Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 17

Search results for: Project cost

17 Identification of Factors Influencing Costs in Green Projects

Authors: Nazirah Zainul Abidin, Nurul Zahirah Mokhtar Azizi

Abstract:

Cost has always been the leading concern in green building development. The perception that construction cost for green building is higher than conventional buildings has only made the discussion of green building cost more difficult. Understanding the factors that will influence the cost of green construction is expected to shed light into what makes green construction more or at par with conventional projects, or perhaps, where cost can be optimised. This paper identifies the elements of cost before shifting the attention to the influencing factors. Findings from past studies uncovered various factors related to cost which are grouped into five focal themes i.e. awareness, knowledge, financial, technical, and government support. A conceptual framework is produced in a form of a flower diagram indicating the cost influencing factors of green building development. These factors were found to be both physical and non-physical aspects of a project. The framework provides ground for the next stage of research that is to further explore how these factors influence the project cost and decision making.

Keywords: green project, factors influencing cost, hard cost, soft cost

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16 Waste Generation in Iranian Building Industry: Addressing a Theory

Authors: Golnaz Moghimi, Alireza Afsharghotli, Alireza Rezaei

Abstract:

Construction waste has been gradually increased as a result of upsizing construction projects which are occurred within the lifecycle of buildings. Since waste management is a major priority and has profound impacts on the volume of waste generated in construction stage, the majority of efforts have been attempted to reuse, recycle and reduce waste. However, there is still room to study on lack of sufficient knowledge about waste management in construction industry. This paper intends to provide an insight into the effect of project management knowledge areas on waste management solely on construction stage. To this end, a survey among Iranian building construction industry contractors was conducted to identify the effectiveness of project management knowledge areas on three jobsite key factors including ‘Site activity’, ‘Training’, and ‘Awareness’. As a result, four management disciplines were identified as most influential ones on amount of construction waste. These disciplines were Project Cost Management, Quality Management, Human Resource Management, and Integration Management. Based on the research findings, a new model was presented to develop effective construction waste strategies.

Keywords: Waste Management, training, awareness, PMBOK, site activity

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15 An Improved GA to Address Integrated Formulation of Project Scheduling and Material Ordering with Discount Options

Authors: Babak H. Tabrizi, Seyed Farid Ghaderi

Abstract:

Concurrent planning of the resource constraint project scheduling and material ordering problems have received significant attention within the last decades. Hence, the issue has been investigated here with the aim to minimize total project costs. Furthermore, the presented model considers different discount options in order to approach the real world conditions. The incorporated alternatives consist of all-unit and incremental discount strategies. On the other hand, a modified version of the genetic algorithm is applied in order to solve the model for larger sizes, in particular. Finally, the applicability and efficiency of the given model is tested by different numerical instances.

Keywords: Project Management, Genetic Algorithm, Project Scheduling, material ordering

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14 A Conceptual Framework and a Mathematical Equation for Managing Construction-Material Waste and Cost Overruns

Authors: Saidu Ibrahim, Winston M. W. Shakantu

Abstract:

The problem of construction material waste remains unresolved, as a significant percentage of the materials delivered to some project sites end up as waste which might result in additional project cost. Cost overrun is a problem which affects 90% of the completed projects in the world. The argument on how to eliminate it has been on-going for the past 70 years, but there is neither substantial improvement nor significant solution for mitigating its detrimental effects. Research evidence has proposed various construction cost overruns and material-waste management approaches; nonetheless, these studies failed to give a clear indication on the framework and the equation for managing construction material waste and cost overruns. Hence, this research aims to develop a conceptual framework and a mathematical equation for managing material waste and cost overrun in the construction industry. The paper adopts the desktop methodological approach. This involves comparing the causes of material waste and those of cost overruns from the literature to determine the possible relationship. The review revealed a relationship between material waste and cost overrun that; increase in material waste would result to a corresponding increase in the amount of cost overrun at both the pre-contract and the post contract stages of a project. It was found from the equation that achieving an effective construction material waste management must ensure a “Good Quality-of-Planning, Estimating, and Design Management” and a “Good Quality- of-Construction, Procurement and Site Management”; a decrease in “Design Complexity” which would reduce “Material Waste” and subsequently reduce the amount of cost overrun by 86.74%. The conceptual framework and the mathematical equation developed in this study are recommended to the professionals of the construction industry.

Keywords: cost overrun, conceptual framework, material waste, project stags

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13 Investigating the Effect of Refinancing on Financial Behavior of Energy Efficiency Projects

Authors: Zohreh Soltani, Seyedmohammadhossein Hosseinian

Abstract:

Reduction of energy consumption in built infrastructure, through the installation of energy-efficient technologies, is a major approach to achieving sustainability. In practice, the viability of energy efficiency projects strongly depends on the cost reimbursement and profitability. These projects are subject to failure if the actual cost savings do not reimburse the project cost promptly. In such cases, refinancing could be a solution to benefit from the long-term returns of the project, if implemented wisely. However, very little is still known about the effect of refinancing options on financial performance of energy efficiency projects. In order to fill this gap, the present study investigates the financial behavior of energy efficiency projects with focus on refinancing options, such as Leveraged Loans. A System Dynamics (SD) model is introduced, and the model application is presented using an actual case-study data. The case study results indicate that while high-interest start-ups make using Leveraged Loan inevitable, refinancing can rescue the project and bring about profitability. This paper also presents some managerial implications of refinancing energy efficiency projects based on the case-study analysis. Results of this study help to implement financially viable energy efficiency projects so that the community could benefit from their environmental advantages widely.

Keywords: Sustainability, energy efficiency projects, leveraged loan, refinancing

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12 Critical Factors Affecting the Implementation of Total Quality Management in the Construction Industry in U.A.E

Authors: Firas Mohamad Al-Sabek

Abstract:

The purpose of the paper is to examine the most critical and important factor which will affect the implementation of Total Quality Management (TQM) in the construction industry in the United Arab Emirates. It also examines the most effected Project outcome from implementing TQM. A framework was also proposed depending on the literature studies. The method used in this paper is a quantitative study. A survey with a sample of 60 respondents was created and distributed in a construction company in Abu Dhabi, which includes 15 questions to examine the most critical factor that will affect the implementation of TQM in addition to the most effected project outcome from implementing TQM. The survey showed that management commitment is the most important factor in implementing TQM in a construction company. Also it showed that Project cost is most effected outcome from the implementation of TQM. Management commitment is very important for implementing TQM in any company. If the management loose interest in quality then everyone in the organization will do so. The success of TQM will depend mostly on the top of the pyramid. Also cost is reduced and money is saved when the project team implement TQM. While if no quality measures are present within the team, the project will suffer a commercial failure. Based on literature, more factors can be examined and added to the model. In addition, more construction companies could be surveyed in order to obtain more accurate results. Also this study could be conducted outside the United Arab Emirates for further enchantment.

Keywords: Total Quality Management, Cost, Construction Project, management commitment, theoretical framework

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11 Multi-Objective Multi-Mode Resource-Constrained Project Scheduling Problem by Preemptive Fuzzy Goal Programming

Authors: Phruksaphanrat B.

Abstract:

This research proposes a preemptive fuzzy goal programming model for multi-objective multi-mode resource constrained project scheduling problem. The objectives of the problem are minimization of the total time and the total cost of the project. Objective in a multi-mode resource-constrained project scheduling problem is often a minimization of makespan. However, both time and cost should be considered at the same time with different level of important priorities. Moreover, all elements of cost functions in a project are not included in the conventional cost objective function. Incomplete total project cost causes an error in finding the project scheduling time. In this research, preemptive fuzzy goal programming is presented to solve the multi-objective multi-mode resource constrained project scheduling problem. It can find the compromise solution of the problem. Moreover, it is also flexible in adjusting to find a variety of alternative solutions. 

Keywords: Goal Programming, multi-mode resource constrained project scheduling problem, fuzzy set, Preemptive fuzzy goal programming

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10 Soft Cost Elements That Affect Developers’ Decision to Build Green

Authors: Nurul Zahirah M.A., N. Zainul Abidin, Azlan Raofuddin Nuruddin

Abstract:

Despite all the hype about green building, many developers are still resistant to the idea of building green due to the common perception that green building construction is expensive. This contradicts with scholarly findings that identify only a marginal cost premium or none at all given that green design is considered during the design process and planning stage. Nevertheless, cost implications continue to become an issue when deciding to build green. The planning stage is of strategic importance as decisions made at this early stage would influence the project cost thereafter. Using analysis of existing literature, the paper identifies six elements of soft cost that are considered in the planning stage. The elements include consultants, green building consultant, certification, commissioning, market, and tax. Out of the six elements, commissioning represents the bulk of soft cost for buildings seeking green certification. The study concluded that, although hard cost may have a bigger impact on the project cost, but soft cost is the hidden cost which people tend to ignore. Poor consideration of soft cost during planning stage may lead to over-realistic expectations and ultimately, overlooked cost additions.

Keywords: Green Building, soft cost, cost element, developer decision

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9 Effectiveness of Business Software Systems Development and Enhancement Projects versus Work Effort Estimation Methods

Authors: Beata Czarnacka-Chrobot

Abstract:

Execution of Business Software Systems (BSS) Development and Enhancement Projects (D&EP) is characterized by the exceptionally low effectiveness, leading to considerable financial losses. The general reason for low effectiveness of such projects is that they are inappropriately managed. One of the factors of proper BSS D&EP management is suitable (reliable and objective) method of project work effort estimation since this is what determines correct estimation of its major attributes: project cost and duration. BSS D&EP is usually considered to be accomplished effectively if product of a planned functionality is delivered without cost and time overrun. The goal of this paper is to prove that choosing approach to the BSS D&EP work effort estimation has a considerable influence on the effectiveness of such projects execution.

Keywords: Effectiveness, project duration, Project cost, Business software systems, development and enhancement projects, work effort estimation methods, software product size, software product functionality

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8 Optimizing the Project Delivery Time with Time Cost Trade-offs

Authors: Wei Lo, Ming-En Kuo

Abstract:

While to minimize the overall project cost is always one of the objectives of construction managers, to obtain the maximum economic return is definitely one the ultimate goals of the project investors. As there is a trade-off relationship between the project time and cost, and the project delivery time directly affects the timing of economic recovery of an investment project, to provide a method that can quantify the relationship between the project delivery time and cost, and identify the optimal delivery time to maximize economic return has always been the focus of researchers and industrial practitioners. Using genetic algorithms, this study introduces an optimization model that can quantify the relationship between the project delivery time and cost and furthermore, determine the optimal delivery time to maximize the economic return of the project. The results provide objective quantification for accurately evaluating the project delivery time and cost, and facilitate the analysis of the economic return of a project.

Keywords: Genetic Algorithms, time-cost trade-off, Resource Integration, Economic return

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7 A Foresight into Green Housing Industry in Malaysia

Authors: N. Zainul Abidin, N. Yusof, H. Awang

Abstract:

Bringing change to the housing industry requires multiple efforts from various angles especially to overcome any resistances in the form of technology, human aspects, financial and resources. The transition from conventional to sustainable approach consumes time as it requires changes from different facets in the industry ranging from individual, organisational to industry level. In Malaysia, there are various efforts to bring green into the industry but the progress is low-moderate. Will the current efforts bear larger fruits in the near future? This study examines the perceptions of the developers in Malaysia on the future of the green housing sector for the next 5 years. The introduction of GBI rating system, improvement of awareness and knowledge among the stakeholders, support from the government and local industry and the effect of competitive advantage would support brighter future. Meanwhile, the status quo in rules and regulation, lack of public interest and demand, organization disinterest, local authority enforcement and project cost escalation would hinder a faster progress.

Keywords: Sustainable Construction, developers, housing industry, Green Concept

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6 Analysis of Cost Estimation and Payment Systems for Consultant Contracts in the US, Japan, China and the UK

Authors: Shih-Hsu Wang, Yuan-Yuan Cheng, Ming-Tsung Lee, Wei-Chih Wang

Abstract:

Determining reasonable fees is the main objective of designing the cost estimation and payment systems for consultant contracts. However, project clients utilize different cost estimation and payment systems because of their varying views on the reasonableness of consultant fees. This study reviews the cost estimation and payment systems of consultant contracts for five countries, including the US (Washington State Department of Transportation), Japan (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism), China (Engineering Design Charging Standard) and UK (Her Majesty's Treasure). Specifically, this work investigates the budgeting process, contractor selection method, contractual price negotiation process, cost review, and cost-control concept of the systems used in these countries. The main finding indicates that that project client-s view on whether the fee is high will affect the way he controls it. In the US, the fee is commonly considered to be high. As a result, stringent auditing system (low flexibility given to the consultant) is then applied. In the UK, the fee is viewed to be low by comparing it to the total life-cycle project cost. Thus, a system that has high flexibility in budgeting and cost reviewing is given to the consultant. In terms of the flexibility allowed for the consultant, the systems applied in Japan and China fall between those of the US and UK. Both the US and UK systems are helpful in determining a reasonable fee. However, in the US system, rigid auditing standards must be established and additional cost-audit manpower is required. In the UK system, sufficient historical cost data should be needed to evaluate the reasonableness of the consultant-s proposed fee

Keywords: Consultant Services, Cost Estimation and Payment System, Payment Flexibility, Cost-control Concept

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5 Probabilistic Model Development for Project Performance Forecasting

Authors: Milad Eghtedari Naeini, Gholamreza Heravi

Abstract:

In this paper, based on the past project cost and time performance, a model for forecasting project cost performance is developed. This study presents a probabilistic project control concept to assure an acceptable forecast of project cost performance. In this concept project activities are classified into sub-groups entitled control accounts. Then obtain the Stochastic S-Curve (SS-Curve), for each sub-group and the project SS-Curve is obtained by summing sub-groups- SS-Curves. In this model, project cost uncertainties are considered through Beta distribution functions of the project activities costs required to complete the project at every selected time sections through project accomplishment, which are extracted from a variety of sources. Based on this model, after a percentage of the project progress, the project performance is measured via Earned Value Management to adjust the primary cost probability distribution functions. Then, accordingly the future project cost performance is predicted by using the Monte-Carlo simulation method.

Keywords: monte carlo method, probabilistic model, Project forecasting, Stochastic S-curve

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4 Time-Cost-Quality Trade-off Software by using Simplified Genetic Algorithm for Typical Repetitive Construction Projects

Authors: Refaat H. Abd El Razek, Ahmed M. Diab, Sherif M. Hafez, Remon F. Aziz

Abstract:

Time-Cost Optimization "TCO" is one of the greatest challenges in construction project planning and control, since the optimization of either time or cost, would usually be at the expense of the other. Since there is a hidden trade-off relationship between project and cost, it might be difficult to predict whether the total cost would increase or decrease as a result of the schedule compression. Recently third dimension in trade-off analysis is taken into consideration that is quality of the projects. Few of the existing algorithms are applied in a case of construction project with threedimensional trade-off analysis, Time-Cost-Quality relationships. The objective of this paper is to presents the development of a practical software system; that named Automatic Multi-objective Typical Construction Resource Optimization System "AMTCROS". This system incorporates the basic concepts of Line Of Balance "LOB" and Critical Path Method "CPM" in a multi-objective Genetic Algorithms "GAs" model. The main objective of this system is to provide a practical support for typical construction planners who need to optimize resource utilization in order to minimize project cost and duration while maximizing its quality simultaneously. The application of these research developments in planning the typical construction projects holds a strong promise to: 1) Increase the efficiency of resource use in typical construction projects; 2) Reduce construction duration period; 3) Minimize construction cost (direct cost plus indirect cost); and 4) Improve the quality of newly construction projects. A general description of the proposed software for the Time-Cost-Quality Trade-Off "TCQTO" is presented. The main inputs and outputs of the proposed software are outlined. The main subroutines and the inference engine of this software are detailed. The complexity analysis of the software is discussed. In addition, the verification, and complexity of the proposed software are proved and tested using a real case study.

Keywords: Genetic Algorithms, Project Management, Multi-objective optimization, typical (repetitive) large scale projects, line of balance, time-cost-quality trade-offs

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3 How Team Efficacy Beliefs Impact Project Performance: An Empirical Investigation of Team Potency in Capital Projects in the Process Industries

Authors: C. Scott-Young, D. Samson

Abstract:

Team efficacy beliefs show promise in enhancing team performance. Using a model-based quantitative research design, we investigated the antecedents and performance consequences of generalized team efficacy (potency) in a sample of 56 capital projects executed by 15 Fortune 500 companies in the process industries. Empirical analysis of our field survey identified that generalized team efficacy beliefs were positively associated with an objective measure of project cost performance. Regression analysis revealed that team competence, empowering leadership, and performance feedback all predicted generalized team efficacy beliefs. Tests of mediation revealed that generalized team efficacy fully mediated between these three inputs and project cost performance.

Keywords: Leadership, Feedback, potency, team efficacy, Project cost

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2 A Metric-Set and Model Suggestion for Better Software Project Cost Estimation

Authors: Murat Ayyıldız, Oya Kalıpsız, Sırma Yavuz

Abstract:

Software project effort estimation is frequently seen as complex and expensive for individual software engineers. Software production is in a crisis. It suffers from excessive costs. Software production is often out of control. It has been suggested that software production is out of control because we do not measure. You cannot control what you cannot measure. During last decade, a number of researches on cost estimation have been conducted. The metric-set selection has a vital role in software cost estimation studies; its importance has been ignored especially in neural network based studies. In this study we have explored the reasons of those disappointing results and implemented different neural network models using augmented new metrics. The results obtained are compared with previous studies using traditional metrics. To be able to make comparisons, two types of data have been used. The first part of the data is taken from the Constructive Cost Model (COCOMO'81) which is commonly used in previous studies and the second part is collected according to new metrics in a leading international company in Turkey. The accuracy of the selected metrics and the data samples are verified using statistical techniques. The model presented here is based on Multi-Layer Perceptron (MLP). Another difficulty associated with the cost estimation studies is the fact that the data collection requires time and care. To make a more thorough use of the samples collected, k-fold, cross validation method is also implemented. It is concluded that, as long as an accurate and quantifiable set of metrics are defined and measured correctly, neural networks can be applied in software cost estimation studies with success

Keywords: Software Metrics, neural network, Software Cost Estimation

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1 Application of Artificial Neural Network to Forecast Actual Cost of a Project to Improve Earned Value Management System

Authors: Seyed Hossein Iranmanesh, Mansoureh Zarezadeh

Abstract:

This paper presents an application of Artificial Neural Network (ANN) to forecast actual cost of a project based on the earned value management system (EVMS). For this purpose, some projects randomly selected based on the standard data set , and it is produced necessary progress data such as actual cost ,actual percent complete , baseline cost and percent complete for five periods of project. Then an ANN with five inputs and five outputs and one hidden layer is trained to produce forecasted actual costs. The comparison between real and forecasted data show better performance based on the Mean Absolute Percentage Error (MAPE) criterion. This approach could be applicable to better forecasting the project cost and result in decreasing the risk of project cost overrun, and therefore it is beneficial for planning preventive actions.

Keywords: artificial neural network (ANN), Estimate At Completion, Earned Value Management System (EVMS), Forecasting Methods, Project Performance Measurement

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