The Root Causes of Construction Project Failure

Document Type: Article


1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Civil Engineering, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran


Construction projects play an important role in the economic development of every country. Nevertheless, review of projects documents indicates that in most cases, the projects are not finished on schedule and on assigned budget, such that they sometimes loss their economic justification, and simply fail. Consequently, devising suitable solutions is essential to prevention of such failures. This is impossible without identifying the foremost causes of failure. In this study, first, all factors of failure are identified using Fault Tree Analysis (FTA). FTA as a diagnostic tool allows us to efficiently isolate root causes of failure. To rank these factors, dedicated specialists are requested to assess the risk of each cause using linguistic terms; thereby relevant calculations are carried out using the Linguistic Weighted Average (LWA). Undeniably, considering the complexity of construction projects and incomplete expert knowledge, judgments must not be made using crisp value conception. Hence, fuzzy theory is utilized to achieve more accurate results. Results indicate that the majority of problems in projects stem from financial concerns and shortcoming of bidding process. In the last section, an actual case study is used to validate our results.


Main Subjects