A process in which BIM can be used to assist in the generation of accurate quantity take-offs and cost estimates throughout the lifecycle of a project. This process allows the project team to see the cost effects of their changes, during all phases of the project, which can help curb excessive budget overruns due to project modifications. Specifically, BIM can provide cost effects of additions and modifications, with potential to save time and money and is beneficial already from early design stages to Facility Management stage of any project.

Potential Value:
  • Precisely quantify modeled materials
  • Earn Value Analyse graphs (EVA) to control the actual budget to follow the planned
  • Resource utilization diagram within contractors – to control site safety measures
  • Cost risk analysis and easy way to add values to the system, no matter of units
  • Quickly generate quantities to assist in the decision making process
  • Generate more cost estimates at a faster rate
  • Better visual representation of project and construction elements that must be estimated
  • Provide cost information to the owner during the early decision making phase of design and throughout the lifecycle, including changes during construction
  • Saves estimator’s time by reducing quantity take-off time
  • Allows estimator’s to focus on more value adding activities in estimating such as: identifying construction assemblies, generating pricing and factoring risks, which are essential for high quality estimates
  • Added to a construction schedule (such as a 4D Model), a BIM developed cost estimate can help track budgets throughout construction
  • Easier exploration of different design options and concepts within the owner’s budget
  • Quickly determine costs of specific objects and processes
  • Easier to strain new estimators through this highly visual process
  • Real time budget/payment updates and billing process throughout all phases
  • Lifecycle planning of components and its validity included to cost estimation
  • FM overall budget specifies individual object/component based on FM system requirement (E.g. SAP S/4 HANA)
  • Time schedule has an impact on cost estimation
Resources Required:
  • Model-based estimating software (4D-model is prefered)
  • Design authoring software
  • Accurately built design model  Accurately built design model combined with reduced level of information/models
  • Cost data (Including Masterformat and Uniformat data)
  • Access to asset data/pricebook for overall/detail price estimation
Team Competencies Required:
  • FM expertise must be included from early stage
  • Ability to define specific design modeling procedures which yield accurate quantity take-off information
  • Ability to identify quantities for the appropriate estimating level upfront
  • Ability to manipulate models to acquire quantities usable for estimation
  • Access to knowhow (know-whom)/asset/experianced ressources and specialists
Proces diagram:
A flowchart depicting BIM use “Cost Estimation (5D)”