Productivity in building design and construction
Productivity is the relationship between goods and services produced and the resources used. This concept is critical for the development of any business activity, as those that do not improve their productivity compared to their competitors, are likely to fail.
An increase in production does not necessarily translate into an increase in productivity. To increase productivity, all processes that constitute a company’s activity must be analysed and their efficiency optimised. The resources necessary to increase productivity are:
- Design of new procedures or improvement of existing ones.
- Installation of more modern machinery or equipment, with a greater capacity or modernisation of existing equipment.
Improved management through a reduction in:
- Work involved in the product.
- Work involved in the process.
- Unproductive time.
Productivity must not be confused with performance, which is the relationship between forecast and executed work.
Loss in productivity (in terms of time of execution) results from inefficiencies in the total time invested throughout an operation.
The time taken for activities can be broken down into the following:
- Base work content. This is the quantity of work that would be required to manufacture a product or develop an activity if the project were to be perfect, if the procedure, manufacturing or execution method were ideal or if there were no losses in time attributable to any cause. This is the minimum possible time for execution.
- Unnecessary work. This is additional work required due to poor design or specification of the product, or inefficient production or operating methods.
- Ineffective or unproductive time, due to deficiencies in management or deficiencies in workers.
This text in this article is based on an extract from CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT, by Eugenio Pellicer, Víctor Yepes, José M.C. Teixeira, Helder Moura and Joaquín Catala. Valencia, Porto, 2008. The original manual is part of the Construction Managers’ Library – created within the Leonardo da Vinci (LdV) project No: PL/06/B/F/PP/174014, entitled: “COMMON LEARNING OUTCOME FOR EUROPEAN MANAGERS IN CONSTRUCTION”. It is reproduced here in a modified form with the kind permission of the Chartered Institute of Building.
 Related articles on Designing Buidings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Urban Heritage, Development and Sustainability: international frameworks, national and local guidance.
What will the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) mean for you when they come into force in May?
Business Secretary chairs a new taskforce to monitor and advise on mitigating the impacts of Carillion’s liquidation.
Sir John Armitt is appointed the new chair of the National Infrastructure Commission.
High quality and high density homes - is it what we need or is it storing up trouble?
Government announces its intention to strengthen planning rules to protect music venues and neighbours.
National Audit Office reports that there is little evidence that PFI offers better value than other forms of contracting.
What is liquidation and how does it apply to contractors in the construction industry?
Scrutiny is placed on Carillion's controversial 2013 decision to extend subcontractor payment terms to 120 days.
RSHP unveil their involvement in a boundary crossing which will provide a new entry point into Hong Kong.
With PFI currently under the spotlight due to Carillion, this introductory article explains what they are.
Estimates suggest that up to 30,000 small firms could be at risk of non-payment as a result of Carillion's collapse.