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. Poor investigation follows it.
The rank of unforeseen site conditions is at the third place. The literature review suggests a slightly different scenario. According to that, client-initiated variations are the most significant factor.
It is apparent that the most significant factors that cause variation orders in the international context are not significant in the Sri Lankan context.
Moreover, some causes which are not within the first twenty factors in the international context are more significant in the Sri Lankan context. For example, poor investigation and poor estimation are within the first four factors in the Sri Lankan context; however, internationally, they are not within the top 20 factors.
According to the questionnaire survey results, political pressure experienced by professionals during the construction stage and owner financial problems are key factors for variation orders but they have not been documented.
Extension of time is considered a dominant factor for variation orders; however, professionals have not indicated it. Client seems to be a dominant factor for variation orders in both international and local contexts. This study was focused on possible causes of variation orders in road construction projects in Sri Lanka. The data related to causes of variation orders and their rankings were gathered based on a literature review.
Then the findings were surveyed based on a questionnaire administered to the professionals in the road construction industry in Sri Lanka and several selected case studies were analyzed to understand the degree of occurrence and their impact. This study identified that poor estimation is the main cause of variation orders in the road construction industry in Sri Lanka. For example, the consultants do not carry out adequate investigations at the initial investigation and design stage.
Therefore, several site conditions rise in the construction stage. Further, clients do not have capable professional staff to carry out investigations and estimates , which are prepared by consultants and are not accurate in most cases. Therefore, several unnecessary variations occur during the construction stage. Apart from this main cause, most of the time, the fault of the client is not pointed out and not documented.
According to the questionnaire results, political pressure during construction stage is identified as a dominant factor. However, in case studies, they are not documented.
Professionals do not seem to consider that the extension of allocated time is a critical factor for variations. However, according to the case studies, it is a critical factor. Based on these findings it is possible to conclude that the Sri Lankan context should pay attention to several factors to minimize the occurrence of variation orders.
The investigation must be carried out properly by qualified professional staff at the initial stage in the pretender period and adequate planning in advance is required by all involved parties before work starts at the site. The estimates have to be prepared properly by experienced professionals and clients should provide a clear brief of the scope of work.
Further, all parties should forecast unforeseen situations. Closer consultant coordination is required at the design stage, and utilization of an experienced consultant to produce a concluding design, working drawings, and contract drawings should be done at the tender stage. Further, maintaining proper communication channels and documentation is very important in terms of variation order management.
International Scholarly Research Notices. Abstract One of the most important problems in the construction industry is variations. Introduction The cost of a construction project is one of the most important factors in the construction industry. The Literature Review The cost of a construction project right from inception to completion bears great importance in the construction industry. Conceptual Framework and Methodology The preliminary data for this research was collected through a literature review and a case study analysis.
Results and Discussion An effective analysis of variations and variation orders requires a comprehensive understanding of the root causes of variations [ 14 ].
Ranking of variation causes based on relative importance index RII. Ranking of causes based on number of occurrence in case studies.
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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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