During Level One Cost Planner Training, we saw how easy it was to set up an initial cost plan without even having a BIM model available. Then during Level Two training, we saw how to access previous project data to flesh out our cost plan. In Level Three we appropriated our quantities by location, confirmed quantity calculations with Formula Editor, and even developed a Cost per Location report. With Level Four training we brought in legacy estimating data with Excel Import and then compared two different versions of the estimate with Cost Explorer. All these tasks were accomplished before we had a BIM model to work with. Finally, in Level Five training, we got to work with three BIM models: publishing them from Revit to Vico Office, activating them, and selecting which properties we would use for our quantity takeoff. With our model experience, we stepped to Level Six training and started dividing up our model into locations. These locations can serve as the basis for our location-based cost plan; but can also be expanded upon by the precon planner and Superintendent for much more granular management of the project on-site. Then in Level Seven training, we learned how to customize our Vico Office workspace with views, viewsets, layouts, and column chooser.
In Level 8 we want to introduce different ways to start communicating the estimate to the Owner. We dive first into construction cost ranges and variances, minimums and maximums. We then also set up our Cost Plan to quickly identify cost levers for the Owner. The section sets the stage for Level 9 and most Cost Explorer features for working with the design team and the Owner to make smart, data-driven decisions.
We've developed these video tutorials to walk you through the major pieces of functionality in easy bite-sized chunks. Refer back to these videos as often as you like. We'll continue to update the materials as new releases of Vico Office are issued.
After watching these video tutorials on some of the features in Cost Planner, please navigate to the FAQs to learn even more. And when you're ready, please feel free to advance to the next level. You can also request to receive the entire video collection by completing the form on the Vico Office Training Videos page.
Vico Office Cost Planner Level 8
Step One: Using Cost Ranges and Variances
As an Estimator, you've seen the cost of components fluctuate a lot lately. One way to capture that knowledge is to enter a cost range - a minimum, maximum, and median value for the item.
With Column Chooser we can add the columns for minimum and maximum into our Cost Plan and show the team our expected cost ranges for the various assemblies.
Step Two: Using the Cost of Parent Assembly Unit
As an Estimator, you would like to review the most expensive parts of the project to see if there is any way you can keep the price down. One way to review the items which are contributing to the cost is to look at the cost per parent assembly unit and the percentage of parent assembly cost. We can add these columns to our Cost Plan by using the Column Chooser.
We do this automatically in our own lives at the grocery store. There are some items where we always buy the best and don't care about the cost; but then there are some things where we can substitute a generic and we are confident doing that. For example, some people will buy a name brand, expensive paper towel, but save a little money buying generic laundry detergent. If you had a quick way to sort your grocery store receipt and see which items in your shopping cart contributed the most to your total cost, you might rethink some of the decisions. Your Owner will want that same option.
Now that you've seen that setting up an estimating project in Vico Office Cost Planner is just like starting a traditional estimate from scratch; and you've seen that utilizing previous project work is as easy as dragging and dropping and auto-complete; and you've seen how to define a quantity takeoff for an element is just like establishing a formula in Excel and even how to map these quantities to their proper location; and you've learned to use Cost Explorer to compare the current project status to the budget; and we've finally started using a BIM model from which we can extract quantities for our estimate using Takeoff Manager; we've introduced zones to our project so that we can get a location-based cost plan; we've learned how to customize and further refine the data we're working with; and we've learned two options for honing in on items in our estimate. So now let's advance to Level Nine Cost Planner Training. You can also request to receive the entire video collection by completing the form on the Vico Office Training Videos page.
And remember, you can always jump over to the Vico Office Client tutorial videos.