Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
A construction project requires collaboration of different organizations such as owner, designer, contractor, and resource suppliers. These organizations need to exchange information to improve their teamwork. Understanding the information created in other organizations requires specialized human resources. Construction cost estimating is one of the processes that requires information collected from several sources including a building information model (BIM) created by designers, estimating assembly and work item information maintained by contractors, and construction resource cost information provided by resource suppliers. Currently, it is not easy for computers to integrate the information for construction cost estimating over the Internet. This study discusses a new approach to construction cost estimating that uses the Semantic Web technology. The Semantic Web technology provides a data modeling format and the required infrastructure that enables accessing, combining, and sharing information over the Internet in a machine processable format. The estimating approach presented in this study relies on BIM, estimating knowledge, and construction material cost data to be represented in the Semantic Web. The approach presented in this study makes the various sources of cost estimating data accessible as Simple Protocol and Resource Description Framework Query Language (SPARQL) endpoints or semantic web services. This study presents an estimating approach that integrates distributed information provided by project designers, contractors, and material suppliers for preparing cost estimates. The purpose of this study is not to fully automate the estimating process but to streamline it by reducing human involvement in repetitive cost estimating activities.