Strategies for Reduction of Design-Related Rework

in the Nigerian Construction Industry



By Comfort Salihu and Sunday Ajiboye Babarinde[1]

Dollahills Research Lab, Dollasoft Technologies,

Lagos, Nigeria




Rework remains a major basis of concern in the construction industry due to its attendant cost implication on construction projects. Eliminating occurrence of reworks on projects has proven to be a herculean task, professionals are hence concerned with taking giant strides in bringing its probability of occurrence to the barest minimum. In forestalling reworks on construction projects, the design stage holds a vital position. This research study was aimed at evaluating how reductions in design related rework can be achieved. A well-structured questionnaire was administered to seek out primary data, while secondary data was sourced through reviewed literature. Information obtained from these sources was collated, analysed and presented using descriptive method of statistics (tables and chats), relative important index (RII) and correlation analysis. The findings of this study expounded that design related rework had the highest frequency of occurrence with an RII of 0.74 based on the respondents’ perception among other nature of rework. Majority of construction firms resorted to an improved use of computer aided design/engineering technologies as a means of achieving reductions in rework construction projects. This study hence recommends the implementation of a multidisciplinary design team provided with a detailed client brief during the design stage to ensure reductions in the rate of errors, omission and ambiguity. Construction clients should be properly enlightened and advised on the cost implications of frequented changes in construction scope and details which habitually results in rework.

Keywords: Rework, Design Error, Reduction


The occurrence of rework has been noted to have recorded increased level of occurrence in recent times, this is believed to have resulted to acute reduction in the quality of project performance. Construction Industry Institute (CII, 2001), defined rework as an activity that has to be carried out more than once or activities that involves removal of previously completed that has been previously fitted as part of a project work and redoing such.  Also, this denotes unjustified labour engaged in repeating such an element of work, process and activity that wasn’t well carried out the first time (Love and Li, 2000). Towards achieving improvements in project’s cost and schedule performance, several companies have adopted the speed up approach, where there is an overlap of both the design and the construction phase (Pena-mora and Li, 2001).  This overlap in stages enables the contractor to commence the construction phase with a possibly flawed or defected plans laden with undiscovered errors. Non-detection of the possibility of a rework occurrence that remains undetected during the design stage can result to substantial rework occurrence during the construction stage. In the annihilation of reworks on construction projects, architects are saddled with a vital role in the design process towards the elimination of deficiency or errors in the inception phase which might eventually lead to an abnormality during the construction phase (Oyedele and Tham, 2007).

Love et al (2010), argued that the longer an error stays undetected the more the possibility of a rework occurrence which might have significant adverse effects on the project’s cost and schedules. They also postulated that quiet a number of circumstances that triggers error provoking activities takes place downstream during the construction stage. Furthermore, Love (2002a), discovered that the obscure cost of rework might be as much as five times the cost of rectification. In order to achieve improvements in projects’ performance and productivity level, urgent action is essential on the reduction of rework occurrence and its consequential additional cost (Love, 2002).

Design error represents deviations from drawings or specifications, this also covers omissions and ambiguities.  Mryyan and Tzortzopoulos (2013), harangued about the origin of design errors and gave their classification as errors attributed to: client’s actions, non-adherence to building regulations and building codes, inadequacy of details in drawing and/or mis-interpretation of drawings. Love and Li (2000), has been noted to make substantial out that rework can make a large input to increased project cost.


Major upsurge in demand for real estate housing and infrastructural amenities and support for the increasing population size can be attributed as the cause of the rapid growth of the Nigerian construction industry. The key actors in the industry includes the architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, management consultant, general contractors, heavy engineering contractors, subcontractors, construction personnel together with the owners, workers and clients of the constructed facilities.

The public sector is the major source of project finance, resulting in major boosts in the development and growth in the construction industry in Nigeria. Construction Industry as common with most developing nations around the world is still clogged with a lot of innate challenges ranging from poor technical and managerial experience to deficient financial, material and equipment capital base (Ofori, 2001). Nevertheless, the industry has other diverse inherent capabilities such as its independence in cement manufacturing which has made the construction material relatively affordable and available in the material sector (International Council for Building (CIB), 2004; Oluwakiyesi, 2011). The use of sophisticated machinery, plants and software has substituted the high rate of dependence on manual labour and tools this has increased the efficiency and effectiveness of the industry and has aid quick completion and delivery of projects within the stipulated contract period.


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How to cite this paper: Salihu, C., Babarinde, S.A. (2020). Strategies for Reduction of Design-Related Rework in the Nigerian Construction Industry; PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue II, February. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/pmwj90-Feb2020-Salihu-Babarinde-strategies-for-reduction-of-design-related-rework3.pdf



About the Authors


Comfort Salihu
Federal University of Technology,
Minna, Niger State, Nigeria.


Comfort Salihu is a Facility Supervisor, Quantity Surveyor and Researcher. She graduated from the Federal University of Technology Minna with a Bachelor of Technology Degree in Quantity Surveying (First Class Honors) in 2017. She has also obtained professional certifications in Health Safety and Environment (HSE 123) and Project Management. She is passionate about construction cost optimization in the construction industry in Nigeria and Africa. She currently works at AGE Facility and Energy Management Services Limited as a facility Supervisor. Her research interests are in the area of Rework, Modular Construction, Construction Safety and Construction waste. Comfort Salihu can be contacted on salihucomfort@gmail.com



Sunday Ajiboye Babarinde
Federal University of Technology,
Minna, Niger State, Nigeria.


Sunday Ajiboye Babarinde is a resourceful Quantity surveyor and researcher. He attended Federal University of Technology, Minna where he studied Bachelor of Technology in Quantity surveying and graduated in 2017. He possesses certifications in Project Management and Facility Management from Global Institute of Project Management and also a certification in Quality Control and Assurance. He has great passion for the implementation of innovative technology towards advancing the Nigerian and African Construction Industry with a view at fostering quality and cost-efficient construction. He works with Brainsworth Nigeria Ltd. in the capacity of a quantity surveyor. His research interests are on building information modelling, risk management, lean construction, and IT applications to construction. Sunday can be contacted on spenpe196@gmail.com.


[1] Corresponding author – ajiboye196@gmail.com