Many problems may arise during construction project implementation. One main concern is delay. Delay time is occupied either after the completion date specified in the contract, or after the date that the parties have agreed to submit project (Assaf and Al-Hejji, 2006). There are many reasons that cause delays. According Ogunlana (2008), although the principle reason for the delay is comparable across developing countries, a number of factors related to the local industry, issues of culture, socio-economic and project characteristics also contribute to delays. Delays may occur as a result of the actions or inaction on the part of owner, contractor, subcontractors, consultants or the government. In addition, delays are always interrelated which led to the more complicated situation.
Delays in construction projects are considered as one of the most common problems that cause a variety of negative effects on the project and the parties that participated. Along with delay, the frequently faced consequences are project failure, reduction of profit margin, and loss of belief of citizen in government funded projects, etc. When delays do occur, they are either accelerated or have their duration extended beyond the scheduled completion date. These are not without some cost consequences. Delays also disruptive work and lost productivity, increased costs of late completion of projects related to time, third-party claims, dismissal and termination of contract (Abdul-Rahman H., 2006). In conventional approach, this extra cost is included a percentage of the project cost as contingency in the pre-contract budget (Aibinu and Jagboro, 2002). Akinsola (1996) cited common practice allow a percentage of project cost as a contingency allowance in the contract price and generally based on judgment.
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There is a room for improvement in present practices for keeping track of delays. This research is carried out to study the causes and the severity effects on the delay causes arising during construction phase of projects. In addition, the result of this research would lead to recommendations aimed at reducing the impact of delay. If construction delays can be avoided or reduced, substantial financial savings on the projects can be achieved.
1.2 Problem Statement
Malaysia construction sector forms a high percentage of the economy contract (Abdul-Rahman H. et al, 2006). In year 2008, the construction sector grew 2.1% from the total of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), emanated mainly from the civil engineering sub-sector (BNM, 2009). GDP by state showed that the state economic structure was varied and unique.
Sabah is the second largest of the 14 states in Malaysia with population of 3.2 million peoples (Sabah Tourism Board, 2008). It is strategically located in the center of BIMP, stands of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, largest regional grouping and spanning territories of four ASEAN Countries. Sabah economics is open and is subject to the vagaries of exogenous factor, with an increasingly globalize and rapidly changing world economy. Economic activity in the manufacturing sector in Sabah identified that it is a major growth sector in the state. Sabah was also known as the major contributor in agriculture sector with 21.0% of GDP (Department of Statistics Malaysia, 2009). Other main driver of its economy was the construction sector particularly in both commercial and residential properties (Sabah Budget Speech, 2009). In year 2008, Malaysian Federal Government have allocated about RM2.37 billion to the state for Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) projects. SDC is believed as a commitment from the government to boost up the development and economy of Sabah to a renowned level (Utusan Malaysia, Aug 2008).
Despite of their developments, delay becomes a problem that associates in the construction project. The need to control the factors of delays during the construction process comes out when the number of delays project have been increase from time to time. Malaysian Treasury Secretary-general, Dr Wan Abdul Aziz stated that projects with 30% or three monthsâ€™ behind schedule are categorized as â€˜sick projectâ€™ (The Star, 2007). When the period of delay can no longer be accepted by the customer, directly it is considered as abandoned projects. According to numbers released by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, about 115 abandoned housing projects recorded since 1990 until June 2008 (Ministry of Housing and Local Government, 2008).
In Sabah, the most notable delay projects include the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) expansion project, road project from Kalabakan to Sapulut, Kinarut PGA project and Karamunsing flyover (Daily Express, 2007).
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Regarding these problems, Malaysia government has acknowledged the construction delays and cost overruns problems as the big headache, especially with government-related funded projects. Minister of Public Work Department, Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor, cited about RM200 million have been provide for the construction industry to revive most of abandoned government projects under Economic Stimulus Package (Utusan Malaysia, May 2009). This showed that the Government always takes a cognizance of the important role of the construction sector to stimulate domestic economic activities and in enhancing economic growth in view of its linkages to construction-related industries.
Chang (2002) suggested that identifying factors is usually the first step when addressing a problem and then corrective actions can be taken. Hence, it is essential to identify the causes of this problem in early stages of construction project. This research will diagnose the main causes and effects of delays. The researcher will make a comparison between two regions according to the scope. This is because the principle reasons for delays may diverse at different places (Ogunlana and Prokuntong 2008).
Subsequently, researcher will determine the ways to minimize project delays from the perspective of construction industry players. Based on the findings, researcher can generate the appropriate recommendations aimed at reducing the impact of delays. It is also believed that this study will clarify and create awareness about the extent of the delay could affect project delivery.
1.3 Aims and Objectives
The aim of this research are to study and evaluate issues related to the major causes of construction project delays in Sabah through a survey. In achieving this aim, it is necessary to thoroughly review the existing literature and researchâ€™s findings. Therefore, the objectives of this study are as follows:
To identify the causes of the construction project delays
To identify the effects of the construction project delays
To suggest the methods of minimizing project delays.
1.4 Scope of the Research
The scope of the research is mainly focus in Sabah. The group of respondents for this research involves client, consultant and contractor companies that registered with Construction Industrial Development Board (CIDB).
1.5 Significant of the Research
There are several valuable benefits expected by implementing this study. The significance of establishing the issues related to the construction project delays was to provide a greater insight and understanding on the causes of delays particularly among the main project players: contractors, client and consultants. This can be achieved by applying theoretical concepts discussed in many literatures into practice in real projects. It is hoped that the findings from this study will guide efforts to improve performance in the construction industry and have a positive impact on the economy. Therefore, these findings might encourage the practitioner to focus on delay problem that might have existed in their present or future projects. Other than that, this study is expected to provide a better ways and methods in delivering construction projects by minimize the major causes of delays.
1.6 Research Methodology
In achieving these objectives, a research methodology is required. Figure 1.1 highlights the critical stages of conducting this study. This figure comprises four essential stages of conducting the study which includes the following:
This research will be adopted field survey methodology to uncover factors influencing on delay arising during construction stage. To identify the delay factors in construction market, a comprehensive literature review was conducted as to identify the essential information such as the main causes and effects of delay to the projects. This useful information will be included in the preparation of the main survey questionnaire. The technical materials researched include: internet, engineering Journals, leading construction management, technical papers, articles and conference proceedings.
After that, main survey questionnaires are prepared. The designed questionnaire will be distributed to three principal construction parties namely; owner, consultant and contractor. Upon the completion of the data analysis, discussion of these findings, conclusions and recommendations will be presented.