There has been a massive shift in construction cost estimation – from manual cost estimation to digitised processes. Here is how the future will look like with the implementation of technologies like VR and generative design.
As we all know, cost estimating is one of the most crucial aspects of construction. It involves an accurate estimation of the total costs that will be required to complete a project – including labour costs, material costs, etc. To put it simply, construction cost estimating sets up the financial foundation of the project and is an important part of strategic planning before the project work starts.
In the earlier days, construction cost estimating was done manually – through design analysis, lengthy calculations, manual data entry, etc. – everything on pen and paper. It used to be a tedious and time-consuming task. And more importantly, more often than not, manual cost estimation used to be inaccurate.
Another major hurdle that cost estimators used to face back in those days was the fact that ongoing changes during the course of building construction massively altered the initial estimations. (building design, labour efficiency, material costs, halt in work progress, etc.) Since estimations were done manually, it was practically impossible to keep up with those changes.
Digitisation Of Cost Estimation
The digitisation of cost estimation over the last decade or so has massively improved efficiency and accuracy. Moreover, keeping up with ongoing changes during construction projects has also become much easier. Model-based estimation and the incorporation of Building Information Modeling (BIM) has had a major role to play in this change. Accurate cost estimation now takes only a few days, if not a few hours.
In today’s day and age, estimators have access to advanced programs, using which they can create 3-D models from conceptual building drawings, club those with any takeoff software, and figure out required quantities from those models. These quantities, when fed into advanced estimating software, can fetch accurate cost estimations quickly and accurately. This can help even a freelance quantity surveyor or even quantity surveying companies offering quantity surveying services or estimating services.
The Future of Construction Cost Estimation
Moving forward, better accuracy in financial management will drive the construction industry. Building models will become even more sophisticated, thus posing complex challenges to cost estimation. The ability of modelling tools to be integrated with estimating software will be the key to maintaining construction cost estimating accuracy. Ongoing design changes to optimise construction efficiency is one of the major cost estimation challenges, and technologies like generative design and Virtual Reality can play a major role in coping up with those.
- Virtual Reality
Virtual reality has emerged as one of the most advanced technologies with numerous applications. And, it has immense potential in revolutionising construction cost estimating. VR products can help an estimator and quantity surveyors, even a freelance quantity surveyor, experience various building designs even before those are created, and assist them in understanding the potential cost estimation changes that might be required during the course of the project. They can then feed those possibilities in advanced estimating software to accurately estimate construction costs and be ready for any possible alterations. You can easily find quantity surveyors or quantitative surveyor by searching for ‘quantity surveyors near me’.
To put it simply, Virtual Reality will help a cost estimator stay ahead of the curve, and help them explore various possibilities beforehand. For example, using VR products, estimators can change materials and make design changes, in the pre-construction phase to accurately estimate the effects of those changes in cost estimating. In a nutshell, Virtual Reality can revolutionise cost estimating and instil a higher degree of accuracy by enabling estimators to factor in potential future alterations into their construction cost estimating strategy.
- Generative Design
Generative design is a more futuristic technology that is yet to be integrated with most estimating software. However, it can shoot up cost estimating efficiency by a great deal. Here is how!
Generative design uses unique computational algorithms to automatically create thousands of potential structural and design ideas, which might otherwise be a massively tedious manual work. Based on those potential design ideas, engineers can figure out the most relevant ones, thus helping the cost estimator to accurately predict and optimise material costs, time schedules, labour costs, etc.
The generative design will not be adopted until and unless it can be well integrated with an advanced estimation software. The reason being, designs created by this technology can take weeks to analyse if done manually. However, in tandem with the proper software, this technology can do wonders in terms of accurate cost estimation.
Automation is the future of cost estimation. Estimating services that keep up with the changes in the construction industry in terms of technological adoption will ultimately survive.
The Estimating Group Ltd. is a well-know and credible construction estimation service based out of the UK that provides professional estimation services, specifically to construction businesses across England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. Find us on ukdatabase and count on us for a skilled construction estimator.
We also coordinate QS recruitment that can enhance your career progression.
We use advanced estimating software to maximise our estimation accuracy. Moreover, our experienced and qualified team of cost estimators and quantity surveyors keep themselves constantly updated with changes in the construction industry. Look for this when seeking a ‘surveyor near me’ with experience in conquest estimating.
Our sole aim is to adopt the latest cutting edge technologies and integrate those with our proprietary estimating software so that we can keep providing high-quality construction estimating services. You can find us with ukdatabase.
Contact us at [email protected] to know more.