Review of application of analytic hierarchy process (AHP) in construction

Amos Darko, Ping Chuen Chan, Ernest Effah Ameyaw, Emmanuel Kingsford Owusu, Erika Pärn, David John Edwards

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

277 Citations (Scopus)


The analytic hierarchy process (AHP) has gained increasing attention in construction management (CM) domain as a technique to analyse complex situations and make sound decisions. However, AHP per se or its potential applications on CM problems are ill-defined within extant literature. The present paper reviews 77 AHP-based papers published in eight selected peer-reviewed CM journals from 2004 to 2014 to better define and delineate AHP application areas and decision-making problems solved within CM. The findings indicated that risk management and sustainable construction were the most popular AHP application areas in CM. It was also revealed that AHP (1) is flexible and can be used as a stand-alone tool or in conjunction with other tools to resolve construction decision-making problems; and (2) is widely used in Asia. In addition, the most prominent justifications for using AHP were found to be small sample size, high level of consistency, simplicity and availability of user-friendly software. This paper provides a useful reference for researchers and practitioners interested in the application of AHP in CM. Future research is needed to compare and contrast between AHP and other multicriteria decision-making methods; such work could reveal which techniques provide optimized solutions under various decision-making scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Construction Management
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Mar 2018


  • Analytic hierarchy process (AHP)
  • application
  • construction management
  • literature review
  • multicriteria decision-making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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