A case study of cost overruns in a Thai condominium project
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Construction managers confront many problems. Still, this industry plays a vital role in the healthy growth of the economy of many countries throughout the developed and developing world. Effective management of construction projects has been a major research subject in the last century due to the importance of this industry and the amount of money it attracts. One critical problem facing construction managers is inefficient cost control procedures, particularly in developing regions of the world. Since the end of the Second World War, the use of sophisticated cost control procedures in managing and controlling project costs have been accepted and applied widely in many parts of the world such as the United States and the United Kingdom. These procedures are important in a growing economy to ensure delivery of projects on time and within budget, but they are equally important during an economic recession when project viability becomes marginal. In the early 1990s, the construction industry in Thailand played a critical role during a period of strong economic growth. Construction cost control was not a major concern as developers rushed to capitalize on the booming market. In the late 1990s, the economy of Southeast Asia sank into recession. Project cost control became a critical issue for the developers as well as the construction companies in managing construction projects. A significant number of projects in Thailand in the late 1990s had significant cost overruns. Cost overruns had been a problem during the high growth period in the early 1990s, but demand overcame the problems created by poor cost control. The use of good project cost control procedures has become a concern of project investors and construction companies in Thailand since the recession of the late 1990s. Project managers and developers are now aware that the failure of a cost control system or use of a poor system can lead to project failure. Project cost control methods need to be improved in Thailand to ensure that owners and contractors manage construction costs and meet project goals on time and within budget. In this study, project cost controls in the United States and Thailand will be examined. These procedures will be analyzed to identify their similarities and differences. The causes and solutions for cost overruns in the two countries will also be examined. The results from the study will illustrate how the project cost control procedures used in the United States can be applied to the construction industry in Thailand to improve the procedures used by Thai contractors.