Non-parametric bill of quantities estimation of concrete road bridges' superstructure: an artificial neural networks approach

Marina Marinelli, Loukas Dimitriou, NIkolaos Fragkakis, Sergios Lambropoulos

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Bridge construction responds to the need for environmentally friendly design of motorways and facilitates the passage through sensitive natural areas and the bypassing of urban areas. However, according to numerous research studies, bridge construction presents substantial budget overruns. Therefore, it is necessary early in the planning process for the decision makers to have reliable estimates of the final cost based on previously constructed projects. At the same time, the current European financial crisis reduces the available capital for investments and financial institutions are even less willing to finance transportation infrastructure. Consequently, it is even more necessary today to estimate the budget of high-cost construction projects -such as road bridges- with reasonable accuracy, in order for the state funds to be invested with lower risk and the projects to be designed with the highest possible efficiency. In this paper, a Bill-of-Quantities (BoQ) estimation tool for road bridges is developed in order to support the decisions made at the preliminary planning and design stages of highways. Specifically, a Feed-Forward Artificial Neural Network (ANN) with a hidden layer of 10 neurons is trained to predict the superstructure material quantities (concrete, pre-stressed steel and reinforcing steel) using the width of the deck, the adjusted length of span or cantilever and the type of the bridge as input variables. The training dataset includes actual data from 68 recently constructed concrete motorway bridges in Greece. According to the relevant metrics, the developed model captures very well the complex interrelations in the dataset and demonstrates strong generalisation capability. Furthermore, it outperforms the linear regression models developed for the same dataset. Therefore, the proposed cost estimation model stands as a useful and reliable tool for the construction industry as it enables planners to reach informed decisions for technical and economic planning of concrete bridge projects from their early implementation stages.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings 31st Annual ARCOM Conference
    EditorsA Raiden, E Aboagye-Nimo
    PublisherAssociation of Researchers in Construction Management
    ISBN (Print)9780955239090
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015
    Event31st ARCOM Conference - Lincoln, United Kingdom
    Duration: 07 Sep 201509 Sep 2015


    Conference31st ARCOM Conference
    CountryUnited Kingdom

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