Demystifying construction project time-effort distribution curves: BIM and Non-BIM comparison

Weisheng Lu, Ada Fung, Yi Peng*, Cong Liang, Steve Rowlinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


MacLeamy's time-effort distribution curves are among the most oft-cited sources for researchers interested in mainstreaming building information modeling (BIM) implementation in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry. Succinctly, the curves offer a clever answer to the question: How can BIM benefit AEC processes? However, despite their significant theoretical and practical value, little previous research has been conducted to elaborate the time-effort distribution curves of any real-life projects. This research aims to demystify the time-effort distribution curves through comparison of a representative BIM project and a non-BIM project. Applying a set of innovative approaches, the actual time-effort distribution curves of two public housing construction projects in Hong Kong are produced and analyzed in-depth. The curves vividly show that BIM implementation increases the effort spent at design stage - that is, throughout the architecture and engineering processes - but the extra effort pays off at the building stage. Further, the curves are found to be a useful graphical analytic tool for other purposes, such as adjusting the fee structure among AEC processes and informing improved BIM adoption.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04015010
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


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