Producing a bill of quantity is a knowledge-based, dynamic and collaborative process, and evolves with variances and current evidence. However, within the context of information system practice in BIM, knowledge of cost estimation has not been represented, nor has it been integrated into the processes based on BIM. This paper intends to establish an innovative means of taking data from the BIM linked to a project, and using it to create the necessary items for a bill of quantity that will enable cost estimation to be undertaken for the project. Our framework is founded upon the belief that three components are necessary to gain a full awareness of the domain which is being computerised; the information type which is to be assessed for compatibility (syntax), the definition for the pricing domain (semantics), and the precise implementation environment for the standards being taken into account (pragmatics). In order to achieve this, a prototype is created that allows a cost item for the bill of quantity to be spontaneously generated, by means of the semantic web ontology and a forward chain algorithm. Within this paper, ‘cost items’ signify the elements included in a bill of quantity, including details of their description, quantity and price. As a means of authenticating the process being developed, the authors of this work effectively implemented it in the production of cost items. In addition, the items created were contrasted with those produced by specialists. For this reason, this innovative framework introduces the possibility of a new means of applying semantic web ontology and forward chain algorithm to construction professional practice resulting in automatic cost estimation. These key outcomes demonstrate that, decoupling the professional practice into three key components of syntax, semantics and pragmatics can provide tangible benefits to domain user.
- Computer-aided professional practice
- Cost estimation
- Expert system
- Rule-based Semantic Ontology IFC