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6.1 Introduction

Low Sui Pheng Chartridge Books Oxford ePub


ISO 9000 for small construction firms

6.1 Introduction

The application of ISO 9000 Quality Management Systems (QMS) seems to be confined presently to the larger construction firms and not their smaller counterparts. However, many of the smaller firms are employed by large construction firms as their subcontractors. It therefore appears that QMS should also be extended to the smaller construction firms if the long-term objective of developing a construction industry which is capable of producing consistently good quality work is to be achieved (Low, 1995). This chapter presents the findings of a survey which examined the reasons why small construction firms are not receptive to ISO 9000. It also suggests measures to overcome some of the hurdles currently faced by small construction firms when developing and implementing quality management systems within their organisations. Total Quality Management within the construction industry can be achieved only when both large and small contractors have implemented quality management systems in their operations.

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4.10 Control of customer-supplied product

Low Sui Pheng Chartridge Books Oxford ePub


Legal implications for the construction industry

4.1 Introduction

Traditionally, a client’s expectations with regard to quality in construction works are ensured and upheld by building contracts. With the recent emergence of ISO 9000 quality management systems, however, the definition and assurance of quality have taken on a new dimension. Many contractors have since applied quality management systems in their organisations without understanding its intricate relationship with the building contract used. This chapter examines the likely conflicts and compatibility between Standard Forms of Building Contract and quality management systems. An understanding of the possible legal obligations that may arise from adopting a quality management system contractually will help contractors and clients protect their interests when defects arise. In addition, many contractors are in the process of establishing their quality management systems to increase their competitive and bidding edge.

This trend has raised questions as to the application of quality systems to Standard Forms of Building Contracts in the construction industry. There is a tendency for both the Quality Manager and Construction Manager to consider quality systems and their associated legal obligations separately from building contracts. This may be acceptable when the quality system is still in its infancy stage. As the quality system matures, however, there would be unavoidable interaction between quality systems and contractual/legal obligations at different levels, especially when there is evidence of reliance by the purchaser on certification such as ISO 9000.

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2 A “Curious” Minaret: Sacred Place and the Politics of Islam

Sandy Prita Meier Indiana University Press ePub

While stone architecture in general is important in local worldviews, only one type of masonry structure is essential for creating sacred place on the Swahili coast: a mosque. Port cities, such as Mombasa, Lamu, and Zanzibar, can claim being true stone towns precisely because their histories begin with the building of stone mosques. For example, Mombasan origin stories recount how founding father Shehe Mvita constructed the first stone mosque on Mombasa Island with the help of three mysterious men from “the North.” Their help came in the form of a new building material: lime mortar, the binding agent that makes stone masonry possible.1 The earliest written documentation of this event presents lime as miraculous matter: “The lime which the three strangers presented to Shehe was sufficient for building a mosque in a few days, whereupon these remarkable persons departed and constructed mosques in other places.”2 Transforming the architectonic order of Mombasa from earthen impermanence to stone permanence marks the beginning of Islamic time on Mombasa Island.

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2. Visualizing the Body Politic

Edited by Arijit Sen and Lisa Silverman Indiana University Press ePub


The concept of public space in modern political theory is remarkably impoverished. It largely ignores the material attributes of space—its architectonics and physical-sensorial dimensions that enable habitation—and the process of social production that creates the “publicness” of public space. Such imagination of public space is disembodied in keeping with the disembodied, abstract imagination of the modern state. When it does consider material attributes and the bodies of citizens at work in shaping public space, it assumes a particular delimited imagination of the Greek polis. Both ignore the possibilities of a political vernacular that might enable us to expand the imagination of public space and its attendant materiality.

“To be embodied,” writes James Mensch, “is to be physically situated.” By that logic it is also to “exclude other persons from the position that one occupies in viewing the world.”1 This produces a plurality of viewpoints that we must accommodate, because we are also “dependent” on others to inhabit this world. To be embodied is to be aware of the vulnerability of the flesh. An embodied understanding of politics and public space thus requires attention to the conditions of our physical situatedness in relation to other bodies and objects. It involves an understanding of our position in a given space, our movement and ability to access space, what we can see, hear, feel, and touch: our vulnerability as well as our capacity to manipulate and change the aforementioned conditions. These states of vulnerability and capacity that actualize our political freedom set the parameters of our relation to fellow subjects. These material conditions (and their limits) are the bases of our political subjectivity and enable our political imagination.

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The U. S. in the Nineteenth Century

Henry Glassie Indiana University Press ePub

Returning to the American story, we can envision a moment of unity, the most coherent instant in American history, when after the Revolution segmentable houses with symmetrical facades and closed interiors could be found from one end of the new nation to the other. That is as modern as things ever got.

In his excellent introduction to American architecture, Dell Upton comments correctly that the nineteenth century has been studied less well than the centuries that precede and follow it. One reason is that scholars seem to believe that the directions apparent in the eighteenth century continue through the nineteenth. Another is that, with the nineteenth century, there is a sudden flood of paper with words printed on it, and historians can relax at home, reading written texts that are easy to understand instead of the architectural texts that give them fits. But there is absolutely no alternative to fieldwork, to direct and patient study of real buildings in great numbers. The written texts of the nineteenth century are pertinent, but, alas, the story conveniently constructed out of them violently misrepresents the reality.

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