1. The future of humankind is shaped by the flow and storage of information in what is called nowadays the World Wide Web.
2. Every contribution to the WWW contributes to the increasing value and usability of the collective knowledge of humanking.
3. In order to contribute in an efficient way the following guidelines are to be followed
a) Create new content or enhance existing one
b) Make every contribution free, open content and machine-readable
c) Use the most common language spoken and read (this helps other to get it translated easily)
4. With each individual contribution be it of content nature, of structural nature or of tool-nature, humankings knowledge is growing.
5. Contribution of individuals life’s worth of knowledge can grant that individual recongnition beyond one’s own mortality and until the ened of all humankind.
It is this manifest that I believe in and that I work for and to which I contribute the achievements of my life, as unimportant as they might appear.
– Max-Leonhard von Schaper, April 10th 2013
As recently mentioned on my LinkedIn account, I like to follow the progress of major infrastructure projects world-wide. Especially those that show signs of failure. Failure is always an opportunity to learn and improve one’s own skills. Hence when I first read about the fact that the architect is sueing the operating company at BER airport for not following its design and causing the delays, it was time to read up on it. As Wikipedia states that especially the fire alarm and life safety system is heavily flawed at this building, I couldn’t believe my eyes. From my own experience in Macau, Fire Services are taken serious by architects and MEP engineers and every little change is to be documented, checked and audited. As such reading, that
The major issue responsible for the delayed opening is the fact that the fire protection and alarm system in the terminal building has not been built according to the construction permit. Therefore, it failed the TÜV acceptance test (a prerequisite for the airport to be opened), and a proposed solution with human fire watches (up to 700 people would have been employed for this job) was rejected by the building supervision of the local Dahme-Spreewald district. There are flaws concerning the wiring, programming and implementing of the highly complex system, by which sprinklers, smoke extractors and fire doors will be controlled fully automaticly. Because of aesthetic reasons, it was decided that the BER terminal building would not have any smoke pipes on its rooftop. Therefore, in case of fire, smoke would be pumped into exhaust pipes that are running below the building (thus running against the physical property of hot air to rise upwards), a set-up that at this scale is considered to be unique. So far, this does not work as anticipated. Also, the train station underneath the terminal building is not properly linked to the fire protection system. To meet the requirements for the fire system to pass the acceptance test, large scale reconstruction work might be needed.
project management of this critical infrastructure project has failed tremendously. Luckily enough the flaws were detected prior to opening, not as with the case of the Delhi Metro Airport Express that went into operation before noticing cracks on the elevated pillars and cave-in dangers on the tunnels. Please take a minute to read up on these two projects, the background stories, the fights that are being put forward in press, court and cross-company-claims and the personal biographies of project managers, major stakeholders and other individuals involved. Apply the lessons you draft in your head on your daily work and ensure that such things do not happen again!
Photo taken above is taken from a Lufthansa Airbus at Delhi Airport, India.
As the Railway Gazette reports, CSR Zhuhou won a South African contract for the supply and delivery for electric freight locomotives.
The Transnet contract includes local production requirements, with the first locomotives to have 60% South African content.
What is interesting about this contract is that it is one of the first times that I hear that a Chinese company has to adhere to ‘local content’ requirements in another country. I.e. what foreign multi-national companies such as Siemens, Bombadier and Alstom had experienced in China, now becomes reality for Chinese companies. It will be exciting to see the future of this development… especially as it will have to be Chinese technology that is being exported to South Africa. China might get up caught in the same loop that foreign companies complained about when entering the Chinese markt: loss of knowhow in order to build up local competitors that later (anticipatedly) will turn to the world market (as happened in this case)…
The ‘local content’ requirement stands for transfer of technology as it requires the contractor to produce a part of the product (or the whole of it) in the country of sale, e.g. in China or as in the case of the electric locomotive contract, in South Africa. As mentioned above 60% of each locomotive has to be produced in South Africa, yet nothing is said on how these 60% are being measured. One way is that the total cost of each locomotive is taken and the parts procured in South Africa would have to be 60%, e.g. engine, wheels, car body or parts of it. Another way could be that 60% of the value add of each locomotive would have to be created in South Africa, i.e. more than just the mere parts but also including assembly or possibly production. Whereas the first version is a purely procurement-related excercise, especially the second interpretation of this clause can cause trouble as it takes away a major part of the Chinese production factor.
What an interesting world we live in…
PS: Above photo was taken by me in Zhuzhou, way back in 2005…
Another shot of night time Macau.
The Altira Casino and Hotel is visible on the right of the photo with the light beam on top of the building.
To the left, at the far end of the horizon: Parts of Macau island.
Please note that I have activated the “License this photo via Getty Images” on all my Flickr photos. If you require any of my photos for private or commercial purposes, please request a license via Getty Images using that link on the right side of the photo.
A view on Macau and its famous Casinos …