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Study on Improving Labor Productivity in the Construction Industry. The Cases of Europe and Hong Kong

Labor productivity is one the least studied areas within the construction industry. Productivity improvements achieve high cost savings with minimal investment. Due to the fact that profit margins are small on construction projects, cost savings associated with productivity are crucial to becoming a successful contractor. The chief setback to improving labor productivity is measuring labor productivity.

However, labor productivity involves many aspects. The aim of this research is to focus in some of them such as construction trades and how different factors affect their labor productivity through benchmarking in both online and hard copy format. A list of 37 construction trades was selected based on the Construction Industry Council of Hong Kong (CIC) in order to see their construction cost, labor cost and labor shortage criticality and their automation level. A list of 40 factors affecting the labor productivity was selected based on experts at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, in order to see in which level they affect the critical construction trades labor productivity found previously. Both results were analyzed using the relative importance index (RII).

These results are used in an additional case study, based on the comparison of them with another study with the same objectives did by some colleagues from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. An additional improvement of the labor productivity can be done by the mixture of both studies.

Results found previously can be used in a future study to create a tool to help contractor’s grade productivity on their projects in the preplanning stage and plan improvements in the most beneficial areas.


ZABALLOS, I. (2016). Study on Improving Labor Productivity in the Construction Industry. The Cases of Europe and Hong Kong. Trabajo Final de Grado. Universitat Politècnica de València.

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25 febrero, 2017
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Universidad Politécnica de Valencia