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Ergonomic realities of a Biophilic Construction Site Model

Rita Ngozi Obiozo, John Smallwood

Abstract


The psycho-traumatic stress factors arising from a construction site lacking psychosocial value and the presence of nature, results in personal harm to workers, and marginalises their performance, and the harmonious cohesion of a workplace as an integrally beneficial natural environment. The research reported on the necessity of psychotherapeutic wellness interventions derived from nature such as the biophilic design concept and fengshui principles as a response to psychosocial risks in construction through the greening of construction sites. The research was empirical in nature involving a field survey and comparative analysis of two similar construction sites in the East (Hong Kong and Vietnam), and validated by similar construction sites in the Northern Cape region of South Africa, which included projects already in progress. The research process included an extensive literature review, case studies, mass observation, and participant observation. The findings established the ergonomic potential of the biophilic design concept of greening construction sites, duly established from the onset of construction throughout the life cycle of the project to also include construction workers on site, and not only targeted solely for end users. The Biophilic Construction Site Model (BCSM) should be included in the CMBOK because of its relevance to worker well-being and effective proactive performance, and should also be included in the curricula of tertiary construction management education.

Keywords: Biophilia, ergonomics, fengshui, green construction, worker performance




http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/esa.v29i2.4
AJOL African Journals Online