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Computational Science, Engineering & Technology Series
ISSN 1759-3158
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
Chapter 4

Knowledge-Based Approaches to Project Risk Management

T. Andersen

Section for Construction Engineering and Management, Department of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark

Full Bibliographic Reference for this chapter
T. Andersen, "Knowledge-Based Approaches to Project Risk Management", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Civil and Structural Engineering Computing: 2001", Saxe-Coburg Publications, Stirlingshire, UK, Chapter 4, pp 83-105, 2001. doi:10.4203/csets.5.4
Keywords: project risk management, construction, knowledge engineering.

Project risk management has not yet really penetrated into the construction industry as opposed to other industries where risk management is a common element in management. Empirical studies [1] show a large savings potential, 5-10 total turnover for the construction business.

The generic risk management process is widely acknowledged as a sound platform for project risk management, and with only few adjustments it can be applied to construction project risk management.

However, project risk management differs from "general" risk management by the absence of access to statistical data on past event/risks. An important issue is that in order to obtain a good risk management plan knowledge about past construction projects is essential - that knowledge is not readily available since it is exclusively human held. The absence of structured knowledge sources is one of the main obstacles to a successful project risk management in construction. This is why knowledge based approaches are obvious to pursue in this field.

The paper outlines guidance in how to move on towards knowledge based project risk management in construction. It presents the four phases in knowledge engineering in a construction risk setting, and it describes specific context relevant techniques for knowledge acquisition and representation.

A number of approaches to knowledge-based risk management systems are presented and important research issues are outlined and discussed based on current findings from the SiteRisk [2] project.

Specific findings stemming from real world pilot-testing of the SiteRisk application is presented, and based on these studies we tentatively conclude that construction risk knowledge is likely to be case-based.

Finally, it is suggested that further development in this field is depending on a deeper understanding of the nature of construction risk knowledge.

Falk et al., Project Risk Management i Byggeriet, feasibility study for the Danish Ministry of Trade, Technical report, Dept. of Planning, DTU, 1997.
Andersen T, Madsen F, SiteRisk: An IT tool for managing risks at construction sites, in proceedings IABSE Malta, 2001.

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