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Thursday, September 29, 2011

The American Concrete Institute is planning to publish a new standard for Cold-Formed Steel Framing – Nonstructural Members

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), the leading developer of new steels and steelmaking technology in North America, is going to launch a new standard for nonstructural members.

This new standard is known as AISI S220 and is being developed by AISI committee on Framing Standards (COFS). AISI S220 is a North American Standard for Cold-Formed Steel Framing – Nonstructural Members and expected to be completed at the end of 2011 and published in 2012.

AISI S220 will be familiar with nonstructural members for instance wall studs applied in interior partition walls. It may also be applied to other members provided that they fulfill the nonstructural definition and limitations.

AISI S220 will clear the misunderstanding between engineers and building officials. The misunderstanding happens as the design and installation requisites for nonstructural members are found in a variety of documents together with the standards for structural members.

AISI S220 will accumulate this information addicted to one standard facilitating the steel industry to get a comprehensible understanding of design constraints for members in the nonstructural category whereas making it easier for design professionals to identify and building officials to approve steel for building projects.

AISI’s codes and standards work is accomplished in the Construction Market Council of the Steel Market Development Institute SMDI, a business unit of AISI.

Posted by Rajib Dey
Business Development
Global Associates
A pioneer company in 
construction estimating
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Monday, September 26, 2011

Carlson Takeoff 2012 can speed up the design file conversion process

A new wing added to Carlson Takeoff software with the emergence of Carlson Takeoff 2012. Some robust improvements like increased 3D visualization, capability for working with PDF files, and the ability to provide customized, more professional reports. 

The contractors now get the ability to speed up converting design files. The estimators can now transform images to CAD linework acclerating the process of making this image data useful. 

This CAD-based project-estimating and modeling software is compatible with  AutoCAD® 2012 and IntelliCAD® 7.0 built-in. 

For road work project the contractor can break out cross section quantities by staging and also the reporting of inappropriate material for end areas with newly added report formatter.

The software is also very useful for creating machine control models that output to all leading machine control providers.

Carlson Software is also presenting a bunch of other softwares like 2012 versions of Carlson Survey, Carlson Civil, Carlson Hydrology, Carlson GIS, Carlson Point Cloud, Carlson Mining, and Carlson Natural Regrade, each featuring its own industry-specific improvements.

Posted by Rajib Dey
Business Development
Global Associates
A pioneer company in 
construction estimating
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Maxwell System unveils 9.3 of Maxwell Systems™ Estimation®

Maxwell System Inc unveils the new version alias 9.3 of Maxwell Systems™ Estimation®. This new product includes some new advancements for takeoff and estimating that range from several maintenance enhancements, CAD integration with EastCoast Sheet Metals CAD/CAM product for the Estimation HVAC and Mechanical solutions. Now linking with AutoCAD files is expanded and becomes more convenient.

9.3 of Maxwell Systems™ Estimation® will provide lots of benefits to electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and HVAC contractors as the software combines together estimates, labor needs and cost analysis to bid more preciously and enhance speed & overall efficiency.

The software comes up with some exclusive features like improved functionality for estimating; wide-ranging purchasing for materials management; project management; digital and digitized takeoff; and incorporation of estimating, purchasing, and accounting systems.

Some notable improvements with 9.3 of Maxwell Systems™ Estimation® :-
EastCoast Sheet Metal CAD/CAM integration for accelerated takeoff
Advanced search capabilities in Takeoff help improve speed and convenience throughout process
Item data import with price updating now allows users to bring Excel
Posted by Rajib Dey
Business Development
Global Associates
A pioneer company in 
construction estimating
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Composition of total price of a construction project

The total cost of a construction project comprise of direct cost, contingency costs and margin.

Direct cost includes labor, material and equipment costs related with a construction project.

As for example direct cost for building foundation may contain the following :- 
  • Cost of formwork, reinforcing steel and concrete
  • Cost of labor to create and later strip the formwork, and position and complete the concrete
  • Cost of equipment cost related with foundation activities like concrete mixer.

Contingency costs affect overall project cost which happens during the course of the project. While estimating the project cost there is always some When estimating the cost for a project, product or other item or investment, there is always ambiguity regarding specific content of all items in the estimate, how work will be performed, what work conditions will be like when the project is executed and so on. These uncertainties may create risks to the project. These risk are sometime referred as "known-unknowns" as the estimator is conscious about them and based on past experience, can even estimate their probable costs.

Margin alias markup includes three component indirect or distributable costs, company-wide or general and administrative costs; and Profit.

Indirect costs relate to project-specific cost not related with a specific physical item. These costs may range from project management cost, payroll preparation, receiving, accounts payable, waste disposal and building permits.

Company Wide Cost comprises of costs not associated with project but occurred throughout the course of a project. These types of costs belong to the costs of some parts of company salaries and rentals. Company wide costs may also include the costs occur prior to or after a project. These types of costs relate to proposal preparation cost and the cost of outside auditing.

Profit for construction may come in two ways – Gross Profit and Net Profit. Gross profit is calculated by deducting the real cost of the job from the total price decided. The range of gross profit may range from 25 percent to 40 percent.

But the average net profit creates the bottom line of a construction firm. The average net profit is calculated by deducting overhead expenses from Gross Profit. Net profit is what is left after all expenses are deducted.

Posted by Rajib Dey
Business Development
Global Associates
A pioneer company in 
construction estimating
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Some useful methods for construction cost estimation

Cost estimation can be termed as a well-devised forecast of the possible construction cost of a specific building project. A detailed cost estimate presents information to owners, architects, and builders about the facility and the project budget throughout the design phase.

A cost estimate should incorporate all the items to be included in the general contractor’s
bid. A standard format is applied to break down the items for preparing the cost estimate. The cost of each item is established from a database of up to date construction cost information.

Accurate cost estimation plays a key role in construction projects that leads to better decision making. There are several methods available to prepare the estimate of a project. These methods are based on the project’s scope, estimating purpose and estimating resources.

Parametric cost models
Under this method a parametric model is applied in which costs are forecasted based on project characteristics (parameters) in a mathematical model. Here models are developed from historical cost data based or from building a model scenario on similar systems or subsystems. Models can be simple (for instance, with the cost per square foot to estimate the total cost of building a home) or they can be complex (for instance, applying several factors to estimate the total cost of home construction, for example the number of floors, windows, and doors).

Statistical analysis is performed on the data to discover connections between cost drivers and other system parameters, for example design or performance parameters. The analysis creates cost equations or cost estimating relationships to be utilized independently or grouped into more complex models.

Bottoms-Up method
This method is applied at the time of progression of level of detail with the advancement of project. Under this method a work statement and set of drawings or specifications are utilized to “takeoff” material quantities necessary for executing each separate task achieved in completing a prearranged operation or generating an equipment component. From these quantities, direct labor, equipment, and overhead costs are derived and added. The contractors always organize this type of estimate to support their proposal bid process. This entails with a detailed WBS and pricing out each work package making up the project.

Top-down estimate
It is subsidiary technique that starts with work breakdown structure (WBS). To get a top down estimated schedule the estimator has to break down the activity and set up linkage between activities. It is applied once a good overall estimate is ascertained for the project and the method is sub-divided down through the layers of the work breakdown structure.

A top-down estimate facilitates a project manager to obtain a very similar project’s budget, work some financial math magic and get a rational budget for the current project.

Top down estimating is primarily applied in construction projects to provide a quick estimate where the prerequisites are more or less static, and there aren't too much unknowns. This method can also be applied for small software projects.

Top-down estimates employ rules of thumb, parametric models, analogies, or cost estimating relationships (CERs). CERs based on historical experience that can present data involving the cost to build up a source line of software or the cost per square foot for a building construction project.

This method estimate the size (duration and cost) and risk of a project (or phase) by looking at the project as a whole and matching it with the similar projects executed in the past.

Specific Analogy Technique
This method is useful for early life cycle macro-estimation. Analogous estimating relies on historical information to forecast the cost of the current project. Under this method one has to select one or two completed projects that most intimately match the characteristics of your launching project concerning the scope of the current project, its size, and other known variables.

The process of analogous estimating considers the known cost of an item used in previous estimating systems as the basis for the cost of a similar item in a new estimating system. If any similarity is found, observe how many effort hours that project took, and utilize the information for your estimate. (If the organization don’t have any tracking for actual effort hours, detect how many people worked on the project for how long, and then regulate the hours as required.) Adjustments are made to known costs to make up differences in relative complexities of performance, design, and operational characteristics.

Watch the following power point presentation for demo.

Cost Review and Update Technique
Under this method an estimate is created by investigating previous estimates of the same project for internal logic, completeness of scope, assumptions, and estimating methodology and bring up to date with any alterations.

Trend Analysis Technique
This method compares originally estimated contract costs against actual costs on work performed up till now to obtain a contractor efficiency index. The index is very useful for regulating the cost estimate of work not completed so far.

Under this method all cost goals for development, acquisition, or operations and maintenance are utilized like design parameters together with technical performance, in the systems design trade-off process. In some situation where the absolute value of a dollar threshold required to be enclosed, the project definition, conceptual design, and development can deal with performance trade-offs to arrange the project in a predetermined cost envelope.

"Cost as the Independent Variable"
This method is an affordability based method ideal for planning project scope. The method begins with a fixed budget and performs toward the back in the course of a repetitive procedure of prioritizing and choosing constraints to appear at a project scope attainable within budget constrictions.

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

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chilton unveils ChiltonEstimating ideal for professional automotive technicians

Chilton just released ChiltonEstimating, an online tool to create estimates, work orders, and invoices for professional Automotive Technicians.

By utilizing ChiltonEstimating the users can avail the current labor times with all content online and with two shop-user logins they can work on multiple job simultaneously. Besides the users can also open two work orders at a time to save huge time.

The information within ChiltonEstimating is regularly updated to enable users to get the most appropriate and latest information while carrying out an estimate. Furthermore, all vital customer information within ChiltonEstimating is accumulated securely online to ensure that all data may not be lost or destroyed.

ChiltonEstimating comes up with several pricing option to suit your requirements and can be purchased as an annual or monthly subscription.

Buy online

System Requirements
Internet Explorer 7.0 or later versions, Firefox 3.6 or later versions
High-speed Internet connection
Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7, 32bit or 64bit versions

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

Monday, September 12, 2011

Site Work Estimating Sheets facilitate the work of estimator

Site work estimating sheet s are useful for intermediate estimators, real estate developers, general contractors, project managers to develop an accurate site-work construction cost estimate.

Site work estimating sheets are utilized for estimating foundation, earthwork construction & stabilization, underground utilities, estimating roadwork and paving. 

Site work estimating sheets contain work quantities, assemblies, price quotations, unit price, elements, labor, equipment hour, man hours, individual and subcontractor material for site work estimate as well as cut and fill, underground utilities, road-building estimate.

Given below some site work estimating sheet which can be downloaded at free of cost :-

Friday, September 9, 2011

Some state of the art software ideal for HVAC & Mechanical Estimator

HVAC estimating software provides great benefits to mechanical, piping, plumbing or sheet metal estimator to estimate the material and labor cost required to build a heating and cooling ventilating system. In order to find out the total cost estimate for the HVAC ventilating system all facets of material and labor cost are documented. A wide-ranging bill of materials supported with detailed design criteria and specifications for the HVAC system are generated alongwith related labor cost for manufacturing and installing a system in a building.

The HVAC estimating software also enhance your bid volume and accuracy by providing consistent, professional bids itemized in greater detail that are easily evaluated and amended to boost your business bottom line and competitive position. The software also provides a detailed bid report and summaries during a project.

The HVAC estimating software also facilitates the commercial estimator to characterize duct construction standards for rectangular, round and oval ductwork.

FastDUCT is an unique HVAC estimating software ideal for industrial and commercial sheet metal contractors to figure out construction cost quickly and precisely. The software can easily computetakeoff from rectangular, round, and oval ductwork and sheet metal and HVAC equipment.

The user can customize their specifications to go with their standard for duct construction or purchasing duct.

FastPIPE™ is a state of the art mechanical piping software intended for plumbing contractors to estimate the plumbing work and construction cost accurately and in less time.

FastPIPE™ applies interactive Windows Graphics to make the estimating process easier. Theestimator can view what he is taking off.

With its improved detailed take-off capabilities the software can easily track diverse areas or location within a project.

FastWrap provides great assistance for the mechanical insulation contractor and gives piping & duct insulation support for mechanical, industrial piping, plumbing, HVAC piping, HVAC duct and industrial duct.

QuickPen Autobid
QuickPen AutoBid SheetMetal software empowers HVAC estimator to create HVAC and Sheet metal estimate quickly and accurately.  HVAC and sheet metal estimators can raise their bid volume by modifying bids quickly and take action to last-minute changes in bidding process to meet up the most deadlines.

QuickPen AutoBid SheetMetal  save time for HVAC estimator to a great extent as it can easily segregate an area in GTO and transfer it to alternate or a different HVAC system.

The estimator can also apply it at inventory time to cost and produce spreadsheets of stocked material.

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

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

360Value® enhance the property valuation system

Xactware and AIR Worldwide jointly launches 360Value®, a web-based replacement-cost estimator for residential properties, commercial properties and agricultural. The software is ideal for insurance agents, underwriters, inspectors, property owners and others to figure out the cost to rebuild properties, make property valuation, improve risk management and enhance business decisions.

360Value® is applied for the following purpose :-
To determine the replacement costs at the time of quoting, underwriting data analysis and management reporting
Rationalize workflow through property prefill
To update estimates for policy renewal
To accomplish periodic assessments of a portfolio to find out policies with obsolete estimates and property information.
Manage catastrophe risk
Enhance the policyholder experience
Consolidate underwriting data

This component based software is liable for all the material and labor components required to reconstruct the structure. 360Value obtains the underlying material and labor cost data, in part, by analyzing more than 3 million damage-repair estimates each year.

360Value connects the underwriting and claims functions to facilitate the insurers to predict the claim loses and speed up the claim process. The adjuster are able to bring the replacement cost up to date and evaluate the property details before a site visit.

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