Despite the relatively well-established concrete practice in the East African region, there are frequent incidents of construction failures, resulting into heavy loss of lives and property. The main objective of this paper was to examine structures that have failed during the construction phase, in East Africa, since the start of the 21st century; identify and discuss the primary causes and sources of failures. A classic failure case of building collapse, herein referred to as BBJ building, has been used to examine the most important issues related to construction failures. Following the analysis of reports of technical investigations undertaken on the collapsed structure, it was found that failures in reinforced concrete (RC) structures during construction, result from five primary causes of: (1) poor materials and workmanship, (2) design and construction errors, (3) absence of professional supervision of site-works, (4) wrong implementation of construction methods, (5) neglect of design approval procedures. Secondary issues that are complicit to construction failures are:- attempts to severely minimize construction cost, neglect of inspection and monitoring by local authorities, influence peddling by proprietors. It is evident that construction failures can be minimized if the right procedures are followed in the design, construction and operation of the structures; a matter that is of interest to stakeholders of the Built Environment.
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