DCM Consulting’s strategy to conceptual estimating is a collaborative team effort which includes the design team, owner and the DCM estimating team. Prior to starting the first estimate, we have a meeting to review the project with the design team and owner. We listen intently to ensure we are conceptualizing and understanding the design intent and the client’s desired usage of the project. This enables us to “fill in the blanks” for a complete and fully functioning building estimate based on drawings that are in early design and hence not complete. DCM’s goal in conceptual estimating is to create an estimate at each design stage that accurately captures the current design intent for the project and includes all project elements necessary for a fully functioning building. As your cost estimating consultant, our planning process of creating each estimate deliverable is as follows for each design phase of the project documents:
- Meet with the design team and client to perform a drawing page turn of the project
- Perform our material quantity take-off and pricing
- Issue the ‘draft’ estimate deliverable to the design team for review
- Meet with the design team to review our material quantity take-off and pricing. We review the estimate line-by-line as well as the Estimate Clarifications to ensure we have accurately captured the current design intent for the project.
- We revise the estimate deliverable per the above meeting and then issue the final estimate deliverable
- If the project is over the budgeted amount, we conduct Cost Control Management by collaborating with your designers to list VE/cost reduction items and thereby bringing the project within budget. We list all these items on our Cost Control Log which ties to the estimate summary.
As your Design Cost Manager, during each phase of design, we collaborate with the architects and engineers to answer questions and confirm scope items relative to budget impacts they could have. We respond to any questions the team may have regarding materials and details while they are designing to provide real-time cost information to them. This enables them to make cost-impact informed decisions as their design progresses and evolves. Our goal in this process is to collaborate with the design team so they design within the overall project budget. This reduces the possibility of over designing, which will in turn reduce redesign hours.
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