Project Management

Change Order Cost in a Hospital Construction Project: A Lessons Learned Study

Gayraj Acharya

A change order is widely known as an official acceptance of a change in the construction industry. Change orders are unavoidable in construction projects but they can be controlled and reduced by applying appropriate project planning tools and processes. A change could have a cascading effect on all three project constraints: the scope, cost, and time. Disagreement among the project stakeholders, sometimes even about one change order, may lead to a legal dispute that eventually causes a project’s failure.

Samuels and Sanders (2007) have quoted several legal cases related to change orders. Changes may occur because of various reasons. Design modification and/or revision may be required due to unexpected or unfavorable site conditions, errors, and omissions in the original design. A change may also be triggered by the end users’ request for changes after sign-off of the design documents. Some of the changes might be inevitable because of changes in the operational model and government regulations; however, some of them could be avoided by applying appropriate planning measures such as peer reviewing and stakeholder communication. The change cost may vary, depending on the types of projects and also the project delivery methods.

One can expect more change orders in a renovation and rehabilitation project than in a new construction project. Construction of a …

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