Engineering productivity comparison: 2D vs. 3D

Youngcheol Kang, Sungmin Yun, Sung Joon Suk, Jiukun Dai, Stephen P. Mulva

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper aims to examine the impact of three-dimensional (3D) design platforms on engineering productivity. 3D computer-aided design (CAD) has been widely used in the construction industry. While there are some case studies qualitatively reporting productivity enhancement by the use of 3D design platform, the current body of knowledge lacks the quantitative evidence of such benefit. Using the Construction Industry Institute (CII) Benchmarking and Metrics (BM&M) database, this paper compares engineering productivity of six categories, concrete, steel, piping, equipment, instrumentation, and electrical, by their design platforms. Engineering productivity is calculated as a ratio of direct work hours including rework hours to Issued for Construction (IFC) quantities. Findings reveal that 3D design platforms show better productivity than those with 2D for piping design, but 2D design platforms and combined use of both platforms show superior engineering productivity for other categories. The findings don't necessarily mean that 2D design platforms are more effective because there are benefits of 3D design platforms that are not measured in this study. Instead, they recommend being more skilled at 3D platforms in order to enhance the benefits as 3D design platforms will be more widely used in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventAnnual Conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering 2011, CSCE 2011 - Ottawa, ON, Canada
Duration: 2011 Jun 142011 Jun 17


OtherAnnual Conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering 2011, CSCE 2011
CityOttawa, ON

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


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