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AI Research Project to Shape Construction Cost Planning

AI Research Project to Shape Construction Cost Planning
22 February 2024

A new research project led by Birmingham City University will explore generative AI in construction cost planning.

In partnership with London South Bank University and Leeds Beckett University, researchers at Birmingham City University hope to revolutionise the way we estimate construction project costs.

According to the Construction Industry Training Board, £24 billion is lost in the UK annually from cost overruns in the construction industry. Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Generative AI (GAI) could be used to estimate how much construction projects will cost more accurately.

A team from Birmingham City University Computing and the Built Environment colleges will support SMEs in the development of an existing BIM-GAI cost prototype into a fully-fledged product for market.

Dr Damilola Ekundayo, Principal Investigator and Project Lead and Associate Professor in Built Environment at Birmingham City University, said: “Cost and time overrun is a common phenomenon. It costs the industry billions of pounds. This research will shape the future of construction cost planning by leveraging the pros of generative AI as a force for good, to improve what we do.”

“Our aim is to establish a costing process that takes less time and gives the client an accurate figure, empowering them to allocate budget and resources more effectively and avoid costly project creep. By uniting our expertise across academia, construction and IT, we can make industry-wide changes that bring construction up to speed with other areas of the economy, such as manufacturing.”

Dr Ogerta Elezaj, a lecturer in Computer Science and Co-Investigator in the project, said: “The significance of generative AI in construction lies in its ability to revolutionise design processes, optimise resource utilisation, and enhance project efficiency.

"We aim to transform the industry, paving the way for innovative solutions, cost-effective designs and sustainable construction practices.”

The project is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), part of a government initiative to stimulate economic growth by connecting SMEs with academia.

Picture: a graphic showing a head with a circuit board background, and a futuristic-shaped computer-generated image. Image Credit: Unsplash

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 22 February 2024


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