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How much will this project cost? Are we on budget? These are the most frequently asked questions during a project review.
Being on budget is achieved by two steps, first being Cost Targeting and the second being Cost Controlling.
During the earlier phase of project discussions between Besten design professionals and the client, a reasonable cost expectation is fixed in the form of a budget along with the functional requirements of the project.
During all phases of design development Besten design professionals shall keep in front the target cost, and adjust the size, scale, form and functional specifications of the project to ensure that the cost is always within agreed limits.
During the detailing of the project, key components shall be constantly monitored, reviewed and adjusted to fall within the budget. At the same time, it needs to be ensured that the project quality is never compromised and distinctive size and form of the project is not disturbed.
Cost controlling is a complex process which will be affected by various factors like inflation, economical and political reasons, environmental and weather conditions, complexity of construction, method of project delivery, lack of clarity or change in scope of work etc.
Besten cost professionals have the option of getting assistance from in-house or external cost consultants, quantity surveyors or have discussions with reputed contractors and vendors to get reliable information on the cost of the key components of the project.
Even though the project cost estimate and budget is prepared in the initial stage of the project, refinement of the same will happen at various stages of engineering design and detailing. There are no hard and fast rules to decide on the number of steps to be followed for preparation and refinement of the cost estimate of a project. But most projects shall have the following minimum 4 steps of estimate preparation and refinement.
At each stages of estimation, the details of the project increases with a correspondent increase in the accuracy of the estimate and decrease in contingencies. A variance report also shall be submitted by Besten along with the estimate clearly showing what changed and why it is changed from previous estimates.
In all estimates starting from the first estimate to the final, the total expected construction costs shall be reflected regardless of what is detailed.
Class ‘D’ Estimate
This is the first ever estimate prepared for a project and is characterised by an accuracy level of ± 30%. The cost assessment is based on initial information regarding functional requirements, comparative cost of similar projects already completed etc.
Class ‘C’ Estimate
This estimate is normally prepared after the conceptualisation of the project and is characterised by an accuracy of ±20%. This is still a rough estimate of the project based on the agreed functional requirements, size and form of the project.
Class ‘B’ Estimate
This estimate is characterised by and accuracy level of ± 10% and is normally prepared after the completion of schematic design phase and the detailed design has progressed to sufficient stage to estimate break up costs of various components of the project.
Class ‘A’ Estimate
This shall be the most accurate estimate of a project cost and shall be characterised by an accuracy of 5%. This estimate is prepared after detailed engineering process is completed and complete details of the project are available, prior to tendering process.
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