Compressing construction durations: Lessons learned from Hong Kong building projects

Wai Ming Chan, M. M. Kumaraswamy

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This paper explores explanations for possible causative patterns and suggestions for strategies to compress the construction durations of various types of building projects, on the basis of the lessons learned from recent Hong Kong-based surveys and research findings. A review of the literature from different countries is first provided - on the factors affecting construction durations, reasons for project delays and existing statistical models for duration forecasts. This is followed by the presentation of a regression-based model - developed from Hong Kong public housing construction project data - for predicting the durations of the primary work packages in the building process and the overall completion period. Finally, the principal survey results of three parallel investigations which sought out the critical contributors to faster construction in Hong Kong within each of three different building sub-sectors - public housing, public non-residential buildings and private sector buildings - are presented and discussed. Both similarities and differences are noted among the many perceived important contributory factors and factor categories, across the various types of industry practitioners, i.e. clients, consultants and contractors. Based on the factors identified as significant from the above recent research findings, specific technological and managerial strategies for reducing construction periods (increasing construction speed) in particular building sub-sectors are formulated in order to improve the construction time performance of local building projects. The research methodology developed for the reported investigations can well be extended to similar studies in other sub-sectors in Hong Kong, as well as in other countries for international comparisons - so as to expand our existing body of knowledge of the critical success factors in compressing the building construction process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-35
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Construction durations
  • Faster construction
  • Hong Kong
  • Prediction models
  • Project delays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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