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Why is research important in construction?

Watch a video on a construction project and begin to think about contemporary issues in some of the projects that you have been involved in.
In 2017, 71 residents died when a fire engulfed the Grenfell Tower in London.
Building materials such as unsafe cladding, insulation and inadequate fire doors were among the causes of this devastating fire. But how could this have been prevented? How do we ensure this doesn’t happen again? The evidence was there about the cladding, the insulation, the fire doors. The research was there, but we just didn’t pay attention to it. My name is George, I’m the module leader for this course. I’ve worked extensively in the construction industry in Asia, Africa and Europe and here, I bring my experience to you. In this course we will discuss the contemporary issues facing our industry. We will look at global perspectives, ethics and how methodologies underpin our research.
We will hear from industrial experts and current PhD students giving their invaluable perspectives on contemporary issues in construction and how research drives change. Our comments section also enhances our learning by prompting discussion with like-minded professionals from all over the world. I encourage you to introduce yourself and share your experiences in our online community. Well defined research helps prevent tragic events like Grenfell, it opens our eyes to issues, aids our understanding and helps us to tackle problems improving our future.
In this video, Dr George Agyekum-Mensah uses the example of the Grenfell Tower disaster in 2017 in London to illustrate why construction research is important in a fast-changing and complex world.
This is the introductory two-week course for a program in Contemporary Issues & Research in Project Management which forms part of MSc Construction Management with BIM online degree at Coventry University delivered on FutureLearn.
This short course will give you the opportunity to experience what it will be like to study online with us.

Welcome to Global Issues in the Construction Industry

In this short course, discover how the academic research process can justifiably be applied to address the key issues faced by the construction industry today.
You will consider some of the contemporary issues that are important to construction globally and explore some of the tools and methodologies used to carry out research in today’s industry.
When we talk about the construction industry, we are referring to the following sectors:
  • Industrial construction
  • Heavy engineering construction
  • Residential building construction
  • Commercial building construction

This week

Through this week’s activities, you will:
  • Explore contemporary issues that affect the construction industry
  • Address the importance of ethics
  • Discover some of the considerations necessary when approaching novel research
  • Be encouraged to select a topic that you think requires further investigation

Checking your progress

When you reach the end of a step and have understood everything, select the ‘mark as complete’ button. This will update your progress page and will help you to keep track of which steps you’ve done. Any steps you’ve completed will turn blue on your ‘to-do’ list.
You can check your progress page by selecting the icon at the top of the step, where you’ll see what percentage of the course steps you’ve marked as complete.

Your task

In the video, George shares what he thinks research can bring to construction.
Introduce yourself and tell us why you are interested in this course. Tell us if you have personal experience of how novel research has impacted positively in one or more of the construction sectors mentioned above. How do you think research can drive change in the construction industry?
Have a look at other learners’ comments. If you can relate to a comment someone else has made, why not ‘like’ it or leave a reply? You can filter comments in a variety of ways (including most liked) and bookmark those you find useful.
If you want to see all the recent comments on the course, just select the ‘activity’ icon. If you’re following someone, you can filter this list to show their comments and any others you’ve bookmarked.
To get the very best learning experience from FutureLearn, find out more from these tips and tools for social learning.
Don’t forget, whilst robust debate is encouraged, it’s important that you follow the FutureLearn Code of conduct and are respectful of your fellow learners.
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Global Issues in the Construction Industry

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