Estimating the labour demand for housing construction

D. Forbes (Lead / Corresponding author), M. El-Haram, M. Horner, D. Hatton, A. Evans (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Housing in the UK accounts for one-third of all new build construction making it the single largest sector in the industry. Houses and flats make up 95% of all residential construction. The question this research aims to address is whether it is possible, given the value, duration and type of a project, to determine the amount of labour for each trade required. To address this, labour co-efficients for nine trades were calculated as the amount of man-years expended per million pounds worth of work. Bills of quantities were analysed for two projects to calculate the co-efficients. One project was traditional construction; the other was timber-framed. In total 80 bills were used representing different types of houses (eg detached, terraced etc). By applying the labour required for each item in the bill, derived from standard estimating price books, it was possible to calculate the labour required in each trade. The total for each trade could then be summed, along with the associated price, to determine the total labour requirement per unit value. The results demonstrated that the variability in the labour co-efficients between houses of the same type is greater than between houses of different types. Using the insight obtained from this finding two sets of labour co-efficients have been produced by this research. One of these addresses traditional construction, the second timber framed buildings. These coefficients can be used to provide a high-level estimate of the total labour in each trade required for a housing construction project given its value
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationARCOM 2009
    Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 25th Annual Conference of the Association of Researchers in Construction Management
    EditorsA. R. J. Dainty
    Place of PublicationReading
    PublisherAssociation of Researchers in Construction Management
    Number of pages9
    ISBN (Print)978-0-9552390-2-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    Event25th Annual Conference of the Association of Researchers in Construction Management - Nottingham, United Kingdom
    Duration: 7 Sept 20099 Sept 2009


    Conference25th Annual Conference of the Association of Researchers in Construction Management
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


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