August 2015


HP Project Management: An update on Lang factors

Lang factors are cited frequently and used within the HPI. With the ensuing changes, the question must be asked, “Do Lang factors still present a realistic approximation of capital cost today?”

Wolf, T. E., Project Management Consultant

Seventy years ago, Hans J. Lang, an engineer for Day & Zimmermann Inc. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, wrote a series of articles1–3 suggesting a quick method of estimating the final cost of capital projects. This simplified method was not intended to replace more detailed estimates, but instead to provide a quick, rule-of-thumb method that could replace the “guess.” His method was to present factors that, when multiplied by the cost of the plant equipment (including delivery cost), would yield the total installed plant cost. Using the cost data available to him for 14 plant estimates of various sizes and types, ranging from $100 M–$15 MM (in late 1940s $US), Mr. Lang ide

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