosovo’s economy cannot be imagined without the strong presence of foreign-owned businesses as a guarantee that this goal will become objectively achievable. The aim of the study is to examine recent trends and characteristics of FDI flows and patterns in Kosovo. This study adopts a qualitative research method using secondary data taken mainly from Kosovo’s Central Bank and Business Registration Agency. The present study concludes that FDI in Kosovo is mainly oriented to the Real Estate, Rental and Business sectors. Moreover, the main FDI contributors are businesses from the EU countries and Turkey. A majority of FDI inflows in Kosovo have been predominantly dominated by five countries.

Abstract

Based on EU guidelines and national development plans, energy efficient process management has been slowly implemented in Latvian regions in the context of the Directive 2012/27/EU putting forward two binding indicative national energy efficiency goals for Latvia: (1) to achieve 1.5 % of energy savings delivered to final consumers every year, and (2) to renovate 3 % of the state-owned buildings annually. The aim of the paper is to reflect the management system of energy efficient processes in public and residential buildings in Latvian littoral regions of the Baltic Sea, which can be an important factor for achieving the goals of the Directive. The paper presents the results of the research on energy efficient processes in public and residential buildings in Latvian littoral regions of the Baltic Sea in order to determine the existing challenges. Methods applied in the research are data collection, grouping, analysis and comparison, studies of regulatory documents, as well as statistical data collection and analysis. Contribution of the research is the improvement of energy efficient solutions in public and residential buildings in littoral regions of the Baltic Sea by using the estimated energy efficient processes. The results of the research are of international importance and can be applied not only in public and residential buildings in littoral regions of the Baltic Sea but also in other regions with similar climate or energy efficient process management problems in order to improve the selection of criteria of energy efficient solutions and renovation.

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.

Abstract

The productivity of real property depends on the efficiency of the property management technique. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an emerging technique examined. The aim of the research is to explore the practicability of BIM for the management of public buildings (PBs) and the hindrances subject to the effective operation. The tasks of the research were to investigate the awareness level of BIM for management of PBs; to investigate the acceptance level of BIM as a property management technique; to explore the hindrances of BIM use for the management of PBs; and, to assess the suitability of BIM for management of historic buildings. Survey and descriptive methods were used in the research. One hundred and nine questionnaires were distributed and a total of seventy-eight was returned. Purposive sampling technique was used for the selection of the respondents. Stratified random sampling was used to select the public buildings, while clustered sampling was used for locations. The findings of the research showed a low level of awareness from the respondents; BIM was not in use; the acceptance of BIM was high but the hindrances were numerous. The research concluded that the use of BIM was practicable given adequate awareness and training. The research recommended a paradigm shift from the traditional property management approach to BIM strategy for the effective performance of PBs.

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.

Abstract

The goal of the article is to show how bankruptcy of an enterprise appears. Therefore, the generalised balance equation of financial and economic activity of the enterprise is considered. Graphs of two main characteristics of risk management are given. The conditions under which the income and expense curves can re-intersect are given. From this moment the bankruptcy procedure of the enterprise begins. There are four stages through which the company must pass until it is declared bankrupt. It is also indicated how zones of permissible, critical and catastrophic risks arise. On the basis of business speed and investment profitability, a table of SWOT analysis of financial improvements of the enterprise is built. Four strategies of economic security and possible risks are also considered. An example of one of the methods of financial recovery of the enterprise using intermediate risky activities is given. By means of calculations it is shown that long participation in risky business, can bring both the considerable income, and lead to almost complete loss of the capital. The conclusion is made: it is necessary to leave risky business in time.

Abstract

Creativity is an important component of the economy for modern cities, and necessary condition for it is the qualitative understanding of the economic theory science. In the global competition, it plays an important role for the economic growth dynamics, which is directly related to human resource role in the modern economy. The competitiveness of the territories depends on their attractiveness to economically active individuals and the opportunities they provide with economic growth. When considering the creative and cultural industries as potential economic development factors in the urban economy, culture can be considered as a new stage in urban development based on quality of life, creativity, which provide a level of degree for balance and determine the stability of the growth potential. The development of supporting urban infrastructure is identified as one of the drivers for expansion of the cultural and recreational domains both for the political and economic development. They reflect the specific characteristics of each city, the competitiveness versus attractiveness potential, and demonstrate the potential shift from the environment for production to a potentially new consumer environment with a higher “symbolic value”. The creative industries today can serve as an urban development domain tool, creating a modern approach to economic activity in various sectors of the economy. The authors draw attention to the cluster link between creative and cultural industries in urban planning. The authors propose a methodology for assessing revenues and costs, as well as recommendations for the work of cultural organisations and institutions involved in creating a creative urban environment. The article presents data and modelling results of the economic impact calculations for two imagined cities in order to theoretically approbate the methodology, which would help assess the socio-economic effect of the development of certain clusters. The aim of the research is to identify the impact of culture and creativity on the economy of city. The calculated information for decision makers would help formulate recommendations, evaluate potential developments of the urban environment, assist in planning and networking in urban agglomerations, based on clusters of creative and cultural industries, as the post-industrial city needs to make changes in order to achieve economic growth. The development of urban cluster of creative and cultural industries has a certain multiplicative effect, i.e., impact on the development of other types of economic activity.

Abstract

The atmospheric CO2 is now at the highest level seen (400 ppm) and the construction sector is responsible for 36 % of all greenhouse gases. One way to reduce this negative impact is to use more sustainable and environmentally friendly materials such as timber in the construction. To direct the sector towards this goal, the Erasmus+ project HiTimber (“Sustainable High-Rise Buildings Designed and Constructed in Timber”) was initiated in 2017. With the objective of developing an international and trans-disciplinary course in design, construction and management of sustainable high-rise timber buildings, project-based learning (PBL) was applied. The aim of the paper is to examine the effects of the PBL by examples and results from the HiTimber workshops. The presented results are the approbation of scientifically-practical results, derived from surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019 where 29 teachers and 45 students evaluated the PBL-based workshops. In general, all teachers and 85 % of students were satisfied with the PBL approach; the students were more engaged, motivated and successful in their studies. However, the transition from traditional teaching to PBL has its challenges and requires time, effort and strong commitment from both students and teachers to be effective.

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.

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.