Authors: Essam Zaneldin
Detailed cost estimation is a difficult task due to the inherent complexity of projects, the competitive nature of the construction industry, the difficulties associated with modeling all cost components, and the inability of traditional cost estimating tools to solve this large-size problem. In this paper, a practical model is developed for estimating the cost of construction projects taking into consideration all direct and indirect cost components. To simplify modeling, a spreadsheet-based cost model (SCM) is developed to be easily usable by construction practitioners. The spreadsheet model will provide different options which can be selected manually to generate a method of construction and estimate its corresponding cost. The use of spreadsheets to model complex operations is first outlined then the model with its integrated components is presented. The model will be used as a template to store project’s cost data. Using the model, users will be able to select different construction methods and find their corresponding total project cost. The model will be used on a hypothetical example to experiment with it and demonstrate its benefits and capabilities.
Keywords: Spreadsheets; construction; cost estimation; cost overruns