Conceptual estimating represents the first attempt at defining a projectís overall scope and monetary cost. Each is based on numerous assumptions and, to be of value, key questions must be answered for a clear understanding of a projectís program and all of its ramifications. Conceptual estimates often form the financial basis for grant applications, monitoring design development and/or managing project cost. They must predict and reasonably account for inflation, subtle project features, and a realistic degree of refinement during the design process.
Conceptual estimates must identify all aspects of a project to ensure adequacy of funding including owner, designer, contractor, and third-party responsibilities. At PCMI we query the owner and design team in an effort to fully understand project drivers and their shared vision for the project. Key questions are asked to gain a thorough understanding of the owner's program.
All too often, deficient conceptual estimates yield inadequate project funding. If these deficiencies are discovered early in the design process, owners can often recover with a minimal amount of expense and inconvenience; however, if deficiencies are discovered late in the design process or at bid time, owners stand to lose substantial time and money and designers can lose hundreds of hours to redesign. Deficiencies discovered too late can even threaten the viability of a project.
At PCMI we understand the critical importance of providing reliable conceptual estimates; it might be the single most important thing that we do. We also realize that fat estimates are almost as bad as deficient estimates and that an estimateís real value is in forecasting bidding or negotiated outcomes. We have extensive experience in providing accurate, reliable and relevant conceptual estimates that stand the test of time.