Science Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture

October 2012, Volume 2012
ISSN: 2276-6332

Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research Article


Project Cost Contingency Estimation in Ghana: An Integrated Approach

Joseph Ignatius Teye Buertey1, Emmanuel Abeere-Inga2, Theophilus Adjei Kumi3

1Pentecost University College, P.O.Box KN 1739, Kaneshie, Accra, Ghana/ PhD Student, Open University of Malaysia

2Accra Institute of Technology, Accra

3Department of Building Technology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, UPO, Kumasi, Ghana,

Accepted 5 September, 2012; Available Online 8 October, 2012.



The process of cost contingency estimation has been one process which lacks a well defined framework. Practitioners to date rely on their past experience, historical data and organizational culture to estimate cost contingency. The above mentioned process has detrimental effect on the execution phase of the project since it lacks any scientific basis and a structured risk management approach. This paper discusses the cost contingency estimating process and proposes a framework to improve upon the practice. The paper adopts a mixed approach with the distribution of 204 questionnaires to construction clients, professionals and experts in the built environment receiving a response rate of 57.8%. Findings show that at least 95% of the Engineering Design Actors (EDA) primarily used traditional methods. The research revealed that the reasons why these actors predominantly used the deterministic method was the ease of application, unavailability of any tested and approved framework and finally because most of these actors lacked the requisite knowledge for applying complex risk analysis process. The improvement of the above process relies on the need to develop a framework to suit the Ghanaian environment, retraining professionals to acquire knowledge in risk analysis and the need to re-orient the educational curricula to feature emerging needs of the industry.

Keyword: Engineering Design process, organizational culture, risk analysis, traditional deterministic methods, cost contingency