How Much Does Error Cost?


Construction errors cost the UK construction industry billions every single year. The annual spend due to error is estimated to be around 7 times the total annual profit of the UK Construction Industry according to research done by the Get It Right Initiative (GIRI).

GIRI originated from the Institution of Civil Engineers Best Practice Panel and was developed with the single aim of significantly reducing error in construction. GIRI’s first piece of work was to undertake research to identify both the most economically significant errors and their causes. Their study group involved seventeen major construction organisations including Clients, Consultants, Contractors, and their supply chains.

While the direct cost of error is estimated at around 5% of the cost of construction, when unrecorded process waste, latent defects and indirect costs are included, the situation gets much worse with estimates of total costs of error ranging between 10% and 25% of project cost or between £10–25bn per annum across the sector.

The full GIRI report is available here – Research Report | Get It Right Initiative

GIRI also produced a short film which explains in simplistic terms how the cost of error arises:

The film gives viewers an understanding of the industry research carried out by GIRI and sets out the main findings. This research not only revealed that the true cost of error is much larger than previously estimated, but also highlights some of the root causes of these errors.

Cliff Smith, CEO of GIRI states, “Part of the problem is that the cost of error is very rarely measured or acknowledged. GIRI are raising awareness of the impact of error across the sector and providing tools to support businesses in targeting zero error. Our campaign encourages all involved to improve the productivity and quality of what they do, which not only saves money, it also improves safety and cuts carbon.”