The Productivity of Steel Reinforcement Placement in Australian Construction

Federation of Scientific and Technical Ascoiations
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceeding of ICEC IX World Congress, 2014, pp. 1 - 9 (9)
Issue Date:
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Purpose of this paper The purpose of the research is to more accurately understand steel fixing productivity for the purpose of benchmarking, process improvement, assessing competing construction methods and improving the underlying assumptions that contribute to cost management decisions. Design/methodology/approach A time and motion style approach was used to measure worker productivity for the on-site placement of steel reinforcing. Quantitative and observational data was gathered from three multi-storey residential buildings. Findings and value Productivity ratios were derived according to a variety of different repetitive work tasks and based on hours input against production output. Based on the data and subject to sampling limitations, it was found that productivity was highest where using rebar at regular open intervals with few step downs, few penetrations and few beams - as per flat plate floor slab construction. Productivity was lower where construction was floor construction was characterised by deep and complex transfer beam construction with limited room for dexterous tying work, complex set out and other contributing factors. The worst scenario involved stair construction where additional complexity was created y sloping planes , tread layout and landing set out; additional cogged bars; aped bars at landings; and the existence of construction joints. The productivity of mesh fixing was not as high a expected, possibly due to the method of measurement and the influence of balcony construction involving significant cutting of sheets to fit. Research limitations/ implications the research findings are not statistically valid but instead represent an introductory study identifying core tasks that influence the productivity of steel fixing. A relative series of productivity levels is proposed. Future research should focus on larger sample to test the above findings and to facilitate statistically valid findings. Practical implications The findings can be used to target tasks within the steel fixing work package that would benefit from process improvement of the selective implementation of industrialised construction methods. Originality/value of paper The research provides a basis for detailing construction and designing work processes to improve labour productivity. It also provides for benchmarking and comparative measurement between competing methods.
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