System dynamics for controlling sustainable projects

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Traditional construction projects are widely seen as unpredictable in terms of delivery on time, within budget and to the quality standards. The introduction of the concept of sustainability in construction has added more pressures on the control systems of these projects. Typically, managing time and cost has always been investigated in isolation of other qualitative measures such as quality, safety, and environmental impacts. However, the later were also researched in isolation of the former. Projects actually work as a system, whose elements highly affect each other. While the typical project control methodologies usefully guide project team to better control the major performance measures of projects, they do not provide a complete response to the need to characterize project performance in an integrated view as a system-based approach. The integration of qualitative and quantitative measures in project control was always seen as a challenge in this field. This research will help overcoming this challenge and investigate and make explicit the advantages of applying control mechanisms by developing a system dynamic tool that links the behaviour of both qualitative and quantitative project characteristics with the target levels of performance. The main conclusion drawn in this paper is that system dynamics concepts and tools can be integrated into project management practices for better understanding of the system in which project management operates to construct sustainable projects. This will enable the industry to rethink the A/E/C construction processes and provide the project manager with a set of robust methods for planning and controlling today’s construction projects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of CIB W055 - W065 Joint International Symposium
PublisherCommercial International Bank
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 15 Nov 2008


  • project management
  • system dynamics
  • sustainable construction


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