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Delay In The Malaysian Construction Industry Construction Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Construction
Wordcount: 2086 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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In Malaysian construction industry, delay is a problem that commonly happens during the construction stage. Delay is meaning that, construction work cannot complete within the period which stated in the contract document or part of the works run out from the planning schedule. Project delays due to eight groups such as client, consultant and contractor, just to name a few here.

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The main objective of this study is to identify the causes of delays, effects of delays, method of minimizing of construction delays in the Malaysian construction industry. This study was carried out based on the literature review, questionnaire design, and personal interview. With referring to the literature review, the author found out thirty eight (38) factors that are related to delays due to eight main groups which including client, consultant, contractor, material, labor, equipment, financial and external environment. Besides the causes mentioned, six types of effects and twenty three (23) types of methods of minimizing construction delays were also identified from the research. The questionnaire was distributed to those respondents from developer, contractor and consultant firms (engineer/ designer). For personal interview, it was done with two directors and one post-contract manager from different construction firms. The objectives of this study have been successfully achieved.

From the data collected, there are some most contributing factors including change of orders, poor site management and supervisor, poor design and delays in design due to the client, consultant and contractor related to delays. Besides, shortage of skill labor, shortage of construction material, frequent equipment breakdown, client’s difficulties and unforeseen ground condition are also common factors from another five groups related to delays. Time overrun and cost overrun are the common effects in the Malaysian construction industry. On the other hand, method of minimizing of construction delays has been identified that more effective which consists competent project manager, ensure adequate and available source of financial until the project completion, multidisciplinary/ competent project team, complete and proper design at the right time and also proper project planning and scheduling.


1.1 Working Title

causes and effects of delay in the Malaysian construction industry

1.2 Problem Statement

In the construction industry, projects can be delayed among large number of causes. There are different type and groups of delays found on construction projects. Delay has major effects on completion cost and time of construction project. Delays can be minimized if they were identifying causes. Knowing the cause of any particular delay in a construction project would help avoiding the same.

Even though with different types of studies have been carried out to identify the factors influence the causes of delays, since the problems are quite related to the studies need to focus on specific geographical area, or region in Malaysia. A major appreciation of the Malaysia construction industry is due to the growing rate of delays in project delivery.

In Malaysia most public work projects, including any construction projects under government authority or under privacy are awarded on a competitive basis using the traditional approach. The consultants and contractors are engaged in separate contracts. The contractors commonly would be involved until the whole project have been completed

1.3 Aim and objective of study

1.3.1 Aim

To investigate delays pertaining in construction projects in Malaysia

1.3.2 Objective

To identify the major causes of delays in construction project;

To identify the effects of delays in construction project; and

To identify the methods of minimizing construction delays.

1.4 Background of the study

Construction delay is major problems frequent occur in the construction industry. Delays adversely impact on project stakeholders including owners, design professionals, construction professionals, purchaser and others. The main objectives of construction projects are cost, time, quality and safety numerous

“They have mentioned the most important causes in large building construction projects in Saudi Arabia which included approval of shop drawings, delays in payment to contractors and the resulting cash problems during construction, design changes, conflict in work schedules of subcontractors, slow decision making and executive bureaucracy in owner’s organizations, design errors, labor shortage and inadequate labor skill.” (Assaf, et al, 1995) Refer to causes of delay in Saudi Arabia, the major parties to lead the delay happen which include client and contractor. Because of client always change the design of building. Besides that, late responds and poor project management team and also delay pay month payment to the contractor by client. On the other hand, contactor due to not enough worker during work progress and some argument with sub-contractor.

“They have studied the delays in building project in Thailand, as an example of problem faced by the developing economies. They concluded that the problems of the construction industry in developing economies can be nested in three layers: problem of shortages or inadequacies in industry infrastructure, mainly supply of resources; problems caused by clients and consultants; and problems caused by incompetence of contractors.” (Ogunlana, et al, 1996) Construction in Thailand because some parties fault due to project delay such as contractor consultant and. During construction stage the client because of changing certain part of design and lack of experience could not solve the problem immediately. Besides client, designer is one of the parties because of own fault which is give unclear drawing to the contractor due to lack in experience. On the hand, the other parties which is contractor because of facing in poor management team, improper planning and scheduling and also inadequacy of site inspection.

“They have surveyed and classified the causes of construction delays in Hongkong as seen by clients, contractor and consultants, and examined the factors affecting productivity. The results of their research indicate that the five principal and common causes of delays are: poor site management and supervision; unforeseen ground condition; low speed of decision making involving all projects team; client initiated variations; and necessary variation of works.”(Chan and Kumaraswamy 1996) Construction delay in Hongkong, the parties related to delay project include client, consultants, contractor and some relevant party. Factor to related delay by client such as client frequent delay make payment to contractor and also suffer in financial problem. Besides client, designer because of lack of experience always make mistake in drawing and late process design document. On the other hand, factor to cause contractor delay project which include lack of experience in project team and also poor site management and supervisions. Other than that, material is also one of the causes. During construction stages, material shortage and material changes to cause project delay.

Identified the effects of delays in construction projects have been undertaken by some researchers. “They have identified the six effects of delays were time overrun, cost overrun, dispute, arbitration, total abandonment, and litigation. The results of their studied about the effects of construction delays on project delivery in Nigerian construction industry, shows time overrun and cost overrun were the frequent effects of delays in construction projects.”(AIbinu and Jagboro, 2002) In construction industry, the effect of project delay because of time and cost overrun. In this situation, some of the faults parties need to take responsibility to pay the loss and expense to those parties suffer in damage.

Several studies have been studied and recommended the methods of minimizing delays in construction projects. “They have identified five critical success factors could be applied to reduce the effects of delays includes: competent project manager; adequate funding until project completion; multidisciplinary/competent project team; commitment to projects; and availability of resources.” (Nguyen, et al, 2004) To minimizing the project delay during the construction stage, first of all a client needs to hire an experience project manager. Once the problem of delay happen, the project manager can solve immediately. Besides that, the project team member should communicate with other team member.

“They have study also identified two methods to reduce or if possible eliminate time overrun were acceleration of site activities, and contingency allowance.” (Aibinu and Jagboro, 2002) The contractor must take full responsibility during work progress. Once contractor found out actual work progress are not similar with estimate and he must take some action to avoid the project delay such as involve some additional worker.

“They have recommended four methods includes: developing human resources in the construction industry through proper training and classification of craftsman; adopting a new approach to contract award procedure by giving less weight to prices and more weight to the capabilities and past performance of contractors; and adopting new approaches to contracting, such as design-build and construction management (CM) type of contracts.” (Odeh and Battaineh , 2002)

1.5 Scope of the Study

The scope of the research will focus on literature review and a questionnaire. Projects investigate in this research included school building, church, office, hospital, communication facilities and etc. The survey will conduct in Malaysia.

The questionnaire survey will design based on factors identify from literature review that contributed to causes of delays, effects of delays and methods to minimize delays. A questionnaire will developed to assess the perceptions of contractors and consultants of the relative importance of the causes and the effects of construction delays. The developed survey questionnaire will distributed to the target respondent in Malaysia

1.6 Outline methodology

Stage 1: Literature review

The review of literature has provided useful information based on the causes, effects, reactions and possible solution related to the issues delay project in construction industries.

Stage 2: Pilot study

Data collection will take the form of a structured postal questionnaire. However, an initial pilot study will be conducted to test the validity of the questionnaire through in-depth interviews with three contract manager.

Stage 3: Main survey questionnaire and questionnaire go through with interview.

The feedback from the pilot study should assist in finalizing the questionnaire and prepare the ground for main survey. The questions with centre around the areas mentioned in the above objectives. In order to obtain a high level of response, a multi-option format will be designed and limited to about 30 question and 10 questions which are go through with interview. Open questions are considered to be inappropriate as they would required the respondents to formulate an answer which needs lengthier input and will therefore be more difficult to analyze.

Stage 4: Analyzing the postal and interview questionnaire

This stage is analysis of the questionnaire to determine the level of agreement or disagreement by the respondents to each question within the questionnaire by counting the number of respondents who answer favorably or unfavorably. Besides that, analyze the questions which is done by interview to determine how the contractor to solve the delaying problem of project.

Stage 5: Writing the research report

The stage involves writing up the content of the dissertation and should cover the chapter proposed in the following section.

Proposed contents

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Literature review

Chapter 3 Research Methodology

Chapter 4 Data Analyze

Chapter 5 Discussion

Chapter 6 Conclusion


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