During the Pre-Construction Phase, one of KBS Construction, Inc.'s primary responsibilities is scope estimating. Scope estimates are developed from schematic and design development documents along with outline specifications. This cost information is shared openly with the Owner and Architect. It is critical that the entire team understand the basis for the costs as they are the interpretation of the Owners' needs and the Architects' plans and specifications.
The scope estimates are developed from a historical cost database. This database is derived primarily from past projects, however, we also utilize industry databases such as Means and Dodge. This gives us detailed costs from direct experience and an overall reference from an independent source. All historical costs are updated to reflect cost escalations, market conditions, seasonal factors and unique features of the individual facility.
Our "hands on" experience of self-performing general construction gives us first hand knowledge of the actual costs of construction for many critical building components. This direct involvement also gives us the vision to suggest design details and materials that make the building more cost efficient without adversely affecting the quality or performance. We do not have to rely solely on subcontractors for key component costs. This is important as many times it is desired to keep preliminary project plans confidential.
A scope estimate is a valuable tool at all phases of the project development. This information is used by the Project Team to determine costs prior to committing resources and expenses for preparation of construction documents. Also, it will give a detailed breakdown of individual component costs to be used during the design phase to make decisions on materials, systems and quality levels.
As design proceeds through design development and construction documentation, the scope estimate is constantly updated to reflect the more complete information defined. As the design documents are completed, the scope estimate is converted to an actual quantity takeoff and estimate. This process allows us to constantly keep the Project Team informed of the cost of construction, while identifying any savings on the project at the earliest point in time. Should savings arise, the Owner can decide the best use of the funds.