Document Detail

Title: RR252-11b - Construction Productivity Research Program -- Phase III
Publication Date: 1/1/2012
Product Type: Research Report
Status: Reference
Pages: 228
Goodrum et al., Univ. of Kentucky; Haas et al., Univ. of Waterloo; Caldas et al., The Univ. of Texas at Austin
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Achieving a 50% improvement in construction craft productivity in six years would break a century old tradition of stagnation, a trend that has been interrupted only by periodic incremental improvement. The first and the second phases of a six-year research program were successfully completed in the last two years. The following report details the findings from the third phase in this past year.

Direct work typically amounts to no more than 35-45% of a craftsman’s time on the job. To improve craft productivity, direct work time must be improved. To increase direct work time, the availability of materials, information and tools at the workface must be improved. There will be no “magic bullet” that will make this happen, but rather a series of innovations that together produce change. They will include a combination of broad improvements in practice and focused improvements in technology and process.

To achieve these improvements, Research Team (RT) 252’s rolling, five-phase program injects innovations annually via a sequence of innovation workshops, field trials, analysis, and implementation tool delivery. Each phase of the program involves the following: 1) analyses of the CII BM&M data to identify best practices that appear to have an impact on productivity, 2) exploring opportunities for productivity improvement through craft information, technology support for labor, work packaging/organization, and human behavior, and 3) soliciting innovation input from structured workshops and team members’ expertise.

Analysis of the CII Benchmarking and Metrics (BM&M) data in this phase of the program found relationships between certain management practices and productivity in the concrete trades. The results indicate that projects with a high level of implementation of safety programs, information systems integration, materials management systems, team-building, front end planning, constructability, and change management experienced better labor productivity in the concrete trades. These findings suggest an overall level of synergy with the practices that were found to be related to better productivity in the concrete trades. These findings also suggest an overall level of synergy with the practices that were found to be related to better productivity in the mechanical and electrical trades, as reported in previous phases.

Thus, RT 252’s efforts in the first research phase also focused on a thorough search and definition of best productivity practices. When these practices have become rigorously weighted and properly structured, they will become part of a Best Productivity Practices Implementation Index (BPPII). The BPPII is in the process of being validated in the last phase and this phase, and will be delivered as an implementation tool in the final phase of the program. No existing CII tool addresses productivity as directly as the BPPII will. Until it is fully developed, however, exciting innovations will continue to emerge and this research program will continue to track and analyze them.

For this phase of the program, the team has charted new directions for the industry by producing implementation resources that can increase craft wrench time, reduce rework, and reduce the number of hours required to complete one unit of work. The investigations are as following: 1) using innovations to reduce the number of work hours required to complete one unit of work; 2) reducing the amount of rework on projects; 3) using the BPPII as a comprehensive productivity improvement roadmap. There are other documents and products related to Phase II that should be considered companion documents to this one. The first, A Guide to Construction Rework Reduction, (CII IR 252-2b) is a useful tool for implementation. This final report to Phase III provides the research background for that guide, but the guide includes additional content that the reader may wish to access by getting a copy. The research summary for Phase III, Construction Productivity Research Program Phase III, (CII RS 252-1b) is also a useful document related to this one.

Implementing the best productivity practices identified in this first phase and the second phase is expected to result in significant productivity improvement on your project. More is yet to come in subsequent project phases. This report includes five chapters. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the Construction Productivity Program. Chapter 2 analyzes project practices related to concrete productivity. Chapter 3 take an in-depth look at the concrete innovations. Chapter 4 discusses the Rework Reduction Program (RRP) research. Chapter 5 updates the best productivity practices implementation index (BPPII). Chapter 6 is the conclusion of this report.