Escalating project costs and the Gumbel distribution

Jim Freeman, Nuno Gil

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Cost overruns are a pervasive phenomenon for many construction and engineering projects. Common experience is that the larger and more complex the project, the larger the potential overrun. In the case of London Crossrail – one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UK – overruns on just three stages of the project have been found to range from 70% – 358%. Intervening cost hikes, correspondingly, can be shown to conform to a Gumbel distribution. The latter discovery enables realistic overrun probabilities to be computed – vital to effective contingency planning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationhost publication
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventSMTDA2016 - Malta
Duration: 2 Jun 20164 Jun 2016




  • Contingency, Crossrail, Gumbel distribution, overruns


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