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Delays and cost overruns in the construction projects in the Gaza Strip

Adnan Enshassi (Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Islamic University of Gaza, Gaza Strip, Palestinian Authority)
Jomah Al‐Najjar (Islamic University of Gaza, Gaza Strip, Palestinian Authority)
Mohan Kumaraswamy (Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China)

Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction

ISSN: 1366-4387

Article publication date: 31 July 2009




Delays and cost overruns are evidently frequent problems in the construction industries of many developed and developing countries. The purpose of this paper is to assess factors leading to time overruns (delays) and cost overruns in construction projects in the Gaza Strip. Since there appear to be additional special contributors to delays here, the relative perceptions of contractors, consultants and owners are compared, based on a listing of causal factors derived from previous studies elsewhere, together with other factors arising from special conditions in the Gaza Strip.


A survey of a randomly selected samples yielded responses from 66 contractors, 27 consultants, and 31 owners. The survey included 110 delay factors/causes which were grouped into 12 major groups. The same survey also included 42 cost overrun factors. The level of importance of the delays and cost overrun factors were measured and ranked by their importance indexes, according to the perspectives of contractors, consultants, and owners.


There seems to be a general agreement between contractors, consultants and owners regarding causes of delays and cost overruns. The main four causes of time delays included strikes and border closures, material‐related factors, lack of materials in markets, and delays in materials delivery to the site. Additionally, the main three causes for cost overruns included price fluctuations of construction materials, contractor delays in material and equipment delivery, and inflation.


The outcome of this paper will assist owners, contractors, and consultants in understanding the reasons for delays and cost overruns, thus eliminating or minimizing these causes. This could be achieved by better management of the projects and by finding new methods for storing the critical materials from the beginning of the project. Furthermore, the local government is advised to initiate legislation to overcome problems arising from monopolies in the supply of construction materials.



Enshassi, A., Al‐Najjar, J. and Kumaraswamy, M. (2009), "Delays and cost overruns in the construction projects in the Gaza Strip", Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 126-151.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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