Fundamental principles for avoiding congested work areas-A case study

H. Randolph Thomas, David R. Riley, II, Sunil K. Sinha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


It has been documented that labor performance or labor productivity is adversely affected by congested work areas and stacking of trades. Limited data are available that help to quantify losses in labor productivity due to congestion, or to document the severity of problems resulting from workspace congestion. Stacking of trades is often discussed in the context of construction claims, yet congested work areas can occur on projects where there are no claims and for reasons other than the stacking of trades. This suggests that a level of acceptance exists about the inevitability of workspace congestion, and the resulting losses in field productivity and profit. This paper presents a detailed and illustrative case study focused on the documentation of workspace congestion and the resulting effects on labor productivity. A description of the project conditions are provided, along with quantitative and qualitative data collection methods used in the field. The measured productivity rates in the field are then compared to baseline productivity rates based on historical data. Sources of lower productivity are then attributed to causal disruptions observed in the field, and the adverse effects due to congestion, poor weather, or workforce management are calculated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number002604QSC
Pages (from-to)197-205
Number of pages9
JournalPractice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 24 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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