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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Construction specifications - vital for suppliers, purchasers, and users of materials, products, or services in engineering, manufacturing, and business

A specification (often abbreviated as spec) can be termed as a type of a technical standard to be referenced by a contract or procurement document. It contains the necessary details concerning the specific requirements to be persuaded by a material, product, or service.

The specifications are considered very important for suppliers, purchasers, and users of materials, products, or services in engineering, manufacturing, and business as these specifications cover up a extensive collection of general issues like definitions, bidding requirements, legal responsibilities, claims & payments; with details on specific items with respect to all construction project.
CSI (Construction Specifications Institute) is a renowned association that provides the standardization of construction language related with building specifications. CSI offers prearranged instructions for composing specification in their Project Resource Manual.
CSI published MasterFormat, an indexing system for categorizing construction data as well as construction specifications. It consists of 50 Divisions, to be applied for integrating facility life cycle and maintenance information into the building knowledge base.
Almost the entire CSI approved sections contain performance and safety obligations produced by agencies like the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and several other federal and professional organizations.

CSI also publish GreenFormat, an online database that includes sustainable product attributes. Manufacturers associated with the construction industry will be able to register product information based on 5 categories in a widespread online questionnaire. All kinds of product information referenced by MasterFormat divisions and titles will be available to designers, specifiers, and building constructors.

Given below the detailed lists of construction specifications :-

General Requirements - Division 01
This specification will include particular administrative and procedural requisites that belong to all of the Technical Specification sections. The General Requirements consist of specifics relevant directly to a particular project and written independently for each project. These will develop the expansive administrative and procedural conditions inscripted in the General and Supplementary Conditions documents. These will be applicable to the work of ALL Technical Specification sections. This document also sum ups the scope of work, exercise of the site, owner occupancy of building throughout construction, Phased construction activities, numerous prime contract requisites and eliminations and additions to be connected with the Plans. The General Requirements narrate the Contractor's administrative, procedural and other activities which should be submitted by the Contractor. In General Requirements section the following categories will be available.

01010 Summary
01020 Allowances
01030 Alternates
01040 Coordination
01060 Regulatory Requirements
01080 Identification Systems
01090 References

01025 Measurement and Payment
01035 Modification Procedures
01050 Field Engineering
01100 Special Project Procedures
01200 Project Meetings
01300 Submittals such as Construction Schedule, Logs
01400 Quality Control
01600 Material and Equipment
01650 Facility Startup/Commissioning
01700 Contract Closeout
01800 Maintenance

Temporary Activities
01500 Temporary Facilities

The Contractor’s Responsibility is to comprise these items in Overhead.
Technical Specifications
Divisions 02 - 16 is known as the Technical Specifications. These construction specifications consist of the written description of the specific requirements regarding with a specific product or system. The specification provisions characterize and set up the quality level processes, standards of work and material standards. Each subsection will describe the scope, technical requirements, performance requirements, material suppliers, and quality requirements. The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) has build up the following standard MasterFormat numbering system that includes the following

Technical Specification Divisions.
CSI Technical Specification Division Numbers

Division 2 - Site Work
Division 3 - Concrete
Division 4 - Masonry
Division 5 - Metals
Division 6 - Wood and Plastics
Division 7 - Thermal and Moisture Protection
Division 8 - Doors and Windows
Division 9 - Finishes
Division 10 - Specialties
Division 11 - Equipment
Division 12 - Furnishings
Division 13 - Special Constriction
Division 14 - Conveying Systems
Division 15 - Mechanical
Division 16 - Electrical

The Construction Specification Institute (CSI) dissects each Division into Section Numbers by means of three digits and a Standard Format. The following demonstrates a portion of the section numbers for Division 02.

SECTION 02200 Earthwork
SECTION 02210 Grading
SECTION 02220 Excavating, Backfilling and Compacting
SECTION 02300 Tunneling
The CSI Technical Specification Part Numbers are included in each Specification Section
inside a Division. Each Specification Section have three PARTS in the following order.


A. Subsoil and Topsoil materials

A. Section 02050 - Demolition
B. Section 02100 - Site Preparation
C. Section 02140 - Dewatering

A. ANSI/ASTM C136 - Method for Sieve Analysis of Aggregates.
B. ASTM D2487 - Classification of Soils for Engineering Purposes.

A. Submit Cofferdam Design Drawings with engineer’s seal.
B. Submit 10 pound sample of each type of soil in an air-tight container to test lab.

A. Store and protect materials under




The Contractor has to find out whether there are any unexpected or nonstandard characteristics that may affect the cost. Supply a copy to subcontractors and suppliers if requesting price quotations.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Construction Project Management & accounting software plays a vital role for construction companies

Construction Project Management can be termed as overall planning, coordination and control of a project from commencement to completion intended for fulfilling the need of the client for generating a functionally and financially feasible project.

Now-a-days industry-specific project management software plays an important role for expanding integrated project management modules to participate with the leading stand-alone project management systems.

Construction companies can reap huge benefits by applying the Project management software in their projects. The most important benefits may range from Process Standardisation (manage job by reorganizing every step of project execution, standardising project management forms like RFIs, submittals, transmittals, change requests and business letters) , Document Control (generating a single data storage source for all project documents, creating a systematic process for documenting, tracking and following up on significant issues)  and Cost Control (providing synchronized cost data to administer costs and take profitable decisions on project, providing information on budgets, contracts, change orders  etc for making prompt evaluation of project, tracking & solving the issues like cost overruns and scheduling snags early in the project). Besides the project management software also generates executive level reporting for a single job or across all projects, field administration like punch list tracking and daily report logs, change order management and purchase order management.

Given below some exclusive project management softwares :- 

Project Administrator

It is a unique project management tool intended for administration and management of building projects. This Construction Project Management software compiles all the project related information into a solitary project management software tool. The users are able to set up their own project stages and tasks, project team details, planning and legal issues, cost plans, tender, contractor and consultant data and much more. It is like a schedule tool that contains integrated schedule of rates to facilitate the calculation of project cost.  

The software is compatible with Microsoft Project and can monitor issues, risks, action items, glossary, benefits, scope changes, budget and expenditure, benefits, roles and responsibilities, phases, and even diary notes into one database. 

This software is useful for all businesses, independent contractors, and corporations and can be utilized for Engineering project management, Construction project management and IT project management.

This software can perform with Microsoft Access and SQL Server database.

The most updated version is Project Administrator Version 6 that contains some exclusive features like New security process, Gantt chart, Able to track changes to the program, One button linking of database, the total number and completed actions for issues, risks etc, Easier management of project access.

Video presentation


Construction Suite 

Construction Suite is a powerful & comprehensive multi-project construction management system designated for advanced Estimating, Job Costing / Accounting Scheduling & Calendars, Contracts, Specs, and Document Management, Insurance Tracking, Company Management etc.

The software combines estimating and project management with a construction specific CRM system to bring the most complete management system for small to medium construction firms, real Estate Developers and professional Contractors alongwith Residential and Commercial Covenants to handle with multiple projects and developments.

The software also provides wide-ranging documentation for property development for example Covenants, Standards, and Specifications to save the time required for planning stage and increase your property values and lot marketability.  

The software can also predict the company's financial inflows and outflows with Cash Flow Reporting combining construction estimating and scheduling data to compute profitability across single or multiple projects.

There are five versions of ConstructionSuite software -- Standard, Pro, Premier, Corporate and Network.

Downloadable link

Microsoft Project

Microsoft Project (MSP, MSOP or WinProj) is a project management software program from Microsoft ideal for scheduling as well as developing a plan, assigning resources to tasks, tracking progress, managing the budget, and analyzing workloads.

This estimating software focuses on Timesheets, budget and expenditure, risk management, issues, action items, documents, variations, roles and responsibilities, quality activities etc.

This estimating software is utilized for managing and recognizing project schedules and finances, providing and exchanging project information, systematizing people and work to ensure that project is finished on schedule, empowering project manager to penetrate the tasks of a project (work breakdown structure or WBS) and allocate workers (resources) to those tasks, with cost information.

The application generates critical path schedules, and critical chain and event chain methodology. Schedules can be resource leveled, and chains are envisaged in a Gantt chart.

MS Project is available in 3 different versions i.e. Microsoft Project Professional, Microsoft Project Standard and Microsoft Project Server.

This estimating software contains some exclusive features like SharePoint synchronization, Manual scheduling, Placeholder text, Active and inactive tasks, Timeline view, Team Planner, Task Inspector etc. 

Online training      


This construction management and accounting software from BuilderMT is designated for home builders to manage and streamline internal processes. The software consists of General Ledger, Job Cost Accounting, Purchasing and Scheduling data to make the home building process smooth.

ProStart Database modules are compatible with the Workflow Management Suite, Sage Timberline and Explorer Contract Manager home builder accounting software.

The software contains some unique features like General Ledger Module, Job Cost Module, Accounts Payable Module, 1500 Bill of Material Detail level items, Cash Management Module, Ten Standard Models, 100 Standard Options per Model, Generic Options, Material Classes (Purchase Order).

Download technical paper


AMSI develops StarBuilder, a windows-based construction management and accounting software to deal with construction payroll, construction job contract, job cost, job reporting, cash flow management, cost coding and project management. 

The software contains the information for each job contract’s labor and material costs, subcontractor’s performance and cash position.

The software consists of some incorporated modules that includes equipment costing, inventory, document control, and AIA and T&M Billings.

This construction management software also contains huge range of optional add-on modules. Click the following links to get the add on.
Adds on

Download free trial versions

Free trial version

Published by
Rajib Dey
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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Some exclusive software for construction cost estimating

D4COST is a professional preliminary cost estimating system useful for preliminary, conceptual design development square foot cost estimates as well as cost feasibility, valuation study, or budget.

The software is designated for thousands of building professionals ranging from Architects, General Contractors, Design Build Firms, Sub-Contractors, Estimating Firms, Appraisers, Engineering Firms, Valuation Companies, Insurance Companies, Consulting, Government Agencies, and Universities.

This estimating software contains a database of 1,100 historical projects, cost escalators and regional modifiers. These historical projects are broken down in the CSI MasterFormat™. The users can also effortlessly import their own proprietary company building cost data to generate own historical project library. This estimating software also consists of integral cost escalators.

The software is available in three different versioins :-
D4COST (full system)
D4COST Express Pro
D4COST Express

Free downloadable link

Estimate Master
This unique estimating software can provide a great benefit to general contractors as well as trade-subcontractors. The software includes some excellent features like simple navigation and installation process, admirable help documentation etc.

The software contains a huge built-in database that accumulates all of your project details on materials, parts, labor work units, estimates and bid information to produce assemblies. By applying this estimating software one can also replicate cloned estimates.

This application empowers user to generate a new estimate, with related specifications as a previous estimate, by altering the estimate names and items rapidly to outline the new estimate.
This estimating software can create an annotated work orders to and formal bid / proposal documents from your estimates to split the estimate down into individual sections for smooth allocation to workers and subcontractors Estimate. Master is compatible with QuickBooks as an incorporated application.

The software comes up with in-built backup and restoration utility to take regular backup against data loss and synchronizes multiple databases.
Estimate Master's reporting capabilities are limited to one bid document having the final costs demonstrating markups, taxes, shipping and other costs. The bid document is customizable with incorporating the company logo and defining the bid body text.

Downloadable link

CBD Estimating
CBD estimating software can be termed as a functional program especially for home builder program intended for small residential general contractors. It is a pre-programmed spreadsheet for Microsoft Excel This estimating software contains some unique feature like ease in navigation and installation and excellent help documentation.

In order to start quickly the users can apply the predefined categories and line items within the program.

This estimating software contains an open cell for special entries and pricing to be applied in the final calculations of the project. The program also come up with pre-defined formulas to compute lumber, roofs, sheetrock, foundations, stucco, brick, countertops and many other items mechanically with minimal input.

At the bottom of each screen there exist navigational tabs which direct you in carrying out numbering of cost codes, printing schedules and analyses, tracking all costs, and printing costs to complete and summary analyses.

Downloadable link

Estimaster2 is a very basic construction estimating program beneficial for fulfilling the requirements of small construction and sub-contracting companies from all of the various trades.
This estimating software is utilized for simple estimate or a very detailed estimate and puts in various mark-ups, tax situations and waste allocations. The users can copy previous proposals from other projects to edit and make a new proposal promptly.

The software includes a library containing parts seamlessly combining labour and contract information to produce complex Quotes and proposals for detailed projects. The users is also able to create a small and simple part library to establish an estimate by simply summing basic item costs. This will help you to submit bids accurately and easily.

The first step in the estimation procedure is defining the materials database, categories and sub-categories. This estimating software allows users to provide great detail while defining categories. After the categories are defined, the software facilitates you to put in individual items concerned with each category. For every individual item, one is able to identify the quantities for which calculations for unit, material, labor, subcontract and equipment costs are calculated. At this time, the software let you to supply job information and monitor the estimate total. The next step to be followed is the actual building of the estimate. Initially, go through the estimate screen and calculate each item in the categories. Then choose each desirable category to be comprised in the bid. Once the estimate is built, this program hosts a builder's calculator which can compute quantities of specific items to be transferred to the estimate. When the estimate is completed, the program offers a choice of five report formats. These are pre-defined reports which can be selected to display your information.

Downloadable link

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

Thursday, February 16, 2012

TeamLink Portal will facilitate contractors and home builders to distribute project information with their external team members

Corecon Technologies, Inc., a leader in web-based construction software, just launched new TeamLink Portal along with its flagship product Corecon V7. This new solution is free to Corecon V7 subscribers and others involved in the project. This new product is intended for contractors to distribute project information with their external team members. The project owner, consultants, subcontractors and suppliers will get secure, real-time access to project information. This will enhance the project execution and communication system alongwith all parties involved in the project.

This Web-based service plays an important role in growing productivity, mitigating risk and realizes project success in an industry where volumes of information are exchanged and communicated among project team members during the course of a project.

The Portal is compatible with all browsers ranging from Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Internet Explorer and Firefox) and no additional plug-ins are needed to be installed. After log in to the portal any external or in-house team member can get access to project information related to all stages of the project from preconstruction and bidding through project completion.

As for instance at some stage in preconstruction and bidding, the TeamLink Portal is applied to capture project drawings, accumulate RFPs and facilitates subcontractors and suppliers to present pricing remotely. Throughout construction, team members will be able to access and make comment on information they are given permission to observe together with Journals, RFIs, Submittals, Punchlist items and Schedules. Besides, Corecon's Project Calendar and Alerts features track time-sensitive material and alert staff to overdue items or team member responses. Team members will get the ability to upload and distribute project files on the TeamLink Portal as well as drawings, CAD and BIM files and photographs. Building owner can easily download project documentation like as-built drawings and product manuals from the portal.

Benefits :-
o Totally scalable
o Free unlimited logins for customers, consultants and vendors! For example, if you have 100 active customers/projects going on with 300 participating vendors then 400 logins could be added, one for each contact!
o TeamLink Security Roles provide granular access rights for each project and company. Thus, a company can have different security roles for each specific project.
o Most portals on the market are basically a glorified FTP site where the user creates some sort of file (i.e. pdf, jpeg, doc, xls etc.), uploads it to a shared site and then grants access permissions

Downloadable link

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

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Latest software for estimating & designing architectural projects

Estimating for architect is required to find out the price of projects before the commencement of bidding process. If the price surpass the budget then the architect have to make redesign until it come up with the budget.

At the time of design phase, accurate estimation can help architect to cut costs, remove RFI's, potential change orders and other supplementary costs that may arise throughout the actual building stage. Thus the architect get benefitted as they can solve the complexities before the drawing are sent to the General contractors. The owner will get an ideal of overall cost before general contractors even send in bids.

IMSI TurboFLOORPLAN Instant Architect
This software is ideal for generating floor plans, cost estimates, landscape designs, and masterful 3D illustrations. This software empowers architect to simply choose a general building shape, put up building dimensions, and set up your floors and foundations. It can precisely calculate square footage, costs and material requirements in familiar spreadsheet format.
The software can easily customize your design with basic floor plan. Just add paint, furniture, appliances, electrical, lighting, plumbing and more. Opt from hundreds of color and material combinations to apply to every surface to make the design your own. The software can quickly transfer 2D floor plan view in realistic 3D. The architect can look at every detail by walking through their design. One can also fly around or look around at everything up close.

Chief Architect Home Designer Suite
This sophisticated tool is intended for designing and remodeling houses, kitchens, baths, decks, landscapes, and interiors. It also includes calculators for estimating the cost of your project. The software can automatically produce a complete spreadsheet for your project costs, broken down by category. compute the amount of lumber for your deck or concrete required for that new patio. The software consists of more than 1,500 Sample Plans for design inspiration. Also includes powerful building tools like automatic roof generation, dormers, stairs, framing and foundations.

IMSI TurboFLOORPLAN Home & Landscape Pro
It is a souped-up version of their Instant Architect software. It comes up with powerful CAD tools and many extra features for advanced users. The ease and adaptability of Home & Landscape Pro make it an especially good buy. The users can select from 2,000 plants to form beautiful landscapes with lush gardens, fences, pathways and more. The software is ideal for outlining your dream home to exact specifications.

DesignWorkshop Lite (FREE)
By applying this cost-free DesignWorkshop Lite software program, the architect can create their own 3D models of buildings, landscapes, exhibits, or any kind of spatial design. The software contains standard material and 3D object library. The complete documentation, tutorials, and additional example building models are also available. The software has a dual platform for both Macintosh and Windows operating systems.

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

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Latest electrical estimating software can smooth the work process of electrical engineers and electrical estimators

Before the commencement of any construction work, electricians and construction managers should estimate the amount and cost of electricity essential for a specific location. Now-a-days technological innovations have forced electrical contractors to adopt innovative methods to estimate the amount and cost of electricity in a better, faster and accurate way. This leads to the development of new and advanced electrical estimation software in different version for electricians, electrical engineers and electrical contractors.

These new software increase the speed, accuracy and consistency of electrical estimation. The software also makes the electrical contractors bidding process faster as it can easily find out labor costs, material costs, equipment and subcontract expense precisely equal to the particular system to appear at a bidding amount and make faster electrical pricing and estimating calculation of the job cost.

These electrical estimating software are proved to be very helpful for project manager also to establish labor resources, equipment and subcontractor requirements and schedule and track job progress.

The software also provides some great benefits to electrical estimators also to fine-tune labor units mechanically by calculating the installation difficulty factor for each item. The software is also capable of amending conduit sizes, and fix installations according to laid down format.

Benefits of electrical estimation software :-
  • Includes a huge database of electrical-specific items for electrical contractors and estimators
  • Availability of Pre-built electrical assemblies
    Detailed lists of electrical pricing of the items
  • National Electrical code tables to enable the electrical contractors tools automatically reconfigure requirements
Different kinds of electrical estimating software :-


Other useful electrical estimating softwares
Electrical Takeoff

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