Factors Influencing the Implementation of Raised Floor System for the Fitout of Office Buildings in the Australian Context

Zhang, Guomin (2005) Factors Influencing the Implementation of Raised Floor System for the Fitout of Office Buildings in the Australian Context. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

The study described in this thesis investigates how the implementation of raised floor system (RFS) for the fitout of office buildings can be promoted in the Australian construction industry. It essentially achieves this goal through justifying the RFS fitout advantages, improving industry practitioners' awareness of the innovative technology, and identifying the barriers hindering RFS application, and exploring integrated approaches to overcome these barriers.

Due to increasing levels of technological, environmental and organizational changes in office buildings, the traditional office building fitout method cannot deliver flexible services economically and in a timely manner. RFS is highlighted for its superior underfloor distribution technologies and ability to promote healthy workplace environments and organizational flexibilities.

Despite the many benefits RFS may bring, this innovative technology has not been widely used. Therefore, for countries with potential growth in the office building market, including Australia, how to make this state-of-the-art fitout technology more acceptable is of great importance.

To encourage the RFS implementation in office buildings, the research set up five objectives: (1) to justify the RFS advantages for office building fitout compared with traditional fitout method; (2) to identify and present appropriate specifications of RFS products and applications in order to improve industry practitioners' awareness on RFS fitout; (3) to identify and seek potential solutions to barriers hindering RFS fitout implementation; (4) to integrate the barriers and their solutions into RFS project delivery using constructability study; and (5) to formulate guidelines for RFS fitout implementation in office buildings in the Australian construction industry. A comprehensive research methodology consisting of questionnaire, semi-structured interview, site observations, focus groups, life cycle cost (LCC) comparison, and constructability study was structured to support the exploratory research.

With a combined qualitative and quantitative data analysis method, the questionnaire and interview surveys revealed the low level recognition of RFS within the industry, and identified 20 significant influence factors (SIFs) and 15 real problems associated with RFS fitout implementation. The site observations and focus groups validated the survey findings and justified the RFS fitout advantages. Then, the LCC comparison established a model and verified the LCC benefits of RFS fitout through a case study.

The final discussion on the SIFs, real problems and their solutions uncovered 36 project level critical factors pertaining to RFS fitout design, construction, operation and maintenance. A constructability study was employed to integrate these key factors into RFS fitout project delivery, such as construction knowledge inputs, team skills, and RFS fitout programs. More importantly, five key issues with significant influences were revealed. Further investigation of these key issues led to a framework for the constructability implementation, a contracting strategy with nominated specialist contractors under CM/GC, and a process-based conceptual model for the selection of RFS products. Based on these findings, a set of guidelines for the RFS fitout implementation in office buildings was formulated as a contribution to practice. Questionnaires were again used to invite comments on the key issues and guidelines, and the results proved the validity of the research outcomes.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 16082
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Yang, Jun & Sidwell, Anthony
Keywords: Raised Floor System, Fitout, Office Buildings, Constructability, Life Cycle Cost, Comparison, Guidelines, Australia
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Urban Development
Department: Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Guomin Zhang
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:56
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:43

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