Research from XYZ Reality shows quality control issues persist in U.S. construction. 

Surveying over 300 C-suites and owners from some of the leading contractors in the U.S. revealed a sector struggling with significant backlogs due, in part, to avoidable defects, scan, and rework. 

With 63% of respondents delivering projects out of schedule, it’s no wonder nearly 100% admitted they have a project backlog and high instances of error and rework. 

Causes included well-known supply chain disruptions (52%), rising construction costs (43%), and meeting new sustainability requirements (36%).

Poor communication (45%), inexperienced workers (39%), and insufficient supervision (34%) ranked high, indicating that a lack of cooperation, coordination, and skills persists. It implies a significant amount of human error is to blame. Design changes (26%), or the misinterpretation of them, were also cited and can be directly linked to the high score around poor communication. 

Alarmingly, the research showed that even perceptions around the importance of quality remain an issue. With a third of respondents considering accuracy in the build to be only “somewhat important,” it’s unsurprising so many projects suffer from delays. It suggests the need to meet deadlines sometimes trumps achieving the highest standards of build. 

However, sacrificing quality in a rush to the finish line is a self-defeating exercise, undoubtedly causing avoidable mistakes. Rework means delays and ramped-up project costs, leading firms to desperately seek ways to bring down elevated construction costs. The report revealed stockpiling (64%), the tendency to change project designs (65%), and reducing overhead costs (56%) to be the key ways companies are balancing the scales. 

Technology is another popular option for cost control, pointed to by a majority of 65% of firms, reflecting growing confidence in tech as a solution to many of the challenges facing construction today. AR was particularly popular, especially emerging engineering-grade AR, with 75% of respondents expecting the innovation to significantly improve efficiency on-site in the near future. 

“It’s encouraging to see the U.S. construction sector embracing digital adoption so enthusiastically, but there’s still a need for better communication and collaboration,” said David Mitchell, founder and CEO of XYZ Reality. “Taking human error out of the picture once and for all is a critical step in eliminating error. As innovative technology, like engineering-grade AR, becomes more prolific, offering unparalleled levels of accuracy, cost and availability are no longer hurdles for tech adoption, making it easier to empower and connect crews working on complex projects.”