Authors: Stefan Schaefer
Designers influence construction ergonomics directly and indirectly. The direct influence is because of design, details and method of fixing, and depending upon the type of procurement system, supervisory and administrative interventions. The indirect influence is because of the type of procurement system used, pre-qualification, project duration, partnering and the facilitating of pre-planning. The purpose of the paper is to determine architectural technologists’ perceptions and practices relative to construction ergonomics. A survey of the related literature was undertaken and an empirical study was conducted among members of the South African Institute of Architectural Technologists (SAIAT) using a self-administered questionnaire. The following constitute the salient findings. Cost, quality, and time are more important to architectural technologists than construction ergonomics and project health and safety (H&S). Ergonomics during the use phase is more important to architectural practices than the other phases. A range of design related aspects impact on construction ergonomics. To a degree, construction ergonomics is considered / referred to on most design, procurement and construction occasions by architectural technologists. Experience predominates in terms of how ergonomics knowledge was acquired. A range of aspects have the potential to contribute to an improvement in knowledge and the application of construction ergonomics. The paper concludes that architectural designers contribute to construction ergonomics, but there is potential for and a clear need for enhanced contributions. Recommendations include the inclusion of construction ergonomics in tertiary architectural technologist education, related continuing professional development (CPD) and practice notes, and ergonomics regulations.
Keywords: architectural technologists, construction, ergonomics