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Design Economics for the Built Environment: Impact of Sustainability on Project Evaluation by Herbert Robinson, Barry Symonds, Barry Gilbertson, Ben Ilozor

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Chapter 7Productivity in Construction Projects

Shamil Naoum

7.1 Introduction

The construction industry has a significant role to play in the economic growth of a nation. The industry employs a large number of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers, and its activities provide work for the economic sector. The nature of the design, size of project, choice of materials, equipment and technology employed are also factors that can affect productivity. The success or failure of the construction projects can therefore be seriously influenced by productivity. There have been a number of definitions of site productivity. For the purpose of this chapter, ‘productivity’ is defined as ‘the number of units (output) to be produced within a span of time, utilising an optimum number of human and material resources (input) in a safe and efficient manner’. A high rate of productivity can be achieved by eliminating unnecessary wasteful resources from construction operations.

This chapter explores the factors affecting the productivity of construction projects utilising a socio-techno-managerial approach that was developed by Naoum (2011). This approach recognises that productivity can be influenced as follows:

  • technically by an efficient planning and scheduling of the resources;
  • socially by creating the work environment that can motivate and lead people effectively;
  • managerially by designing an efficient management system to communicate, co-ordinate and control the work activities from design ...

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