Accurate construction estimates are a fundamental component of any successful construction project.
The more accurate the scope of a construction project, the more accurate the estimate.
To achieve accuracy in both the scope and the estimate requires collaboration and communication among Owners, AE’s, and Contractors. Thus, while many/most AEC professionals could likely provide an accurate estimate if provided an accurate, detailed scope of the project, the latter is rare.
The endemic lack of collaboration among Owners, AEs, and Contractors, as well as relatively low percentage of timely accurate construction project scopes are both due to the inconsistent application of robust project delivery methods.
Any significant improvement in construction cost estimating and associated procurement, project management, and actual job-site work must be based in the development and deployment of efficient project delivery methods, such as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), IPD-lite, Job Order Contacting(JOC).
Accurate scoping requires a knowledge of the construction processes. Unit costs and standardized data architectures and lexicon play key roles in accurately communication project requirements, however, AE, site, and execution components all impact unit pricing.
Converting scope to quantities requires a solid understanding of construction techniques, working with numbers, drawing scales, waste factors, plan reading, conversion factors, labor/material/crew/equipment variables …. and quantity take-off (QTO) and unit, assembly, system, and square foot costs are all important aspects. For example, professional estimators..whether Owners, Contractors, or Independent, get their unit costs a wide range of sources… historical information, contractors, trades, business product manufactures, as well as published national average, and localized cost data.
While a lump sum price is so much more than “just” the total of unit material, labor and equipment costs, unit costs and standardized cost data architecture do, however, help in mitigating “missed items” and in communicating and resusing cost data.
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