Building Technology
Construction risk

From research, all construction projects involve a certain level of risk and unless steps are taken to efficiently and effectively manage these risks, the project might be doomed for failure.

These risks could come in various forms, be it technological, financial etc. New challenges are said to be coming up and so are risks in building technology; what are these new challenges and risks?

Is it true that advanced technology itself poses a great number of risks? Or, is it just lack of efficient and effective risk management? Buildings collapse, some are left halfway done, some begin to show signs of obsolescence too early, some fail to perform the initial functions for which they are designed (i.e technological obsolescence) and some fall short of expectation in design performance, so on and so forth.

What is the case here? Is advanced building technology / construction posing more risk than good? If not, what is the case, if yes, what are the remedies?
Fadeelah Shittu
Construction risk
Fadeelah, The use of most if not all advanced technology is based upon the concept of "built-in obsolescence".

So that things made today are "designed to fail" within a limited time. This is what I call cheap and nasty.

An example is my last electric shaver, after several years of use I dropped it on a hard floor and it stopped working. I opened it up and found a tiny (one millimetre diameter) plastic part had snapped off. Again, some years ago I had a supposedly "German Made" shaver which stopped and when I opened it up I found a cheap motor from Hong Kong.

The dilemma with mass-production today is if anything is "designed" to last for a long time, then sales are lower because the goods last longer. One way out of this dilemma has been to make people want "the latest fashion", so that even if last years' car, clothes, etc are still useable, they are "not fashionable" and so people buy new every year without the need to buy.

The other way of course is through the use of "designed obsolescence", so new things are made as cheaply as possible even though prices continue to rise. The end result is mass-manufacture for no reason other than to keep the money rolling into the pockets of the makers.

As I am 56, I was brought up in a time when products could be repaired and were "designed to be repaired". Today, we have the "Throw-away society" and this idea of throwing away products is now so engrained, it is very difficult to repair modern products as they are not designed for repair or long use.
Frank John Snelling


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