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Question 1 of Part 1: Risk Assessment Report for Aging Bridges
Bridges are critical elements in the transport network and as such require detailed understanding since they present potential weak links that may be fatal in the movement of goods and people. Accordingly, it is essential to establish discourse that captures the qualitative and quantitative failures in design, construction, and usage of bridge infrastructure. This multi-use aspect comprises different segments such as highways, rail system, and pedestrian passage. The purpose of this risk assessment is to determine the state of bridges, age-related variants that affect performance and to provide suggestions that may be used in scholarly context to highlight improvements on the theoretical, the physical and the social work aspects. The scope of research is limited to all the principal elements in a bridge and sensitizes on the impact of aging on the overall functionality of the structure. The report utilizes the methodological approach of a desk-based qualitative technique which relies on relevant secondary publications.
The U.S Homeland Security publication exploits research from different people with diverse engineering backgrounds to highlight the general welfare of infrastructure. Accordingly, Duwadi presents findings from the National Bridge Inventory, a database that indicates that about twenty-five percent of the bridges in America are either functionally obsolete or structurally deficient (2010, p. 3-9). Nonetheless, the researcher explains that solutions developed to aging uniquely depend on the type of the structure and the force loadings it anticipates, and thus difficult to provide a solution that makes a structure immune to failures. According to the report, concrete bridges constitute an appreciable two hundred and fifty thousand, and an additional one hundred and thirty thousand pre-stressed concrete bridges. The main challenge facing concrete structures encompass the serviceability and functionality aspects such as delamination, corrosion of reinforcement steel, cracking, spalling of concrete and scaling. Nonetheless, there is an extensive pool of research on concrete works which has focused on reinforcement of member elements to enforce structural integrity.
Similarly, aging in steel bridges impacts two technical aspects; fatigue and fracture of structural details, and corrosion of the steel members. However, the research proposes that the advancement of steel used in new bridges, the development of coating systems and in-depth focus on structural detail steel advancement may reduce the failure mechanisms. Additionally, cable ported and long-span bridges have unique concerns as well such as vibrations and fatigue, corrosion and cable protection systems and vulnerability of wires. Further, the publication indicates that the main issues facing timber bridges which constitute an approximate twenty-seven thousand structures include detailing, decay and deterioration and moisture management. A possible solution would be to effect policies that focus on two critical aspects: construction and maintenance. Each of these can be further extrapolated to effectively capture the design’s inception, the development of the plan, assessment of risks and management techniques, and lastly maintenance works.
Question 2 of Part 1: (I) Insolvency of Sub-Contractor at Critical Phases of a Project
The construction industry has some of the most sophisticated processes that prerequisite all partners to combine their efforts in order to facilitate the success of a project. Notably, insolvency is one of the crucial aspects that have a profound impact on the outcome of a project as it spreads across the entire supply and delivery chain. Though the market plays a role, the risk of insolvency is heightened by other factors that are often under-looked. Thus, the purpose of this report is to highlight the theme of insolvency, unethical practices by sub-contractors as well as the legal measures in place to curb its prevalence. Moreover, it seeks to sensitize on the importance of well-coordinated joint-effort by all involved parties, to define The methodological approach is desk-based qualitative research and relies on relevant publications to provide a detailed explanation on the topic.
Accordingly, the structure of the report utilizes a “Bow-Tie” approach, and the scope is defined by four principals: identifying, assessing, controlling and recovering. Consequently, the report posits that the general structure of the construction sector during inception to the actualization of a project is highly dependent on the balance of power in contractual agreements, which is often complicated by the high number of contractors and subcontractors. Essentially, the report notes the role of each entity in ensuring delivery of consistently structurally sound projects that adhere to functionality and serviceability requirements. Insolvency can translate to profound financial losses for the venture, as it represents the interest of an appreciable number of players. For instance, the Government of Australia indicates the difference in the sub-contractual relationships amongst the sub-contractors considered to be the primary workers on site (2015, p. 11-20). Further, the pyramidal structure of the construction industry does not have a defined flow network which contributes to insolvency.
Either way, insolvency can directly lead to a cash crisis such that there is not much money flowing to meet the project’s requirements. This is often aggravated by poor record keeping which is a primary contributor of insolvency in the execution of a project. As such, companies with high borrowing always find themselves in a financial breakdown as they try to stay afloat, eventually resorting to liquidation. Accordingly, it is important to establish the role of the sub-contractor in instances of insolvency to legally determine who will bear damages and to what degree. Modern development in existing research gaps has created an operative framework bound by the law which controls construction activities and forms a negotiating structure in handling disputes that arise on site. In summary, the increased awareness on the roles of each player as outlined by the contract has made it possible to identify, assess, control recover from potential issues hindering efficacy in delivery as well as the growth of the construction sector.
Question 2 of Part 1: (II) SWOT Report for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
The technological development of UAVs commonly referred to as drones have developed from the contemporary military applications to recreational, commercial and scientific research, gaining access to public use. Unlike other aircraft, UAVs lack a pilot on board and are operated from a ground-based controller which relays commands to the devices. Similarly, the devices are designed based on aerodynamic principles and can be controlled by humans or an algorithm of computer commands. Accordingly, the purpose of the report is to present a critical analysis of UAVs, providing a review of its applications and existing gaps that are worthy of research. As such, the methodological approach to the task utilizes the format of a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat (SWOT) layout, clearly capturing all the elements of the technology as far as its advancement is concerned. The report utilizes prior scholarly and scientific research in the field, exploring the existing gaps and providing solutions to challenges that face UAVs.
The first strength aspect of UAVs is that they are able to execute tasks that pose technical difficulties to human capacity. For instance, they are highly used for surveillance activities especially in areas that limit human reach. The design of the vehicles integrates several components that describe the state of the device as well as relaying information for the intended task. The sensors allow the device to detect targets autonomously during inspections which can be used to avoid collisions and for establishing assurance. Moreover, they constitute cameras with a wide degree of freedom, which ensures effective relay of video feedback. This feature has enabled the technology to be embraced in photography works. Similarly, UAVs comprise different autopilot software with diverse capabilities that affect transmission. The main weakness facing the technology is the legal framework surrounding its operation in different countries given that the technology is relatively new. In addition, the technology is susceptible to malicious use and therefore, there need to be defined regulations regarding their purpose.
The technology is one of the most promising research avenues, based on its general reception and its impact in various segments. Mass production of drones has diversified into different applications, forming the platform of developing devices whose functionality suits the intended task. Moreover, the technology has attracted scholarly and scientific interest in recent years, providing a vast source of information. For instance, the technology is widely being tested as a research mechanism in inspecting wildfires. The major threats facing the technology is security vulnerabilities whereby the device has in the recent past been used to stream feeds and deliver lethal payloads intended for malicious acts such as terrorism. Additionally, the devices are subject to hacking and if severe, they may end up providing their source codes or tools. Nonetheless, this can be improved by strengthening the encryption of private networks design.
Question 1 of Part 2: Risk Management Report of Construction Project in Queensland
The expected monetary value (EMV) is a quantitative figure indicative of the amount of money one can save or spend as defined by the possible outcomes of the parameter being investigated. Additionally, the management technique can be used as a tool for establishing the likelihood of occurrence of different outcomes based on the risk assessment. The report presents the EMV assessment of a hospital construction project in Queensland. The first parameter is excavation and groundwater infiltration risks. The optimistic category indicates a probability of 0.15 possibility which will increase the cost by ten thousand dollars translating to fifteen hundred dollars. The ‘most likely category presents a probability of 0.5 coupled with the expenditure of eighty thousand dollars which gives an EMV of forty thousand. Lastly, the pessimistic class indicates a probability of 0.35 and an expense of one hundred thousand dollars translating to thirty-five thousand. Thus, the total EMV for this parameter is seventy-six thousand and five hundred dollars.
The second parameter constitutes geotechnical risks of substructure where the first category has a probability of 0.25 and expenses amounting to $200 thousand which translates to fifty thousand dollars. The second category indicates a probability of 0.4 equating to $650 thousand which consequently translates to $260 thousand. Similarly, the last category has a probability of 0.35 with expenses amounting to $900 thousand giving $315 thousand. Therefore, the total EMV for this parameter is $625 thousand. The third parameter explores the weather-related risks of superstructure construction. Rain is known to increase costs and the probability that it does not rain is 0.25 translating to $100 thousand expenses. This yields twenty-five thousand. The second category indicates the likelihood that it will rain for fifteen days is 0.45 and will result in expenses worth $200 thousand, thus relaying ninety thousand dollars. The last category indicating a rain period of 45 days has a probability of 0.3 associated with expenses amounting to $400,000 which gives a value of $200 thousand. The total EMP value accumulates to $315 thousand.
The fourth parameter is interior and exterior finishes. Category one has a probability of 0.3 and an outcome of $100 thousand contributing $30 thousand. Category two indicates a 0.3 probability of rework and changes amounting to $150,000 which gives a value of forty-five thousand. The last category records a probability of 0.4 and a cash amount of $200 thousand which gives the figure eighty thousand. Thus the total EMV value amounts to $155 thousand. Labor union and related problems are the fifth parameters and the computed EMV in category one amounts to one thousand six hundred and fifty dollars. Category two amounts to seventeen thousand whereas the last category totals to approximately eighty-two thousand and five hundred dollars. As such, the total computed EMV totals to approximately $102 thousand. The last parameter is inflation on the overall project cost, subject to the central bank rates and economic growth indicated by the provided base points in all categories.
Question 2 of Part 2: Public Sector Procurement
Accordingly, the Design-Build-Maintain (DBM) system is a form of a project delivery mode whereby the client solicits bids from structural experts who assume the role of design, construction of the project, its operation and maintenance schedule. Consequently, the purpose of the report is to assess the interested contractors in the public procurement tender to establish the “Best Value” contractor deemed to have the lowest “selection score”. Essentially, it seeks to describe the competitive offers presented by different contractors through a series of mathematical computations. As such, the methodological technique relies on the client’s “best-value” formula which provides that the selection score of a contractor’s proposal is given by the summation of the pricing for maintenance (PM), pricing for design and build (PDB) and “Time Value (TV)” penalty for adjusting DB divided by the sum of technical score for maintenance (TM) and technical score for design and build (TDB) represented by the equation
As such, the formula strategically assesses the six prequalified DBM contractors Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Theta and Rho. Notably, Alpha incurs a time penalty of four days which translates to $800 thousand and a corresponding score of 20,139.77. Beta on t, on the other hand,responds to a score of 20, 601.41. Gamma incurs a time penalty of twenty days which translates to $4.4 million, and a selection score of 48, 398.69. Delta too incurs a time penalty of twenty-nine days which translates to $6.38 million and a selection score of 60, 433.52. The proposals of both Theta and Rho are completed within the required time thus do not face any penalty charges. Hence, their selection scores are 24, 814.356 and 19, 625 respectively. Accordingly, the report establishes that Rho is the best value DBM contractor as they present the lowest selection score. Nonetheless, due to the closeness in selection score between Alpha, Beta and Rho, the report considers using the “Best and Final Offer” procedure to which effects negotiations which yield a relatively optimum cost.
1. Duwadi, S. (2010). Buildings and Infrastructure Series: Aging Infrastructure—Roles and Challenges. U.S Department of Homeland Security, pp.3-9.
2. The government of Australia (2015). Insolvency in the Australian Construction Industry. [ebook] Government of Australia, pp.11-20. Available at: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary Business Analysis/Committees/Senate/Economics/Insolvency_construction/~/media/Committees/economics_ctte/Insolvency_construction/b02.pdf [Accessed 30 Sep. 2018].