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According to Kheni et al [1] (2008) the construction industry plays a significant roles in the economy of developing countries. In the same vein, Ibironke [2] (2003) and SHittu  & Shehu [3] (2010) reported that the construction industry is very important in the economic development of any nation, especially in an expanding economy like Nigeria. Okeola[4] (2009)added that a least 50% of the investment in various development plans is primarily in construction and the industry is the next employer of labour after agriculture in underdeveloped countries. The construction industry is still seen as one of the most dangerous industries due to the number of accidents recorded yearly (Jaselskis & Suazo[5], 1994). Lingard & Rowlinson [6] (1994) and Spillane et al.[7].(2011) reported that the construction industry in most developing and developed countries have been adjudged to be performing very badly in the area of safety by international standards. Omran et al. [8] (2010) added that the construction industry is characterized as one with a poor safety culture globally. A very serious safety problem facing Nigeria is the problem of defect in building as a result of poor quality materials and workmanship which leads to fatal site accidents due to building collapse. Poor quality in construction project is a common phenomenon in the world. Many disputes happened among clients, house   owners and parties involved in construction (especially contractors) on construction defects cases. According to baiden & Tuuli [9] (2004), “defects and variations in construction products from standards is persistently a problem of concern in the construction industry in Ghana”. Defects in construction project could also be seen as incompliance or lack of conformity with contract agreement which include: working drawing, specification, quality of workmanship, and any-other condition not expressly stated such as durability, aesthetic, performance or design”. The problem of defective construction witnessed in the construction sector was tackled by the introduced of “Quality Assurance (QA) techniques” which was initiated by other industries, however, the technique is still being improved on to be suitable in the construction companies.

Kazaz & Birgonul [10](2005) stated that the satisfaction of quality level in the contraction projects has not been achieved and is a serious problem in Turkey. Abdul Razak et al., [11] (2000) stated that quality of the certain construction projects in Malaysia does not always meet satisfaction. Nevertheless, Wai Kion & Sui Phen (2005 found out that the majority    of human errors arise as a result of “forgetfulness and carelessness,” and about 30% were due to inadequate knowledge while the least error arises from the willingness of the appraisal of building defects due to poor  workmanship, in faculty of environmental studies, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma.  Contractor  Wai-Kiong & Sui Pheng[12](2005) further claimed that the absence of incentive is the key factor affecting workmanship quality and also that the incidence of risk result to the occurrence of defects. In general, defects are considered to arise as a result of “lack of knowledge, lack of information or lack of motivation” while “carelessness” was claimed to be the most significant cause. Defects in building can therefore arise from either or a combination of the occurrence of following situation; error in design by the Architect, flaws from the manufacturer, defects in materials, wrong use or inappropriate installation of equipments, and inconformity to specification by the contractor, among others. General forms of defects in construction includes either or a combination of the following; defects in structure giving rise to cracks or collapse; defects or faults in electrical and plumbing installations; inadequacy of drains for proper disposal; insufficient provision for ventilation; poor cooling and/or heating system; poor sound insulation system, and insufficient fire prevention or protection mechanism. In addition, defects in building may also be as a result of the following; fungus, termite, or vermin infection, fungus, wood rot, mould, and dry rot. Damages as a result of earth settlement or land movement may also result to defect to building. Ascertainment of defects in building can only be done by an expert, such as architect or engineer, who by training and experience will be able to confirm the causes of the problem, either resulting from poor design, low quality of material or poor workmanship. According to Abdul Rahman et al. [13] (1996), workmanship was classified as one of the most frequent non-conformance on construction site and therefore through literatures, eight variables that related to the causes of poor quality of workmanship in construction projects had been found out. These are:

  1. poor project management
  2. complicated role of subcontractor
  • lack of experience and competency of labours
  1. language barrier to communication and lack of communication
  2. unsuitable construction equipments
  3. poor weather condition
  • limited time
  • limited cost

The rate of construction project accomplishment is weak because of the rapid increasing rate of major defects in building as a result of the following points:

  1. Design deficiencies: Architect sometimes have a role in the causes of construction defects. An architect can create a design that may be aesthetically pleasing but weak functionally. This is where other building professionals need to evaluate a structure for any design deficiencies.
  2. Manufacturers (poor quality materials and component): The failure of manufacturers to produce components and materials to meet the design and construction requirement of building has been a problem militating against the full functioning of our buildings.
  3. Construction deficiencies (poor workmanship): Which has been identified as the major cause of defects in construction projects (Abdulrazak et al[11], 2010). In the same vein, Abdul Rahman et al.[14](2006) stated that the cause of defects in construction are varied and at times cannot be easily established due to their nature which could be independent or combined occurrence (i.e interrelated persons or groups). It is against this backdrop that this research was carried out to examine the problem of poor workmanship as a cause of building defect, with the intent to proffer suitable solutions to the problem. Poor workmanhisp can cause some of some serious construction  If a roof is not well constructed, this may lead to roof leakage and cause serious damage to ceiling finishing, and also if plumbing works are not properly installed and windows and doors are not properly fixed, the results will be defects.
  4. User: The ignorance on the part of the user/inhabitants of building has greatly affected the rate at which building deteriorates, and this has been a problem.


1.3.1 Aim

The aim of this research is to examine the problem of poor workmanship quality as a cause of building defect with a view of proffering solutions to minimize these problems. The following objectives were set out in order to achieve the aim:

1.3.2 Objectives

  1. To examine the common defects in building construction.
  2. To examine the factors lead to poor workmanship quality in public building projects
  • To proffer possible solutions to these identified defect problems.


In order to study the problem identified, the following questions have been stated for the study:

  1. What are the common defects in building construction?
  2. What are the factors leading to poor quality workmanship in public buildings?
  • What are the solutions to these problems of poor quality workmanship?
  1. Hat is the relationship between preventive defect measures identified and the causes of defect due to poor quality workmanship?       



This research is restricted to faculty of environmental studies only. This building was chosen due to the fact that it has different aspect of building defects. However, a general review of some specific places where building defects occurred will be noted.


This project is of great relevance to Builders, Architects, and Clients and as well as the site operatives who carry-out the construction of the building on site. Moreover, this project will throw more light on the influence of poor design, specification and detailing on the parts of Architects and Engineers as one major cause of defect in buildings. It will also enlighten building users of the health implication of defects and help student studying building and related fields on the causes of defects in building and ways to reduce them.


The study area of this research work is faculty of environmental studies, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma. Edo state.


  1. BUILDING DEFECTS: Defects are aspects of the works that are not in accordance with the contract. (ACCORDING TO DESIGNING BUILDNG WIKI).

  2. DESIGN DEFICIENCY: Faculty of environmental building is faced with problems of defect such as “cracking, staining/discoloration, sealant failures, efflorescence, rising dampness/water penetration, corrosion, buckling/deflection, tile/plaster delaminating” which have resulted due to poor building materials and workmanship. According to Dimuna (15) (2010), the rising incidents of building collapse are due to substandard building materials and incompetent professionals in construction activities. These problems have contributed setbacks in the construction industry in Edo and its environs. Most of the authors only discovered that the major problem of defects is due to poor workmanship quality but have not carried out an in-depth  study of this problem. Hence it becomes necessary to carry out a research that would examine problem. Hence it becomes necessary to carry out a research that would examine problem of poor quality workmanship critically in order to help in contributing for providing solutions to the problem faced by workmanship in public buildings using Faculty of environmental studies in Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, Edo State Nigeria as a case study so as to improve the quality of the public building construction project in the environ.


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