Evaluation Of Building Approval Processes On Construction Project Delivery (Time And Cost) - A Study Of Nairobi City County
The acquisition of statutory building approvals required by developers has been cited as one of the hindrances to adequate and affordable housing. With the rate of urbanization in Kenya estimated at 32.8% and an annual deficit in housing at 150,000 units, it is inevitable to evaluate the building approval process. Encouraging investment in the construction industry has to be done in tandem with streamlining the building approval process. This research sought to evaluate the impact of building approvals processes on construction project delivery (time and cost). The study employed a qualitative research methodology based on network theory approach. This was necessary to describe and understand the building approval process as tied to the construction process. Data was collected via questionnaires administered to 30 developers. The findings indicate that all developers have acquired one form of approval or another. They further indicate that it actually takes 430 days to acquire building approvals, against an estimated period of 169 days derived from the institutions charters. This represents one year and two months. This is also 261 days more than the estimated period. There is a multiplicity of institutions and laws that govern the approval process. The study found that the impact on total development costs was more on facilitation fees some of which are bribes to help expedite the approval process. Various challenges in acquiring building approvals as revealed by literature were discussed and rated by the developers with the delay in acquiring development approval and uncertainty in approval time being the challenges that were most significant. Interventions were also explored and an increase in the personnel to deal with the approval process was sighted as the most significant. The implications of these findings point to the need for the government to sensitize developers on the approvals applicable to construction projects and evaluate the approval process in order to make Kenya attractive to foreign investment. There is also need to look at the various approvals as well as the institutions in order to determine the viability in the long run of the number of approval and institutions.
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