Optimum Number of Crews

by Marvin Gates, (F.ASCE), Pres.; Construction Estimating, Inc., West Hartford, Conn.; and Lect., Worcester Polytechnic Inst., Worcester, Mass.,
Amerigo Scarpa, (F.ASCE), Pres.; Gates-Scarpa and Assoc., Inc., West Hartford, Conn.; and Lect., Hartford State Tech. Coll., Hartford, Conn.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Construction Division, 1978, Vol. 104, Issue 2, Pg. 123-132

Document Type: Journal Paper


Experience curve theory is used to determine the time and manpower requirements to construct labor intensive projects. In essence, according to this theory, one man working 100 hr is more productive than 100 men working 1 hr or any other analogously paired data. This leads to the conclusion that an extended construction timetable may be economical. However, as the duration of a project increases, so does the cost of job overheads that are time-dependent. This leads to the contrary conclusion that a contracted timetable is preferred. These two contending circumstances are formulated, related mathematically, and then solved to find the optimum manpower and the optimum construction time that minimizes costs. Several graphs are included that mechanize the solution. An illustrative example ties theory to practice. This paper is a continuation of another by the same writers.

Subject Headings: Construction costs | Curvature | Labor | Economic factors | Time dependence | Professional societies

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