A Conceptual Framework for Managing Design Changes in Building Construction
1 Department of Surveying, Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, 43000 Kajang, Malaysia
2 Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, International University of Malaya-Wales, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3 Faculty of Built Environment, University of Malaya, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
a Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Design changes have always been an innate feature of the construction industry. Despite the various project management techniques, many building construction projects still fail to achieve their time and cost objectives. This paper aims to focus on design changes as a major cause of time delays and cost overruns. It seeks to discuss the causing factors of design changes in building construction projects and highlighting the resulting rework that is detrimental to project performance. Hence, this paper also aims to present a conceptual framework which was developed to better manage design changes through clued-up management decision to avoid future claims and disputes. Recent and current literature is examined and reviewed. The review approach was based on related literature to identified themes. The existing literature is summarised into five discrete themes of “design changes”, “rework”, “time and cost overruns”, “communication” and “decision-making”. The synthesised literature is subsequently utilised in the development of conceptual map which provided the direction for designing the conceptual framework. Extensive review of preceding studies on causes of time and cost overruns reveals that design changes is identified as one of the significant factors. However, there are limited studies in this domain. The discussion presents a knowledge gap of linking design changes and rework with decision-making in project management. This finding suggests the need for further empirical study. The framework stresses the importance of communication and management decision as the control mechanism. Researchers and practitioners in construction management field will find this study useful in understanding the causing factors of design changes and its detrimental impacts to project performance which risk the project to claims and disputes. The conceptual framework presents an imperative outcome to encourage further research in developing conceptual causal model of design changes which shows the key causal variables and their feedback loops.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
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