Can Work Sampling Lower Construction Costs?

by H. Randolph Thomas, Jr., Asst. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., The Pennsylvania State Univ., 212 Sackett Building, University Park, Pa. 16802,

Serial Information: Journal of the Construction Division, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 2, Pg. 263-278

Document Type: Journal Paper


The results of a feasibility study related to the development of a Cost/Construction Methods Improvement Program at the Forked River Nuclear Generating Station are presented. The model is based upon a systems approach to methods improvement whereby data from work sampling, stopwatch, and time-lapse photography studies are integrated to locate and describe in detail various barriers to improved construction productivity. Three important principles around which a cost improvement program should be modeled are presented. The problem identification phase that relies on work sampling is explored. The data collection procedures are presented in detail. The program utilizes the crew approach that focuses data collection efforts on several crews as opposed to the tour approach that samples an entire site or building area. The advantages of this approach are highlighted. Procedures for developing and analyzing detailed categories, work characterization charts, management-related categories and labor utilization factors are described.

Subject Headings: Feasibility studies | Data collection | Construction costs | Construction methods | Rivers and streams | Photography | Productivity | Labor

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