Robust Construction Cost Estimating with Best Representation of RSMeans Cost Data – Contractors, Owners, AEs, JOC, IPD, SABER, IDIQ …

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”  – Albert Einstein

Despite Einstein’s quote, most Owners, Contractors, and AEs are burdened by aging and outdated tools that now create more problems than they solve.   Spreadsheets are a primary example.  Sure, they are an important tool.  But remember, they were designed some thirty years ago to deal with the mundane tasks of pen an paper accounting and forecasting.   Today’s world of Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Owner, and Operations, ( AECCO ) demands the collaboration of dispersed disciplines and teams,  accelerated deadlines, and “doing more with less”.   Creating and sharing spreadsheets can’t keep pace with the speed of business, and the documented (see references below) spreadsheet issues of formula and data input errors are far too costly.

Powerful cost estimating software, integrated with visual estimating, contract management, project management, and document management is the new standard.   Owners, Contractors, and AEs can be significantly more productive and collaborative, working literally at any time, from any place.

Furthermore with an integration of an exclusively enhanced 400,000+ line item RSMeans database (or an IDIQ, or custom database), transparency and consistency are virtually assured.

Make the move to newer, more productive cost estimating and project management systems.

Note: Christofferson, Jay. “Estimating with Microsoft Excel”, Brigham Young University.Nickols, Robert Duane. “Construction Estimating Using Excel” Lexington Technical Institute, University of Kentucky.

Comparison of Cost Estimating Tools

JOC White Paper

via – Premier software for efficient project delivery.  RSMeans, JOC, SABER, IDIQ, IPD, SATOC, MATOC, MACC, POCA, BOA …

LEED Abandoned by DOD?

In the recent past, all new DOD construction projects were required to meet the LEED Silver or an equivalent standard and/or to comply with the five principles of High Performance Sustainable Buildings. This year a new construction code for high-performance, sustainable buildings, is expected that will govern all new construction, major renovations and leased space acquisition. This new code, based heavily on ASHRAE 189.1, will accelerate DoD’s move toward efficient, sustainable facilities that cost less to own and operate, leave a smaller environmental footprint and improve employee productivity.

Testimony by  Dr. Dorothy Robyn Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Installations and Environment) before the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies on March 7, 2012 to present the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 budget request for the Department of Defense programs to support installations, facility energy and the
environment covered four topics:

international and domestic basing, including the Department’s request for authorization of two new rounds of Base Realignment and Closure;

management of the built environment, including the programs that support military construction,
family housing,  sustainment and recapitalization;

strategy for managing facility energy to reduce costs and improve installation energy security;

and  management of the natural environment, including the programs that support environmental conservation and restoration, environmental technology and compatible development.

Relative to LEED it is important to note that  Congress has established a requirement to report  the return on investment from using consensus standards such as ASHRAE 189.1.  This is important to note as with more than 300,000 buildings and 2.2 billion square feet of building space, the DoD has a physical infrastructure footprint three times that of Wal-Mart and six times that of GSA.  The DOD’s  energy bill is approximately $4 billion annually—roughly 10 percent of what DoD spends to maintain its installation infrastructure ($40 billion).  Additionally facility energy represents nearly 40 percent of DOD greenhouse gas emissions.

Full Testimony

via – Premier software for efficient cost estimating and efficient construction project delivery – JOC, SABER, SATOC, IPD, IDIQ, MATOC, MACC, POCA, BOA.  Featuring exclusive 400,000 line item representation of RSMeans Cost Data, visual estimating, contract management, and document management…all in one application.

Green-Washing and Cloud-Washing – Terms you must know relative to BIM – Not to mention BIM-Washing

BIM is the life-cycle management of facilities supported by digital technology – NIBS.   That said, BIM is critical to sustainability/green as is collaboration and cloud computing.

As BIM, Green/Sustainability, and Cloud Computing are considered “new” and not necessarily  “mainstream”.. and all three are “hot topics”, it’s not surprising that some organizations are engaging in BIM-washing, Green-washing, and Cloud Computing-washing.

These issues are extremely important, thus worthy of discourse.


Here’s an informal poll relative to Green-washing.   The question, asked on Linked-In was “Labels + Certificates = Sustainability. Yes. No. Or?”   The question and responses bring to mind “LEED”… a great marketing tool perhaps, but it’s value remains uncertain, especially when considering long-term/life-cycle aspects.  Also what due labels really mean… who polices product labels?  Is bamboo really green if you consider it is transported halfway around the world.  Is mercury-based lighting sustainable?  Oh and yes…. the Prius and other vehicles have the nasty little batter disposal problem to deals with…



Cloud computing is NOT taking legacy applications and moving them to the cloud via a virtual server.  Cloud computing consists of three tier technology.

Cloud Layers

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

Cloud computing is viewed as a means to break down traditional data and process stovepipes.  Cloud computing encompasses four different deployment models, and in these preliminary stages of cloud development, organizations are free to determine which model best serves their needs.  The four models, as defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”), include: (1) private clouds, for the use of a single agency; (2) community clouds, shared by multiple agencies; (3) public clouds, largely for the public’s use and benefit; and (4) hybrid clouds, facilitating the sharing of data and utilities across two or more unique clouds of any type.

(Peter Mell and Tim Grance, Nat’l Inst. of Standards and Tech., The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing – 2009)

Cloud computing will enable collaborative, secure, and transparent applications and the rapid deployment of robust business process.. both so sorely needed in the AECOO sector (architecture, engineering, construction, owner, operator).

Major Shifts in Information Technology



Ok folks.  I’ve said it before, and I will say it again.  3D visualization is NOT BIM !!!   The integration all aspects and processes of facility life-cycle management is BIM.   Will all this occur in Revt, Archcad, or some IWMS system… absolutely NOT!    Cloud computing, however, integrated with existng knowledge-domains such as CPMS, Construction Project Delivery (IPD, JOC), CMMS, CAFM, GIS, BAS, ….   now that’s BIM!

BIM Strategy and Framework

Sustainability, Door Slabs, & UL – Underwriters Laboratories

UL Environment, Inc., a business unit of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is releasing standard requirements, UL ISR 102, for door slabs.

UL ISR 102 provides  requirements  to evaluate the life-cycle environmental impacts related to producing a variety of door types:  materials management, energy use, water use, manufacturing and operations, health and environment, product performance, product stewardship, and production practices.

Perhaps this will help fill the existing void of reliable information for evaluating the relative sustainability of construction related materials and products.

via – Premier software for efficient construction project delivery – JOC, IPD, SABER, SATOC, MATOC, MACC, POCA, BOA – Cost estimating, project management, UPBs.