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 July 2007
Tech News

New Building Standard Aids in Format for Cost Estimates, Summaries and Analyses

ASTM International Committee E06 on Performance of Buildings has approved a new practice that will help developers and builders to better estimate the cost of a construction project. The new standard, E 2514, Practice for Presentation Format of Elemental Cost Estimates, Summaries, and Analyses, is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee E06.81 on Building Economics.

“Numerous examples of elemental report formats abound and they typically follow a common pattern,” says Anthony Huxley, an E06.81 member and a construction consultant in Ontario, Canada. “E 2514 provides a common format and describes in some detail the preferred display of figures, their displayed precision and the analysis and summary techniques used to create the displayed figures from the necessary underlying construction quantity and cost data.” Huxley notes that these details are typically obtained from the wide ranging and constantly changing data inherent in any developing building design and specification.

Huxley says that several years of observation suggested that the terms “cost analysis,” “cost summary” and “cost estimate” are often used interchangeably, even though each term describes a distinct report of elemental costs.

E 2514 provides a concise, consistent and logical way to present cost information obtained through the use of the following three ASTM standards that, taken together, provide the basic classification of elements needed to create a complete estimate, summary or analysis:

E 1557, Classification for Building Elements and Related Sitework—UNIFORMAT II;
E 2083, Classification for Building Construction Field Requirements and Office Overhead Profit; and
E 2168, Classification for Allowance, Contingency and Reserve Sums in Building Construction Estimating.

“Using E 2514 as an elemental reporting technique aids significantly the cost management process through all design stages by creating simplicity out of the complexity of a continually developing set of design, drawing and specification details,” says Huxley. Use of the new standard for a project will make it easier for the budgetary cost impact of design changes incorporated prior to the bid process to be easily identified, saving time and money for all parties involved in the project, according to Huxley.

“In essence, the process of comparing elemental cost through design permits control and the feeding forward of the final, analyzed data into new schemes of construction work, permiting the early setting of rational cost targets and budgets,” says Huxley.

As an aid to using E 2514, Huxley notes that a simple spreadsheet adjunct is being prepared to accompany the standard. The adjunct, which the committee hopes to be able to make available later this year, will demonstrate the preparation of estimate, summary and analysis reports with manually entered input obtained from any available/applicable estimate source.

CONTACT

Technical Information: Anthony Huxley, Kemptville, Ontario, Canada
Phone: 613/258-9324

ASTM Staff: Stephen Mawn
Phone: 610/832-9726

Upcoming Meeting:
Oct. 28-31
October Committee Week
Tampa, Fla.