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Analysis of public university facilities cost




Suhail, Gazala, author
Strong, Kelly, advisor
Glick, Scott, advisor
Grigg, Neil, committee member

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Comparing construction costs between public and private sector projects has been a topic of interest, specifically, which one is more cost efficient. Many researches have compared the two sectors, however, there is limited research with emphasis on university construction. This study focuses on the cost factors influencing project cost performed at public universities and comparing it with similar projects in the private sector. It also presents an analysis of the assorted reasons responsible for the difference or similarities in the two sectors. This study utilizes an exploratory, comparative case study methodology performed on a small sample number of public university projects and two sources of private sector cost data. A thorough analysis with a large dataset is required to conclude a generalizable outcome. The data of four categories of projects collected from five public universities is compared with the cost range obtained from two private entities based on cost per square foot. The results show that most of the public projects have comparable costs to that of their private sector counterparts. The cost data from the university projects is also compared with each other to explore if there are any possible relationships between the types of delivery methods and sustainability certifications based on two project performance indexes; cost and duration. Based on the limited scope of this research it can be surmised that Design-Build proves superior performance when compared to Design-Bid-Build and CM/GC. Based on the limited data, no significant conclusion could be made on the effect of LEED certifications levels on either cost or project duration. This research does provide a starting point for future research into the topic of public sector project costs when compared to private sector counterparts.


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