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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The importance of construction takeoff software

The construction estimating/takeoff software facilitates the estimators to calculate plans with accuracy for precious bids to acquire work and perform project swell.

The construction estimating and takeoff software can mechanize tasks and consolidate the estimating procedures. The software aids estimators to enhance their skills by maintaining accuracy and minimizing costs.

The construction estimating software helps project teams to distribute any data efficiently and communicate with each other easily.

The construction estimating software allows estimators to enhance their profit margin as it can prevent cost overruns.

It is compatible with other applications of the business solution. As for instance an estimator will get the ability to takeoff plans and assign that data directly into the estimating procedure in which they can compute costs and later on arrange for bids, alternates etc. for negotiating contracts as well as progressing the project to construction stage smoothly and precisely.

The construction estimating software empowers all the estimators to surrender more bids in the quickest possible time and obtain the project that’s more profitable for the business.


Published by Rajib Dey
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Monday, July 29, 2013

Construction Scheduling Tips and Tricks’ Webinar

American Institute of Architects (AIA) learning units has approved this webinar. The webinar will happen on August 1, 2013 at 1.00 PM (EDT)and continue for 3 hours.

Some key players within the construction community like architects, engineers, public and private owners, construction managers, contractors, subcontractors, and designers will find the event very useful for them to get acquainted with various “tips and tricks” which can be applied to scheduling their construction projects.

The renowned construction expert and scheduling author Saleh Mubarak will share his personal experience with two dozen tried-and-true techniques brought from his 20-plus years of construction scheduling experience which can provide a serious impact on construction schedules’ quality, finish date, cost, or liability.

The webinar will focus on the following topic :-

Baseline Schedule Essentials -- This category highlights the planning phase and facilitates attendees to explain project scope, manage risks, and hire schedulers.

Creating the Schedule -- It will provide information on the Project Breakdown Structure, Work Breakdown Structure; number of activities; activity IDs and titles; and repetitive activities.

Schedule Updates -- In this category there will be discussion on frequency, procedure, “warning signs,” and “percent complete.”

Other Topics -- Additional topics consist of project acceleration issues, change orders, scheduling in an international environment, and software issues.

To register, visit


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The 7th International Construction Equipment and Construction Technology Trade Fair

Confederation of Indian Industry is going to organize this exclusive event on 20 - 24 November 2013 at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre, Bangaluru, India.

It will be 3rd biggest Construction Equipment Exhibition in Asia as well as South Asia's largest event for Construction Equipment. There will be more than 35,000 business visitors and 900+ exhibitors. The event will contain 2,00,000 sq.mts exhibition display areas.

The event will be a meeting place for manufacturers, assemblers, component suppliers, financiers and after-sales services to evaluate the current status of the Indian construction equipment industry and the hidden opportunities and challenges. Both large and small sized construction companies will get huge scopes to demonstrate their strengths, evaluate their competitors’ strengths and weakness, open door to high tech technologies & mechanisms, network with both domestic and international companies and scale new heights.

For immediate registration, visit the following link.


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Friday, July 26, 2013

Some essential books for construction estimating

Construction Estimating using Excel

Steven Peterson, MBA,PE, from Weber State University has written this book. This estimating book facilitates construction professional/estimator/engineer to acquire basic fundamental of estimating which involves drawing sets, practical lessons, and instances. This book provides solutions to the newbie as well as experienced estimators to combat with complicated estimating experience and enhanced their skills. 

The book also focuses on gradual estimating procedures, analyzing the art of estimating, the quantity takeoff, how to place costs to the estimate and how to work out the bid. 

Besides, the book also briefly describe how Microsoft Excel can be applied to augment the estimating procedure and as a medium of developing estimating productivity and accuracy efficiently.

Estimating with Microsoft Excel, 3rd Edition

Jay Christofferson has presented this unique book which provides you step-by-step guidance for generating an estimating workbook which will manage your valuable time and help you to find out costly errors.

The book also contains some useful formulas to compute concrete, rebar, labor, permits, taxes, and more, and provides instructions to utilize them in your day-to-day construction project management.

This book also facilitates you to make databases, create formulas, and become experts with shortcuts to reduce laborious & unnecessary steps and monotonous work. The book will be a great help to increase your profit margin.


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Thursday, July 25, 2013

New mobile application can enhance the processes for the construction sectors

Recently, several construction companies have utilized mobile application to acquire data easily on mobile gadgets. But here the problem lies to incorporate any information into mobile application with acceptable enterprise systems in the office.

Generally for any renovation project, the building contractor applies decade old in-house spreadsheet to administer data related to inspection phases.

Aconex field application, a web-based field management tool, introduced by Aconex, is very useful to detect construction deformities as well as other faults on iPad at the jobsite. It also aids the contractor to manage complicated punch list as well as other data efficiently on mobile gadgets. The product is accessible as a separate product or with the Aconex online alliance platform. It is compatible with iOS or Android devices.

The Web-based field-management app is available either as a standalone product or with the Aconex Online Collaboration Platform, and can run on iOS or Android devices.
Another very good mobile application is known as Prontoforms. The field workers will be able to integrate signatures, photos as well as barcode grasped into forms on a smartphone or tablet. Receive dispatched forms, collect work data in the field and submit back to the office in real-time. 

Latista, a secure, cloud-based, web and mobile software, empower users to deal with commissioning steps, record results applying custom forms, view color-coded status of commissioning works and accommodate with other team members. Besides the data accumulated with application will be delivered to Latista's system for project reporting and metrics.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

International guidance highlighting the superior standards in construction projects

RICS (Royal Institution and Chartered Surveyors) unveils Cost Analysis and Benchmarking Guidance Note which includes a procedure ideal for superior practice, cost analysis and benchmarking in property projects.
The international guidance facilitates the professionals to get the thorough knowledge on evaluating property project costs to maintain superior international standards, establish value for money and quality.
A cost analysis relates to an exploration of the allotment of cost across the construction elements of a project and consists of representing the construction cost, construction duration and scope of works conceptually for a building.
Construction cost plays an important role in the design development phase. It is determined to acquire value for money. For this purpose, construction cost is utilized as a standard for computing project cost and value. 
With a view to measure costs briefly, the guidance note unfolds a process of benchmarking costs, contrary to historical projects and cost analysis structures. 
The process shows that one element is not under-funded or under designed needlessly to the detriment of another element. The note allows property professionals to learn about how making a cost analysis of a proposal, the examination of the procurement process and the tendering process, and the requirement for base data related to a project.
There may be some differentiations between two identical buildings with the depth and type of foundations, various types and thicknesses of floor construction, and diversified specifications for wall finishes. The most of the deviations are denoted in the separate construction programs and the particular locations on a site. 
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Saturday, July 20, 2013

The 2013 ASPE Convention & Estimating Academy

The convention will occur at Hyatt Regency Penn Landing in Philadelphia, PA from July 17th–20th. By attending the annual convention, the construction estimators will be in a position to showcase and extend their professional knowledge and network. The convention will focus on various Construction Estimating supported programs and professional speakers analyzing the most vital problems with the construction industries.

The convention will be a meeting place for construction estimating professionals coming from different corner of the US for education, ethics, certification, professionalism and felloship.

For online registration, visit the following link"


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Thursday, July 18, 2013

How to measure a building work - Some necessary tips

Data needed to start for an estimate 
For starting a brief estimate, an estimator should possess the data given below : 
  •         Plans, sections and other details associated with the work.
  •          Specifications focusing on the proper nature and a class of materials for application.
  •          Lastly the proposed rates for executing various items of work. In order to find out the quantities precisely, an estimator should maintain clear, completely dimensioned, authentic and accurately scalable drawing. While digging out quantities, the estimator should abide by some good principle.

How to make an estimate
There exist three crucial steps for making out an estimate:-
1 . Detecting quantities
While detecting quantities, the measurements should be acquired from the drawings and put on the measurement sheet or dimension paper. The measurements should be based on  the unit of measurement. The unit of measurement will range from cubic meter in 1st case and square meter in the second case.
2. Squaring out 
The second phase includes preparing volumes, areas, etc. as well as casting up their total in standard units.
3. Abstracting
In the third stage, all the items with the net results acquired in the second stage are forwarded to specially ruled sheets containing rate column set for pricing from measurement sheets . A third person must verify all the calculations and each transferred entry made in the second and third stages to get rid of any mathematical or copying omissions. 
Standard Method of Measurement of Building Works
 An Estimator finds it difficult to cope up with the various systems of measurement offered by various Central and State Government departments as well as construction agencies. It also results in standing cause of controversies. So, there should be a harmonization among diversified methods at the technical level.
Principles of Deciding Unit of Measurement
The units of measurement of different items are very complicated. In order to select the ideal units of measurement, the undermentioned principles should be followed.

1. The unit of measurement should be uncomplicated and simplified to measure, record and understand.
2. The unit of measurement should designate for fair payment of concerned work.
3. In the result it should provide quantities, which should not be too little or too outsized.
4. The price per unit should not contain a very minute figure or a very large one. Usually items with higher cost will be calculated in smaller units and lower cost in bigger units.
5. The unit of measurement may at times rely upon the unit for the raw material and/or labor and/or significant dimensions.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Green Build 2013 - An exclusive event organized by U.S. Green Building Council

The event will take place in Philadelphia from November 20-22, 2013.

It is the world's biggest conference and expo that provides great benefits to green building communities.

Greenbuild is a meeting place for industry leaders, experts and Frontline professionals to get updated with latest features & changes in the sustainable building industry as well as indispensable networking opportunities, industry showcases, LEED workshops etc.

For the first time, the attendee will come to know about LEED v4 and how it is developing. Also learn the latest trend in LEED education.

Numerous building professionals from different corner of the globe will participate in Greenbuild 2013 for three days of exceptional educational sessions, most recognized speakers and special seminars. 

In order to register, visit the following link


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Monday, July 15, 2013

Cloud-based technology facilitates the work process of building contractors

Now-a-days information technology has gone to supreme level. Some advanced communication tools like PCs, smartphones, and tablets are emerging in the market to take the advantage of cloud technology.

The building contractors should also adopt this cloud based technology to get the freedom for getting information from many locations through mobile devices.

There are various companies in the market wo provide mobile based solutions for construction industries. Dexter & Chaney lately launched a cloud-based service management and dispatch software tool designed for contractors. This tool facilitates contractors to be well versed with work order management and service dispatch. The tool performs inside the framework of the Spectrum Construction Software management. Here all the information is preserved in the cloud.

With Spectrum Service Management, all the information is stored in the cloud and all the employee can access it at their workplace. The building contractors can apply this cloud based construction management software with any device on a web browser.

The software contains a wide array of business management solutions which range from job cost, project management, equipment management, payroll, purchasing, inventory, and much more.

For more information visit the following link

Jonas Premier, another exclusive web-based construction accounting & enterprise resource planning software useful for small to medium sized General Contracting businesses.

The building contractors can get a wide array of solutions regarding Job Cost, Subcontract Management, Billing, Progress Billing, GL, AP, AR, Project Management, Bank Management, Purchase Order, Inventory, Time Entry and integrated Document Storage.

Download a 14 days free trial


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Friday, July 12, 2013

The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) have published a list of sustainability resolutions

In order to safeguard the environment, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) has passed a list of sustainability resolutions towards keeping its commitment to local green building and clean energy endeavors.

The 10 measures passed consist of the support of resilient communities, powerful building energy codes, Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants and improving infrastructure.

The resolutions come up with a strong endorsement of support for introducing a sound sustainability agenda and were strongly backed and inspired by AIA and USGBC, which are mutually performing to augment the local green building policy toward their six-year strategic alliance.

In order to avail the details of resolutions, go through the following link.


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Resensys’ sensor, a useful construction technology to preserve structural integrity

It is very much important to monitor and maintain the integrity of construction structure. But it is not always possible to detect when should a building/bridge requires any maintenance, repair work to maintain the safety. If engineers are unable to find out the probable red flags, then it becomes difficult to rectify them. It results in disaster.

With the application of realtime, wireless structural health detection system, Resensys' system facilitates engineers to highlight signs of disaster and provides valuable information on the structure. Resensys’ system aids to detect measurable and significant changes within a structure through a series of tiny, networked sensors strategically set up with a structure.

 The system can easily find out the overstrained or deformed, irreversible shifts or transformations inside a structure in order to undertake any repairs or adjustments. Recess sensors contain fairly low maintenance and it has the capability to draw power from ambient light and radio waves. A battery-operated option is also available.

Resensys sensor is becoming very popular among structural engineers for the smooth installation process, long-lasting durability and competitive cost.

For getting more details, visit the following site

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

ENR FutureTech - An upcoming event focusing on impact of technology on construction industry

This event will be conducted by McGraw Hill Construction and will be held on November 7, 2013 at McGraw Hill Headquarters, NYC. Recently there has been some significant technological advancement in the AEC markets. New innovations and applications are being adapted and come up with on a regular basis. Technology-enabled processes facilitates design firms, contractors and construction managers nurture & acquire for providing new value to owners covering both construction projects and the asset lifecycle.
ENR FutureTech will investigate various topics like robotics in space construction; big data and information mobility; predictive analytics; automated fabrication; geo-technologies and simultaneous design & construction. The event will also highlight some of the successful conceptual ideas and stories produced by the readers, through ENR Imagining Construction’s Future contest. These success stories will be published in ENR’s November 4 issue and , which will be distributed at the conference.

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An exclusive online webinar on Cloud takeoff

Phillip Ogilby, CEO of Cloud Takeoff, has presented a web conferencing focusing on how to learn cloud takeoff in the quickest possible time.

The webinar will continue for 30 minutes and the participants will acquire the knowledge on the following :-

  • Make projects on your company bid calendar 
  • Upload plans from any source as well as Google Earth 
  • Instantly and smoothly operate on the plan canvas with Bookmarks 
  • Make, distribute and manage conditions 
  • Takeoff areas, negative areas, linear distances and count items 
  • Add notes, comments, dimension lines and other annotations 
  • Apply the Discussion Tool Maneuver your takeoff (plan overlay) 
  • Distribute your project plans for free of cost with others 
  • Generate PDF files containing single and multi page from your plans 
  • Add SmartBidNet projects to your bid calendar instantly


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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Monday, July 8, 2013

Exclusive certificate courses provided by some most recognized cost estimating institution

The Certified Professional Estimator (CPE) certificate -The American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE) conducts this course. The CPE certificate is designated for the construction estimators, and necessitates an extensive course of study. To quality for the CPE certification test, the applicant should contain at least five years experience in one discipline of professional estimating (mechanical, electrical, landscaping, etc.)

The certification process includes an educational workshop, writing a 2500 word acceptable technical paper on estimating, and completing two examinations. There is a choice for an applicant to undertake the educational workshop. It may be acquired either at the ASPE Chapters in the month of November and early December, or online. The initial exam is based on general knowledge exam. It is aimed at enhancing your skill for project management and business knowledge. The exam will last for 4 hours and contain over 500 multiple choice and true/false questions on construction topics. One has to score 70% for getting pass mark. The second exam focuses on discipline specific test for a particular area of expertise.

The ASPE is presently providing exams in general Estimating, Earthwork, Concrete, Roofing, Drywall
Systems, Painting, Plumbing, HVAC Piping, HVAC Sheet Metal, and Electrical. These exams will continue for 8 hours and contains true/false, multiple choice, and estimating problems. The exams are scheduled
all through the country in March, July, and November.

Certified Cost Estimator/Analyst (CCE/A) — Society of Cost Estimating and Analysis (SCEA) organize The Certified Cost Estimator/Analyst (CCE/A) certificate. The applicant should possess estimating knowledge with all categories in construction as well as engineering.

In order to apply for the exam, the applicant should contain the following criteria :-
(1) a college degree (in cost estimating/analysis or with more than 10 courses in cost estimating and analysis)
and two years experience in cost estimating/analysis in a position specifically identified as requiring such; (2) an associate’s degree and five years experience as described above; or (3) seven years of experience as described above with submission of a biographical sketch demonstrating education, experience and relevant performance.

The exam consists of several methods of evaluating the cost of a project like cost-benefit analysis and present worth analysis, as well as estimating models like parametric estimating and comparison estimating. The exam extends for 4 hours and divided in two parts. The first part includes 80 to 100 multiple choice and true/false questions involving mostly on terminology and concepts. The second part contains about 50 multiple choice questions related to calculations and problem solving. Minimum 70% mark is required to qualify for the exam. The exam is held twice a year in the spring and fall at the SCEA National Education Conference & Workshop. (SCEA, 2006).

Certified Parametric Practitioner (CPP) — The International Society of Parametric Analysts (ISPA) conducts this newly launched certificate course. This certificate course is related with professional recognition of a practitioner’s education, job experience, knowledge, and skills. To apply in writing examination, the applicant should possess the following :-
A college degree in a field of study directly associated with parametric analysis (or at least ten courses concerning estimating) and two years experience with parametric analysis; an associate college degree and five years of experience in parametric analysis; or seven years of experience in parametric analysis with the submission of a brief biographical sketch demonstrating the applicant’s capability or knowledge to pass the examination. The exam will continue for 3-4 hours and includes100 multiple-choice, fill in the blanks, and true/false questions. The qualifying mark is 75%.

Certified Cost Engineer/Consultant (CCE/CCC) — The Association for the Advancement Of Cost Engineering, International (AACEI) is developing The Certified Cost Engineer/Consultant certification. This certification is set up to offer official and public recognition, having experience with the most current skills and knowledge of the cost estimating profession. To apply for the CCE/CCC certification test, the applicant should contain at least 8 full years experience in the cost engineering profession (up to four can be substituted for by an engineering degree or a PE license.)

The applicant should pass a 7-hour test, as well as writing a 2,500 word minimum technical paper for being a Certified Cost Engineer or Consultant. The exam contains 100 multiple-choice and compound questions. The applicant should obtain 70% marks to qualify for the exam. The exam is scheduled twice a year in the summer and winter in different places around the U.S.

Certified Cost Consultant (CCC)/Certified Cost Engineer (CCE)

AACE’s CCC/CCE is independently authorized by the Council of Engineering & Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB). The goal is to identify specialists who fulfill a demanding set of cost and management criteria by a continuous examination, experience, education and ethical qualifications. These courses are designated for the individuals in today's cost and management industry to enhance their knowledge, experience and keep them updated with the best management practices.

For more details, go through the following link :


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How to estimate the cost of Material

Material Pricing 

The price of the materials is calculated in two different methods :-

        • Lump Sum
It is a process to supply all the Materials in a group. As for instance a steel supplier may propose to provide all of the structural steel, steel Joists and roof deck for an approved price.

        • Unit Price
It is a system provided by the supplier to supply the materials at a price per unit.

A ready mix concrete supplier may recommend to deliver 3000 psi concrete to the project for a price of RM 110 per cubic yard.

Quantity TakeOff 

It is a procedure to find out the required construction quantities. It can be segregated into :-

        • Forecasting of the quantities of work
        • Working out of the prices related to those quantities

Quantity TakeOff Procedures :-

Classification of work item– for instance : Brick wall section or concrete footing.

Estimation of quantity varying from linear, area, volume and unit.

After calculating the material take‐off, estimator can gather brief knowledge on the actual field procedure. Concrete take‐off will commence from volume for footings, grade beams, slabs and slabs for ground floor etc.

Generally quantity quantity take‐off is performed by the application of forms. In order to regulate the worksheets, provide accurately allocated areas in which proper information is to be submitted facilitating follow-up for smooth evaluation.

Pricing Materials

It is a system for allocating a RM value for a work item following a projected specification and prearranged A process quantity needed.

          • After completion of quantifying of materials, the calculation of cost of materials should be started.

          • The pricing of each work item should consist of the individual subcomponents :-

                   Procurement of permanent and temporary materials
                   Labor needed for setting up the materials
                   Equipment necessary for shifting and installing materials
                   Other consumables, eg. Fuel and tools Material costs

• In general, the amount of purchase = the unit price, which is recognized as quantity discount.

Freight cost should be taken into consideration and included in the direct cost of the materials. This is very important if the site location is very distant from nearby suppliers.

Other concerns for material procurement:

           – Quantity discount
           – Interest rate
           – Escalation
           – Holding cost
           – Credit facility
           – Allowance for method of measurement of the bill item

Material Pricing basis

• Resources of pricing information:

            Published resources – Building Cost Indices
            Company Cost records – an in-house record of accurate documenting and compiling company      cost from earlier jobs
            Vendor catalogues and quotations – prices are acquired directly from vendors from catalogues or indirect inquiries.

While Upon assembling prices from vendor, the following points must be taken into consideration:

            Payment requirements – cash, credit, credit term
            Delivery charges
            Lead time, product availability
            Price guarantee
            Quantity discount information
            Price rises clause


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Friday, July 5, 2013

Demonstration of Quick Book 2013

Arthur Lander CPA PC, has presented the following exclusive video focusing on the chart of accounts, check writing, bank reconciliation, and lots more.


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CostX® 3.50 version is useful for BIM users

CostX® is the most recognized  BIM estimating solution to look at and takeoff  from 3D/BIM models (including IFC). The software is compatible with the leading 3d design packages like Revit®, Archicad®, Microstation®, Tekla® and Google Sketchup® as well as all standard 2D drawings.

The users can customize their BIM estimating process by applying built-in templates and import model data as well as generate model maps easily. It can easily measure in the 2D and 3D process from the same model. Measurements are focused on all views.

One can support 5D BIM with the information supplied by the model live-linked to user-defined rate libraries and workbooks under one roof. 

CostX® also imports collection of drawing files as well as external rate information and exports to diversified formats, brining interoperability to a superior level. 

BIM users can experience the capability of BIM (Building Information Modelling) with CostX®, as it has full 3D graphics competence with the power to bring forth object properties and create automatic quantities from 3D BIM models. 

Watch this live demonstration of CostX®

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