Implicit Design Knowledge and its Impact on Cost Estimating

by Jesus M. De La Garza, Virginia Polytechnic Inst, Blacksburg, United States,
Gaye A. Oralkan, Virginia Polytechnic Inst, Blacksburg, United States,

Abstract: Construction cost estimating experiences negative impacts due to a design-construction gap created by the fragmented nature of the AEC industry. Most of the design knowledge and data that can improve the accuracy of the estimates can not be passed on to the estimator due to ineffective data exchange methods. This design knowledge, referred to as implicit design knowledge in this paper, can refine the cost estimates and enhance the estimating process. This paper describes research which is being conducted to reveal the nature of the so-called implicit design knowledge and to represent and reason with it for estimating purposes. Two main stages of the research are discussed: (1) Identification of implicit design knowledge; and (2) Representation and manipulation of implicit design knowledge. In the first stage, concepts of design knowledge, design intent and their impact on cost estimating are discussed. A conceptual cost estimating model is introduced as a part of the second stage. The model centers around an object-oriented semantic representation of design and implicit design knowledge, and a knowledge-based technique that bridges the semantic design representation to the estimate.

Subject Headings: Bridge design | Construction costs | Data processing | Conceptual design | Structural models | Knowledge-based systems | Construction industry

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