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Sustainable Construction in Oman

Discuss about the Construction Management for Infrastructure Development.

The construction industry in Oman gradually increases with the infrastructure development only because of its equality and freedom of completion in the construction industry. According to Bakar et al. (2012), Oman’s water and power market have numerous complex projects and due to this reason, the construction sector of Oman will always remain robust. On the other hand, it can be predicted that the construction sector will play a decisive and pivotal role in transforming the economic condition of Oman in immense manner. This particular discourse will discuss the effectiveness of the present government legislations and strategies for delivering sustainable construction. This study will also explore the significant barriers that prevent the gradual progress of delivering sustainable construction in Oman. A SWOT analysis will be presented for evaluating the possibility of the construction industry of Oman to become a global leader in the sustainable construction sector. At the end of this essay, there will be few practical recommendations that Oman can draw from the experiences of the United Kingdom for improving the more sustainable way in future.

Sustainable construction refers to the green construction as this kind of construction follow environment-friendly processes from making the design to the maintenance operation, construction operation, demolition, and renovation. As Oman can be considered as a country with an enhancing construction market, therefore, following the sustainable construction in strict manner may help to develop its sustainable construction industry, as it possesses the ability to promote the procedure of innovation and opportunities. Hong et al. (2015) have mentioned that in order to sustain in today’s competitive business world, the innovation and opportunities are required for mitigating any kind of challenges within a particular industry. The Khazzan Project is an example of sustainable construction in Oman. The sustainable construction of this particular project involves the process of the entire construction operation, the environment, safety of the workers, entire management system and the process of the construction company in order to address the risk management on the site (Alkalbani et al. 2013). Even the sustainable construction of The Khazzan Project covers the investment of this particular construction in the local economies, addressing the grievances or concerns, which this project encounter and the development of the local capabilities. The objective of the project was no harm to people, no accidents and absolutely no damage to the environment. Alnuaimi and Mohsin (2013) have suggested that safety is the principle factor in the sustainable construction. The Khazzan Project concentrates on a strong workforce capability and safety culture.

Governmental Strategies and Regulations for Sustainable Construction in Oman

Over the past few decades, Sultanate of Oman experiences a rapid economic enhancement, which is closely interlinked with the flourishing of the sustainable construction industry (Ijaola and Iyagba 2012). This specific sector has observed the primary beneficiary with a blooming of several new infrastructure projects, which serve the rapid urban development. The government of Oman has understood the necessity of sustainable construction for future development of the country; therefore, the government incorporates new strategies and legislations. The sustainability progress strategy suggests the values should be at the heart of the sustainable construction industry. The technological strategy has helped to use the green equipments and materials, which are considered to be as vital factors for implementation of the sustainable construction practices. The major challenges of this particular strategy are the limited availability of the green materials in the local market of Oman (Islam and Khadem 2013). Even the uncertainties of the industry stakeholders and their performance have a large impact on the sustainable construction industry of Oman. However, because of the cost effectiveness, the technological strategies are followed by most of the construction company in Oman. The capacity strategy involves significant aspects, which hinders in the capacity of several stakeholders in order to collaborate towards a common objective that is the lack of well-defined practices in sustainable construction industry. Yafai et al. (2014) have referred that the construction industry of Oman is solely depends on the foreign workforce; therefore, the government should be improvised the existing laws and legislations in order to support the performance of foreign workers. Oman maintains various judicial bodies in order to adjudicate various disputes related to the construction industry. Omani Centre for Investment Promotions and Export Development (OCIPED) promotes the sustainable construction for supporting a better environment in future. The government legislations promote the investments for exportation and the foreign investors in Oman. Oman’s Basic Law of the State also determines some important aspects of the construction industry of Oman (Abidin and Powmya 2014). The commercial court has own jurisdictions regarding the labour and taxes of the construction industry. All of these mentioned legislations and strategies adopted by the government of Oman and the other governmental bodies suggest improving its practice of delivering sustainable construction in future.


The sustainable construction efforts in Oman are often unsuccessful because of numerous key barriers to the successful implementation (Lim et al. 2015). However, the business experts of the construction companies possess enough capabilities for identifying the obstacles and mitigate these barriers with appropriate incorporation strategies. The major barriers of the sustainable construction industry in Oman involve the financial barriers, political barriers, technical barriers, management barriers, knowledge barriers and the socio-cultural barriers. The financial barriers involve the fear of the higher investment costs, client worries in the profitability, lack of funds, fear of long payback period and the basic ignorance of the life cycle cost of the implementation of the sustainable construction. On the other hand, the lack of building codes of conducts on sustainability, lack of effective legislations and some lack of government commitment can be considered as essential political barriers that mat influence the business operation of the sustainable construction industry in Oman. Abidin and Powmya (2014) have mentioned that although the government of Oman promotes an ethical code of conducts in the sustainable construction sector, still there are few lacks of its implication in the construction site.

Barriers to Sustainable Construction in Oman

However, the sustainable construction industry of Oman also encounter with the management and leadership barriers and these engage the lack of market segmentation, lack of leadership, lack of aspiration and motivational values and beliefs of the managers. Saleh (2015) has determined that the delay in the decision-making process often hamper the activities in the sustainable construction. The leadership and the management of the sustainable construction industry play a major role in achieving a successful implementation of the innovative strategies, which are required for the further development of this particular sector in Oman. Without the constant innovative management, support, and the leadership capabilities, it is next to impossible for the construction companies of Oman to overcome any potential barriers that may influence the entire business operation. However, the concept of implementing the strategies to mitigate the challenges also may face several difficulties. The technical barriers involve the identified lack of the environmentally sustainable materials, lack of tool and equipment of the sustainability, lack of readily available guidance, lack of chronic skills, labour shortage and technical abilities for the sustainable constructions. From the cases of sustainable constructions in Oman, it can be examined that the construction environment requires being fully acquainted with the principles of sustainable constructions for implementing its basic practices. It has been asserted that the designers of the sustainable construction industry need adequate motivations, technological supports for addressing the relevant issues like the designs of sustainable construction. On the other hand, the use of resources of green building products, for instance, the improved glazing systems has proved difficult for several sustainable construction projects in Oman. Al Mohsin (2012) has contradicted that the socio-cultural barriers are potential than the barriers mentioned above for sustainable construction industry. The construction industry of Oman operates its various activities in specific style, which is completely different from the other sustainable construction practices across the world. This particular sector of Oman presents as an essential sector that is traditionally difficult to transform especially with respect to the practices construction methods and the usage of the building materials. Often there is lack of demands of the sustainable products by the stakeholders and the clients. Knowledge barriers involve the actual lack of awareness of opportunities, misunderstanding and the ignorance of common perception regarding sustainability. In the various sustainable construction practices of Oman, there are certain evidences of the hindrance only because of the lack of information within the stakeholder group. According to Saleh (2015) it is important for the stakeholders of the sustainable construction companies to be aware of the sustainable measures or any alternatives, which fall within their remit. On the other hand, the installation of the sustainable materials and technologies require an entirely new form of knowledge and competencies. In order to mitigate all of the mentioned barriers in the sustainable construction of Oman, the management and the government should be expert and require gathering essential experiences. 

Management and Leadership Barriers for Sustainable Construction in Oman


The SWOT analysis of the construction industry of Oman can evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities, as it possesses the capability to become the global leader in the sustainable construction. The strengths of the construction industry involve the high bargaining power suppliers, secure distribution channels, customer loyalty, technological skills, production quality, leading brands, good reputation and diversified portfolio. Even this particular sector has a large influence on the market and enhances the economic conditions (Chen et al. 2012). However, the weaknesses of the construction industry of Oman denote its poor structural inertia with high transaction costs. There is a weak concentration on the entire innovation process of this industry and it hardly focuses on the private sectors. The weaknesses also involve the absence of important skills and lower rates of customer retention. The opportunities of the construction industry of Oman involve its constant emerging new markets, gradual developments of modern technologies and the demand for safer equipment. On the other hand, the low bargaining power buyers can determine the threats to this industry and it is highly regulated industry. The construction products are very highly imitative. There are certain ethical pressures for mitigating challenges that are often faced by the construction companies in Oman. The fundamental prices of the raw materials fluctuate in great manner.

As opined by Hosseini et al. (2014), the construction industry is usually made up with several characteristics with various opinions from the contractors, consultants and clients, who work together as an efficient team for ensuring a successful completion of the taken project. The government of Oman should embark on relevant and applicable policies and procedures, like the United Kingdom, which can provide a critical and appropriate support for making the sustainable construction feasible. The experiences of UK have selected Construction 2025 Industrial Strategy for further delivering of the sustainability environment. Even if Oman can overcome all of the indentified barriers then it will enable a suitable construction for the construction practitioners, which will benefit the society at large manner. In order to ensure a successful implementation of the sustainable construction following the experience of UK, the government of Oman should come up with some special code of conducts, standards related to the sustainable construction application and practices and legislations. The UK constructions companies arrange seminars, discussions, workshops and training sessions for the stakeholders in order to help them to understand the necessity of the sustainable construction in today’s competitive business world, the government of Oman should follow the same (Bakar and Razak 2016).

Technical Barriers for Sustainable Construction in Oman

Conclusion

As there is a large scope of benefit in the particular construction industry of Oman with the implication of sustainable design, suitable policies of the government, therefore, the business experts of the construction companies should follow the construction practices in effective manner. There are also requirements for the government of Oman to initiate some fiscal incentives for the employees of the sustainable construction organisation of the country. Even the suitable financial measurements can allow the sustainable housing construction for competing with the conventional construction on the predicted cost by the company. This process will help to generate a great demand and it will stimulate the fundamental scale of the economic conditions. It will eventually favour number of sustainable construction methods and technologies than the current one. The local government is required to understand the essential role that they can play in the entire planning process, which provides an ideal opportunity for promoting sustainable development in the construction industry of Oman.

References

Abidin, N.Z. and Powmya, A., 2014. Drivers for green construction in Oman and its future prospects. Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research, 21(6), pp.929-935.

Abidin, N.Z. and Powmya, A., 2014. Perceptions on motivating factors and future prospects of green construction in Oman. Journal of Sustainable Development, 7(5), p.231.

Al Mohsin, M., 2012. Claim analysis of construction projects in Oman. International Journal on Advanced Science, Engineering and Information Technology, 2(2), pp.186-191.

Alkalbani, S., Rezgui, Y., Vorakulpipat, C. and Wilson, I.E., 2013. ICT adoption and diffusion in the construction industry of a developing economy: The case of the sultanate of Oman. Architectural Engineering and Design Management, 9(1), pp.62-75.

Alnuaimi, A.S. and Mohsin, M., 2013, December. Causes of delay in completion of construction projects in oman. In International Conference on Innovations in Engineering and Technology (pp. 267-270).

Bakar, A., Bin, A.H., Ali, K., Onyeizu, E.N. and Yusof, M.N., 2012. Evaluating Risk Management Practices in Construction Industry: Evidence From Oman. International Journal of Academic Research, 4(2).

Bakar, A.H.A. and Razak, A.A. eds., 2016. Construction Management in Perspective: Contemporary issues, ideas and Initiatives. Penerbit USM.

Chen, C.S., Tsui, Y.K., Dzeng, R.J. and Wang, W.C., 2015. Application of project-based change management in construction: A case study. Journal of Civil Engineering and Management, 21(1), pp.107-118.

Hong, T., Koo, C., Kim, J., Lee, M. and Jeong, K., 2015. A review on sustainable construction management strategies for monitoring, diagnosing, and retrofitting the building’s dynamic energy performance: focused on the operation and maintenance phase. Applied Energy, 155, pp.671-707.

Hosseini, M.R., Chileshe, N., Zuo, J. and Baroudi, B., 2014. The status quo of innovations within the construction industry: A conceptual model. International Journal of Project Organisation and Management.

Ijaola, I.A. and Iyagba, R.O., 2012. A comparative study of causes of change orders in public construction project in Oman. Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences, 3(5), p.495.

Islam, M.A. and Khadem, M.M.R.K., 2013. Productivity determinants in Oman construction industry. International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, 12(4), pp.426-448.

Lim, Y.S., Xia, B., Skitmore, M., Gray, J. and Bridge, A., 2015. Education for sustainability in construction management curricula. International Journal of Construction Management, 15(4), pp.321-331.

Powmya, A. and Abidin, N.Z., 2014. The challenges of green construction in Oman. International Journal of Sustainable Construction Engineering and Technology, 5(1), pp.33-41.

Saleh, M.S., 2015. Towards sustainable construction in Oman: Challenges & Opportunities. Procedia Engineering, 118, pp.177-184.

Yafai, K.N., Hassan, J.S., Balubaid, S., Zin, R.M. and Hainin, M.R., 2014. Development of a risk assessment model for Oman Construction industry. Jurnal Teknologi, 70(7).

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