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A Senior Project In Construction Management Technology Based On Work Sampling

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Trends in Construction Engineering II

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.100.1 - 9.100.4



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Paper Authors

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Roslyn Smith

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Amitabha Bandyopadhyay

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


A Senior Project in Construction Management Technology Based on Work sampling

Amitabha Bandyopadhyay, Roslyn Smith

SUNY Farmingdale, NY


One of the problems we face in 4-year engineering technology programs is to motivate students to work on a senior project that is based on the research methodology. Most students choose instead traditional design projects. The design projects are good for integrating knowledge from various courses, but students do not get a chance to work on new innovative areas where they have to learn new ideas and new methodologies. The project described in this paper, although not a new technique, gave the student a chance to work in a research related field. As part of the preparation for the work the student was given basic information required for any research project. A review of various related statistical concepts was also completed. This paper reflects the work done in this senior project course by the student and the advisor. The paper describes two work sampling studies, one each on a residential project and a commercial project.


Low productivity is a key factor in the high construction cost1. A number of problems affecting productivity can invariably be noted when the activities in progress on a typical construction site are closely observed. Although some will attribute the idleness of a construction worker to his inherent dislike of work, union rules, or some social or psychological condition, the real causes for idleness or poor productivity usually have much deeper roots. Some of the more common root causes that adversely affect productivity and costs are found in the management or supervisory areas of material handling, tool availability, site congestion, lack of information, etc.

Work sampling is an activity measurement technique that has received increased emphasis in recent years as managers struggle to control construction costs. Its simplicity and low cost make it a powerful methods improvement technique. Work sampling measures the percentage of time that the manual labor force spends in certain predetermined categories of activity. Hopefully, by knowing how the craftsmen’s time is used, problem areas showing productivity will emerge. The underlying theory of work sampling is that the percentage of observations recording a man or machine as idle,

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Smith, R., & Bandyopadhyay, A. (2004, June), A Senior Project In Construction Management Technology Based On Work Sampling Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--14057

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