Demystifying construction project time-effort distribution curves: BIM and Non-BIM comparison

Weisheng LU, Ada FUNG, Yi PENG, Cong LIANG, Steve ROWLINSON

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


MacLeamy’s time–effort distribution curves are among the most oft-cited sources for researchers interested in mainstreaming building information modeling (BIM) implementation in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry. Succinctly, the curves offer a clever answer to the question: How can BIM benefit AEC processes? However, despite their significant theoretical and practical value, little previous research has been conducted to elaborate the time–effort distribution curves of any real-life projects. This research aims to demystify the time–effort distribution curves through comparison of a representative BIM project and a non-BIM project. Applying a set of innovative approaches, the actual time–effort distribution curves of two public housing construction projects in Hong Kong are produced and analyzed in-depth. The curves vividly show that BIM implementation increases the effort spent at design stage—that is, throughout the architecture and engineering processes—but the extra effort pays off at the building stage. Further, the curves are found to be a useful graphical analytic tool for other purposes, such as adjusting the fee structure among AEC processes and informing improved BIM adoption.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering - ASCE
Issue number6
Early online date11 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Building information modeling (BIM)
  • Time-effort distribution curve
  • Construction processes
  • Construction management
  • Construction sector


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