Construction Projects for Natural Disasters Issue

1. Introduction

The stakeholders in Construction projects are enormous in number where to be inherently risky due to the multiple problem arises from participation of all parties with their own interests. The risks of the construction industry are diverse in nature and have the potential to lead to undesirable consequences. Systematic and practical risk management practices are needed to handle and to manage risks so that the success of projects can be ensured. Project performance assessment and problem fixing is one of the most important steps in project management. Success in any project is measured by time, cost, and quality, which show the performance of the construction parties involved. There is an intrinsic uncertainty in the schedule setup of the construction phase for different projects. Project Completion time is predominantly important and it is one of the performance index of construction projects. Delaying behind the schedule can be expressed as the time overrun either beyond the completion date specified in a contract or beyond the date that the parties agree upon for delivery of a project. It is considered to be one of the most common occurring problems in construction projects. Schedule delay can lead to many undesirable effects on the project and its participating parties such as lawsuits between Clients and contractors, increased costs, loss of purpose, and contract termination. To the client, delay means loss of service to the aim while to the contractor, delay means higher costs because of a longer work period, additional material cost, and extra labor cost. Successful management of a project requires identification and evaluation of factors causing delay. It is crucial for the Water supply project decision makers and management personnel to identify the actual factors of construction delay and their ranking in order to take preventive action and in order to take mitigation measures to fix the problems and meet the purpose.

Risk of Schedule delay has a major negative effect on participating stakeholders and projects. It occurs often because of many reasons attributable to clients, Consultants or contractors. The significant contribution of clients often related to issues such as the settlement of claims, slow decision-making, early planning and design change in the scope, schedule delay in payment, and excessive bureaucracy. Conversely, the contribution of contractors includes cash flow problems, difficulty in obtaining permits, and ineffective planning and scheduling. The main groups of schedule delay factors were classified as Client, contractor, consultant/ design, external, and project-related. The other important schedule delay factors mentioned are a slow decision by authorities, lack of funding, errors in work, improper planning, and lack of need identification.

2. Background


Water supply Construction projects in Oromia has been delayed for significant time which involved cost inflation and at large failed to meet significant objective to supply safe drinking water for community. The main objective of the assessment is to identify the pitfalls faced in the project lifespan caused the delay which lead to significant effect on completion, cost and time of construction of project. This helps to identify the exact point of failure to design mitigation measure to minimize the damage and save the project. The causes of delay could be the cumulative effect of stakeholder’s contribution in construction projects, for example, causes related to one of the three main parties, namely (owner, contractors and consultants) or other external circumstances (political and Natural disasters). Delay incompletion affect the success factors of a project and cause many problems and disputes between the parties and have negative impact on a society as a whole.
The assessment will find out the responsibility of each of the three parties about the projects delay, and other circumstances causes delay in construction projects to detect the factors causing delay and so giving specific priorities and solution in order to avoid or prevent occurrences of delay, identify the mitigation measures to correct the defects and recommend a solution not to fall in similar pit for the ongoing projects.

3. Objective of This Summary Note

This summary is to give a very swift note to recommend mitigation measures to the projects that has been delayed for long period of time and implement a quick fix action the achieve the goal. The summary note has been derived from data collected from stakeholders involved in the project. The data analysis from secondary data collection and critically reviewing the existing literature, assessments done by the bureau, review of existing mitigation measures. In addition, interviewing the target groups has been involved. Depending on this any problems related to causes of project delay falls under specific factors identified under four broad categories namely:

  • client related/ designer
  • consultant/ supervisor/ designer related
  • contractor related (labor, equipment, material)
  • external related

This identified delay factors can be adopted and used to design the questionnaire. The questionnaire designed and distributed to some of the respondents to assess the opinion of clients, design engineers, consultants, contractors and other stakeholders working with the water bureau. The analysis included ranking of factors and sources of delay factors. Discussion of the results will be based on personal interviews and questioner responses that will conducted to clarify responses and will be part of the main assessment document.

Since the main assessment document takes some ample time to collect primary data and to involve all target groups due to current situation. Mean a while it is good to summarize this note and recommend a mitigation measure model to fix the problems depending on the data at hand.

4. Summary of Causes of Delay from Stakeholders


The assessment is going to be done on delayed projects and planned to be finalized by 2012 EFY. The most common and critical causes of construction delay evaluation is from data will be collected in a survey of construction managers, resident engineers, contractors, and clients, and interviews with senior professionals in the field and from secondary data. The findings summarized below are a quick note from current data shows that the main critical factors that cause construction delays arises from the stakeholders stated below:

4.1. Client / owner Based


Based on the secondary data analysis and detail interviews causes of delays that arises from clients are most dominantly related to document appraisal delay that results in delay to construction project delivery time in the bureau were late in revising and approving design documents, change orders by owner during construction, delay in approving shop drawing and construction materials sample, delay in decision making process, poor communication and coordination, delay in progress payments by owner, delay to furnish and deliver the site, suspension of work, conflicts between joint-ownership of the project these problems arises from lack of commitment and Devotion /limited capacity (Knowledge & skill). There is no strong connection between concerned professionals, which leads to weak communication and takes ample time for decision to start the next level, almost nil design reviewing after source confirmation to synchronize with actual condition on the ground.
Weak supervision during study & design and lack of recalibrating the on-shelf documents to be implemented with current conditions. Also, participation of stakeholders during study and design for both urban and rural WSS is very low. Lack of proper consultancy contract administration strategy, Lack of commitment & capacity of the contractor and consultant engaged in water sector, Low participation of stakeholders during study and design for both urban and rural WSS specially beneficiaries and communities which leads to right-of-way problem that takes long time waiting for decision from the administration Delay in payment approval (client, consultant, construction authority) Wrong Engineering estimation /market analysis to cross check Wrong well completion report, Delay in supply of pipes and fittings, due to LC handling, Customs clearance handling, luck of Hard currency, Lengthy Bid preparation, Evaluation and material Inspection No sense of cooperation between professionals at every stage, Less accountable and responsible to the damage happened, Very high professional turning-over with unsuitable handing of work.

4.2. Causes of construction delay due to Contractor


The main factors contributed much to the delay is failing to assign skilled professional in construction PM (project management) in the organization which resulted in infective project planning, scheduling or resource management. That may bring about mistakes during construction and forced to rework due to error and takes much time. The contractors also don’t have technical financial management during implementation results in difficulties in financing the project. Inadequate contractor experience leads to inappropriate working structures with construction Centralization with top management.
Most of them also has incompetent project team Supplying poor quality material and frequent change of subcontractors with unreliable technical and financial capacity and failed to coordinate with sub-contractors. Poor coordination & communication with other parties Poor site management and supervision. Poor understanding of accounting and financial principles.

4.3. Causes of Construction delay due to Consultant


Redundant projected changes by the client or the consultant during construction and design errors made by designers due to insufficient data collection and survey before design are prominent contributors of the delay. Lack of experience of design team followed by mistakes, delays in producing design documents.
Misunderstanding of owner’s requirements by design engineer resulted from Poor use of advanced engineering design software which creates unclear and inadequate details in drawings leads to wrong time estimate (i.e. scheduled duration is not enough for constructing the project). Lack of technical professional in the consulting organization, Lack of experience of staff in management and technical inspection, Conflicts between consultant and design engineer, Delay in approving major change in the scope of work via consultant Inflexibility(rigidity)of consultant Change in drawing and specification Preparing Incomplete/un detailed BOQ, Late in reviewing and approving design document In accurate site inspection In adequate site investigation, Delay in performing testing and inspection.

4.4. External causes

 

  1. Fluctuating labors availability from season to season/Seasonal labors availability motivation and morale with low productivity. There are also personal conflicts. Labor mobilization is only in central part of the country and difficult to involve qualified experience.
  2. Change in materials type and specifications during construction and manufacturing delay Escalation of materials price and late delivery Poor procurement of construction materials Poor quality of construction materials Unreliable suppliers
  3. Proper and functional equipment allocation problem
  4. Accidents during construction and some political unrest, Delay in obtaining permits from municipality and right off way problems, Global financial crisis and price fluctuations problem Unexpected surface & subsurface conditions (such as soil, water table) Or Unforeseen site condition and un-favorable weather conditions

5. Conclusion


The detail study will analyze the delay causes and mitigation strategies in further detail that has been arise from all types of stakeholders. The delay causes explained in this quick note should be corrected and measures should be taken as soon as possible to address the needy community suffering of safe drinking water. The mitigation strategies significantly may varies depending on project progress performance and source of the delay.
The major parties; Clients, consultants and contractors should converge the delay causes and build mitigations strategy which can be easily implemented for their success. In particular, the client should manage and lead the convergence. Even more, client and contractor differently evaluate the delay causes and mitigation strategies to finalize the delays. Therefore, the decision makers should encourage the client and contractor-side experts to perceive the various gaps and communicate each other. Then, together they should build the mitigation strategies. In particular, the client should manage the monitoring of late delivery of material and equipment, reviewing the cost estimation, funding and budget control, whereas the contractor should take care of vandalism, poor cost estimation, unskilled and unexperienced labors.
Mitigation strategies are much related to decision makers. These causes and mitigation strategies should be improved by the involvement of the decision maker.