Web- Based Application for Activity-Based Construction Cost Control in Selected Building Projects in Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa University


Managing cost is the most important aspect in a construction project as it is an integral and sensitive part of a construction. The activities of contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers are dependent on the consistency of cash flow management of a construction project as it helps in determining how much money is profited after a project completion. If not, it can induce financial constraint or may lead to subsequent claims. However, in Ethiopian Construction Industry, the cost estimation method is usually not linked to the cost management and control mechanisms. In addition the current practice does not offer insight how to value projects or predict price for future bids. Furthermore, it is limited in supporting decision-making and performance control during construction. Current construction projects are also characterized by cost overruns and delays due to inefficient cost controlling processes besides other factors. This study develops a web-based Activity-Based Cost Controlling System by recording actual costs of onsite activities, analyzing and comparing it with budgeted cost, throughout a construction project life cycle to improve the project cost performance. The system uses a centralized database system to store actual cost information collected for each activity using cost codes (of which many activities in building construction share, the system records the daily executed quantities, the material, labor, equipment, and subcontract costs of each activity and analyzes to calculate the direct costs). A backend program is developed using PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) that integrates the cost information and the tender price (unit price) of each activity to compare it with the actual cost performance and finally provide performance reports that are automated for control of cost. The web-based application is tested using data from three building projects from different contractors and was found to be close to actual cost. Aside from creating performance reports, the web-based application can provide data on the activities’ start and finish dates, and cost information for activities including labor productivity and composition. The result of the study has shown that this web-based application facilitates automation, control, and follow-up of the cost controlling process for contractors.