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(EST-1994) Introducing an Alternative Cost Model for Detailed Construction Estimating

Primary Author: Dr Ming Lu
Co-Author(s): Dr Fei Dai

Audience Focus: Intermediate
Application Type: Application
Venue: 2015 AACE International Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV, USA

Abstract: Due to the simplicity of data structure and ease of use, most construction estimators tap into industry-wide cost benchmark databases such as RSMEANS℠ ONLINE (RS Means) for obtaining detailed cost and productivity data. This paper analyzes limitations of applying the well-established “RS Means” model in the current practice of cost and productivity estimating. Then, an alternative cost model for detailed construction estimating is introduced, which integrates the basic dimensions of construction planning in a systematic, analytical fashion. Last, the usability of this model is illustrated using a case of “Installing wooden formwork on 40 concrete columns”. The alternative cost model is intended to guide an estimator to derive the total cost on a construction activity by following a structured, parametric approach. Potentially, the alternative cost model can be programmed into a computer-based decision-support system that is linked with an engineering design tool (e.g., Autodesk® Revit®) and a cost and productivity database (e.g., RS Means). As a result, any change to input parameters describing each basic dimension of construction planning would automatically update the final model output.