Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Science (Interdepartmental Program)

Document Type



The problem of price volatility as it pertains to material and labor is a major source of risk and financial distress for all the participants in the construction industry. The overarching goal of this dissertation is to address this problem from both viewpoints of risk analysis and risk management. This dissertation offers three independent papers addressing this goal. In the first paper using the Engineering News Record Construction Cost Index (ENR CCI), a predictive model is developed. The model uses General Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedastic (GARCH) approach which facilitates both forecasting of the future values of the CCI, and capturing and quantifying its volatilities as a separate measure of risk through the passage of time. GARCH (1,1) was recognized as the best model. The maximum volatility was observed in October 2008 and results showed persistent volatility of the CCI in the case of external economic shocks. In the second paper using the same cost index (ENR CCI), the methodology of the first paper is integrated with Value at Risk concept to cautiously estimate the escalation factor in both short and long-term construction projects for avoiding cost overrun due to price volatilities and inflation. Proposed methodology was also applied to two construction projects in which the estimated escalation factors revealed satisfactory performances in terms of accuracy and reliability. Finally, the third paper addresses the price volatility from the view of risk management. It entails two objectives of identifying and ranking of potential management strategies. The former is achieved via in-depth literature review and questionnaire interviews with industry experts. The latter is done using Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). Quantitative risk management methods, alike those offered in foregoing papers are considered as one of the candidates in dealing with the price volatility risk. Cost, risk allocation and duration were perceived as the most significant criteria (project indicators) in construction projects. Also, Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) with respect to project duration; quantitative risk management methods with respect to the cost; and Price Adjustment Clauses (PAC) with respect to the risk allocation, were recognized as the top strategies to manage the risk of price volatilities.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Nahmens, Isabelina