Ratios for cost control

E.R. Poortman

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterProfessional


    The design of buildings takes place in phases representing a development from rough to precision planning. Estimates are made in order to test whether the result is still within the budget set by the client or developer. In this way, the decisions taken during the design phase can be quantified and expressed in monetary terms. To prevent blaming the wrong person when an overrun is discovered, the cost control process has to be improved. For that purpose, two new procedures have been developed: (i) a new 'translation' activity; and (ii) ratios by which quantities can be characterized. 'Translation' is the opposite of estimation. A monetary budget is converted - 'translated' - into quantities, reflecting the desired quality of the building materials. The financial constraints of the client are thus converted into quantities - the building components used by the designers. Characteristic quantity figures play an important role in this activity. In working out an estimate, the form factor (i.e., the ratio between two characteristic values of a building component) has to be determined. The unit cost is then tested against that ratio. The introduction of the 'translation' activity and the use of characteristic quantity figures and form factors enhance existing estimation methods. By implementing these procedures, cost control becomes considerably more reliable.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDesign and decision support systems in architecture
    EditorsH.J.P. Timmermans
    Place of PublicationDordrecht
    PublisherKluwer Academic Publishers
    Number of pages248
    ISBN (Print)0-7923-2444-7
    Publication statusPublished - 1993


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