Main Factors Causing Delays in Large Construction Projects: Evidence from New Zealand

Berlinda Lessing, Derek Thurnell, Serdar Durdyev

Abstract

Construction delays occur frequently on large projects, resulting in not only the client getting their completed project later, but it can also have a major impact on the cost, duration and quality of the project. Delays can have a debilitating effect on all parties involved, as it’s often the cause of adversarial relationships, a feeling of apprehension and distrust between parties. The purpose of this research was to establish the main factors causing delays on large construction projects in Auckland and compare results with the situation in other countries. Construction managers and site managers with a minimum of 10 years’ experience working in large construction projects were surveyed, with both questionnaires and face-to-face interviews as methods, to collect quantitative as well as qualitative data. A significant factor that occurs often was “unforeseen ground conditions”, and was due to the fact that geological tests do not always predict the condition of the whole site. The participants in general agreed that the design group contributes most to construction delays through “lack of producing design documents on time, late instructions, and unclear and inadequate details on drawings.” These findings however are not generalizable, due to the small sample size, so further empirical research is suggested, on a larger scale, and surveying not just construction managers, but also other project team members, including the client.


Keywords

Construction Industry; Delay; New Zealand; Contractor.

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