Practical Approaches & Techniques

The course demonstrates how final pricing is only as accurate as the understanding of the project scope.This course discusses the vital importance of a coherent understanding of project scope to the development of accurate estimates and costs. The course begins with a review of the steps and processes involved in the construction cost estimating process.

The course then examines the various approaches and types of estimates used in construction. Real-life project examples of conceptual estimates, detail estimates,and unit price take-off will be reviewed. The course explores the techniques necessary to create a reliable preliminary and systems estimate using bare-bones design information - basic building use requirements, budget, building code and general building type.


Course Discussions Include:

  • Various software products/checklists for respective divisions
  • Reading and understanding construction plans
  • Calculating area and volume on preparation for materials quantity takeoff
  • Analysis of construction specifications and relationships to contract drawings
  • Construction documents review and their order of precedence
  • Techniques & standards for developing reliable quantity takeoffs
  • Using means and other available cost data - print and electronic formats
  • Methods for calculating general conditions and project overhead costs
  • Site visits, plans/specs, record drawings of facilities, and site-specific lists
  • Review of CSI divisions and other classification systems
  • Review of means, methods, materials and the challenges in scoping each topic
  • Case studies in scope identification and scope writing for accurate estimating
  • Practical exercises that require scope definition, take-off and pricing
  • Systems estimating overview - definitions, descriptions
  • Systems "takeoff" requirements
  • Required building design, use and code requirements
  • Identifying information and reporting requirements for the owner
  • Construction cost comparisons & historical data
  • Digitizer, takeoff estimating software
  • Historical data and cost adjustments
  • Identifying exclusions and assumptions made
  • Estimate cross checks and verifications
  • Final presentation of numbers