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Technical Journal, University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Taxila, Pakistan

Vol. 20(SI) No.II(S)-2015

Evaluation of Factors affecting the Quality of


Construction Projects
M. Abas1, S.B. Khattak2*, I. Hussain2, S. Maqsood2, I. Ahmad2
1

Mechanical Engineering Department, Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Topi, Pakistan
2
Industrial Engineering Department, University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar, Pakistan
*Corresponding Author: sikandarbilal@uetpeshawar.edu.pk

developed and can be applied to all type of organization


[iv].
Quality is affected by shortages of materials,
equipments, design changes, error in cost estimation and
lack of budget [v]. The other factors affecting quality are
deficiencies in scheduling, inappropriate planning and
unclear evaluation standards [vi]. The significance of
these factors depends on type of projects, working
environment and local culture.
The basic aim of this research is to identify the
success and adverse factors that have significant effect on
quality performance of construction projects of Pakistan.
The factors were ranked based on chi-square and
weighted mean statistical analysis.
II.
LITERATURE
The quality is a key function in all infrastructure
development environment like cost and time. It becomes
one of the vital factor in any construction project [vii]. In
construction projects lack of quality results in delays, cost
overrun, and unsafe structure [viii]. There are three types
of costs associated with quality. First one is appraisal
cost: the cost of testing and inspection, second one is
failure cost: the cost of rework, and third one is
prevention cost : the cost of maintenance and better
design [iii]. Many researches have been carried out both
in developed and developing countries to investigate the
factors that have a substantial effect on the quality of
construction projects. Some literature is explained below
to highlight the factors affecting quality of construction
projects.
Factors that causes quality problems in Pakistan are
material prices escalation, inflation, procurement,
selection of material, lack of communication, and poor on
site supervision [ix]. Reference [x] have investigated
adverse factors on quality of Indian construction projects,
which are bad weather condition, communication
problem, lack of project management skills, and low bids
due to excessive competition. Construction project
quality in Gaza strip is significantly affected by

Abstract-Quality is one of the important aspects of all


projects. The level of success of construction projects
greatly depends on the quality performance. The
Pakistan construction sector is facing quality related
issues, which lead to ineffective and inefficient
projects in terms of cost of overrun, delays and
excessive rework. This research is carried out to
scrutinize the factors, that have triumphed and
adverse effect on the construction projects. A
questionnaire was developed based on identified
factors to take opinion of construction experts. After
their feedback a statistical analysis tool such as chisquare and weighted mean method (WMM) were used
to rank the significance level of these factors.
Key words-Quality, Construction projects, Pakistan,
Internal factors, External factors, Chi-Square, Weighted
Mean Method
I.
INTRODUCTION
The definition of quality depends on the point of
view of the people defining it; some view it as
conformance to specification. Others view it as
performance to standards or value paid for the price [i].
For construction firm quality is nothing but the
satisfaction of customers and fulfilling of their
requirements with in a specified budget.
Quality is one of the important key performance
indicators of a construction project which may cause cost
overrun and time delays. Quality control (QC) and
quality assurance organizations are established only as
a result of prescribed requirements [ii]. In construction
sector quality control can be looked upon as client
satisfaction, relation with cost, and enough time to obtain
anticipated quality [iii]. A quality assurance system has
been developed by an international standard organization
(ISO) for improving quality and overcoming the quality
related problems. For quality ISO 9001 series have been

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Technical Journal, University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Taxila, Pakistan

availability of construction materials, political


environment, site staff experience and proper
documentation [xi].
Reference [xii] study the factor affecting the quality
performance of building projects in Hong Kong. The
major factors are client, effective project management,
building effective construction team, and environment in
which project is conducting. The findings of Reference
[xiii] shows that continuous improvement, training of
employees, effective communication, and building an
effective project team are the factors affecting quality.
The quality problems are due to management, improper
planning, carelessness, lack of training and improper use
of materials [xiv].
Refrence [xv] studied the major problems with
quality performance in the Malaysian construction
Industry. These problems are lack of technical person
availability, lack of awareness about quality management
system, and lack of training workers. Refrence [xvi]
discuss the factors that can improve the quality of
construction projects. These factors are correct estimation
of cost, implementation of ISO 9000, effective utilization
of resources, implementing new technologies, proper
planning and improving quality control system.
For good performance in quality of construction
projects following factors are necessary, joint working,
mutual objective, no blame culture, introducing quality
assurance methods, effective management team of
contractors, no enforcement of bureaucracy and politics.
[xvii]. Quality problems occur due to lack of continuous
improvement in process, and internal auditing problems
[xviii]. Lack of trust with supplier, poor training system
and communication gap among project participants are
factor contributing to poor quality performance [xix].
Pakistan engineering council (PEC) has divided the
contractors in to different categories. They are total eight
(8) categories which are named as: Category A (CA),
Category B (CB), Category 1 (C1), and Category 2 (C2),
Category (C3), Category 4 (C4), Category 5 (C5) and
Category 6 (C6) [xx]. These categories are not
permanent, but changes depending on the policies of PEC
and license agreement. For the current research the top
four categories of contractors were selected which are:
CA, CB, C1 and C2.
To conclude the literature review. It shows that level
of significance changes. It is not easy to identify the
generalize factors that have an effect on quality of
construction projects in Pakistan. Therefore, the aim of
this research is to identify the factors, both success and

Vol. 20(SI) No.II(S)-2015

adverse that affects the quality of construction projects in


Pakistan region.
III.
METHODOLOGY
The literature review and discussion with experts
assisted to identify the factors affecting the quality
performance of construction projects. In literature review
past researches from both developed and developing
countries had been studied. The experts were construction
practitioners, who had more than fifteen (15) years of
experience in the construction business. The finalized
factors are shown in Table I. A total of 31 factors are
selected for this research. Factors such as trust,
communication and benefit sharing are selected as they ar
related to project team. Factors such as weather
condition, inflation, and political influence etc; are also
considered as they are relaed to overall project
performance parameters.
TABLE I
IDENTIFIED FACTORS

S.No
1

Identified factors
PC-1

S.No
17

Identified Factor
Trust with
supplier
Communication
Problem Solving

18
Funding
19
Procurement Unit of
Contractors
20
Risk Allocation
4
Financial capability
of Contractor
21
Continuous
5
Management team
Improvement
of Contractor
22
Incentive
6
Communication
Mechanism
Infrastructure
23
Pain and Gain
7
Escalation of
Sharing
Material Prices
24
Performance
8
Technical Person
Measurement
Availability
25
Joint Working
9
Cash Flow
26
No Blame Culture
10
Shortage of
Material/ Equipment
11
Law and Order
27
ISO Certification
Situation
12
Low Bid
28
Benefit Shared
13
Weather Condition
29
Mutual Objective
14
Bureaucracy
and
30
Government
Political Influence
Policies
15
Terrorism
31
Inflation
16
Regulatory
Authorities
In order to take the opinion of construction firm
about identified factors, a questionnaire was developed.
To make questionnaire simple and easy to understand, it
was divided into three sections. The first section includes
demography of respondent, such as qualification,
2
3

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Technical Journal, University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Taxila, Pakistan

designation, and experience. The second section includes


information about the company for e.g .type and numbers
of project conducted by them yearly. In the third section
weights were assigned to factors in relation to quality for
interpretation of data. Weights are in the range of 1 to 9.
One (1) to four (4) is in low range, four (4) to seven (7) is
in medium range, and seven (7) to nine (9) is in the high
range.
A survey was conducted by distributing a developed
questionnaire to different construction practioners. A
total of 160 questionnaires were distributed through
emails and mail. Also interviews were conducted with
few respondents. All the respondents approached were
contractors of different classes such as Class A, Class B,
Class 1, and Class 2. About 110 questionnaires were
received out of which 9 were discarded due to lack of
information. So the total response ratio of collected
questionnaires is 63.125 %. The Table II shows the
information about questionnaire responses.

reliability of collected data. For this reason a


Chronbachs alpha and independent t-test were conducted
using SPSS software. The Table III and IV shows the
SPSS results. Table III shows that collected data is valid
100% .
TABLE III
CASE PROCESSING SUMMARY

N
%
100
100.0
Valid
0.00
0.00
Excludeda
100
100.0
Total
a
List wise detection based on all variables in the
procedure
Table IV shows the reliability of data. The data is
reliable when alpha value is higher than 0.70. As the
value of alpha is 0.830, so data is highly reliable.
Cases

TABLE IV
RELIABILITY STATISTICS

Cronbachs
Alpha
.880

TABLE II
QUESTIONNAIRE RESPONSES

Category
of
contractor
s
Class A

Class B

Class 1

Class 2

Designation
of
Respondent

Experienc
e (Years)

Project
Manager
Quantity
Surveyors
Project
Engineer
Project
Manager
Project
Engineer
Procurement
Manager
Project
Manager
Project
Engineer
General
Director
Project
Manager
Project
Engineer

13-16

Cronbachs Alpha Based on


Standardized items
.883

N
of
items
27

11

B. Independent t-test for response agreement


It is important to check whether there are conflicts in
the views of respondents or not. So for this reason
independent t-test was conducted with the help of SPSS
software. Randomly, two questionnaires were selected
from each category. The Table V shows the t-test results.

INDEPENDENT T-TEST RESULTS

Number
of
Response
s

13-15

TABLE V

12-15

Categories
t-test
P-value
CA-CB
-0.526
0.602
CA-C1
0.825
0.415
CA-C2
-1.687
0.100
CB-C1
-1.220
0.230
CB- C2
-2.009
0.052
C1-C2
1.215
0.232
The t-test is insignificant because all values of P as
shown in Table V are less than 0.05, so we conclude that
there are no conflicts on rating of factors among the
different respondents.
IV.
DATA ANALYSIS
To easily compare the factors with international
standards and with global construction parameters, the
weighted mean method is used. The first step towards
analysis is to evaluate and assess the data, for that
reseaon chi-square and descriptive statistical methods are
used.
a.
Weighted Mean Method (WMM)
In this method weights are assigned to each value of
data that have some importance over the other. As in

8
10-14
13
8-11
14
7-10
5
6-9
10
8-10
10
14-16
5
10-13
9
7-10
11
Total

Vol. 20(SI) No.II(S)-2015

101

A. Cronbachs alpha test for data validation


The data were collected independently from different
respondents at different designation and from different
organizations. So it is important to check the validity and

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Technical Journal, University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Taxila, Pakistan

current research questionnaires are collected from


respondents with changing experience. So weights are
assigned to each questionnaire based on years of
experience respondent have in the construction sector.
The generalized formula is shown below in (1).
WMM=(fi*ni) / ni
(1)
Where fi represent the weight assigned by ith
respondent, and ni shows the experience of ith
respondent rating the factor fi.
The calculation based on weighted mean method is
shown in Table VI
b.
Chi-square analysis
The chi-square test is generally used to check the
dependency of two variables. The test is significant when
P-value is less than 0.05, while less significant when
greater than 0.05. For present research, Chi-square was
performed to check the level of significance of identified
factors on quality. Hypothesis were developed to identify
the level of significance and ranked the factors based on
P- values of Chi-square.
Test of Hypothesis: General hypothesis is made relating
quality to other factors.
Null Hypothesis H0: The relation between quality and
identified factors is less significant.
Alternate Hypothesis H1: The relation between quality
and identified factors is highly significant
For P- values less than 0.05 null hypothesis (H0) is
rejected, while the alternative hypothesis (H1) are
accepted. For P-values greater than 0.05 alternate
hypothesis (H1) is rejected, while null hypothesis (H0)
are accepted. The hypotheses are applied to results shown
in Table VI.
TABLE VI

ChiSquare

Pvalue

WMM

7.7185
7.6651
7.6006

Continuous Improvement

31.200

Joint Working
Communication
Technical
Person
Availability
ISO certification
Procurement Unit of
Contractor
Shortage
of
Material/Equipment
Escalation of Material
prices
Performance
Measurement

53.067
28.333
24.133

0
0
0

22.400
22.733

0
0.001

24.400

0.001

22.267

0.002

19.467

0.003

Problem solving
PC-1 Preparation
Bad Weather
Bureaucracy and Political
Influence
Cash Flow

18.000
23.400
20.667
18.533

0.003
0.003
0.004
0.005

19.067

0.008

Funding

19.800

0.011

Low Bid

16.933

0.018

Financial Capability of
Contractor
Management Team of
Contractor
Law and Order Situation
Trust with supplier
Risk allocation

13.400

0.037

16.200

0.04

12.467
15.000
12.133

0.052
0.059
0.096

Inflation
Incentive Mechanism

13.200
12.600

0.105
0.126

Mutual Objective
No blame Culture

12.600
6.333

0.126
0.176

Pain and Gain sharing


Benefit shared

10.00
8.400

0.189
0.299

7.0462
6.9646
6.9030
6.8974
6.8845
6.8337
6.8037
6.6490
6.6351
6.4594
6.4488
6.3252
6.1748
5.9548
5.9238
5.9042
5.9003

5.6975
V.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
For discussion purposes, we selected top six factors
based on chi-square hypothesis and WMM as shown in
Figure 1. The selected factors have P values of zero
based on chi-square analysis, while different values based
on WMM. The WMM value of Continuous Improvement
is 7.7185, Joint Working is 7.6651, Communication is
7.6006, technical person availability is 7.5511, ISO
certification is 7.2613 and procurement unit of the
contractor is 7.1559.

FACTORS RANKING

Factors

Vol. 20(SI) No.II(S)-2015

Ranking of factors based


on Chi-square and WMM
WMM
Procurement Unit of
ISO certification
Technical Person
Communication
Joint working
Continuous

7.5511
7.2613
7.1559
7.1293

P-Value
0.001
0
0
0
0
0

7.1559
7.2613
7.5511
7.6006
7.6651
7.7185

Figure. 1 Ranking of factors based on Chi-square and WMM

7.1104
7.1513

Continuous improvement focuses on quality and


efficiency of the process. It is not an individual

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Technical Journal, University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Taxila, Pakistan

Vol. 20(SI) No.II(S)-2015

contractors are ISO 9001 certified. The reason is lack of


awareness, and more focus on cost of construction
projects. The major benefits that can be achieved are
continuous improvement, total quality management and
improved worth methods. For ISO 9001 the contractors
need to focus on, continuous improvement, involve
everyone in decision making, customer, problem solving,
prompt decision making, and to develop trust with key
supplier.
Quality of construction projects is also affected by
procurement unit. The procurement unit needs to develop
good relations with key suppliers to take advantage of
good quality and on time supply. Good material results in
good quality performance, while on time supply avoids
shortages and reduces lead time of construction projects.
The contractor should implement enterprise resource
planning (ERP), which help to optimize the calculation of
the bill of material. The contractor should implement
scientific procedures in procurement methods and
discourage the traditional methods. Avoid excessive
variation in orders during construction projects. The
contractor should include the procurement unit in vital
phases such as bidding and planning.
VI.
CONCLUSION
Good quality performance makes the construction
project successful. The performance can be increased by
studying and improving the factors that affect the quality
significantly. In this research, we have identified these
factors and took feedback via questionnaires from
construction practitioners.. The critical factors identified
are
continuous
improvement,
joint
working,
communication, technical person availability, ISO
certification and procurement unit of the contractor. The
identified factors are for general construction, including
building, road, and bridges, etc... The contractors should
acknowledge these factors on a priority basis when
conducting construction project. The contractor should
implement new technologies; build an effective risk
management team as well as quality management team.
Daily supervises the material as well as work. Introduce
supply chain procedure.
REFERENCES

responsibility, but it can be achieved by teamwork. The


best way to achieve continuous improvement is hiring the
right person for the right job, training the employees in
total quality management (TQM), assigning the
responsibilities, and shares the pain and gain with the key
partners. At the end of project prepare the questionnaire
regarding the quality performance of the project and
asked your client to rate it, which will help the contractor
to improve the quality in future, projects.
Joint working or working in partnering is basically
the sharing of work with subcontractors for the purpose
of same goal and objectives. It is also one of the success
factors affecting quality of projects. It is a team based
approach and its primary focus is to improve quality of
the project, eliminate or reduce clashes, privileges and
lawsuit. Long term partnership provides a continuous
improvement environment because everyone in the
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risk management team with key partner, so both parties
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On time communication is success factor of quality.
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