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Building Estimates and Tendering (Case Study Sample)


Factors Influencing the Accuracy of Early-Stage Construction Cost estimate
Case Study: 14-storied residential apartment's tower: Milsons Point, Sydney


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Factors Influencing the Accuracy of Early-Stage Construction Cost estimate
Case Study: 14-storied residential apartment's tower: Milsons Point, Sydney
The construction process is composed of different phases. Each part requires a high level of accuracy of execution to ensure safety in costs at the end of the project. It all starts with the decision by the owner of the project. This has to be well analyzed before it can be put into implementation. This is followed by a consensual approach of the architect who does the designing part and offers advice on the best conception model to adopt, incorporating the shape, materials, finishes, and design colors (Rumane, 2016, p. 302). The third phase in the project realization involves a cost consultant, who, with the design plan's help, does the estimates and allows for the best bid by the contractor to be adopted. Then, the visible construction stages are ready to be carried on.
The construction of a 14 story residential apartment tower at Milsons Point, Sydney, did adopt the same procedures for its execution. Both the 2D and 3D designs from the architect showed complexity but achievable with the advice he had provided. A total surface area of 80 m2 was designed to be used, with each bedroom allocated a total surface area of 12 m2. An addition of 3 basements was as an advisor for the parking lots. The cellars and the ground floor adopt the same floor plan design, while the rest of the feet being of different shapes. The terrace part is accessible and contains a gym and swimming pools. It is designed to be well covered for shade purposes and against water evaporation from the reservoirs. The remaining surface on the outside, all around the apartment, was intended to be used as a garden area for the owner, starting half a meter from the apartment's exterior walls.
The 3D plan had to follow detailed advice from the architect. First, it's the presence of the stairs linking the ground floor with the three basements. Then, the physical look of both the exterior and interior walls enhanced by finishing with each floor being 3.08 m tall. The rectangular columns and beams were to be adopted all through. As for the walls, the OVE framing walls are what the architect proposed (Kang, 2018, pp.1-12). This was all for a fancy physical look of the apartment. The interior walls had to adopt a fine finishing form with a choosy color painting form for the families with kids to aid in their fine mental development.
The choice of the construction materials was given all the thought, kick-starting the process of time and cost estimation. The proposal of using blocks for all exterior walls and bricks for the interior and partitioning walls was significant. This was also going to allow for outer decorations and proper internal wall finishing adding more costs and time. The point was all set for the cost of materials and the labor to be undergone, taking all the project costs.
Preliminary Cost Estimations
Estimations are essential parts of construction to discover the budget to adopt with either correct or sometimes erratic. Being a construction consultant, the experience inside has always been a great tool. Adopting an expert judgment method in setting both the time and cost estimations has been a fast and successful one, compared to other methods like comparative and parametric model estimating methods (Chirra, 2019, p.226). First, the point has been on the emphasis of the design shape to be constructed. Many designs have been conceived with different variations, and the expert method has been successful. With the outer walls of this apartment set to all be of block type, the block's cost was crucial. At that particular episode, however, the conditions all favored this type of wall system due to the blocks' considerable costs. Then, the value of an already-mixed concrete C30, availability and accessibility of both coarse and fine aggregates, and cement cost was lower than the real moment of construction.
Knowing the shape of the floor plan and the surface area is the beginning of applying the expert estimating method. Delivery of the floor plan to the construction consultant helps compare the programs studied before with the present one. The total surface area of the 80 m2 project had to be realized. The first information to set the estimations of both time and cost was the number of materials used. This was estimable from the look of the surface area of the floors. Then, this knowledge translates to the total costs of materials and labor as a whole. However, with the years being different, a fluctuation percentage had been set in the region of an additional 0.5% to the current costs.
The Australian Construction Bureau has some estimated costs based on surface areas on construction (Uğur, 2018, pp.1476-1483). $3000 prices per square meter have been the fixed costs, including the materials and the labor totals. Thus, a total of $4.8M in costs was anticipated to be incurred carrying both the material and labor costs. However, it didn't include the cost for finishing, which was to take $200/m2. Thus, the construction consultant estimated the total costs to be $6M, all in effect with 2015 and a 0.5% price fluctuation depended on the period of 1.7 years of the construction period. With the assumptions of the price fluctuation in the form of costs of materials and labor being put in place, however, the problem arose with the significant increase in this project's expenses for the initial stages. This brought a big talk in the efficiency of the method the construction consultant used to set the estimates. Thus, the need for clarification on the different factors that had contributed to this erratic and frightening result to this residential construction project's employers and owners.
Factors Challenging Early-Stage Construction Cost Estimate
The project owner voiced their deep concern about the significant change in the cost of construction. However, the higher rise had been caused by factors beyond either the construction consultant's or the contractor's control. These factors were:
* Design complexity
The architect gave a piece of friendly advice on the plan to be adopted by the project owners. With both the 2D and 3D well designed, there were no queries raised at the start of the project. Also, as a construction consultant, the plan was agreeable as per the standards of construction. Thus, giving it the go-ahead was never in any doubt as at that particular time, everything seemed to be perfect with the plan. The first cost allocation hence matched well with the project and the expectations of the conception process.
However, there came the contraction process, which brought some changes in the budget operations. The way this floor plan and 3D plan were supposed to be handled was misinterpreted. This was all the head of the project execution, which the contractor of the project selected. Having realized this misinterpretation late in the construction process, the exterior walls had to be demolished for a new set-up. With this being part of the cost, in both the demolishing process (labor) and the mortar, with some blocks breaking and needing replacement, an added cost was incurred.
The added cost caused by the complexity of the design was never catered for during the cost estimation of the early-stages of this construction. This contributed to this significant cost changes of the entire construction process, almost amounting to a 10% increase. The problem is that it beheld the construction consultant's control, who never thought the plan would be misinterpreted. Notably, a project will be an investment to cover its construction costs.
* Restricted site access and working hour limitations from the city council
A purchased land is not personally owned but a possession by the council office. This limits all the activities carried upon this piece of land. It also dictates the time of access into the site and has not been any different during the realization of this 14-storied residential apartment. The set duration initially was 1.7 years for completing this project and one-time entry as per the Australian Construction Bureau (Meredith, 2017, p. 243). This was all based on the expert estimating method used by the construction consultant.
The outbreak of high levels of theft cases around Milsons Point changed the site area a lot. The Council put some restrictions on the time citizens were supposed to be out of their houses. Having planned that there would be 11 hours of work in each day, starting from 7 am to 6 pm, this was changed. The Council set some inevitable rules such that with our entry time maintained at 7 am, every day we were obliged to close at 4 pm. This was a reduction of 2 hours of work daily. It led to an increase in the number of days of work, which had all to be accounted for.
Having not accounted for increased days, which led to this project being carried out for 2.5 years, an increase in labor cost was incurred. This increase had not been accounted for even in the additional 0.5% of the construction cost fluctuations. Thus, a significant increase, estimated at 15%, in the cost for

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