Integrating BIM in construction takeoff and estimating: A case study of an advanced cost estimating course for construction management

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Huang, Yilei

Huang, Y. (2020). Integrating BIM in construction takeoff and estimating: A case study of an advanced cost estimating course for construction management. Proceedings of the 2020 IEMS Conference, 26, 67-73.


As Building Information Modeling (BIM) is becoming the standard practice for design, engineering, and fabrication in the construction industry, Construction Management (CM) programs have started to introduce BIM for cost estimating in their curriculum. Many CM programs consider model-based quantity takeoff merely as an alternative approach to the traditional plan-based quantity takeoff. The disconnection between automated quantity takeoff and cost estimating, however, still exists. In addition, without fully understanding the role of BIM in preconstruction, students will only use BIM models as 3D representation of the plans without realizing the benefits that the BIM process brings to the project lifecycle. This paper presents a newly developed Advanced Cost Estimating course for CM programs that focuses on integrating BIM in both the takeoff and estimating process. The course is structured based on the UniFormat divisional system and uses RSMeans building assemblies for bid pricing. The course streamlines the connection between model-based quantity takeoff and cost estimating with the help of the latest construction software programs. By applying a combination of three different computer programs, quantity data from a BIM model can be seamlessly transferred to a construction cost database for bid pricing and reporting. Student survey at the end of semester suggested that using BIM models for construction takeoff and estimating with building assemblies can greatly improve student understanding of knowledge and consequently strengthen the learning outcomes. This paper provides an empirical case study with valuable insights on how to integrate BIM in a cost estimating course in a CM program.

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Published in SOAR: Shocker Open Access Repository by Wichita State University Libraries Technical Services, December 2022.
The IEMS'20 conference committee: Wichita State University, College of Engineering (Sponsor); Gamal Weheba (Conference Chair); Hesham Mahgoub (Program Chair); Dalia Mahgoub (Technical Director); Ron Barrett-Gonzalez (Publications Editor)