Defects in Public Building Construction

by Daniel L. Schodek, (Aff.M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Architecture, Grad. School of Design, Harvard Univ., Cambridge, Mass.,

Serial Information: Issues in Engineering: Journal of Professional Activities, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 4, Pg. 263-270

Document Type: Journal Paper


From 1978 - 1980, The Special Commission concerning State and County Buildings in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts made a thorough investigation of maladministration and corruption in the construction of public buildings in the state. In the end, the Commission also suggested legislative reforms for improving public construction. As part of its inquiries, the Commission made a series of extensive studies of physical defects in recently constructed public buildings. One method used to gather information was a mailed survey, which is examined in this paper. The majority of recently constructed public buildings were found to have severe construction defects which impaired building performance or use, were costly to repair, or led to expensive secondary damage, or all three.

Subject Headings: Public buildings | Defects and imperfections | Construction management | Political factors | Legislation | Data collection | Surveying methods | Construction costs

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