Reducing Close Out Defects in Commercial Construction

King, Charles (2018) Reducing Close Out Defects in Commercial Construction. [USQ Project]


This study investigated the causes of defects being discovered during close out inspections. The problem under investigation was first discovered during work as an undergraduate construction manager. Close out inspections are conducted prior to hand over to ensure all previously discovered defects have been rectified to a satisfactory quality. Repeated inspections and approvals of recurring defects at the closing stage of these projects were causing inordinate delays, extra costs and client dissatisfaction which prompted this investigation as a participant-observer. This research project recommends a number of methods avoiding close out defects, important due to the extensive risks latent defects have to all parties involved in construction projects from clients through to subcontractors.

A literature review was conducted to ascertain the types of defects, finding the causes of defects at different stages of construction, methods of prevention and defect management systems and techniques currently in use and under development. Remarkably, there was very little information on close out defects and on how to manage such defects.

Accordingly, five education buildings with an average value of $30 million were selected for study. The detailed historic defect data from these 5 education projects was an integral resource for this research project. In all, 167 close out defects were observed across these projects. Each defect discovered in close out inspections was analysed in regards to a number of categories and most importantly, the cause of each defect; damage, design, poor workmanship, and incomplete work. Incomplete work was found to be the outstanding defect cause, with carpentry, hydraulic, and painting subcontractors being responsible for the most close out defects.

In order to minimise the occurrence of such defects, the results were first analysed using an adapted Hierarchy of Controls framework which lead to the identification of administrative controls and contractual amendments which could prevent close out defects. In addition the relevance of existing practices for preventing these defects were also investigated which lead to revised concepts of defect mitigation.

Through a thorough investigation of these defects, this report highlights the key manners in which close out defects are being caused in modern commercial construction, and methods of which these costly occurrences can be avoided by construction managers of future projects.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 40762
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Abeysekera, Vasantha
Qualification: Bachelor of Construction (Honours)
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2022 04:38
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2023 01:49
Uncontrolled Keywords: defects; close out inspections; commercial construction

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only