Technical Program Abstracts

(INT) Global Projects

(INT-3099) Impact of Multiple Languages/Cultures on the Cost in International Projects

Author(s)/Presenter(s): Gilbert M. Miranda


In current times, often major projects are global in nature. This global nature can result in misalignment of the budget due to effects and consequences resulting from the differences of culture and language. Where the native language of the owner is different from the native language of the contractor and other multi-national subcontractors in the execution of large EPC and EPCM projects, these linguistic and cultural differences can have a significant negative impact on the cost of a project. This article is based on experience and observations with South American projects utilizing contractors and subcontractors from around the world. These observations are from the perspective of a project controls manager.  

The issue stated in the first paragraph will be highlighted in the Budget of the Project, focusing on the Cost and Change Order Processes. The differences and variations in the execution of the budget, and the effects and misinterpretations resulting from or due to the nuances of one of the languages when applied in the other language, are the result of being lost in translation. These differences and variations will be compared with standard AACE, PMI and other KPIs recognized worldwide as measurement of progress throughout the life cycle of a project.

Culture has the potential to impact negatively on the project cost.  There is a direct relationship between the success of a project and understanding, respecting and accepting cultural differences. Ignoring and mismanaging cultural differences can lead to project failure. Awareness of the effect of cultural differences is necessary in order to have a more cohesive integrated successful project execution in the area of cost and change order processes.

(INT-3146) Public Works Actual Cost: Would You Take the Red or The Blue Pill?

Author(s)/Presenter(s): Mario Cesar Lopes Junior; Dr. Alexia A. Nalewaik, CCP FAACE


Recently, the attention of Brazilian engineers working on budgeting has turned to Cost Engineering, thanks in large part to the work of institutions such as IBEC and AACE-Brazil. What was once just a simple concern with the budget itself has evolved into a completely new branch of Engineering, with tools to analyze the influence of all stages of the work on its cost.

This phenomenon didn't go unnoticed by public auditing and control institutions in Brazil, whose effort to apply the concepts of Cost Engineering to the analysis of public works budget led to questions of various natures about the specific way in which these works are budgeted. In particular, some of the conclusions obtained by the Federal Police pointed to the complete lack of knowledge of the real cost and price of the works, in addition to the occurrence of legal and systematic overbilling - even below the reference price.

This work intends to compare the American and Brazilian ways of budgeting public works and, from this comparison, to answer the question: "how much is really known about the true cost of public works?"

(INT-3169) Integrated Design Technique, Challenges and Solutions for US Invested ATM Facility in China

Author(s)/Presenter(s): Lan Zhang; Hao Hu; Yi Fang


When Western Clients build their facility in China, they normally bring their process and facility team to start the building design. Traditional Chinese Local Design Institute (LDI) use to produce the design per domestic practices. Two teams come from different world and have different ways to do business. How to manage the process effectively? This paper is based on System Engineering methodology to develop an Integrate Design Technique (IDT) system which has sub-systems. Then, each sub-system is further divided into specific tasks. From these tasks, the most challenge issues such as which codes to be followed, Green Building vs LEED, CSI Specifications and Level of Details at each Phases are identified, analyzed and provided with solutions. By localizing the specifications, issuing early packages and utilizing full BIM technique can reduce the overall cost, shorten the schedule and improve both design and construction quality. IDT also provides possible solutions. This system is used and tested for a confidential US client’s facility design in China. Both teams from the Client and the Designer are satisfied with IDT system

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