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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Some new technologies for Perfect bidding and estimating

Perfect bidding and estimating plays a vital role for construction industry to measure the profitableness in the construction industry. In order to achieve this every construction firm should utilize right technology as it will develop and increase functionality across the construction job cycle and create more value to contractors.

C-BID Services (, ) a leading provider of comprehensive bid solicitation is making partnership with PlanSwift, a takeoff and estimating solution by Tech Unlimited Inc. C-BID’s online planroom assist you to store, organize and distribute your plans online from one easy to use centralized location with a bid-document library where significant bid information (project documentation, up-to-date bid information, drawings, specifications, and addenda ) can be accumulated.

Online plan room also contains a digital filing tool that can be utilized by bid participants to invite, bid and respond. As the plan room utilizes a recognizable approach to folder structure and document organization, it can be easily incorporate into workflow.

By contributing The Plan-Room digital file tool to PlanSwift takeoff and estimating software, C-Bid and Tech Unlimited can greatly influence the general contractors for getting rid of manual takeoffs and lessen the margin for error by storing bid documents in the cloud.

Recently, new technology incorporations between JB Knowledge Technologies’ SmartBidNet,, College Station, Texas, and,, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., will connect general contractors employing SmartBidNet with subcontractors on This will enhance bidding and estimating for both general contractors and subcontractors.

Besides, SmartBidNet and Cloud Takeoff from To Scale Software,, Cincinnati, Ohio, built up a new partnership to meliorate the data contribution and collaboration for GCs and subcontractors throughout the bidding and takeoff process.

These types of partnerships are creating new opportunities to bid projects efficiently in technology-advanced construction marketplace.

Posted by Rajib Dey
Business Development
Global Associates
A pioneer company in construction estimating
Join our estimating forum

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Construction Contract - General Overview

A construction contract is a contract purposely carried off for the construction of an asset or a group of interdependent or interrelated assets relating to the design, technology and function or ultimate purpose or use.

A fixed price contract denotes to a contract where the contractor consents to a fixed contract price or a fixed rate per unit of output, which may be subject to cost escalation clauses in some incidents.

A cost plus contract denotes to a contract where the contractor is recouped for permissible or otherwise defined costs in addition percentage of these costs or a fixed fee.

Under IAS 11, if a contract addresses two or more assets, the construction of each asset reported for individually if (a) separate proposals were submitted for each asset, (b) portions of the contract regarding each asset were negotiated independently, and (c) costs and revenues of each asset can be evaluated. If not, the contract is reported for in its entireness. [IAS 11.8]

Two or more contracts are accounted for as a single contract if they were negotiated together and the work is interconnected. [IAS 11.9]

If a contract provides an alternative to order one or more extra assets, construction of every extra asset is accounted for as a separate contract if either (a) the additional asset dissents considerably from the original asset(s) or (b) the price of the additional asset is separately negotiated. [IAS 11.10]

Schedule of Quantities
A schedule of quantities is formed for all the projected works after the creation of architectural and engineering design. The true project cost will be determined by putting estimated unit rate adjacent to each work item. In order to keep the design intact the cost of budget should be amended with the change of building material or lower requirement of specification.

Estimation / Cost Planning
An estimate of capital cost along with direct & indirect cost and an estimate of capital expenditure containing plant , labor , material , temporary works , fixed overhead , subcontractors , suppliers , operation and maintenance etc. should be prepared for financial schedule to evaluate the economic viability. Simultaneously, an income schedule must be set up for a commercial project to anticipate the profitableness and rate of return.

Financial Support
Financing of a project, particularly for a commercial project, may significantly affect the choice of project size and type of contract to be selected by the client. In case the financial status mainly governs the size and sequence of the project, the client itself should know well about the financial schedule of its capital investment and expenditure. If short of funding, it should look for supports well in advance from outside parties or banks when necessary.

In spite of preliminary investigations in engineering design stage, there are always possibilities of experiencing unanticipated problems after the commencing of work. With the purpose of doing away with the situation of running out of budget, the client or its engineer frequently take into accounts a contingent sum of money to cope with the unpredicted additional works.

Preparation of Contract Documents
During the design phase the engineer should have arrange for the right form of contract documents to be utilized with construction to the client. Sincere attention and sufficient time should be given to organize the contract documents failing which may cause sudden additional expenditure. Now-a-days some common forms of contract known as FIDIC Contract are available.

Preparation of Tender Documents
At the time of submitting tenders some vital information like represent the full design , detailed requirements , stage completions of works , contractor’s responsibilities , terms of payment and any other special conditions should be included into tender drawings , specifications , bills of quantities , works programme and the contract documents so that the renderers’ can easily understand the value of work to render a competitory but precise quoted price to cover the whole of the work. Inadequate information in the tender documents will cause disputes and claims accordingly throughout and at the end of the contract.

The following documents should be included into a tender:
a) Instructions to tenderers
b) Form of Tender
c) General Condition of Contract
d) Special Condition of Contract
e) General Specification
f) Particular Specification
g) Bills of Quantities
h) Methods of Measurement
i) Tender Drawings
j) Additional appendices
k) Form of Agreement

Preparation of Bills of Quantities (BoQ)
The bill of quantities contains a schedule of predetermined work items for item-by-item portion of contract works. It presents the brief description of the necessitated work and with estimated quantity taken off from the tender drawings. To get over the complete work the contract may include a series of bills which constitute a part of the tender documents for the renderers to estimate against each item with a unit rate or unit price. On the ground of the total offered price will then be developed. Assessment of the BoQ items will be based on the “preamble” and compliant with the process described in the “Standard Method of Measurement (SMM)”. A brief examination must be carried out to resolve the errors related with the “BoQ unit” and the numerical figures of the “ BoQ quantity”.

Though construction contracts are considered as the systems for evaluation construction cost, they also constitute the allotment of risk to the different parties involved in the construction. The owner is empowered to select the type of contract to be utilized for a specific facility to express the terms in a contractual agreement.

Posted by Rajib Dey
Business Development
Global Associates
A pioneer company in construction estimating
Join our estimating forum

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Permits & Building Codes for Construction

Building codes represent a set of regulations which state the minimum conditions necessary to safeguard life, safety and protect the public welfare through regulating the design, construction practices, construction material quality (including fire performance) location, occupancy, and maintenance of buildings and structures.

The Code and Guidelines delineate the responsibilities of clients, project managers, contractors, subcontractors, consultants, related entities, industrial associations and employers in the construction industry.

State governments have the authority to set up such regulations and may pass on all or part of this authority to counties or municipalities.

Most state and local jurisdictions prefer to accept the model building codes maintained by the International Code Council (ICC). Among the ICC’s family of International Codes are the International Building Code (IBC), which comprises requirements regarding almost all types of new buildings, and the International Residential Code (IRC), which includes requirements related to new one- and two-family dwellings. Some of the provisions within these codes are proposed for ensuring that structures are able to sufficiently reject seismic forces and remain safe during earthquakes.

When modulating materials, many of the model buildings codes pass on to quality standards developed by standard-setting organizations for example the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Some building codes and insurance rating organizations also trust on test information from Factory Mutual Research (FM) and Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL).

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
It is a privately held non-profit association that manages and organizes the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system.

US DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Provides a guide to building codes all over the nation. Know about federal construction regulations and rules.

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Contractors (ASHRAE)
Provides links to HVAC standards in addition to training, events, etc., for HVAC contractors.

Building Codes, Construction Standards, Building Permit Information & Links
Get relevant data about building code officials, code books, building permit departments, national and international construction standards, model energy codes, and residential construction guidelines.

Building Codes & Standards - Information Sources)
It is a division of the University of California at Berkeley's Environmental Design Library and provides links to a diversity of building codes (including obscure ones) and code organizations.

Code Check
This site provides a guide to writing safe codes for plumbing, mechanics and homes.

Code Links and Other Resources
This site generates a thorough and searchable listing of building codes, code-writing organizations, and standard-writing organizations.

The National Conference of States on Building Codes and Standards. It contains an well-organized, supportive system of building regulation to gurantee the public’s safety in all buildings, residential and commercial.

Building Energy Codes
DOE's Building Energy Codes Program is an information hub on national model energy codes.

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
This site provides online database for codes and standards along with important safety information on demand. Public safety can be improved through the adoption and enforcement of key ANSI codes and standards.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Online government code database for the ADA includes design standards, enforcement, code certification and new or proposed regulations.

Florida Building Codes Online
This site also provides online database for building codes.

Online Permit Resources
Permit Place
This site contains links to most of the United States local municipalities' permits. In case of requiring a building or environmental permit, just find your city and click the link.

US Census Permits Index
This Census Bureau site lets you search for permits issued by state, metropolitan area, and other criteria, and includes updated statistics on national building permits as well as documentation.

Accela Citizen Access

Posted by Rajib Dey
Business Development
Global Associates
A pioneer company in construction estimating
Join our estimating forum

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cost Estimate Pricing Methods

There are generally two methods available for estimating prices. In one method previous bid prices are considered as a fundament for constituting prices on the suggested project. In other method one has to formulate a total analysis of production rates, labor costs and material costs.

These methods can be applied independently or in combination.

Previous Bid Prices Method

This method is extensively used in the construction industries and the following factors should be kept in mind while applying this method.

Apply this method for similar size projects and quantities must be interchangeable for individual items.

Give careful consideration for using the average of the 3 low bidders, or the second low bidder, or probably implementing an increase factor to the low bid.

Previous bid prices will be amended as per the proposed modification in the Construction Cost Index among the date of the old bid and the date of the expected new bid.

The reference bid price has to be fine-tuned to meditate diverse conditions among the reference project and the project for which the cost estimate is being developed. This may contains conditions of divergences in type of terrain, geographical location, soil, traffic and specifications.

Lump sum bid prices or unit prices for items of work (e.g. culverts) that contains diverging amounts of other concerned work should not be used.

Cost estimators will utilize the recent bid prices from related projects undergoing competitive bidding while coming to an estimated price for the individual contract items of work.

Complete Analysis Method

This method may be applied occasionally for earthwork items where rock or unusual material hauling is involved or for lump sum items for example signals and lighting. The operation is examined, production rates are adopted and material lists are ascertained with this method. The cost of materials is established by means of existing price lists. In order to find out the costs labor and equipment hours are established with production rates multiplied by the individual labor rates and equipment rental rates.

The final estimate of cost will be ascertained by adding overhead costs and profit. Here probable premium pay for overtime on night work and subsistence should also be taken into consideration. On larger projects with long time limits, it is essential to decide if the majority of a work item will be performed early or late in the project. To provide for work which is not completed early in the project, it may be necessary to project wage scales, rental rates.

Posted by Rajib Dey
Business Development
Global Associates
A pioneer company in construction estimating
Join our estimating forum

Some exclusive journals containing useful information on construction estimating

Construction Estimating Journal contains various types of compact articles, case studies to simplify the construction estimating process.

Gain knowledge on changing cost estimating methods and techniques and how they are being applied to make better your decision making and benefit an organization.

Use innovative thinking from industry leaders, including the experts who work on the construction estimating projects.

H. G. and F. A. J. Gonsalves. 1994. Life cycle management: An integrated approach to managing investments. Journal of Cost Management (Summer): 35-48.
Read More....

Albright, T. L. and H. Roth. 1993. Controlling quality on a multidimensional level. Journal of Cost Management (Spring): 29-37.
Read More....

Dr. Gianluca di Castri, Italy “Risks and Disruption in Engineering & Construction Project” (2003 – ACostE Seminar, London, England)
Read More....

Cost Evaluation of Construction at 500 Bed Tertiary Care Teaching Hospital.
Read More....

Construction Congestion Cost (CO) Traffic Impact and Construction Cost Robert I. Carr, Ph.D., P.E. Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering
Read More....

Dr. Kenneth K. Humphreys, PE CCE, United States “Conducting Project Risk Analysis: How to Do It and How Not to Do It” (2003 – NORDNET, Oslo, Norway)
Read More....

Dr. Steen Lichtenberg, Denmark “How to Avoid Overruns and Delays Successfully – Nine Basic Rules and an Associated Operable Procedure” (2004 – Hanscomb-Means Report)
Read More....

Dr. Gianluca di Castri, Italy “Risks and Disruption in Engineering & Construction Project” (2003 – ACostE Seminar, London, England)
Read More....

Larry R. Dysert, CCC, United States “So You Think You’re an Estimator” (2005 – AACE International, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA)
Read More....

John A. Walewski, G. Edward Gibson, Jr. and Ellsworth F. Vines, United States “Risk Identification and Assessment for International Construction Projects” (2006 – Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Read More....

Dr. Maarten Vrijland, The Netherlands “Cost Overrun in the Public Sector: A Case Study” (2004 – Cape Town, South Africa)
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Dr. J. J. P. (Basie) Verster, South Africa “Real Time Integrated Cost Planning and Control – Mitigation and Resolution of Claims” (2006 – Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Read More....

Dr. J. J. P. (Basie) Verster, South Africa “Managing Cost, Contracts, Communication and Claims: A Quantity Surveying Perspective of Future Opportunities” (2006 – Plenary Lecture, Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Read More....

Construction Cost Management: an analytical taxonomy for critical literature reviewby Mahanim Hanid
Read More....

Posted by Rajib Dey
Business Development
Global Associates
A pioneer company in construction estimating
Join our estimating forum

Friday, July 15, 2011


The construction industry is one of the driving areas in the economy that provides a noteworthy contribution to GDP and a serious effect on the activity in other industries. The construction industries frequently experiencing their cost variations best stand for the inflationary/deflationary changes of a specific sector of Construction Industry.

Indicators of price movement of construction outputs are considered to be a precious tool in economic analysis.

Construction Cost Index signifies the average cost movement over time of a fixed basket of representative goods and services related to Construction Industry.

The contractors have to undertake preconstruction services and procurement strategies to manages the market risks associated with cost-related issues arising from the restrained demand and increasing material cost.

So accurate construction cost forecast along with building costs and price trends is very much required for construction industry and Federal and State governments.

There are several internationally recognized standard cost data indices available in the market which are published by some of the renowned construction companies. The Cost Indices listed are taken from the referenced construction publications and include most recent Construction Cost Index, Building Cost Index, Material Cost Index.

These cost indices are established by several factors considered on a nationwide basis, together with labor rates and productivity, material prices and the competitive condition of the marketplace. These indexes also reflect the modification of computations that resulted in insignificant changes to some of the construction cost indexes. Separate series of index numbers are accumulated to capture the price movements at international and Industry subsection level.

Given below the detailed list of some leading construction companies and their standard cost data indices :- - ect - cpi
Compass International
ENR - current costs
fmlink - Surveys Trends
Reed construction data
Turner Construction - cost trends

Posted by Rajib Dey
Business Development
Global Associates
A pioneer company in construction estimating
Join our estimating forum

Sage include a new SQL Server database to it's Sage Timberline Estimating software

Sage North America, a part of The Sage Group plc and a leading provider of business management software and services, just released a new estimating solution to aid contractors to win more jobs and maximize Profit.

Sage developed a Microsoft's scalable, SQL Server database backend to its Sage Timberline Estimating product. Now-a-days Sage Timberline Estimating is considered as the most extensively-used estimating product in the construction market.

The latest SQL version will increase productivity and create & manage estimate quickly in an automated way. It will also execute enhanced data analysis and management and keep all estimates in one location. The estimator will be able to access, manage and back all the data easily.
Sage employs Microsoft's .NET framework to model businesses processes and construct a very visual, user-friendly interface with the same look and feel across modules.

Jon Witty, general manager of Sage Construction and Real Estate, pronounces the product "a welcome replacement for underpowered estimating solutions and generic spreadsheets."

Sage Timberline Estimating do away with unnecessary data entry and error-prone processes facilitating projects to run proficiently from preliminary estimate to project achievement.

Sage Timberline Estimating come up with some advancement like a Subcontractor Bid Grid, Variable, customizable pricing, industry specific databases, and custom reporting options.

With 'Subcontractor Bid Grid option the software can store, analyze, and select subcontractor bids and quotes by individual item or groups of items. The Users will get the ability to log each subcontractor's name, bid quantity, unit price, total bid amount, and additional notes in the pop-up grid. From there, users click on the bid to utilize and it's added to the estimate.


Posted by Rajib Dey
Business Development
Global Associates
A pioneer company in construction estimating
Join our estimating forum

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

BIM authorizing estimating software can enhance the estimating process to a great extent

Building Information Modeling (BIM) generates a complete digital model of the building that can produce exact bill of material and cost estimate along with coordinated drawings and details.

A conceptual building information model can provide a quick feedback on several design assumptions as the model contains components with historical cost data, productivity data and other estimating data.

BIM based estimating process can also cut down overall contingency and dependability and cause huge savings in profit.

In an BIM based estimating & takeoff system the design model is linked with estimating process and the quantity takeoff along with overall estimating process is greatly enhanced. The faster feedback on proposed design changes can be easily achieved.

CostX®, a complete construction estimating solution for estimators to employ the most advanced on-screen measurement system with BIM to extradite better results to clients.

With its 3D graphics capability CostX® can rapidly and precisely take off quantities from 2D drawings and bring forth automatic quantities from 3D BIM models. Prepare estimates, bills of quantities and tenders easily and all in a fraction of the time and cost.

Read More.......

SmartBIM QTO from RSMeans, is contrived for architects and designers to estimate or refine costs swiftly for a project. The software provides early cost estimation for Revit projects. As a project changes, the architects get the ability to carry cost estimates for various design options to alleviate “what-if” scenarios. After the formation, any line item can be edited manually allowing users to input their own costs or further refine the estimate using the RSMeans CostWorks® database.

Read More.......

DProfiler is a one kind of building information modeling (BIM) software, cognized “macro BIM,” that can generate the 3D conceptual models with detailed estimates. The software is applied in the planning and conceptual design stages to develop a precise and concurrent cost estimate of a projected design.

Read More.......

Vico Cost Planner
Vico Cost Planner™ provides the model-based quantities for cost calculation, estimating, and value engineering module in the Vico Office Suite. The software has the ability to make highly precise estimates in less time.

With an evolutionary approach, Cost Planner provides uninterrupted cost feedback across all project stages commencing with a costing scheme at the business development stage and progressively increasing in coarseness as more specific data and accurate quantities are accessible from the 3D BIM model.

Read More.........

Vico Cost Explorer
Vico Cost Explorer™ provides visual monitoring system with which a estimator can quickly hold and transmit project cost variances, compare them to targeted costs and track cost drivers.

Cost Explorer provides online feedback ceaselessly about the status of your project and get better communicating and understanding of cost changes. The bidirectional link that connects the Cost Explorer, the 3D model and the Assembly-Component views offers rapid visual feedback for cost issues be present in the project.

Read More..........

Innovaya Visual Estimating
By utilizing Building Information Modeling (BIM) system, Innovaya Visual Estimating delivers the most authoritative and accurate cost estimating solutions by transporting objects from Autodesk’s and Tekla's BIM applications to MC2 ICE and Sage Timberline. The software is compatible with Autodesk Revit®,AutoCAD Architecture/MEP, and Tekla® Structure.

Read More.........

Posted by Rajib Dey
Business Development
Global Associates
A pioneer company in construction estimating
Join our estimating forum

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Construction Project Management: A new Era of AEC industry

Construction Project Management is the overall planning, coordination and control of a project from inception to completion aimed at meeting a client’s requirements in order to produce a functionally and financially viable project that will be completed on time within authorized cost and to the required quality standards. Project management is the process by which a project is brought to a successful conclusion. Construction project management (CPM) is project management that applies to the construction sector (3rd Forum” International Construction Project Management” 26th/27 June 2003 in Berlin).

Everybody acknowledge the contribution of architects and civil construction professionals who help their customers to create their dream homes into reality. Many construction management companies are there who have the aim to provide the customer with the information and resources that help them to understand ACC better while they work to support them in their endeavors. The construction project management includes showcasing the most favorite project, sharing customers’ home plan template, highlighting their expertise in terms of construction sequence and best practice and sharing the success story of the customer.

The Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) (a primary US construction management certification and advocacy body) says the 120 most common responsibilities of a Construction Manager fall into the following 7 categories: Project Management Planning, Cost Management, Time Management, Quality Management, Contract Administration, Safety Management, and CM Professional Practice which includes specific activities like defining the responsibilities and management structure of the project management team, organizing and leading by implementing project controls, defining roles and responsibilities and developing communication protocols, and identifying elements of project design and construction likely to give rise to disputes and claims.


The functions of construction project management typically include the following:

• Specifying project objectives and plans including delineation of scope, budgeting, scheduling, setting performance requirements, and selecting project participants.
• Maximizing resource efficiency through procurement of labor, materials and equipment.
• Implementing various operations through proper coordination and control of planning, design, estimating, contracting and construction in the entire process.
• Developing effective communications and mechanisms for resolving conflicts

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


The Miami-Dade County Department of Small Business Development and Turner Construction Company recently hosted graduation ceremonies for 56 people from 45 companies who participated in the annual Turner School of Construction Management Training Course.

The course provides participants from all aspects of the construction industry with training and continuing education units. In

This year, it began March 29 at the Miami Dade College Kendall Campus, running nightly on Tuesdays and Thursdays through June 21.

The graduation ceremony took place June 23 at the Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus Chapman Conference Center. Each participant got a certificate of completion.

Additional partners in the training program are the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce, Miami Dade College Community Education and the Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council.

Many participants are the county-certified owners and operators of the company they represent. They include small business owners who function as general contractors and subcontractors offering services and products such as interior design, painting, landscaping, flooring, land clearing, construction cleaning, tile, roofing, cabinetry, electrical, plumbing and other businesses related to the construction industry.

The course covers topics such as business development, pre-construction and estimating, contract surety bonds, bidding and purchasing procedures, safety on the jobsite, quality control, contract risk management, contracts 101, building information modeling (BIM), Introduction to green building, LEED, blue print reading and specifications, construction ethics, chapter 558 construction defects, chapter 489 construction law and rules and much more, including community presenters with topics such as “how to do business” with various organizations.

Turner Construction Company has for more than a quarter-century offered free training courses that have helped many people. One of its major community contributions has been to provide these professional construction management courses to help small, minority and women owned professionals work and compete for contracts in the construction industry.

The training program serves to expand the skills of minority, women, disadvantaged and small-business enterprises and the company says it has been crucial in helping Turner achieve successful contracts with M/WBEs across the country.

Since it began in 1969, 32,000 graduates have passed through the program nationally.