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Causes of Variation Orders in Road Construction Projects in Sri Lanka

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variation order thesis
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It is an official document that states the changes made into the original agreement between the client and the contractor. When a variation order is created, it brings several negative effects to both the client and the contractor. The study discussed in this paper was aimed at investigating possible causes of variation orders in the road construction projects in Sri Lanka. The data for the analysis were collected using three methods. The causes of variation orders in general in the road construction industry and their ranking were identified based on a literature review.

Then the findings were surveyed based on a questionnaire administered to the professionals in the industry in Sri Lanka and selective case studies were analyzed to understand the degree of occurrence and their impact. This paper first provides a brief literature review to discuss the theoretical background to the study and then it discusses the methodology used in the study, results with discussion, and finally the main conclusions with some recommendations.

The cost of a construction project right from inception to completion bears great importance in the construction industry. However, due to many reasons, the total cost of a project can significantly vary from the initial estimated cost. These variations are inevitable in any construction project [ 1 ]. Fisk [ 2 ] defines the following: Clearly, in construction terms, variability is referred to as variation orders.

Arguably, variation orders may be seen as counter to the principle of waste reduction. The more the variation orders are on a project, the greater the likelihood that they become time consuming and costly elements in construction projects is [ 6 ]. When a variation order occurred, the contractor tends to charge higher rates for variation items. Then the client is affected in terms of cost. Success in managing variation orders results in uninterrupted construction operations and agreed project costs as well as duration [ 7 ].

However, this is not always practically achievable. A variation order has to be managed carefully. Otherwise, disputes between a client and a contractor related to cost and time of work might occur [ 7 ]. Variation orders often involve additional cost and disruption to work already underway, leading to cost and time overruns, quality degradation, and loss in productivity on construction projects [ 8 ].

Previous studies related to variation orders have mainly focused on management aspects and their overall costs [ 6 , 7 , 9 ]. A study of delays and cost increases in the construction of private residential projects in Kuwait revealed that a number of variation orders issued during the construction phase led to both delays and cost increases [ 10 ]. The magnitude of variation orders varies from one project to another. A study by Charoenngam et al. Studies have also revealed that the significant reduction in both cost increase and time delay can be achieved through a complete design before commencement of work on site resulting in the prevention of variation orders [ 10 ].

Variation orders not only affect project performance in terms of time and cost but also adversely affect the quality, health, safety, and professional relations [ 5 ]. However, factors influencing the occurrence of variation orders and their adverse impact on project performance vary from one project to another.

Factors include the nature of work, the complexity of the project, and the procurement method. Though it is likely that variation orders cannot be avoided completely, they can be minimized or prevented if their origin and causes were clearly known [ 6 ]. The successful execution of construction projects and keeping them within the estimated cost and prescribed schedules depend on methodology that requires sound engineering judgment [ 11 ].

One of the most important problems in the road construction industry in Sri Lanka seems to be managing variation orders. There is less literature available on this area; however, Pathiranage and Halwatura [ 12 ] have found in their study that one of the main causes of project delay is variation orders.

Moreover, Nowfal and Gunawardana [ 13 ] stated that the variation order is a key factor which is contributing to price overrun in this industry. This present study attempted to reveal the possible causes of variation orders in road construction projects in Sri Lanka.

The main objectives of the study were as follows: The preliminary data for this research was collected through a literature review and a case study analysis. Further, a questionnaire was administered to professionals in the road construction industry in Sri Lanka. The literature review was done through books, conference proceedings, the Internet, and construction management and engineering journals.

The case study analysis was carried out for eleven project documents from recently completed road projects in Sri Lanka. An unbiased random sample of causes for variation orders was studied in order to predict the nature of the population general circumstances using statistical inference. RII was compiled based on the results of the questionnaire survey.

An effective analysis of variations and variation orders requires a comprehensive understanding of the root causes of variations [ 14 ]. Causes of variation orders were identified by many researchers [ 2 , 15 — 20 ]. Based on their findings, 55 causes of variation orders were identified. Then they were grouped under four categories: These findings were used to develop the questionnaire.

In this study, 50 respondents participated representing distinct road construction projects. Their background was analyzed with respect to their education, the level of occupation, and the number of years of working experience.

Out of 55 causes identified through the initial literature review, 33 were shortlisted based on the pilot surveys conducted on the selected case studies.

Based on the successful respondents, RII was calculated to rank the causes. Figure 4 highlights the RII values for 33 causes, which were checked at the questionnaire survey. Figure 5 highlights the ranking based on the number of occurrences and Figure 6 shows their total percentage contribution towards the finial variation of the project in terms of cost.

These three separate findings are compiled into Table 1 together with the ranking found in the literature review. Unforeseen site condition was the second cause. Further, political pressure during construction stage, poor investigation, and client-initiated variations are at the 3rd, 4th, and 5th places in the ranking, respectively. According to the number of occurrence of the case study survey, poor estimation is the most significant factor.

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This thesis deals with the variation order that occurs in every construction project and how. it affects the performance of the projects itself. Variation order is defined as the additions, omissions, alterations and substitution in .

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Major research paper bullying introduction - variation order thesis. Posted By: 11/09/; Uncategorized; Leave a comment; Engineering management essay #management. thematic essays yesterday. child labor research paper conclusion. diego rivera and frida kahlo compare and contrast essay. This thesis discusses variation orders in highway construction projects in Jordan. The findings of this study would be significant for various .