Cost escalating, schedule overuns and quality shortfalls on construction projects

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Kaliba, Chabota
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The construction industry plays a central role in the creation of any nation’s wealth. For developing economies, it forms the backbone of most industries. Cost escalation, schedule overruns and quality shortfalls in construction projects often offset the intended contribution of the industry to the economy.The aim of the study reported in this dissertation was to establish significant causes of cost escalation, schedule overruns and quality shortfalls and propose mechanisms that could be used to systematically address the causal factors.Using a detailed literature review, structured interviews and questionnaire surveys, the results of the study confirmed the prevalence of cost escalation and schedule delays on construction projects in Zambia. The study identified: insufficient initial analysis of costs; change orders; inflation; and schedule overruns to be the most significant causal factors of cost escalation. Financial difficulties on the part of contractors; change orders; poor sub-contractor performance; and changes in drawings or specifications were found to be the major causes of schedule overruns. On the other hand, the most significant causal factors for quality shortfalls were identified to be: inadequate and inconsistent release of funds by clients; poor financial management by contractors; long lapse between feasibility study and implementation of projects; inadequate supervision; and incompetence or lack of capacity by contractors. The study also identified a knowledge gap in project managers in construction management.It was established that the Client Satisfaction Enhancement Flowchart Model (CSEFM) that was developed during the study could be used to improve project delivery and satisfaction enhancement factors in terms of their relative importance. Appropriate project management practices and training for successful execution of construction projects have been recommended, especially in developing economies like Zambia.
construction projects , cost escalation , schedule overruns , quality shortfalls