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Innovative Strategies For Teaching Construction Fundamentals: Implementing Design Build Project Delivery Procedures Into A Course In Cost Estimating

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Trends in Construction Engineering II

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

12.898.1 - 12.898.6



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Paper Authors


David Cottrell University of North Carolina-Charlotte

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DR. DAVID S. COTTRELL is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Technology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1978 and retired in 2000 after more than 22 years of service with the US Army Corps of Engineers. Studies at Texas A&M University resulted in an MS Degree in Civil Engineering in 1987 and a PhD in 1995. He is a registered Professional Engineer and has taught courses in statics, dynamics, mechanics of materials, graphic communications, engineering economy, and construction planning, scheduling, estimating, and management.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Innovative Strategies for Teaching Construction Fundamentals: Implementing Design-Build Project Delivery Procedures into a Course in Cost Estimating


This paper describes the integration of design-build projects during the Fall Semester, 2006, into a cost estimating course in the Department of Engineering Technology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Design-build is a project delivery system with an enviable record of bringing capital facilities on-line rapidly often with reduced overall project costs.1,2 Nevertheless, the procedure tends to be associated with higher risk as it radically short-cuts the traditional design-bid-build protocol where the contractor routinely receives an essentially completed design package prior to the development of a detailed estimate. Tradition methods allow a deliberate, independent development of work package quantities, durations, crew development, and assignment of costs. This paper examines the creation of a block of instruction in a conventional cost estimating course that addresses the salient characteristics of the alternative design-build project delivery particularly as it impacts the creation of project cost estimate including:

• The collaborative relationship between owners, designers, and constructors from initial project development through construction.

• The use of a general scope of work in the absence of completed designs to support creation of a conceptual estimate that determines total project costs based on:

o Features that can be readily priced with confidence;

o Alternatives for features that have yet to be adequately defined.

This paper examines ETCE 3281, a course in cost estimating, primarily for 3rd year students pursuing a Construction Management or Civil Engineering Technology Degree. Course content is conventional with the study of industry wide standard techniques and practices for estimating costs of construction activities. Students typically prepare quantity surveys and estimate labor and equipment requirements for well defined work packages resulting from often finitely developed contract documents, specifications, and drawings. This paper examines the implementation of practical exercises and project scenarios that create a realistic project atmosphere simulating a successful design-build environment complete with partial designs and imperfect information. Students developed conceptual estimates in an iterative fashion in consultation with the “owner” and with the “designer” as they continued to develop and refine project features. This paper will present:

• The project documents employed in the practical exercise to develop the design-build scenario;

Proceedings of the 2007 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2007, American Society for Engineering Education”

Cottrell, D. (2007, June), Innovative Strategies For Teaching Construction Fundamentals: Implementing Design Build Project Delivery Procedures Into A Course In Cost Estimating Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--3003

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