Quantity takeoff (QTO), being an integral part of the cost estimation process, represents a sizeable portion of total construction cost estimation, and needs to be accurate and up-to-date. Estimation calculates the total cost of the project including the cost of labor, materials, equipment, and other elements needed to complete a project. Through both of these processes, project teams generate an all-inclusive internal cost and budget for every item.
Learn more in our video series about QTO & Estimation with MTWO
In order to produce a quantity takeoff, estimators for the most part use Excel, which has long been ubiquitous for construction estimation with its user-friendly features; however, it does have its limitations. For instance, updating templates can be laborious, often requiring file-by-file adjustments, and sharing information can be cumbersome. Due to design changes or additional requirements, quantity takeoffs are frequently adjusted during the estimation process, especially when it comes to large or complex projects, and even after a bid is secured, changes can still occur. Added to this, it can be a challenge to achieve standardisation as the project grows in size and complexity.
Some firms use independent tools tailored for QTO and estimation. The result however is that data needs to be shuffled from one user to another, even if there are connectors, and in many instances moving that data from system to system is done manually. Result? Inaccuracies. And these inaccuracies at times can derail a project and cause significant cost blowouts.
It’s time to reconsider what works best for you
Cloud-based platforms are accessible from anywhere, providing optimum control over the information shared. The information contained on a cloud-based platform is always current and detailed. The data is available immediately, facilitating smoother cross-department communication, expediting report sending, and enhancing standardisation. And through using BIM-generated visuals and data, teams efficiently create the most accurate takeoffs and specifications and can more effectively deal with any changes via early simulations prior to making physical changes on-site.
Take your project estimation to an entirely new level with MTWO
As a cloud and BIM-based Complete Construction platform, MTWO provides a common data environment to facilitate smarter and faster decisions at every stage of the construction process. By simply accessing the browser, all functions are in one place, and they all sit upon one single SQL database, meaning that only one UI is required to access data from anywhere. One platform, one process, and all relevant stakeholders, are connected.
1. Model-based QTO & estimation, more visual, more accurate and less error-prone
As the link between a qualified BIM model and the quantities of different building objects in planning, MTWO links quantity takeoffs from 2D drawings directly to the 3D model. The platform automatically generates an initial standard Bill of Quantities structure from the BIM design model for teams to understand each and every object in the model in detail, saving days of work that are normally needed to visualise the construction from 2D drawings.
The QTO is then used to produce a BoQ structure, which is based on the BoQ template from the MTWO master database catalogue. Every single object in the model is added to the BoQ. Quantity amendments are recorded during the process, providing full transparency throughout the project lifecycle.
Model-based estimating enables fast, precise, and informative costing of your construction project, and allows you to give feedback to the customer quickly with accurate information. This, in turn, can lead to more customer success and better service for clients. In MTWO's estimating module, prices are added to the established BoQ structure, providing a quantified and priced estimate. BoQ items and estimation are visualised on the same screen, empowering more reliable communication of the design intent. Since processes are integrated with BIM building elements, design iterations will automatically result in revised estimation and BoQs, optimising building design and reducing construction risks.
Cost information is pulled from the MTWO master database and construction costs are calculated using QTO and manual adjustments. Teams can estimate bids faster and more accurately. The transition from bid estimate to job estimate is smoother, and thanks to the planned versus actual comparison function, the entire construction process can be designed in a more easily controllable manner.
2. Cloud platform, easy to update data, ensuring data-driven decision
The platform is cloud-based, so teams can easily collaborate to complete the QTO and estimation anytime, anywhere. Updating and making changes to the model will auto-update the quantities and everything connected to the object in real time, eliminating the time it takes to send documents back and forth. In addition, one team’s data helps other teams in the platform with real-time secure access, bringing enhanced collaboration early on and can help rapidly improve productivity.
3. Integrated with all the other up- and downstream processes
Since the construction lifecycle is all connected by the data flow in the MTWO Complete Construction Cloud, data from the quantity takeoff and estimation process is integrated with all up or downstream processes such as design, bidding/tendering, project timeline and procurement schedules.
In summary, one platform - one database – all estimation functionality that utilises 2D, 3D, and No D at all. The ability to leverage historical information and to be able to work with any data needed, from a Construction Manager (CM), to GC, from LOD, to a low level LOD, will have the content in the database, the master library, all within one single system.
From a technical perspective MTWO helps you by:
Improving QTO and Estimation efficacy and quality
Saving time and cost by reducing duplicated processes
Lowering quantity risks systematically in planning
From the project perspective:
All data from one project is always available on the cloud platform, increasing teams’ efficiency
A single cloud platform that stores data for all projects, which is then analysed by Business Intelligence for interactive, real-time dashboards and reports, leading to data-driven decisions
Different stakeholders collaborate on the same platform, bringing better coordination
The pressure to innovate is an ever-present part of any industry and staying ahead of the game can seem daunting. Now more than ever is the time to digitalise and to create advantages and opportunities for your business. To win projects profitably, general contractors need a powerful cloud-based BIM platform that helps to quickly respond to customer bids and accurately calculate the cost of projects of any size.
Learn more about MTWO.