TEC’s New Best Practice Manual Seeks to Increase Productivity in Construction

    Waste of Human and Material Resources Affects Project Execution Time

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    Abelardo Canelo
    I am not only a fluent Spanish-English reader/speaker but also a bi-cultural person who has a broad solid background. I also have a passionate interest in different expressions of music, especially many American styles and their combinations (Folk-Country, Jazz, Pop, Rhythm and Blues, Rock, Soul, and so on), dance, stage and screen, and some other forms of artistic expression.

    Productivity is a key factor in the development of the construction industry. Waste of human and material resources affects the execution time of the projects, the environment and, consequently, unnecessary expenses are generated.

    For example, if productivity is 20%; how can you spend the remaining time? The collaborators could be investing it in non-productive time (waiting for materials or talking) and collaborative (carrying materials, mortar preparation, helping a mason, etc.).

    Aware of this need to develop more infrastructure and build it more efficiently, an engineer and researcher from the Technological Institute of Costa Rica (TEC), together with other colleagues of the Institution, created a manual of good practices that will increase productivity in the processes of building.

    This is Ana Grettel Leandro, who says that “compared to other industries, the productivity of the construction workforce remains very low”. This condition causes the need to identify factors that prevent or limit its growth and thereby determine the cause of the problem and propose solutions that help increase productivity.

    To design the manual, the researchers conducted a process of interviews to 150 people among workers, engineers, and project managers, who were consulted for problems or conditions that seemed to limit at the time of having a good performance.

    Among their observations, the interviewees highlighted the importance of good practices such as having good planning to distribute the construction in stages, as well as asking suppliers for laboratory tests of the materials to be used, ensuring that they are of proper quality.

    Among other recommendations, they also expressed the importance of having good planning contemplating climate change, in addition to ensuring the good condition of roads and access to construction.

    The researchers intend that this planning tool can show the real damages of the construction processes, as well as factors that affect any other process. Also, the manual intends to be a guide for those construction companies with difficulty to obtain the expected productivity, analyze and identify the factors that are affecting the process and, at the same time, apply recommendations to reduce its environmental impact.

    costa rica real estate
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