Causality, Magnitude and Impact Mitigation of Rework in Uganda

University dissertation from Lund University

Abstract: Research has shown the Ugandan construction industry to be, primarily, an informal sector dominated by unskilled labour contracted mainly on minor building works such as alterations and renovations. Within such a context, the industry has also received negative publicity due to increasing quality failures on sites – commonly referred to as shoddy work. Some reasons cited for these failures include; use of substandard building materials and ineffective supervision by design consultants. This, inspite of the existing national regulatory and institutional framework regarding the built environment.The omnipresent quality failure attribute, however, is rework. This is because contractual obligations between a client and a contractor may necessitate rework where quality failures are noted, regardless of the causes. Notably,absolute compliance to established client quality requirements is one such contractual obligation, but it is difficult to attain, particularly, in public building construction due to varying socio-economic, cultural and political factors. It still remains, nevertheless, that where ways of mitigating against the impacts of non-compliance to client quality requirements are not established, there could be adverse impacts to national development plans for example, in Uganda’s case. The research aim, therefore, was to study the causality and magnitude of rework and to recommend ways of mitigating against non-compliance to client quality requirements. Rework and client quality requirements were considered as the units of analysis. With insufficient information available on the subject in the Ugandan context, the research was designed to, therefore, begin with an exploratory study into rework causality and subsequently into explanatory research that studied the magnitude of rework-related impacts on budgets and schedules, non-compliance to client quality requirements and ways of mitigating against non-compliance to client quality requirements. The mixed research methodological approach that used case studies and a questionnaire survey was found useful in aiding the triangulation of data and enhancing the generalisability of inferences from the findings. The identified rework causality factors were; ineffective client-consultant communication, inadequate design information, end-user based causality, inefficient supply chain management, use of non-compliant building materials and inefficient works supervision. Operationrelated rework was found to occur at an average of 0.25% of construction contract sums. With regards to the magnitude of rework-related impacts on project budgets and schedules, it was deduced that the average percentage range of rework-related impacts on the project budgets was within 10-13%, while the percentage range contribution of rework to the project schedule overrun was 6-11%. The recommended ways of mitigating against non-compliance to client quality requirements were; stringent action on public sector graft, increased quality testing of materials, increased end-user participation and routine supervisor participation, increased use of vocationally skilled personnel and improved procurement practices that cater for efficient supply chain management and focus more on value-for-money rather than selection of contractors on the basis of “the best bid is the lowest evaluated bid”. The research emphasises viewing rework as a phenomenon that occurs over the life of public buildings and additionally proposes the adoption of a whole-life value philosophy as an intervention in the mitigation of rework-related impacts. Relatedly, public sector client entities in Uganda are encouraged to document quality requirements over the life of buildings and this begins with developing protocols for collecting quality-specific project data from the design through to the operation and maintenance stages of building facilities. It is aknowledged that much more research into rework in Uganda is necessary, with a particular emphasis on rework in the operation and maintenance stages of building facilities.

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