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Human dimensions in modelling prices of building projects

RICHARD FELLOWS (Department of Building Services Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Horn, Hong Kong)
ANITA M.M. LIU (Department of Real Estate and Construction, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 1 April 2000

Abstract

This paper supplements and extends consideration of quantitative models with application to building (costs and) prices by examining human elements inherent in modelling. In considering the concepts of modelling, attention is focused on the recently developed sociology of science, which questions the traditional perspective of total separation of a reality from the observer—the ‘objective’ basis of scientific positivism. It is argued that human activities are fundamental in, and inseparable from, reality and so, they are integral in modelling. The aim of modelling should be to enhance understanding and knowledge rather than to secure inert objectivity. Application to modelling of prices of building projects investigates how prices are formulated, which prices are commonly modelled and the impact of the decision‐makers involved. It is concluded that new models are required, perhaps developed through methodological pluralism, which identify people‐oriented variables and assumptions explicitly. Further, the models should be stochastic and with sound bases in theories of economics and human behaviour to ensure that users are aware of the major variabilities in the processes modelled and so, by realistically informing, promote better decision making.

Keywords

Citation

FELLOWS, R. and LIU, A.M.M. (2000), "Human dimensions in modelling prices of building projects", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 7 No. 4, pp. 362-372. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb021159

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

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