Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Published Version.

Best, R. (2010). Using purchasing power parity to assess construction productivity. Australasian Journal of Construction Economics and Building, 10(4), 1-10.

Access the publisher's website.

2010 HERDC submission. FoR Code: 120203

© Copyright Rick Best, 2010.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See the legal code.


For many reasons comparing construction productivity between countries is a difficult task. One key problem is that of converting construction costs to a common currency. This problem can be overcome relatively simply by using a basket of construction materials and labour, termed a BLOC (Basket of Locally Obtained Commodities), as a unit of construction cost. Average BLOC costs in each location are calculated from data obtained from a number of sources (quantity surveyors, estimators). Typical building costs obtained from published construction cost data are expressed in BLOC equivalents. Lower BLOC equivalents represent higher productivity as other inputs (largely materials) are constant. The method provides a relatively simple and direct method for comparing productivity between different locations.



This document has been peer reviewed.