This research project investigated the effects of
design error on the final cost of a project in Nigeria. It is a key issue,
because many projects in Nigeria have inadequacies in the plans and
specifications which have been major causes of changes to the contract. There
have been extreme examples of design errors such as numerous building collapses
in Nigeria - projects that have wrought disaster after the construction are
completed. One or two major errors that can be corrected with only initial cost
considerations and little effect on the schedule finally ends up causing major
impacts on the final cost and schedule growth. These dilemmas place an
increasing pressure on stakeholders in the construction industry to search for
solutions that will minimize error in designs so as to maintain estimated
construction cost and time while maximizing its quality. One hundred and twenty
selected project clients, consultants and contractors in Imo state of Nigeria
were issued well structured questionnaires to elicit responses on the
investigation of the effect of design error on the final cost of a project, and
the analysis of data was done using pie chart. The research study revealed that
design error affects final cost of a construction
project causing cost overrun on cost and time. Additionally, the
research revealed that the issue of cost and time impacts on project
construction could be managed by using construction recognized and accepted
methodologies which identifies and quantifies the overall impact to the project.
The research concludes that unclear scope of work or
change in scope of work; time and inexperience of the designer and inaccuracy
of the design documents are the major causes of design error on construction
projects in Nigeria. In this regard the paper recommends that the consultants’ experience, lack of design reviews, design
management experience, awareness of changes in standards, communications and
availability of information, inconsistent decision making, and lack of
coordination between disciplines, lack of planning and inspection of project
and unclear or ambiguous requirements for design specifications should be
worked upon by the stakeholders concerned in order to prevent the occurrence of
design error in construction projects in Nigeria.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
asked to define "design error," not all disciplines in the
construction process agree on a common definition. Depending on which
discipline you address, the owner, the designer or the contractor, there will
be a common understanding surrounded by varied conclusions, "a
mistake." From the basic definitions of "design" and
"error" we conclude that a design error is a deviation from a drawing
or specification, also including omissions and ambiguities. It is the
seriousness of this error that must be considered to determine its consequences
on the overall outcome of the project. One of the most important challenges
facing management today is controlling the ball too frequent final cost and
schedule overruns that effect the construction industry (Diekmann and Thrush,
1986). One of the major issues to control growth in project final costs and
time is the reduction of design errors.
owner, designer and contractor all have different interests in, or uses for the
design of a facility. But what they do share is the commitment to complete the
project safely and within a given budget and completion time. There are many
initiatives being conducted to control the growth of final cost and schedule
within the construction industry.
major issue is "accuracy of the drawings," or the number of design
errors, omissions and ambiguities within the plans and specifications that
affect the quality of the facility. Inadequacies in the plans and
specifications are the major causes of changes to the contract So much emphasis
is placed on the issue of time and final cost that quality takes a back seat
.The quality of the project depends on the conformance of the objectives and
requirements from the owner. An informative quality management technique will
provide an agreement to procedures and definitions among the principle parties
for the project. Since design errors have an impact on the outcome of the
effectiveness of the contractor's effort on the project it is essential that all
parties determine what the definition of a design error should be.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
errors indicate the total design in-effectiveness of a project. Major design
quality problems occur during construction when errors, omissions and ambiguities
in plans and specifications become evident (Davis and Ledbetter, 1987). This
statement directs that the inadequacies in the plans and specifications are the
major causes of changes to the contract. There have been extreme examples of
design errors such as numerous building collapses in Nigeria - projects that
have wrought disaster after the construction are completed. These are examples
of design errors that escaped the close scrutiny of all parties. One or two
major errors that can be corrected with only initial cost considerations and
little effect on the schedule can impact projects. The projects that really
suffer are those with many small errors (design, rework or change of scope)
which when finally added up causes major impacts on the final cost and schedule
growth. Through Davis and Ledbetters research it was determined that
"accuracy of the design documents" was the most critical of the
criteria used in the initial evaluation of design effectiveness. This accuracy
was further described as the concern for the frequency and impact of errors in
the specifications and drawings. This is due to the fact that the drawings and
specifications are the most "readily identifiable outputs of the design
process." It is even more important that the quality control of designs be
addressed during the planning phase and closely monitored during the
errors of a project have been an issue that has been misconstrued. The attitude
towards design errors in the country can now be best described as tardy and
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
main aim of the study is to investigate how design errors can affect the final
cost of a project.
specific objectives are:
1. To determine what constitutes a design error.
2. To examine the contributing factors to design
errors in Nigeria.
3. To examine how these factors can affect final cost
of a project.
4. To proffer solutions on how to minimise cost of
construction projects in Nigeria.
1. What are design errors in construction projects?
2. What makes or contributes to a design error?
3. What are the factors that lead to design errors?
4. What effect can design errors have on final cost
and growth of a project?
5. Who is responsible for design error?
1.5 HYPOTHESIS FORMULATION
H0: Design error affect final cost of a building construction project.
Design error does not affect final cost of a building construction project.
H0: Design errors causescost overrun in a building construction project.
Design errors does not causecost overrun in a building construction project.
H0: Additional work causes additional cost in a building construction project
due to design errors.
Additional work does not cause additional cost in a building construction
project due to design errors.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study gives a clear insight into the various
ways in which contractors in the construction companies in Nigeria can maximise
profits and reduce final cost through effective and efficient contract planning
and management. The study also gives a clear insight into the various effects
of design errors on the final cost of a project. The findings and
recommendations of the researcher will help in building a strong and better
project management guideline for contractors in Nigeria.
Also, the study of the investigation of the effect
of design errors on the final cost of a project will provide results that will
offer the following benefits:
1. Establish the scope and methodology of design
functions performed by Architectural firms for the benefit of the entire
construction industry including prospective building clients.
2. Assist designers in understanding the cost
implication of design errors, so that they can make objective design decisions
during the early phase of a project.
3. Avail the designer with a tool for eradicating
errors that are directly related to the designer that delay and or add cost to
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study is on the investigation of the effect of
design errors on the final cost of a project. It is narrowed down to building
construction projects in Imo state of Nigeria.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The only limitation faced by the researcher in the
course of carrying out this study was the delay in getting data from the
various respondents. Most respondents were reluctant in filling questionnaires
administered to them due to their busy schedules and nature of their work. The
researcher found it difficult to collect responses from the various respondents,
and this almost hampered the success of this study.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Design: The basic definition of design, according to
Webster, is "the making of drawings or plans to plan and fashion the form
and structure of an object to have intentions or purposes." The quality of
planning and design is one of the primary factors of success in any project
endeavour (Chalabi, Beaudin and Salazar, 1987). The design includes every
aspect of the facility construction including operation and maintenance. The design
incorporates a set of specifications to guide the contractor in developing his
means and methods of construction.
Error: An error is defined, according to Webster, as "a deviation from
accuracy or correctness; a mistake, as in action or procedure; an inaccuracy,
as in speaking or writing." There are basically three types of errors:
imperfections, non-conformance and omissions. Imperfections are deviations in
details that have no affect on the assembly or facility (Davis and Ledbetter,
Design Error: From the evaluation above a simple definition of
design error is "a deviation from the plans and specifications." It
is not the intention of this definition to include any final cost or schedule
growth or insinuate its root causes or legal responsibility. It is the
responsibility of the owner, designer and contractor to establish the criteria
in order to make a reasonable determination for responsibility. The survey
shows a common theme, that of a mistake or error in the design. The survey also
indicates several reasons why design errors exist and who cause them. This
provides evidence that there is not a concise definition within the
Contract: Erikson (2002) defined Contract as an agreement that creates an
obligation binding upon the parties thereto. The essentials of a contract are
as follows: (1) mutual assent; (2) a legal consideration, which in most
instances need not be pecuniary; (3) parties who have legal capacity to make a
contract; (4) absence of fraud or duress; and (5) a subject matter that is not
illegal or against public policy.
Contract Planning: According to Simmons (2007),Contract planning is
the process of systematically and efficiently managing contract creation,
execution and analysis for maximising operational and financial performance and
contractor, organization or individual that contracts with another organization
or individual (the owner) for the construction of a building, road or other
Profit: Tucy (2008) defined profit as the difference
between the purchase price and the initial costs of bringing to market.
Final Cost: final costare not fixed, expenses incurred on the
purchase of land, buildings, construction, and equipment used in the production of goods or in the rendering of services. Put simply, it is the total final cost used to bring a project to a
commercially operable status.