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Archives of Civil Engineering

The Journal of Polish Academy of Sciences

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Volume 61, Issue 1

Application Of The Work Breakdown Structure In Determining Cost Buffers In Construction Schedules

M. Połoński
  • Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, 02-776 Warszawa, ul. Nowoursynowska 159, Poland
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Published Online: 2015-09-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ace-2015-0010


The paper presents methods of determining the location of cost buffers and corresponding contingency costs in the CPM schedule based on its work breakdown structure. Application of correctly located cost buffers with appropriately established reserve costs is justified by the common overrunning of scheduled costs in construction projects. Interpolated cost buffers (CB) as separate tasks have been combined with relevant summary tasks by the start–to–start (SS) relationship, whereas the time of their execution has been dynamically connected with the time of accomplishment of particular summary tasks using the “paste connection” option. Besides cost buffers linked with the group of tasks assigned to summary tasks, a definition of the cost buffer for the entire project (PCB) has been proposed, i.e. as one initial task of the entire project. Contingency costs corresponding to these buffers, depending on the data that the planner has at his disposal, can be determined using different methods, but always depend on the costs of all tasks protected by each buffer. The paper presents an exemplary schedule for a facility and the method of determining locations and cost for buffers CB and PCB, as well as their influence on the course of the curve illustrating the budgeted cost of work scheduled (BCWS). The proposed solution has been adjusted and presented with consideration of the possibilities created by the scheduling software MS Project, though its general assumptions may be implemented with application of other similar specialist tools.

Keywords: Cost Estimating; Cost Contingency; Cost Buffers; Work Breakdown Structure; Construction Project


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About the article

Received: 2014-10-16

Revised: 2015-02-27

Published Online: 2015-09-30

Published in Print: 2015-03-01

Citation Information: Archives of Civil Engineering, Volume 61, Issue 1, Pages 147–161, ISSN (Online) 1230-2945, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ace-2015-0010.

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© Polish Academy of Sciences. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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