Defects as a quality problem in newly constructed public buildings in Botswana

  • Joseph Ssegawa Civil Engineering Department, University of Botswana, P. Bag 0061, Gaborone, Botswana
  • George Lugwisha GBL, P. Box 404313, Gaborone, Botswana
Keywords: Defects, Construction Industry, Quality, Buildings, Projects


The paper reports findings of first part of a study into the defects problem in newly constructed public buildings in Botswana. In particular, the nature and extent of the defects and associated remedial costs and their impact on clients and end-users was being investigated. Using a case study design, data in form of costs for remedial work for thirteen buildings was collected and used in evaluating extent and cost of the problem. The impact of the defects was evaluated using responses of end-users resulting from structured interviews held with technical officers in charge of up-keep of the selected buildings. The study showed that each of the thirteen buildings selected for the study had a variety of defects which were broadly grouped as structural, plumbing, fittings, finishes and external works. The most common defects were defects in the finishes group constituting 40% of the total number of defects recorded in the thirteen buildings. However, structural effects constituted 73% of the total costs of the remedial work. In some instances, the impact of the defects was such that officers and assets of Departments had to relocate to other offices or buildings for periods of up to six months. This further escalated the cost to public client. The study showed that defects must be avoided by instituting quality assurance programmes right through the life cycle of building projects, particularly at the design and construction stages.

Journal of Civil Engineering Research and Practice Vol. 3(1) 2006: 31-40

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eISSN: 1729-5769