The impact of design approach and contracting practices on cost and execution period of school buildings

More than two million school-age children in Yemen are unable to enroll in education because of a shortage of school buildings. This is one of the reasons the country missed the Millennium Development Goal of achieving Education for all by 2015. The struggle to afford school accommodation will continue, because of the lack of re-sources and high unit cost. Construction cost as time schedule for an identical school building vary by the implementing agency. This paper aims to study in-depth this multi-dimensional issue to find out the factors that lead to this variation, as well as the reasons for the high unit cost and lengthy periods of construction. To achieve this objective, comprehensive raw data that was resourced from agencies that are as-signed to implement the largest part of the construction program along with data collected through questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were utilized. Complete sets of design and contracting documents of representative schools were used for deeper analysis and evaluation. The analysis shows that the employed de-sign approaches lead to large structural elements and consequently to longer imple-mentation period and 30% increase in cost. It also shows that contractors add up to 20% for the client’s procurement procedure, approvals, and payment cycle. Addition-ally, bidders price risks related to accessibility to building sites, availability of build-ing materials, and how trouble-prone is the region. The findings are of relevance to researchers, education planners, and practitioners as they are of high importance to policy makers and financiers whose main concern is to meet the growing need for school accommodation.


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Kaynak Göster