Error beget error: Learning to reduce design errors

Peter E D Love, Jim Smith, Yang Goh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearchpeer-review


Architects and engineers have found it increasingly difficult to learn from their mistakes and in particular, the identification and prevention of design errors. In addition to the extensively documented negative influence that design errors have upon organisational and project performance, they can also result in a plethora of catastrophic building and engineering failures. In some extreme cases, death and injury to workers and/or members of the public have occurred but in either scenario, design errors are an endemic feature of building and engineering projects. Despite efforts to improve project performance, errors remain a significant problem because of recurrent error-traps. To address the issue, a project life cycle model is developed that can be used to prevent design errors. The research is grounded in the aggregated views of 46 practitioners who were interviewed about the nature and prevention of design errors. Model features include a unique inherent ability to identify and mitigate design errors as well as stimulate learning throughout a project's life cycle. Such a model represents a significant step forward in current knowledge as it provides an invaluable resource for both practitioners and academics who seek to stem the occurrence of design errors and improve project safety.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 2010 International conference on construction and real estate management
EditorsY Wang, J Yang, G Q P Shen, J Wong
Place of PublicationBEIJING
PublisherChina Architecture and Building Press
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-7-112-12612-5
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventInternational Conference on Construction and Real Estate Management - Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 1 Dec 20103 Dec 2010


ConferenceInternational Conference on Construction and Real Estate Management
Internet address


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