Cost performance of public infrastructure projects: The nemesis and nirvana of change-orders

Peter E D Love, Zahir Irani, Jim Smith, Michael Regan, Junxiao Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)
223 Downloads (Pure)


The cost performance of a wide range of public sector infrastructure projects completed by a contractor are analysed and discussed. Change-orders after a contract to construct an asset was signed were, on average, found to contribute to a 23.75% increase in project costs. A positive association between an increase in change orders and the contractor’s margin were identified. Taxpayers pay for this additional cost, while those charged with constructing assets are rewarded with an increase in their margins. As the public sector embraces an era of digitisation, there is a need to improve the integration of design and construction activities and engender collaboration to ensure assets can be delivered cost effectively and future-proofed. The research paper provides empirical evidence for the public sector to re-consider the processes that are used to deliver their infrastructure assets so as to reduce the propensity for cost overruns and enable future-proofing to occur.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1081-1092
Number of pages12
JournalProduction Planning and Control
Issue number13
Early online date29 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Cost performance of public infrastructure projects: The nemesis and nirvana of change-orders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this