Measured Mile Analysis and International Mega-Projects

Measured Mile Analysis and International Mega-Projects by Dan Crowley and John C. Livengood...

An accurate calculation of labor distribution and loss of productivity costs by contractors is frequently complex and almost always a challenge for project management. Recent advances in measured mile and demonstrated labor efficiency calculations (DLE) methodologies, as well as court decisions attesting to their reliability, have added an important and persuasive tool to the cost engineer’s tool chest. However, attempts to apply these tools to complex mega-projects, in which thousands of workhours and units of material are logged and installed, are, in the eyes of many cost engineers, destined for failure. Not true! Quoting from The Godfather II, such applications become “difficult, but not impossible.”

The new Hong Kong International Airport was one such mega-project, a construction effort in which contractors and engineers from thirty nations worked together to build an award winning, one-of-a-kind international airport with supporting infrastructure. This $25 billion project, including the world’s largest terminal, a 16.6 square km island, runways, and road and transit connectors to downtown, challenged all project participants. It clearly presented a daunting problem to the quantity surveyors and programmers (cost and schedule engineers) who were tasked with maintaining accurate and complete records of units of work, costs, workhours, and variations, all of which were in several languages and currencies. The task of the cost and schedule engineers was made more difficult when, during the postconstruction period, they were called upon to “prove-up” loss of productivity and worker inefficiency costs caused by variations, delays, design changes, and differing work conditions. The ultimate solution to those problems on this mega-project, and for the parties attempting to resolve its disputes, was the development of...

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