Managing the Development of Building Projects for Better Results

First published in 1981, updated for web presentation, Dec. 2000

Introduction | Principal Parties | Project Plan | Improving Performance
Project Life Cycle | Bar Chart Schedule | Manpower Loading Data
Information Explosion | Final Cost | Design Stages | Cost Effectiveness
Choices | Construction Costing | Value Management | Design Review
Cost of Building Ownership | Practice and Value Management | Summary

Some Valuable Manpower Loading Data

Figure 3[2] shows typical manpower loadings for the design and construction forces on the same sample of building projects as for Figure 2.

Several broad points are of interest here:

  • The manpower loading curve on a construction site over the duration of the construction schedule is typically an asymmetrical bell curve
  • It is well represented by the trapezoid shown in the figure, where labor peaks at about 160% of average, from the 50% to 75% points of the construction schedule
  • The man hours required for working drawings is approximately three times that required for the concept/feasibility consulting work

Figure 3: Manpower Loading
  • Depending on the type of facility, the total man-hours invested by management and its design teams will amount to at least 25% of the on-site labor man hours, as shown in Figure 4[2].
Figure 4: Man Hours Invested by Management
  • Since on-site labor constitutes approximately 40% of the construction cost, it follows in very general terms that one dollar invested in design effort corresponds to ten dollars of construction investment
  • A "fast -tracking" approach will enable some overlapping of the working drawings and early construction stages, perhaps as much as 30%. More than this will be counter productive in terms of increased time and cost of coordination efforts
A Typical Building Project Bar Chart Schedule  A Typical Building Project Bar Chart Schedule

2.  Wideman, R. M. "Project Management Examined." Unpublished lecture material for the University of Victoria, British Columbia, 1980.

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