Vico Guest Blogger Series

Applying Quantity Ratios from Past Projects to Concept Stage SketchUp Models

Posted by Holly Allison on Thu, May 17, 2012 @ 03:00 PM

We all know Estimators who can do a quick back of the napkin calculation for a new building and come remarkably close to the final number.


But what about the rest of us who don’t have 25 years of experience?  What about fluctuating labor rates and materials costs?  And what about when we need to “show our work” to gain credibility?  Or what about that project bid that comes in at the last minute?


Well, Vico has developed a new methodology to mine past projects for quantity ratios.  This has proven more accurate than general square foot cost assumptions and also gives us access to the quantity data we need for scheduling.  The end result is that we can do that same back of the napkin calculation based on just a concept stage model…but our back of the napkin is a fleshed out cost plan and schedule.  Granted, the Vico process could take twenty minutes versus the Estimator’s two minutes, but you will be amazed at the level of detail.


We are going to show how the process works using concept stage SketchUp models because they are easy to develop and so many of our colleagues in construction are starting to use them as early-stage models.  But you could also use massing models in ArchiCAD, Revit, or Tekla along with these quantity ratios.  And here’s the virtuous cycle: this is a great starting point and then as design data improves we can replace those quantity ratio assumptions with actual project data and further refine and improve the process.


Come learn this new workflow and see if it makes sense for your firm. 


What:   Using Concept Stage SketchUp Models for Detailed Construction Scheduling and Estimating
When:  Friday, May 18 at 12 Noon Eastern
How:     Register at


Even if you can’t make the prescribed date/time, take two minutes to register now so that you will automatically receive the recorded webinar.


Learn from your peers with your peers at Fridays with Vico.


sketchup detailed construction estimate from quantity mining


P.S. And even if you DO have 25 years of estimating experience, this will be a great webinar because construction firms have to explain why the cost of the project is what it is, and having very detailed information early on is beneficial for everyone.

Tags: concept-stage sketchup models, detailed construction schedules, productivity rates, data mining, construction material costs, construction labor rates, detailed construction estimates, construction project data