Comparative construction cost data for industry: A case study of Turner & Townsend's experience

Gary Emmett, Craig Ashley Langston

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


Successful project management has long been characterised in terms of delivering
projects on time, within budget and to the required standard of quality (Ebbesen
and Hope 2013). There are other performance indicators as well, including
risk management, innovation, stakeholder satisfaction, value for money, environmental impact, defect minimisation, conflict avoidance, team development
and continuous process improvement (Toor and Ogunlana 2010). Nevertheless,
project cost is normally a key success factor for projects and therefore features
prominently in benchmarking exercises aimed at identifying best practice (Bryde
and Robinson 2005; Tabish and Jha 2012). Benchmarking concerns drawing
comparisons between projects; in the case of cost, benchmarking is complicated
by differences in scope, quality standard, timing and location (Atkinson 1999).
Investigations of comparative project cost performance may involve domestic
or international benchmarking. The latter introduces the additional issue of different currencies. The routine approach is to first convert all costs into a common
currency, usually taken as the US dollar (USD), so that a direct comparison can
be made. Most practitioners appear to follow this approach. Yet currency rates
can be quite volatile. For example, the currency exchange rate between Australia
and the United States was about AUD 1 = USD 0.50 in 2001 and AUD 1 = USD
1.08 in 2012 (Best 2012), By late 2017 one Australian dollar (AUD) was buying around USD 0.75, and price levels in Australia and the United States still
remained much the same as they had been
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAccounting for Construction
Subtitle of host publicationFrameworks, productivity, cost and performance
EditorsRick Best, Jim Meikle
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-315-23178-5
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-29397-7
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2019


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