Being a time-consuming practice, detailed cost estimation is primed when all construction project documents are completed. Knowledge and creativity are indispensable for organizing an cost estimate of construction. During construction, different technologies, methods, and processes are used by different contractors. Thus, estimators require experience, creativity and knowledge to implement the task of estimation effectively. Detailed cost estimation entails two vital steps, namely, pricing and quantity takeoff or quantity estimate. The project is divided by the estimator into separate work items while preparing this estimate, and the material quantities are estimated by him for individual item of work. This process is referred to as quantity takeoff. Furthermore, material, equipment and labor required for carrying out a work item are decided on the basis of the construction method and given specifications.
The estimator, subsequent to the selection of the element for cost estimation, ought to choose the essential work items. Building element construction may entail various items of work. For instance, a solid slab element may be made up of numerous items of work like curing, finishing, concrete pouring, reinforcing and forming.
Technologies Employed in Construction Cost Estimation
In the present day, estimating technologies employed by different contractors greatly differ from one contractor to the other. A few still employ uncomplicated tools like pencil and paper, whilst others are more developed technologically and therefore use digitizing tablets to transmit the building elements dimensions to computer from paper, and also make use of computers for activities like calculations, quantity take off, and report generation of cost estimation. The contractors currently employ 2D CAD systems’ produced spreadsheet. In view of the fact that properties of building element are not enclosed in 2D CAD systems, it becomes hard to build up estimating methods that is able to unswervingly import information relating to building from the CAD files. With the commencement of a recent 3D CAD software, estimating systems of new generation are being devised which can directly bring in all the essential information for generating an estimation from CAD representations. Database technology has also significantly enhanced in the latest years and has also made it promising to systematize and swiftly repossess a vast amount of sophisticated data from isolated sources. With scripting technology and most recent languages of data access, newest relational database applications have also become simpler.
In the recent years, visualization technology and 3D graphics has immensely advanced and could be used for recuperating the process of estimation. With the visualization technology progression, it is now likely to permit the estimator to envisage and intermingle with the building. The estimator is therefore consented to choose elements that ought to be incorporated in the estimation.