Digital solutions key to curtailing construction rework costs

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In a revealing analysis by digital construction management software company PlanRadar, construction errors are reportedly costing UK and EU economies a hefty 11% of total project expenditures.

The study, which sought insights from over 2,500 clients spread across the UK and EU territories, found that ‘poor communication amongst teams and stakeholders’ was the principal factor necessitating costly and time-consuming remedial work.

According to the research, this communication issue was prevalent in 12 out of 15 surveyed countries, including key construction economies such as the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. Another major contributor to construction defects was the lack of quality control, cited as a problem in 11 countries, along with organisational inefficiencies, noted in eight countries.

Interestingly, the UK, despite grappling with quality issues impacting 40% of projects, was surpassed by Hungary, Czech Republic, and Slovakia, where it surfaced as a key concern in 57% of projects. Nonetheless, the UK uniquely struggled with ‘poor quality materials’, causing the most rectification work compared to other countries.

Serious issues

Beyond inflating project costs, the need for rework reportedly resulted in project completion delays, strained contractor-client relationships, reputational harm, and declined customer satisfaction. PlanRadar’s Co-Founder and CEO, Ibrahim Imam, remarked that “avoidable rework is costing companies millions each year,” adding that “11% is a significant amount, indicative of serious issues.”

He stressed the role of digital platforms in combating these problems, stating that they can “capture and record quality control measures to lift building accuracy, boost bottom lines and reduce material waste.” Imam further argued that “with the right digital tools, rework can and should be avoided.”

‘A wake up call’

However, the implications of rework extend beyond finances. The study underscored that it also instigates legal complications like contract breach claims, ethical dilemmas related to wasted materials’ environmental impact, and morale issues leading to job dissatisfaction and potential productivity declines.

Echoing Imam’s call to action, Co-Founder and CEO Sander van de Rijdt emphasised the need for innovation in light of these findings. He recognised the pervasive nature of rework in the construction industry, acknowledging its wide-reaching consequences not only economically but for “the entire project and business as a whole.”

He remained hopeful, citing the “rapid evolution of construction technology” as a cause for optimism. Van de Rijdt’s parting words were a clear call to the industry, stating, “I hope these figures are a wake-up call for everyone experiencing regular rework.”

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