1Instructor, Industrial engineering research center, Qazvin Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qazvin, Iran
2Ph.D. Student, Young Researches Club, South Tehran Branch , Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
3Associate Professor, Department Management and Economics, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
4Assistant Professor, Faculty of Industrial and Mechanical Engineering, Qazvin Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qazvin, Iran
5M.Sc, Young Researches Club, South Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
Estimation of the conceptual costs in construction projects can be regarded as an important issue in feasibility studies. This estimation has a major impact on the success of construction projects. Indeed, this estimation supports the required information that can be employed in cost management and budgeting of these projects. The purpose of this paper is to introduce an intelligent model to improve the conceptual cost accuracy during the early phases of the life cycle of projects in construction industry. A computationally efficient model, namely support vector machine model, is developed to estimate the conceptual costs of construction projects. The proposed neural network model is trained by a cross validation technique in order to produce the reliable estimations. To demonstrate the performance of the proposed model, two powerful intelligent techniques, namely nonlinear regression and back-propagation neural networks (BPNNs), are provided. Their results are compared on the basis of the available dataset from the related literature in construction industry. The computational results illustrate that the presented intelligent model performs better than the other two powerful techniques.