Cost estimation is one of the most critical tasks for building construction project management. The existing building construction cost estimation methods of many countries, including China, require information from several sources, including material, labor, and equipment, and tend to be manual, time-consuming, and error-prone. To solve these problems, a building construction cost estimation model based on ontology representation and reasoning is established, which includes three major components, i.e., concept model ontology, work item ontology, and construction condition ontology. Using this model, the cost estimation information is modeled into OWL axioms and SWRL rules that leverage the semantically rich ontology representation to reason about cost estimation. Based on OWL axioms and SWRL rules, the cost estimation information can be translated into a set of concept models, work items, and construction conditions associated with the specific construction conditions. The proposed method is demonstrated in Protégé 3.4.8 through case studies based on the Measurement Specifications of Building Construction and Decoration Engineering taken from GB 50500-2013 (the Chinese national mandatory specifications). Finally, this research discusses the limitations of the proposed method and future research directions. The proposed method can help a building construction cost estimator extract information more easily and quickly.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited