Evaluating the causes of delay in building construction projects in Ghana

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Delays in building construction projects has always been a big challenge in the Ghanaian construction industry. The aim of this research was to evaluate the significant causes and effects of delays in building projects in Ghana, using the Ashaiman, Tema and Kpone Katamanso Districts as case studies. The study was also aimed at identifying some mitigation strategies that can help reduce these delays in the country. As part of the literature reviewed were the conditions of contracts governing Works in Ghana, which has been outlined by the Public Procurement Authority in the Standard Tender Document for Works. Some clauses in the documents suggests what a contractor or client should do when they anticipate delays in the project, or when delays occur. It also includes compensation events which makes contractors eligible to receive compensation from their employers in situations where the actions of the employer cause works to be delayed. However, there is a limit to which the contractor can be compensated, and the interest of the employer is protected. Several causes, as well as effects of delays were identified through literature. Questionnaires were administered to a number of respondents to collate their inputs on the most significant causes of delays of building projects in Ghana. In addition to this, there were one-on-one interactions with some players in the building industry on their views on delays of building projects. It was observed that the most significant causes of delays were related to finance, i.e., inadequate funds and difficulty in paying contractors monthly, improper planning, changes in project scope by the owner, increase in building material and problems related to project management. The significant effects identified were extension of project duration, increased cost of projects and project abandonment (which turns out to put some people out of jobs). As a way of reducing delays in projects, it is recommended that enough funds should be allocated to cover the entire project, an effective project management team should oversee projects, as well as the involvement of a procurement team to oversee all procurement activities.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Construction Technology and Management, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award degree of Master of Science in Project Management,
Causes and effects of delays, construction industry, Ghana