The United States
National Academies identified several recommendations for the construction
industry in 2009 to improve industry performance. One of the key
recommendations was the development of reliable productivity measures to
improve the efficiency and support of developing new construction innovations.
Difficulty in measuring real output in the industry is a challenge that has
prevented reliable productivity metrics. An alternative approach would be to
consistently measure activity productivity across multiple construction
projects throughout the United States and develop an aggregate measure
accordingly. However, activity measures are inconsistent across both
construction projects and even projects within the same company. Identifying an
industry standard code of accounting would be a critical first step towards
improving industry performance. The authors collected code of accounts from six
large construction firms to identify the impact that code structure has on the
ability to accurately measure labor productivity on a current along with the
ability to estimate it on future projects as well. This paper focuses on
mechanical piping code structure and productivity comparisons to the widely
used industry estimating manuals produced by RSMeans Building Construction Cost
Data and Richardson’s Process Plan Construction Cost Estimating Standards
(PPCES). The paper’s contribution to the overall body knowledge illustrates the
significance and degree of the impact that piping and conduit code structures related
to diameter size, material type, and installation location have on accurately
measuring productivity rates. The methods can be applied to other trade
activities to develop an industry-wide standard code structure.
Cite this paper
G. Dadi, P. Goodrum and D. Bonham, "A Prototype Master Code of Accounting Structure to Facilitate Accurate Measures of Construction Labor Productivity across Multiple Projects," Theoretical Economics Letters
, Vol. 4 No. 1, 2014, pp. 49-59. doi: 10.4236/tel.2014.41008
 Business Roundtable (BRT), “More Construction for the Money,” The Business Roundtable, New York, 1983.
 National Research Council (NRC), “Advancing the Competitiveness and Efficiency of the US Construction Industry,” The National Academies Press, Washington DC, 2009.
 H. Stokes, “An Examination of the Productivity Decline in the Construction Industry,” The Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 63, No. 4, 1981, pp. 495-502. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1935844
 S. G. Allen, “Why Construction Industry Productivity Is Declining,” The Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 117, No. 4, 1985, pp. 661-665. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1924811
 P. Teicholz, “Discussion on US Construction Labor Productivity Trends, 1970-1998,” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Vol. 127, No. 5, 2001, 427-429.
 J. Triplett and B. Bosworth, “Productivity in the US Services Sector: New Sources of Economic Growth,” Brookings Institution Press, Washington DC, 2004.
 P. Goodrum and C. Haas, “Partial Factor Productivity and Equipment Technology Change at the Activity Level in the US Construction Industry,” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Vol. 128, No. 6, 2002, pp. 463-472. http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9364(2002)128:6(463)
 D. Dacy, “Productivity and Price Trends in Construction since 1947,” Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 47, No. 4, 1965, pp. 406-411. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1927769
 R. Gordon, “A New View of Real Investment in Structures, 1919-1966,” Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 50, No. 4, 1968, pp. 417-428. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1926807
 S. Rosefielde and M. D. Quinn, “Is Construction Technologically Stagnant?” In: J. Lange and D. Mills, The Construction Industry: Balance Wheel of the Economy, Lexington Books, Lexington, Massachusetts, 1979, pp. 83-114.
 P. Pieper, “The Measurement of Construction Prices: Retrospect and Prospect,” In: E. Berndt and J. Triplet, Fifty Years of Economic Measurement: The Jubilee of the Conference on Research in Income and Wealth, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1990, pp. 239-272.
 W. Gullickson and M. Harper, “Bias in Aggregate Productivity Trends Revisited,” Monthly Labor Review, 2002, pp. 32-40.
 D. Zhai, P. Goodrum, C. Haas and C. Caldas, “Relationship between the Automation an Integration of Construction Information Systems and Productivity,” ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Vol. 135, No. 8, 2009, pp 746-753. http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0000024
 P. Goodrum, C. Haas and R. Glover, “The Divergence in Aggregate and Activity Estimates of US Construction Productivity,” Journal of Construction Management and Economics, Vol. 20, No. 5, 2002, pp. 415-423. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01446190210145868
 P. Goodrum and C. Haas, “The Long-Term Impact of Equipment Technology on Labor Productivity in the US Construction Industry at the Activity Level,” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Vol. 131, No. 1, 2004, pp. 124-133. http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9364(2004)130:1(124)
 P. Goodrum, D. Zhai and M. Yasin, “The Relationship between Changes in Material Technology and Construction Productivity,” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Vol. 135, No. 4, 2009, pp. 278-287. http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9364(2009)135:4(278)
 P. Pieper, “Construction Price Statistics Revisited,” In: D. Jorgenson and R. Landau, Technology and Capital Formation, The MIT Press, Cambridge, 1989, pp. 293-330.
 T. E. Dielman, “Applied Regression Analysis: A Second Course in Business and Economics Statistics,” 4th Edition, South-Western Cengage Learning, Mason, 2005.