Defects liability management by design

Caroline L. Davey*, John McDonald, David Lowe, Roy Duff, James A. Powell, Jennifer E. Powell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


An action learning project was undertaken to empower small- and medium-sized construction companies to define the agenda for performance improvement and to take a leading role in the process of industry change. Whilst achievement of zero defects was an ultimate aim, smaller construction firms identified the shorter-term need to deal effectively with defects during the post-construction phase. Project activities explored problems and identified ways of improving the management of the defects liability period. Proposed solutions ranged from simple modifications to management procedures, through innovative methods of working with tenants to more fundamental changes in design and construction processes. Construction firms and housing associations recognized the importance of working together to improve procedures. Small- and medium-sized construction firms can address performance issues in practical ways and have a potentially valuable role to play in promoting industry improvement. Action learning can support the process of change being instigated by Egan in 1998 and solutions generated by action learning have the potential for wider dissemination and use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-153
Number of pages9
JournalBuilding Research and Information
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


  • Action learning
  • Defects
  • Learning network
  • Partnership
  • Performance improvement
  • Quality
  • Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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