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Contract procurement strategies for project delivery towards enhancement of housing sustainability in South Africa
The supply of housing products that is durable, obtained at optimum cost and available within the shortest time possible describes the term sustainable housing. Findings derived from the reviewed literature concerning the ever-increasing quest of construction clients for ‘best value for money’ on construction projects brought about the emergence of alternative contract procurement strategies. Essentially, literature revealed that it is vital to adopt an appropriate contract procurement strategy, one that best addresses particular project needs and objectives, as the adoption of an inappropriate procurement system would result in excessive project cost and time overrun, low project quality standards and the dissatisfaction of involved construction stakeholders. The quest for the supply of sustainable housing in the Western Cape, South Africa, prompted the need to establish an effective contract procurement strategy for housing project delivery. Noteworthy, this study identified five (5) objectives directed towards establishing an effective contract procurement strategy to enhance sustainable housing delivery: 1) the first objective examined the effectiveness of contract procurement strategies used for housing projects; 2) the second objective identified the factors influencing the selection of a suitable contract procurement strategy for housing projects; 3) the third objective analysed the influence of contract procurement strategies on project cost, time and quality; 4) the fourth objective examined the benefits and shortfalls associated with various contract procurement strategies on housing project resources – construction materials, machinery and manpower; 5) and the last objective was to establish the contract procurement strategy that is most effective for the delivery of sustainable housing. This research adopted a mixed methodological approach involving the administration of close-ended quantitative questionnaires submitted to construction professionals and stakeholders and semi-structured qualitative interviews conducted with construction site managers and supervisors. SPSS version 24 software was used to analyse the quantitative data elicited, and “content analysis” was used to analyse the information obtained through the qualitative interviews. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient reliability test was conducted on scaled research questions to ensure the reliability of the research questionnaire. The research findings revealed that the traditional and the design and build contract procurement approaches are cost, time and quality effective and therefore satisfactory, while the traditional contract procurement system is also effective regarding construction stakeholder satisfaction. The research identified that the significant factors influencing the selection of a contract procurement strategy include delay and mistakes in producing design documents; client inability to brief and make timely decisions; project type, nature, scope and complexity; lack of communication and feedback; lack of discipline among construction workers; and finally, lack of availability of construction materials. The study concluded that thorough consideration of these findings by construction stakeholders within the construction industry will enhance the delivery of affordable, sustainable housing. The research study recommends, among other issues, the comparison of effectiveness of contract procurement strategies on project performance on a site-by-site basis, through work study and other available strategies, to further enhance sustainable housing delivery in the South African construction industry.