An Automated Cost Planning System (ACPS) for Construction Projects

by Osama J. Alkayyali, Univ of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, United States,
Issam A. Minkarah, Univ of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Computing in Civil and Building Engineering


This paper suggests an automated cost planning system (ACPS) for planning and scheduling construction projects. The major objective of this system is to further the use of CPM as a planning and scheduling tool in the construction industry by making it more indispensable for project management practices. To achieve this objective, ACPS integrates productivity-based cost data for different size crews operating on construction activities with a decision support system. In the planning phase, a planner interacts with ACPS by entering the project activities, their interdependencies, and the estimated man-hours for each activity. The program then adjusts these values based on the optimal productivity available in the database. At this stage, the user can specify any activity constraint. Consequently, ACPS develops four scheduling alternatives, after taking into account the cost of any liquidated damages, or possible bonuses. These alternatives are: (1) a feasible schedule under time, resource, and budget constraints or any combination of the three, (2) a least-cost schedule, (3) a least-time schedule, and (4) a limited-resource schedule. Finally, ACPS allows the planner to choose a target schedule among these alternatives by using a priority matrix.

Subject Headings: Scheduling | Critical path method | Construction equipment | Construction industry | Productivity | Construction costs | Automation | Decision support systems

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