A research methodology for modelling construction design service costs
journal contributionposted on 2017-01-20, 14:16 authored by David J. Blackwood, S. Sarkar, Andrew Price
The increased use of fee competition by construction industry clients has caused providers of professional design services to review their fee estimation and cost control approaches. This paper describes the development of a research methodology for a programme of work that was initiated at the request of industrial collaborators and was concerned with the development of a practical system for determining realistic fee estimates for design work using historic cost data. The paper explains why it became necessary for the focus of the work to shift from, what appeared at first to be, straightforward applied research to a more fundamental programme of research into design process management. The project is presented as a case study and highlights the difficulty in novel research work of identifying an appropriate hypothesis. The application of a grounded theory approach that facilitated the development of a suitable methodology from a standard research template is described and key decisions on the of selection the research techniques are explained and justified. The selection and integration of the research instruments are described and conclusions are drawn on the appropriateness of the methodological template to the research programme. Finally, the principal conclusion from the research work, that the potential for rationalisation of design cost estimation exists but was limited by the availability of relevant data, is outlined.
- Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering