The National Institute of Standards and Technology is evaluating proposals from six bidders vying for a contract to identify and estimate the cost of the lack of data interoperability in the U.S. construction industry.

The study is to focus on construction-related activities and associated supply chains throughout the life cycle of commercial and industrial facilities, including utilities and government installations.

It will estimate the total cost to the economy of present inefficiency in communicating data during design, engineering, procurement and fabrication, construction, commissioning, operation, maintenance and decommissioning. A similar 1999 study of interoperability gaps in the automobile industry is credited with spurring sweeping improvements.

The selection committee is expected to make its report in late August after having asked for an unusually long 45-day evaluation period.