Key residential construction defects: a framework for their identification and correlated causes

Rebeca Lambers, Fiona Lamari, Martin Skitmore*, Darmicka Rajendra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose

Construction defects are one of the primary causes of deficient quality performance and constantly yield project cost and schedule overruns mostly because of rework. This study aims to propose a new method for identifying a bespoke checklist of the most recurrent defects in residential construction work and their correlated causes as a basis for developing a framework for practical improvements in managing defect risks. 

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review was first used to ground the defects within the existing theory and develop a new framework for ranking the key defects involved. This was demonstrated and tested by an analysis of Queensland Building Construction Commission (QBCC) archival data for 42,000 reported defects in new Queensland residential buildings. A questionnaire survey of 427 construction practitioners from 37 trades was then conducted to determine their causes. 

Findings

The developed framework consists of preconditions for defective acts, defective supervision and organizational influences and is found to be suitable for analyzing the QBCC archives to rank the 20 most frequent defects. In the demonstration study, a questionnaire survey identified the highest frequency latent causes of defective acts to be workers taking shortcuts to complete tasks, workers' lack of skill or knowledge level, challenges and limitations of technical constructability, and incorrect material supply; the failure to correct a known problem and poor supervision for defective supervision; and inadequate employee training, low managerial priority for quality and high time pressure and constraints for organizational influences. 

Originality/value

The method is a new approach to identifying the key defects in residential construction work and their correlated causes for developing bespoke checklists as an aid to in managing defect risks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-35
Number of pages35
JournalConstruction Innovation
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Apr 2023

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