Overall the University of Southern Queensland employees a large numbers of lecturers and other individuals who belong to the administration department. USQ Springfield alone offers more than 25 theoretical engineering courses both on campus and online to its students and also 5 laboratory based practice courses for its engineering students. Most of the theoretical courses of engineering are being taught at its Springfield branch. But majority of the people associate with the project are in need to be provided with their roles and responsibilities, in order to make sure that the project will run smooth with not too many issues.
In any business, communication is an important aspect in all kinds of projects; it is the responsibility of the people associate with the project to make sure that all the communication is taking place properly and openly. However in delivering the training and lectures it has been observed that communication between Toowoomba and Springfield is not always been easy. A proper tool or method of having open communication is missing, what can be done to achieve proper communication is still in pending. Once the communication between both the campus and among various departments is improved than staff members and other members associated in the project of new Engineering laboratory will than be able to have proper communication.
In general a typical engineering laboratory in majority of the universities at present uses five times as much energy water per square foot as a typical office building. With the help of research facilities in the laboratory it will require intensive ventilation system including “once through” air.
The major key aspects of sustainable engineering laboratory has to have a design for USQ that should include the following
The increased energy and water conservation and better efficiency
Reduction or elimination of harmful substances and waste from the lab
Improvements to the interior and exterior environments, for the campus leading to increased productivity for staff members
Efficient use of materials and resources throughout
Recycling and increased use of products with recycled content.
University of Southern Queensland (2009b).
Building laboratories have extensive direct and indirect impacts on the environment, mainly because of the reason that buildings use resources such as energy, water and raw materials, generate waste and emit potentially harmful materials. However those people who are responsible for building laboratories that include Dean, HOD, designers and builders will face a unique challenge to meet demands for new and renovated facilities that are accessible, secure, healthy, and proactive while minimizing their overall impact on the environment (S. C. Rockefeller,1996).
In order to make sure that new engineering laboratory is sustainable, six fundamental principles persist that needs to be considered.
Optimize Site/Existing structure
Optimize Energy use that the laboratory will require
Protect and conserve water capacity
Use environmentally Preferable products
Enhance indoor Environmental quality
Operation and maintenance Practice
For USQ in order to be able to have sustainable engineering laboratories, it should be able to address civil engineering concerns as well as the design of mechanical, plumbing, and lighting systems. For civil engineering, designers and builders must consider transplanting existing trees instead of removing them around the building (T. M. Parris and R. W. Kates, 2003). Besides they should also develop proper storm water management strategies in order to reduce erosion.
As new standards are surrounding corporate sustainability in different projects, companies and organizations are beginning to weave sustainability capabilities more deeply than ever (Development and Conflict Management, 2003). For University of Southern Queensland there are various issues that needs to be looked after as they not only have to make sure that the quality of service they are offering is of high quality but at the same time the university has to make sure that safety of their workers is of prime importance. The location of the laboratories, the overall design and products used in the building has to be of high quality. Successful programs are championed by a CEO/ HOD’s or Dean’s who will be fully responsible for maintaining sustainability as an ongoing discussion throughout the building of engineering laboratories. Rather than concentrating exclusively on environmental compliance, energy availability and costs, and other risks, main corporate issue would be to focus simultaneously on managing risks and leveraging opportunities.
Few issues to consider would be:
Who will report to whom?
Who will administer the whole project?
Who will be responsible to make key decisions?
Where to get the data from?
In any project, regardless of their nature there are various set of economic issues, concepts and analytical frameworks that can be used to make appropriate decisions at various stages in project planning cycle (T. M. Parris and R. W. Kates, 2003). The feasibility of building engineering labs can be determined by basic issues such as the availability of inputs and regulatory of outputs, to make the project sustainable it will definitely require labor to be available at particular times during the production cycle.
For USQ one of the major physical issues to consider is to look in to the physical aspects that involves the major decision either to retrofitting an existing building that might be more cost effective as compare to building a new facility. If the management of USQ decides to renovate or retrofitting the existing building that include the sustainability initiatives reduces operation costs and environmental impacts and will result in increasing building resiliency, would be a major decision.
From the university perspective another important sustainable issues to consider would be the use of direct energy management systems that will commissions the entire building to ensure that the new engineering lab systems will operate as efficiently as possible. Designers should be able to design the laboratory keeping in mind the long term flexibility options that will include the module for all architectural and engineering systems. Computers that will turn themselves off during the non working hours of the lab will help in reducing the energy use and costs by reducing the cooling loads other electrical demands.
By implementing sustainable lighting in the laboratories it will help in reducing the energy use while enhancing employee comfort and productivity. Along with the use of lighting system, having adequate access to the natural daylight is an important principle of sustainable design. As it will not only reduce energy use but it also increases comfort and enhance productivity. Design of the laboratory should be in such a way that it disperse the light in all major areas, so people inside the labs will be able to look outside and orient themselves according to the time of the day. Most importantly daylight should and must be the most important source of illumination.
The main objective for USQ in sustainable design of their engineering laboratory is to make sure that they avoid resource source of depletion of energy, water, and raw materials by building laboratories that livable, comfortable, safe and productive.
In many cases some of the casework products which are manufactured now considered as “green”. Majority of the recycled products are usually obtained from old cars and other appliances, and the problem with such recycled steel is “greenness”. At the same time recycling steel raises a question whether energy conservation or resources conversation is the better environmental/sustainable strategy for building engineering laboratories in the campus.
The University of Southern Queensland provides an Engineering education that is well grounded in theory, but also has a sound practical aspect. There is a strong emphasis in its engineering programs on practical work, such as laboratory work or field work. (S. C. Rockefeller, 1996) Because of the large proportion of students studying through distance education, this practical work is administered through special practice courses.
As the USQ Springfield campus is located in a developing area, so far it has not been difficult to find facilities for field tasks, such as surveying practice and site visits.
Team presentations and other indoor related practice work that include geology will also been able to successfully accommodate at the Springfield campus (S. C. Rockefeller, 1996). The overall development of heavy engineering laboratory will have all facilities has not been easy mainly because of the reason that the costs involved in establishing such laboratory facilities within the campus and because of other development restrictions at the laboratory site.
Projects are mostly part of an organization that are larger than the projects, for this particular reason the success of projects depends a lot on the maturity of the organization with respect to its project management system, culture and overall style (PMBOK). There are different kinds of organizations that fall under different categories according to the projects, from the management point of view it is important to understand that organizations like USQ are categorized under which organization.
Is the organizational structure and the design of the organization is important or not. It is not possible to decide on the organizational design before finalizing the project manager, as it will be totally up to the project coordinator how he will carry on with the project (Robert.Y 1977). For organizations like USQ has to have good processes in place and people to follow such processes, can this perhaps be the biggest factor in the success of the project. Such processes can only flow with ease if the organization has a good structure. Project team members in organizations with good structures in place, generally are well aware of their expected roles that they need to perform (Mochal. T, 2003).
The report highlights the importance of having a sustainable engineering laboratory for the university and what issues might be associated with the project. The top management will be incharge of the project and there are few key aspects that they need to keep in mind while executing the project.
Every project has issues associated with them and so does this project, what needs to be take care of during the project is of prime importance. This paper has discussed various issues that might be associated with commencing a new engineering program at a new regional University campus located in a lower socio-economic area. There are also many other issues involved: which include the promotion of the programs and their courses; targeting to the right target market. Making sure that the project of building engineering laboratories that are sustainable is in itself is a big task that needs extravagant leadership and decisions of people involved in it. This paper has described steps taken to better meet the issues arising during the project at the campus, including a detailed discussion of who will be responsible, who will respond to whom and so on. It has also described how issues associated with the provision of laboratory facilities are being overcome.
The engineering programs at the USQ Springfield campus continue to develop over time, with additional programs being proposed for the future. Given this, in combination with the continued growth in student numbers, the location of the campus in a developing urban environment, and the recognition by teaching staff of the particular student learning needs, the engineering programs at the campus are likely to continue growing strongly into the future.
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