Construction Productivity: Development of a Prototype Master Code of Accounts RElated to Electrical and Mechanical Systems

  • Goodrum, Paul (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Justification and Potential Impact: The U.S. National Academies issued a report on Advancing Competitiveness and Efficiency of the U.S. Construction Industry in 2009. One of its primary recommendations was for the industry to establish reliable productivity measures in order to improve its overall efficiency and to support future innovations. This recommendation echoes a similar sentiment issued by the Business Roundtable's Construction Industry Cost Effectiveness Project in 1983 when it described one of the industry's leading problem as, "Credible construction productivity data is not now available. Owners do not have norms to judge performance on their projects." Obviously, the need for productivity measures for the construction industry has been sustained for decades. Reliable measures would yield several benefits to multiple industry stakeholders, including: improved reliable benchmarking efforts, improved performance of construction companies, improved predictability of future project costs and schedule requirements for owners, and a better understanding of the impact regulations and policy has on the performance of the construction industry. One path towards developing reliable industry productivity measures is through the development of an industry standard code of accounting. A standard code of accounts would provide the potential for construction firms to collect productivity data to enable better comparison of productivity performance across multiple projects. The idea of establishing an industry "standard codes of accounting" was identified at the NIST organized workshop on construction productivity measurement in April 2011. At this workshop, representatives of the ASTM Job Productivity Measurement (JPM) Standard E2691-09, Construction Industry Institute (CII) Benchmarking and Metrics (BM&M) program, and the CII Construction Productivity Research Program examined existing industry efforts to measure construction productivity and mechanisms for addressing gaps and limitations in current practice. At this meeting, these representatives reached a general consensus on the potential benefits of establishing a "standard codes of accounting" and initiated work to articulate the development and deployment strategies. Objectives: The proposed research activities will support the development of master codes of account. Specific objectives to achieve this primary objective include the following: 1. Identify data sources in terms of existing master codes of account from three to four construction firms that includes electrical and mechanical systems. 2. Develop a prototype of a master code of account for selected elements in the electrical and mechanical systems. 3. Assist in the organization of a workshop on the master code of accounts involving industry and governmental agencies to solicit feedback and support. Technical Merit: The measurement science of construction productivity is incomplete. While companies have developed effective productivity measures for construction activities, the ability to directly measure and compare productivity performance across the industry, sectors, and even projects is an inexact science. Developing a master code of accounts would be a significant step in ensuring that productivity measures of activities are consistently done, thus allowing rolled up productivity measures to be developed to create accurate measures of construction productivity at a macro level.
Effective start/end date12/1/117/31/12


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