A Review of Building Construction Cost Research: Current Status, Gaps and Green Buildings

  • Ming Hu Architecture Program, University of Maryland, Maryland, U.S.
  • Miroslaw Jan Skibniewski Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland, Maryland, U.S.
Keywords: sustainable building, construction cost, estimation


An overall scoping review was conducted to examine research on building construction costs in the past decades. The aim is to provide a better understanding of conventional building construction cost estimation methods, gaps and potential improvement strategies that may mitigate the high risk of the cost overrun in conventional and sustainable building. This study first examined the components included in a building's construction cost and the commonly used calculation methods for cost estimation. Then, additional components included for sustainable buildings were identified and explained. The causal factors for construction cost overruns in sustainable building werediscussed as well. The findings concluded the following: (a) there is no consistent cost definition used in the industry; (b) a variety of cost estimation methods create ambiguity and confusion; and (c) newer cost estimating methods and tools, such as parametric cost estimation, which integrate risk and uncertainties have not been broadly adopted by the building industry. The current practice used to determine a sustainable building's cost estimation is the same traditional method that has been used over several decades, which is based on the material and labor costs. Such a conventional approach does not consider other factors, including the complexity of the sustainable building system, an organization's environment, and the capability of teams, among others. To respond to such a knowledge gap, a comprehensive and consistent cost estimation framework was proposed to integrate risk and uncertainty consideration, which is particularly prevalent in sustainable building.

How to Cite
Hu M, Skibniewski MJ. A Review of Building Construction Cost Research: Current Status, Gaps and Green Buildings. Green Building & Construction Economics [Internet]. 2021Apr.22 [cited 2022Jan.24];2(1):1-17. Available from: https://ojs.wiserpub.com/index.php/GBCE/article/view/768