Research Thrusts
Featured Projects
Related Links
University Links
Site Map
Contact Information
School of Construction


Secure Area .








Virtual Reality in Construction Cost Estimating

By Mandy Frazure- Jan 04 - Present
Committee: Dr. Tulio Sulbaran (Chair), Prof. Doris Kemp, Dr. Shelton Houston
Project Abstract
In the construction industry, cost estimating is a time-consuming, costly and essential phase of any building project. Cost estimates rely on the decisions made throughout the project by clients, designers and constructors. Decisions made by the clients, designers and constructors early in the project have the greatest impact on the final construction cost. However, a major problem during the cost decision-making process is that clients lack technical expertise to fully understand/visualize the construction documents. Furthermore, clients lack the technical knowledge to assess the cost impact of their decisions. The objective of this research project is to modify an existing virtual reality development tool to address this problem by allowing a user to navigate/visualize the project, make materials changes to the project and calculate cost-impact of these changes in real time. In order to achieve this, the researcher will implement existing methods of cost-estimating into the virtual development tool by adding a cost database, and a set of calculations to determine the cost impact of the changes to be made by the clients. It is anticipated that the real-time cost update and the visual component of the modified virtual reality development tool will allow the clients to better understand the impact of the changes and therefore save money by making decisions early in the project.

Snap Shots of Prototype

Virtual Reality Environment
Step 1: A VRML plug-in is needed to see the VR environment. The following are a few FREE plug-ins available on the web:
      a- Octaga Player - by Octaga

      b- Blaxxun Contact - By Blaxxun

      c- Cortona VRML Client - By Parallelgraphics

Step 2: Launch the Prototype.

Cost Schedule (VR)




Last Modification: Thursday September 29, 2005 09:31 AM
Originally Developed by: Dr. Tulio Sulbaran - Email: Tulio.Sulbaran@usm.edu  - Nov 2004
The University of Southern Mississippi. AA/EOE/ADAI