Reflections on estimating : the effects of project complexity and the use of BIM on the estimating process

Meerveld, H. van (2009) Reflections on estimating : the effects of project complexity and the use of BIM on the estimating process.

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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.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering BSc (56952)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/68903
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