19six Architects understands that keeping projects on time and on budget is the foundation for a successful project. Effective management of the cost of a project must be established at the very beginning. Clear identification and verification of the project budget is required, as well as responsibility for monitoring and maintaining the budget. The project’s budget will be monitored throughout the project, and a reporting system will be set up to inform the client as costs change.
We adapt our cost control and reporting systems to meet the specific needs of our clients. We meet with client personnel at the start of the project to determine their needs for reporting frequency and format of reports. We then identify and analyze the risks of the various elements of the project. Critical areas of risk may require special attention and monitoring to ensure that the needs of the client are met.
We believe strongly that a cost estimator must be an active participant in the design process and are accustomed to a very collaborative and integrated role within the design team. We prefer outside consultants because they are unattached and objective in providing costs at all phases during the design. We work closely with them to ensure incorporation of cost efficient materials and methods of construction in the design.
At each stage, the estimates will reflect the level of detail of the design shown on the drawings and in the specifications. At the conceptual stage, the information will be based on parametric quantities and pricing derived from other similar projects. As the design develops through schematic design and design development, more detailed quantities and measurements are made, prices are extended and costs are compared element by element to check that each element’s budget is adhered to or, where there are variances from the original budgets, that the cause for variance is understood and quantified.
By performing estimates at agreed upon milestones, the client receives two major benefits. First, utilizing a professional estimator ensures you get accurate, up-to-date pricing. This information will help you make budgetary decisions at the earliest possible phase. Second, cost estimating throughout the life of the project is an added layer of quality control. The project architect is responsible for reviewing each line item in the 19six scope of work and having each consultant review their scope of work. If specific items are not shown in the cost estimate, it is our job to find this and have the estimator correct the estimate. This ensures that our drawings and specs are clear and comprehensive.
The size of the project may influence the frequency of cost estimates. However, we typically recommend them at the following phases:
- Concept Design Phase
- Schematic Design Phase
- Design Development Phase
- Construction Documents Phase at the 50% and 90% completion