Setting Target Rates for Construction Activity Analysis Categories
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This thesis is focused on increasing productive actions in construction by a procedure known as Activity Analysis. Activity Analysis is a continuous productivity improvement tool for identifying barriers to site productivity with the goal of decreasing them and thereby increasing the direct work rate. A preceding study validated this approach, however it had two limitations. No reevaluation was conducted on projects in Canada by the authors, and not enough resources or data were available to understand behaviour of the activity rates in absolute value terms across many projects. Based on three case studies and data collected over 17 days by the author and a colleague, Activity Analysis was validated as being applicable in Canadian conditions. A desired value, known as a target rate, was then studied in order to be able to set expectations with respect to the productivity to be achieved in each cycle. The premise behind setting a “target rate” is that 100% direct work is neither possible nor desirable, since some time must always be spent on communications and planning. However, a higher direct work rate is generally better than a lower rate. Thus, a target rate is needed. A mathematical model called ANFIS was developed as a means of setting the desired level of activities. Through consideration of a variety of factors that affect labour productivity, the developed model was trained based on 65 data points. The model was found to be easy to use and flexible enough to be appropriate for all of the factors considered. Based on the data points available from 5 different past projects and 3 recent projects and the experience associated with these projects, three additional methods of defining the target rate were developed. The impact of these results is that companies now have appropriate methods and an initial data set for industrial construction in order to establish target rates for direct work and supporting activities. This should help reduce project costs and improve productivity.