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Delays is a common issue in the
construction industry, particularly in developing countries. The intensity of
these delays varies considerably from project to project. There is a wide range of views for the causes of
time delays for construction projects. Delays
can be minimized only when their causes are identified.

Afshari et al. (2011) pinpointed 20 top causes
of non-excusable delays in construction projects in Tehran, Iran and define
non-excusable delays as those not accepted by the client and lead to liquidated
and ascertained damages. They concluded that, not selecting competent
subcontractors, poor management of the project changes and lack of mechanism
for recording and analysing project lessons learned were the top causes of
non-excusable delays in construction projects. Nonetheless, they suggested that
effective management and control and paying special attention to procurement
will improve time performance of projects thereby decreasing these causes and
their corresponding effects on project performance.

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Through studies
conducted by Sambasivan & Soon (2007) in Malaysia’s  construction industry, there are 28 causes of
delays that were analysed and the result showed 5 causes viewed by the clients
are improper planning by the contractor, site management by the contractor,
inadequate contractor experience, shortage of labour supply and sub-contractors.
In consultants’ points of view, the 5 selected causes are improper planning by
the contractor, site management by the contractor, shortage in material,
inadequate contractor experience and finance and payments of the completed work
by the clients. On the other hand, in contractors’ points of view, the 5 causes
are the site management by the contractor, finance and payments of the
completed work by the clients, sub-contractors, inadequate contractor
experience and equipment availability and failure.

Besides, the
analysis on the survey results done by Hwang & Leong (2013) established
that about 15.91% of the traditional building projects were delayed while about
32.29% of the green building projects were completed behind schedule. The
survey was conducted to identify the degree of project delay in 220 traditional
and 96 green construction projects performed in Singapore. The top five
critical factors that caused delay in green building projects were reported as
speed of decision making by client; speed of decision making involving all
project teams; communication/coordination between key parties; level of
experience of consultants; and difficulties in financing project by
contractors.

Majid (2006)
carried out a study on causes and effect of construction project delays in
Acheh, Indonesia. Contractor-related delays was ranked the most significant
groups that cause delays, followed by equipment-related delay, client-related
delays, material-related delays, finance related delays, consultant-related
delays, external-related delays, and labour related delays.

Sweis et al. (2008), studied the causes of
delay in residential projects in Jordan and deduced that financial difficulties
faced by the contractor and too many change orders by the owner are the leading
factors of construction delay. Abd El-Razek, Bassioni,
& Mobarak (2008), in a similar study in Egypt found that the most important
causes of delay are financing by contractor during construction, delays in
contractor’s payment by owner, design changes by owner or his agent during
construction, partial payments during construction, and non-utilization of professional
construction or contractual management. On
the other hand, a study done by Masrom (2007) concluded that irregular payment
is the prominent cause which contributed to delay in nominated contracting.

In addition, Amoatey
et al. (2015) has calculated the
relative importance index (RII) for 37 listed causes of project delay. They
identified the six most critical factors of delay in the Ghanaian state housing
construction industry are: delay in payment to contractor or supplier;
inflation or price fluctuation; price increases in materials; funding from
sponsor or client; variation orders and poor financial or capital market.

            In
a nutshell, there were many possible causes that contribute to construction
project delay. The causes of delay are related to all project parties; client,
contractors, consultants and others. The studies above has shown that
construction delays is a common issues in construction industry across the
world. According to Toor & Ogunlana (2008), although the principle reasons
for delays are comparable across developing countries, several factors
pertaining to local industry, social-economic and cultural issues and project
characteristics also contribute to delays. Table 2.4 are the summary of
contributory factors of delay for each study mentioned above.

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