Housing Project Emerging issues, challenges and opportunities for housing projects relate to the internal and external factors. In the Chinese development context, challenges and opportunities relate to the Millennium development goals, more so sustainability. Emerging and future areas of housing projects in the Chinese context emphasize on the increasing importance of engineering and sustainability. The theme of sustainability is developed because of the changing climate and the increasing need for engineers and project managers who focus on a common future. Sustainable development is the progress that meets the needs of the current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs (Sachs &Jeffrey 2012).
Opportunities Faced by Project Managers of Large Housing Companies in Promoting Innovation and Sustainability 1. Mutual Dependence of Companies and the Society The mutual dependence of companies and the society is an opportunity for project managers to make business decisions that follow the principle of shared value. The project managers of large housing companies in China must make decisions that would be of benefit to the Chinese community and the companies (Hwang 1998).
The society that shares common values with the companies is part of the stakeholders that influences the performance of the companies. It is a general practice for the stakeholders to hold the companies accountable for their performance as well as the performance of the whole supply chain and for the progress of a set of sustainability issues (Wall 2010).
The housing project managers have the opportunity to create and maintain healthy relationships with all the stakeholders.
For the project managers, sustainability may not be a mere responsibility, but an opportunity to harness human creativity and make a discovery of various innovative ways that would protect and enhance the environment. The discovery of innovative ways should also enhance respect, and be an empowerment to all the stakeholders in building enduring wealth (Hwang 1998).
There is an initiative by the Chinese government to intensify and coordinate planning, organizations and institutional arrangements to implement projects that would be of benefit to the society. China is on the spot for setting up environmental friendly energy and eco-environmental regulatory agencies to encourage industrial cycles in allocating resources (Elzen 2004). Housing project managers in the country have the opportunity to make progress as the government has adopted measures that would promote the implementation of a sustainable housing project (Deng, Shen &Wang, 2011).
A culture of transparency and enforcement of the existing laws in the housing sector would provide the housing project managers with the opportunity to assess risks in a more effective way and become more proactive in dealing with the risks. The enforcement of housing laws promotes sustainability as a necessary value for the large housing companies in China as it becomes integrated into the goals and objectives of the housing companies (Elzen 2004).For the projects to be successful, there is the need for the project managers to consider social and environmental issues and how they operate under the housing laws that they put into effect. The sustainability of the large housing projects relies on the sustainability of the environment and the society in which the projects are conducted. The project manager is, therefore, mandated to take charge and avoid risks that would ruin the project’s reputation for the competitive advantage of the rival projects (Zhang et al. 2017).
Project managers ought to shift their focus from getting ideas to implementing the ideas for the project. For purposes of sustainability, project managers should not concentrate on long term issues such as what happens to the employees during the construction services (Kerzner, Harold, Kerzner 2017). The project managers are mandated to take responsibility by doing things right and pursuing the right ideas as part of the sustainability aspects of the results (Paul 1987).
Companies will always operate by constantly changing to meet the market forces. The changes experienced in the company are often brought about through the action of the project managers on behalf of the housing companies (Ostrom et al. 1993). As part of the responsibility of the housing project managers, they take a systems view of their project, listing all the internal and external factors of the entire life cycle of the project as they direct the consumption of the resources in the project (Whitley 1992). It is an opportunity for the large housing project managers to work as per the code of ethics and professional conduct to balance sustainability with the housing project management priorities in China. Communications that encompass project reporting and presentation works to ensure that the housing project stakeholders are well informed about the sustainability aspects of the project (Zhang et al. 2017).
Housing project managers in China carry out project procurement management by implementing control processes that are required to develop and administer contracts that have been issued by the authorized housing project team members (Deng, Shen &Wang, 2011). While carrying out their duty, housing project managers in China have the opportunity to determine the conditions of the marketplace and set the typical terms and conditions for the housing project services. The project managers have to access the services on the dimensions of sustainability, which include effects to climate change and the impact of the project to human health (Redding 1990).
There is the opportunity for the housing project managers to make the complexity and the level of detail of the procurement process to be consistent with the value of the planned procurement as well as the risks that are associated with the process (Kerzner, Harold, Kerzner 2017). The procurement process is a chance for the housing project managers in China to factor risk into procurement documents and transfer the risks to the parties interested in the construction services. The risks can also be managed to make the obligations regarding sustainability prearranged in the contracts (Redding 1990).
Constraints faced by Project Managers of Large Housing Projects in Promoting Innovation and Sustainability 1) Global Sustainable Housing Development is faced with Many Long-Term Pressures The world population is reported to have grown by over 1.5 billion in the past 20 years.
The total economic output has also been nearly tripled while there are more than 1 billion people who are living in poverty (Hwang & Tan 2012). There are also many countries that are yet to complete their industrialization and modernization process, with an increasing demand for survival and development that pose pressure on resources and the environment (Pearce et al. 2013). The pressure has led to worldwide issues such as food security, environmental degradation and climate change (Shambaugh 2013).
While many countries cope with the global situation, some countries are less willing to honor their commitment in implementing a sustainable development agenda. Whilst there is the international pressure to honor commitments such as responsibility to climate change, there is a challenge in China regarding green construction as a part of sustainable construction initiatives across the globe. The housing project managers are faced with the challenge of high risks due to different contract forms of project delivery (Hwang & Tan 2012).
It is reported that the success of developing and implementing green design greatly depends on the type of the contract selected for the delivery of the project. It is a requirement for the type of project used in green construction to incorporate the details of a fully integrated green design. In China, housing project managers are challenged when the housing project design is locked before the development process (Wu 2007). The project may be costly when some changes have to be done at a later stage. The project managers are often challenged on how to organize their finances because the art of green construction design has not been mastered by most contractors who are in the process of its adoption because of global pressures (Yi 2012).
2) China faces Tremendous Development Pressure Although the areas of the eastern and coastal parts of China are recognized to be in the middle-stage of industrialization and urbanization, many people in China are still living in poverty (Nolan 2004). The nation’s rural poverty line as per 2011 indicates that about 122 million Chinese citizens are living under harsh conditions, a factor that has made the task of poverty alleviation through project managers extremely difficult (Jiabao 2011). The large housing project managers in China often consider providing job opportunities to the society as well as improving the infrastructure. The high poverty levels in the rural Chinese setting have led to structural contradictions of the country’s labor supply and demand. The large housing project managers in some parts of China work under intense pressure to create job opportunities, offer youth employment carry out re-employment (Xuehui et al. 2011).
3) The Fragile Nature of the Ecological Environment Exerts Tremendous Pressure on Sustainable Housing Projects in China Large housing project managers are challenged by China’s geographical and geological environment that is complex and diverse. In China, there is a proportion of land that is not suitable to be occupied by humans because of the poor natural ecological conditions (Dong, Xue and Li 2016). The entire nation is made of a semi-arid region that accounts for 52% of the country’s total land area while 90% accounts for natural grasslands that have also been degraded.
(Zhu and Lin 2004) The land in China is noted to be extremely fragile, posing a massive challenge to the housing project managers who have to manage all the activities surrounding construction by their companies (Xuehui et al. 2011).
Additionally, the country is associated with serious natural disasters that occur in different types and with high frequency. The large housing project managers are greatly challenged on how to ensure safe construction activities that would ensure protection of the lives of people and minimize damage to property. The project managers also strive to ensure social development under the extreme geographical and geological conditions in China (McKenzie 2004).
4) The Constraint of Limited Resources to Attain Sustainable Development China’s western region is noted to host most of the country’s natural resources and energy while it is also known for the country’s harsh geographical and ecological environment. Large housing project managers have the challenge of high costs involved during the exploitation, utilization, and protection of the nation’s natural resources (Wu 2007). The Chinese economy is also said to be in the category of a developing economy that has high proportion of heavy and chemical industries. The economic development in the country and social progress China are faced with the challenge of complying with the stringent rules of saving the limited natural resources (McKenzie 2004). Housing project managers have to make critical decisions on how ensure constant flow of resources that are needed for their housing projects despite the existing harsh conditions in the country (World Economic and Social Survey 2013).
5) Lack of Equity in China Large housing project managers in China are faced with the challenge of lack of equity in the distribution of the country’s wealth. It is in the business records that massive wealth that has been accumulated through the rapid development of the nation’s global economy has not been effectively brought to equity to the Chinese citizens (Paul 1987). While the developing countries face the problem of shortage of funds and inadequate technical means, the developed countries such as China face social problems that have been caused by the widening wealth gap (Moulaert &Ed 2013). The regional conflicts and ecological destruction in China have been stimulated by the issue of equity which is a great challenge in achieving a common goal to humanity (Jiabao 2011).
Lack of equity has led to delays in the approval process of services such as construction where housing managers seek approval to use the green technologies and recycle materials. There has to be a planning process for the use of the green technology to be approved for use by the Chinese authorities. In some cases, the process becomes lengthy to intentionally delay the approval of the construction process. The lengthy approval process poses a challenge to the housing project managers who are obligated to develop a schedule for green construction and make payment approval to vendors and suppliers (Brown, Orr and Lou 2006).
In conclusion, countries throughout the world have made huge progress in promoting sustainable development and achieving the millennium development goals. At the same time, global sustainable development is also faced with serious challenges such as high poverty levels and uneven distribution of resources. Within the context of sustainable development, assessing the progress and implementation of housing development goals ought to be based on addressing the new and emerging challenges that project managers of large housing projects face in promoting innovation and sustainability.
Recommendations for a Promoting China’s Sustainable Housing Project Development 1. Guaranteeing and making Improvements to the People’s Livelihood It may be appropriate for the Chinese government to control the total population, improve the quality of population, and advance a long-term and balanced development of the population.
By promoting employment in the country, it would be possible to accelerate the development of social undertaking; thus, protecting and improving the role of housing managers in promoting sustainable development (Moulaert &Ed 2013).