BIM and cost estimating

Topics: Parking, Multi-storey car park, Estimation theory Pages: 51 (10505 words) Published: November 29, 2013
Working Paper #6
REFLECTIONS ON ESTIMATING - THE
EFFECTS OF PROJECT COMPLEXITY
AND THE USE OF BIM ON THE
ESTIMATING PROCESS

H. van Meerveld, T. Hartmann, A.M.
Adriaanse and C. Vermeij

COPYRIGHT © 2009
VISICO Center, University of Twente
[email protected]

Reflections on estimating
The effects of project complexity and the use o f BIM on the estimating process

Bachelor thesis
September, 2009
Research period: May-August, 2009

Author:

H. (Hendrik) van Meerveld
Bachelor student Civil Engineering
University of Twente
Student number: 0112208

University:

University of Twente

Company:

Ballast Nedam

University advisor:

Dr. ir. T. (Timo) Hartmann
Assistant Professor
Department of Construction Management & Engineering
University of Twente

Company advisors:

Dr. ir. A.M. (Arjen) Adriaanse
Manager building process integration
Ballast Nedam Engineering
Ing. C. (Kees) Vermeij
Head of estimation
Ballast Nedam Infra Projecten

Abstract
Companies are starting to use Building Information Models (BIMs) for cost estimation purposes. This BIM-based estimating enables estimators to quickly and accurately extract quantities and estimate construction costs, potentially leading to a better estimate. In projects that are more complex however, acquiring an accurate estimate requires more effort, because complexity features influence the process and increase uncertainty and the chance of making mistakes. Furthermore, the use of BIM also influences the estimating process because the BIM determines quantities extracted and has a direct link to corresponding costs. This changes the ways estimators normally would estimate construction costs.

To explore the effects of project complexity and the use of BIM on the estimating process, I conducted three case studies, all concerning parking structure projects. The first case concerned a non-complex parking structure project to gain insight in the traditional estimating process. In the second case, I studied the effects of project complexity in a case concerning a complex project. In the last case study, I studied a BIM-based estimating process in a non-complex project to gain insight in the effect of the use of BIM.

The main effect of an increase of project complexity is the increase in difficulty to acquire or calculate proper quantities. Estimators react to this, by putting in more effort, or to add extra margins in the estimate. As for the effects of the use of BIM, it becomes clear that estimators and modelers have to coordinate their work upfront, to create a proper BIM that can produce all necessary quantities, and to align that BIM with corresponding recipes.

By addressing these effects, this research contributes to a better understanding of estimating and the effects of project complexity and the use of BIM. In turn, this can contribute to a better understanding of BIM-based estimating in complex projects.

Acknowledgements
This thesis would not have been possible without the help of several people. First, I would like to thank my university advisor, Timo Hartmann, who really helped me in doing, and learning to do research. I would also like to thank my company advisors Arjen Adriaanse and Kees Vermeij for their insights and the interesting discussions throughout my research period. Special thanks go to Baktiar Saeed, whom I closely worked with during most of my research period.

2

Bachelor thesis
September, 2009

Table of contents
1.

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... 5

2.

Theoretical Context ......................................................................................................................... 6 2.1
2.2

Complexity of projects............................................................................................................. 7

2.3

BIM-based cost...

References: Ballast Nedam Infra Projecten. (2008) Company manual.
Ballast Nedam Infra Projecten. (2008) Handboek Project structuur en codering.
Dysert, L.R. (2004). “Estimating”. In Amos, S.J. (ed.), Skills & Knowledge of Cost Estimation.
Maylor, H. (2003). Project Management. Harlow, England: Prentice Halls
Neil, J.N., (1982)
Senate Properties. (2007). BIM requirement 2007, volume 7: quantity take-off. Required on the 17th
of June, 2009 from
Staub-French, S., Fischer, M., (2001). Industrial Case Study of Electronic Design, Cost & Schedule
Integration
Staub-French, S., Fischer, M., Kunz, J., Paulson, B., (2003). A generic feature-driven activity-based cost
estimation process
Staub-French, S., Fischer, M., Kunz, J., Paulson, B., (2003) An ontology for Relating Features with
Activities to Calculate Costs
Verschuren, P.J.M., Doorewaard, J.A.C.M. (2007). Het ontwerpen van een onderzoek. Den Haag:
Uitgeverijg LEMMA
September, 2009
Appendix A: Complexity features and related feature(s) of BIM-based
I show in the table below, I structured my findings by relating complexity features to the five most
common errors in quantity takeoff, as defined by Halpin (2006)
Table 2: This table shows the five most common errors experienced during quantity takeoff, according to
Halpin (2006).
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