Calculating total rework costs in Australian construction projects

Document Type

Journal Article


Taylor and Francis


Faculty of Business and Public Management


School of Business




Love, P. E., & Edwards, D. J. (2005). Calculating total rework costs in Australian construction projects. Civil engineering and environmental systems, 22(1), 11-27. Available here


In recent years, academic research has focused on identifying the factors that cause construction project rework in an attempt to eradicate its occurrence. The success of these previous studies has been mixed most notably because industry lacked a clear and universal definition of rework. Consequently, findings emanating from studies conducted to date cannot be compared or contrasted and neither can the work be brought together as a homogenous whole. To address this current deficiency, this study first examined previous rework definitions and a priori research in order to develop a clear definition that would placate industry concerns. This definition was then used as the basis for a national questionnaire survey in Australia, which sought to collate data on the total cost of rework; where total cost is a function of direct and indirect rework costs. A total of 161 construction professionals (from a range of occupations) participated in this study and provided much needed evaluations and personal knowledge of rework costs for recently completed projects. The costs of rework were found to be significant, with the mean direct and indirect cost of rework as a percentage of contract value being 6.4% and 5.9%, respectively. There were significant differences identified between the estimates propagated by respondents, this being between design consultants and project managers. Additionally, there were no significant differences found between rework costs and procurement methods used and project types. The article concludes by suggesting that further work is required to develop a system which is capable of identifying rework and estimating the costs.





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