New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
The need to effectively manage costs during the construction phase of a project to meet budget constraints is widely understood by both practitioners and academics. Most, if not all, Construction Engineering and Management undergraduate and graduate programs require that students complete construction cost estimating courses as part of their core curriculum. However, the value of estimating the owner’s planning, design, and procurement costs during the preconstruction period is not typically included in the Construction Engineering and Management curriculum. Preconstruction costs are usually defined as all work required to develop and advertise construction documents to a point where the construction contract can be awarded. Final project construction documents literally define the level of required construction quality and as such, must also be of adequate quality to achieve the construction project’s ultimate success. Thus, failing to provide an adequate and sufficient preconstruction budget constrains the necessary resources to fully develop these documents and may unintentionally constrain the document development process causing planners and designers to match their level of effort to the amount of time permitted by the budget. Not only may the quality of the construction documents be negatively impacted but design factors of safety may be unnecessarily increased due to a lack of time to do detailed design analyses. It can also, eventually, have an impact in design issues related to serviceability, operation, or maintenance. Lastly, the increased use of alternative project delivery methods, such as Design-Build and Construction Manager-at-Risk, have created a need to teach preconstruction cost estimating in academic programs to ensure that graduates have the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively manage construction projects delivered using both traditional and alternative methods. This paper contributes to the body of knowledge by demonstrating the importance of accurately estimating owner’s preconstruction costs and proposing a framework to assist engineering educators to integrate the subject into the required curriculum in Construction Engineering and Management programs.
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