How to obtain an automatic cost estimating from your 3D BIM model
Cost estimating and control is one of the most important steps in project management as the delivery of a successful project is defined by the overall cost performance and ability to meet project deadlines.
Project control procedures are primarily intended to identify alterations and errors to speed up work and for cost savings. As a result, cost estimate at a given stage of project development represents a prediction provided by the cost engineer or estimator to fulfil the original design plans and reduce delays.
In this blog post we shall focus on how to obtain these benefits using Edificius, the BIM software integrating various aspects of design (architectural, MEP modelling, structural, health and safety, project presentation, cost estimating, construction site management, etc.).
Download the 30-day free trial here and follow my tips to obtain a bill of quantities directly from your 3D model.
Dynamic cost estimating from a 3D model
Project managers need reliable cost estimating systems to develop financial management plans in order to reduce errors and save time. For this reason, an estimating software integrating both aspects of 3D design and construction cost estimate is a valuable resource to simplify the process of predicting cost to perform the scope of a project and define its level of accuracy by allowing you to associate each element of your 3D model to a specific price item.
Let’s see an example to automatically obtain quantities while updating your model.
After having generated your 3D model with Edificius, simply launch the cost estimating environment. At this point, you need to import or create a price list in .dcf format and associate one or more items to each model object.
Here’s how to proceed:
- select the object to estimate, for example partition walls (either manually or through selection filters)
- choose the formulas suggested by the software or create new formulas according to your needs (the software automatically calculates the quantities to be included in the BoQ – length, area, volume, etc. – relating to the selected object)
- associate the work item to be calculated (e.g. plastering, grouting, painting, etc.), acquiring it from the reference price list.
The software automatically calculates the measurements of the object that you select (length, surface, volume, etc.) based on the formula you have chosen.
BoQ update in real time when editing your architectural project
During the design phase, you might need to often modify your project and change shapes and dimensions. This also implies having to update your bill of quantities each time!
On the other hand, if you’re working with a software like Edificius, which allows you to associate the BoQ items directly to the model objects, you no longer need to worry about updating it when the architectural model changes as measurements and corresponding quantities are dynamically connected to your 3D model.
In this way, the cost estimate will always be consistent with your architectural project.
In addition, thanks to the dynamic 3D model-BoQ connection, you will also have a more visual control over the entities to be estimated.
By selecting the 3D object from the BoQ section, all the objects with the same characteristics will be highlighted in plan view:
- the objects with the same characteristics to be estimated will be in yellow
- the entities already inserted in the BoQ will be in green.
Save, print and edit your bills of quantities with PriMus
At this point, to manage the document that you have obtained, you can:
- save the cost estimate file in .dcf format to use it within PriMus. For instance, you can customize measurements, use advanced printing functions and share BoQs, price lists and price books in .dcf standard format.
- export the file in .doc or .pdf formats to enclose it in your project validation review or share it with colleagues, clients, companies, etc.
- print the BoQ to obtain a hard copy of your document.