Theses and Dissertations


Wang, Jun

Committee Member

Howard, Isaac L.

Committee Member

Ma, Junfeng

Committee Member

Chen, Kaiwen

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible MSU only 2 years

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Adopting new technologies is a relatively slow process in the construction industry due to the nature of activities involved in construction projects. However, with the current evolution in Information Technology (IT) and other computing technologies it is essential to incorporate them into the construction world to enhance and upgrade some critical activities to yield higher accuracy and productivity. The current literature provides a good overview of the construction industry's modern technology. Still, it lacks specific details about the factors that contribute the most in the two pre-construction processes, i.e., cost estimation and contracts. Therefore, this dissertation expands the current literature and provides a more detailed analysis of each factor affecting the pre-construction planning process. It investigates incorporating modern innovative technology in two of the most critical aspects of the pre-construction processes, i.e., cost estimation and construction contracts. Currently, both aspects are mostly done using traditional manual or 2D (two-dimensional) approaches; however, this dissertation aims to integrate automated or 3D (three-dimensional) processes to ensure accuracy, enhance efficient stakeholders’ collaboration, upgrade the details, and reduce conflicts among project participants. This dissertation further identifies the factors in each pre-construction process to investigate how the contributing factors can be enhanced using innovative technology. For the cost estimation, the Building Information Modeling (BIM) 3D quantity takeoff (QTO) method has been introduced and compared with the manual or 2D process. Subsequently, smart contracts using blockchain technology (BCT) have been introduced for construction contracts to automate the current manual agreement process. A BCT?SmContract model has been developed, which utilizes blockchain to define contractual obligations among stakeholders without centralized administrative authority. A comparison between manual and automated contracts was drawn to identify the significant differences. In addition, for both the pre-construction processes, i.e., cost estimation and construction contracts, case studies have been performed using construction projects to ensure the validity and reliability of the new techniques. The findings indicated that incorporating innovative technology in the pre-construction processes achieved significant benefits regarding accuracy, efficiency, collaboration, and reducing conflicts. This dissertation has contributed to upgrading the traditional methods by developing an automated system to enhance operations and achieve higher productivity.