Vico Services Presents Strategies for a Hard Bid

Should You Build or Buy a BIM Knowledge Base of Cost and Time Elements?


Boulder, CO - December 10, 2009 - In an environment where there are smaller projects with plenty of bidders under a hard bid deadline, it's imperative that you remain competitive.


Having a database for costing, resources, and productivity rates ready to go when a new bid is being developed would help ensure that you have the latest pricing at your fingertips.  Tying this knowledge base to a BIM augments your 3D model to a 4D schedule and a 5D estimate.  All of a sudden, the "I" in BIM means more than geometry: it contains procurement lead times, costing, activities, crew size, and productivity rates, not to mention LEED points, energy analysis information, and even warranty details.


This knowledge base links BIM objects with costs and schedules and improves the decision-making value of your 3D model. The knowledge base allows you to build resource-loaded schedules and cost-loaded estimates with element assemblies and activity assemblies, all divided into labor, material, machinery, subcontractors, etc. But the question remains: how do you get a knowledge base? Should you build one or should you invest in one?


What:  Utilizing a 4D/5D Knowledge Base in a Hard Bid
When:  Friday, December 11 @ 12 Noon Eastern 
Where:  A free online webinar 
Why:  Strategies that GCs can use in their next hard bid
How:  Register today!


Many companies do have a robust estimating database in place.  So it's important to note that there is a major difference between a normal estimating database and a knowledge base of time and cost elements from which schedules and estimates can be generated.   For example:


Estimating Items need to be split into schedule activities

• Erecting and stripping side #1 and side #2 formwork are separate activities because they can't be done at the same time)


Unique descriptions for all element types

• No simple Concrete to Foundations task.  The tasks need to be broken out:

• Pour PSI4000 Concrete to Grade beams

• Pour PSI4000 Concrete to Pier caps

• Pour PSI4000 Concrete to Pad foundations  


Unique descriptions for like element types

• Even a slight change in dimension effects the costing.  For example, a 6" concrete wall has a different amount of rebar and a different pour and cure time than a 2' wall.

Estimating quantity types versus Scheduling quantity types

• A scheduler may be likely to work on a basis of number of like-sized items (like piers, piles, steelwork, etc.) per day rather than its dimensions and if that element always requires a crane.


Resource Pricing

• It's important to identify labor resources who will move from task to task across the site rather than thinking of them as a "crew" who will go home after each task.  This means having a calculation for labor per day rather than crew per cubic yard.


Classification Systems

• We prefer Uniformat Level 4 for element assemblies and CSI Masterformat 2004 for activity assemblies.


In this special Fridays with Vico webinar, we'll discuss the pros and cons of building your own database versus purchasing a pre-populated one.  We'll demonstrate best practices for developing geography-specific cost and schedule databases.  And we'll also have a frank discussion of why this data is hard to pinpoint and gather.


This webinar is for you and your firm if:



Hard bids have become the de facto bidding process in your market;


You want to develop hard bid strategies quickly, but might not have time to develop a BIM;


You want to bid on many more projects and connecting a knowledge base to a BIM would greatly speed your reaction time;


You understand that BIM-based schedules and estimates aren't generated with a click; but you do know that you can be more scientific and rigorous in your calculations;


You understand that construction-caliber quantities drive a more precise schedule and estimate - you just haven't tied quantities to a cost and resource knowledge base;


You want to protect your fee and believe that 4D and 5D BIM done right will mitigate project risk.


Through the Hard Bid Series, we've received some hard-hitting questions:



Is it possible to win with a comprehensive BIM strategy even in a hard bid situation? 


How quickly can an estimator learn model-based estimating? A hard bid is only 3-5 weeks! 


Can GCs do BIM if they only get drawings from an architect?


What's the difference between an architect's BIM and a GC's BIM?


Which project details are better to model in terms of arriving at a competiting schedule, estimate, and potential constructability issues?


We've tried to answer these questions with new blog posts pertaining to Hard Bid situations.  Please browse through the following posts:


When Estimators Block BIM


Location-Based Management in Hard Bid Contracts


Hard Bids - Back to the Future Construction-Style


Reduce Project Risk with Location-Based Schedules


Does BIM Mean Estimators Are Out of a Job?


Location-Based Scheduling from the Owner's Point of View


Be sure to catch up on the archived episodes from this series.


Sept. 11:  Mastering the Schedule for a Hard Bid

Oct. 16:    5D Cost Planning for a Hard Bid

Nov. 13:   Constructability and Coordination for a Hard Bid




About the Fridays with Vico Webinar Program

Fridays with Vico is a free educational forum for General Contractors and Owners.  The series highlights best practices and case studies from customers, as well as showcases new product functionality and discusses industry trends.


About Vico Software

Vico Software, Inc. provides software and services to the building construction industry.  Building owners, general contractors, and construction managers use our software and our services to reduce risk, manage costs, and optimize schedules on complex building projects.  Vico's 5D Virtual Construction solutions pioneered the category of BIM for Construction, and they remain the industry's most integrated approach to coordination, quantity takeoff, cost estimation, project scheduling, and production control.  The new Vico Office product suite continues this tradition making it possible to leverage many important BIM file formats such as Revit, Tekla, and ArchiCAD.  The benefits of our solutions and services have been proven on hundreds of building projects to date.

For more information, please contact:
Holly Allison
VP of Marketing at Vico Software
Tel:    (978) 882-0170 x118 (eastern)
Skype:    reason8855

Twitter:    @letsbuildit