The construction industry reports that on a typical industry job, the design rework costs account between 2% to 20% of the total project contract costs. Despite the best of intentions and efforts, most projects end up in several design reworks, costing companies lot of money, time, effort and resources. Design rework in construction documentation and services is inevitable and is dreaded by engineers, designers and architects alike. It is a drain on the profitability, productivity and timeliness of the project delivery. Moreover, rework has downstream impact on all the stakeholders in a project. Some of the most common causes of rework such as omissions and errors, operational changes, fabrication glitches, project enhancements can be rectified in the nick of time. Sadly, the impact of rework on the project costs is not thoroughly discussed.
Look at some of the glaring statistics showing the impact of design rework on the construction industry:
A 2015 study done by Nigel Hughes, Jason Dougherty and James Jack Jr. with Navigant Construction Forum states that the cost of rework across a variety of verticals for 179 projects is a rough median of 7-11% of the total project costs. Know more about our Construction Documentation Services
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Research by University of Nevada shows that 30% of the contractors’ profits in devoured by design reworks.
Help me, my construction rework costs are skyrocketing! What should I do?
As scary as the above figures might seem, all is not lost. There are ways to act while the project is still in your hands. The key to reducing your project rework costs is to manage your project proactively during the architectural construction documentation phase.
Being conscious of the possible obstacles even before they happen can help save you from reworking on the project. One way to take of this is to actively monitor the design phase of your project. It is comparatively cheaper and worth all the effort to lay out all the changes in a virtual model rather than making changes on site.
Read on to find out how you can handle some of the major problems and the discrepancies that cause rework of construction designs:
- Issue: Is my design even buildable?
Let’s tackle the rework happening in the design phase. Many reworks happen because the initial blueprint designed is not feasible in the general way.
Ensure that the model that is designed is constructible with details of all the elements which need to be constructed having correct geometric positions. Even the most minute of details which converts a model into reality, should effectively be included in the model. Fixing errors and clashes in a virtual model for the construction documentation process is comparatively cheaper than resolving the errors onsite.
- Issue: Deficient design? I think the design is incomplete.
Let’s call this issue designer errors and omissions. Essentially, these are changes and errors in a construction design documentation that are not found until the project has started on-site. Design deficiencies account for about 40% of all the construction design rework, per research by US Army Corps of US Navy and Engineers.As opposed to other types of errors, these deficiencies stem out of ineffective quality control during the design phase. The bad news? If your contractor decides to go through with these errors, your project will suffer deadline pushbacks due to wrong construction; probably costing you time, money, resources, effort and credibility. The good news? You can totally do damage control even before the actual damage occurs.
Designer deficiencies are the result of faulty construction of plans. Every construction document is intricate with lot of details that need active focus. You can address this issue by setting up a layered quality check, in which the final set of blueprint is cross-referenced with the original requirements by at least 3 more people other than the designer.
- Issue: The government changed the construction criteria!
Another cause of design rework is the sudden revision on construction standards by government after the contract has been awarded. This is inevitable and results in several weeks of reworking, extending the deadlines beyond imagination.
While the situation is totally unforeseen, it helps to do some research before actually getting started on the project on site. The changes are often predicted by the construction industry experts, thus, keeping a tab on the current trends and past performance of a project on a certain land space, helps in reducing rework significantly.
- Issue: This farm and cattle barn were not here until yesterday! How did they appear overnight?
Well, we’ve all been there. The last inspection of the site never revealed any additional landscaping issues until the actual construction started. Differing site conditions not only delay the construction work, they might also demand significant reworking on design to accommodate the layout of the latent site.
It is always unfortunate if you encounter this issue. It is frustrating and is an added expense on the company and contractor’s profitability and resources. Common examples of differing site conditions include different soli types, objects found during excavation and so on. Sadly, the only alternative to this is to put the project on hold. Given the fact that your construction agreement already addresses unforeseen circumstances and you owe an explanation to why it happened. As always, you can take the help of a third party to resolve any disputes.
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