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300726 Building Construction Economics

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300726 Building Construction Economics

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Course Code: 300726
University: Western Sydney University

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Country: Australia


This assignment is a research based group assignment with two major tasks (see Appendix). Upon completion of this assignment, students are expected to be able to:

Apply the concepts of estimating in preparing a report of the Early Indication of Cost (Task 1);
Analyse the effect of different design decisions on building cost (Task 2);
Explain the principles of pricing preliminaries and all-in unit rates (Task 2).

2) Instructions for grouping

Students are required to form a group with no more than SIX members.
Self-enrol groups have been created on vUWS. Students need to select a group and sign-up online.
The deadline for completing the enrolment in a group is 23:59, Sunday 12th August.
The group details will be published on vUWS in week 3.

3) Instructions for group report submission

Each group of students must submit a final report with BOTH tasks.
It is strongly recommended that individual contributions be specified in the front page of the report.
The names and IDs of students who were involved in the group work shall be clearly indicated in the Assignment Cover Sheet (the group version).
The group report should include tables showing the calculations of the preliminary costs of Scheme

A and Scheme B in Task One, and the calculation of the preliminary cost of a 40 storey building required in Task Two Point 1.

The group report (MS Word format) shall be submitted online via Turnitin (vUWS >> Assessment >> Group Estimating Report Submission) by 23:59pm, Friday, 26th of October, 2017.

Your team have sent Marvelous Development Co. Ltd. a preliminary estimate and cost plan for the proposed development. Mr. Sims is shocked by the construction cost estimated by your team. Yet, your team has great confident that the submitted preliminary estimate is free from errors. Mr Sims requests your team to:

Advise him the possible effect on the project cost and value if accepting the following design proposals:
Without changing the total construction floor area, develop a 40?storey towers instead;
Without changing the total r.c. wall to windows ratio, using precast façade instead of in? situ concrete walls for the residential blocks;
Using steel formwork instead of timber formwork for concrete work.


Effects of Different Design decisions on Building Cost and Pricing Preliminaries

Cost estimate for a 40-storey building

Since a 40-storey tower is a tall building construction it will comprise considerable financial uncertainty. Therefore, to minimise such financial risks it is important to accurately estimate the schematic construction cost. Indeed, the schematic costs estimation model involves a number of practices such as floor plan, elevation views of the exterior, site plan, roof plan, and building section. The schematic plan for the floor plan is on a program which offers a diagram of every room which illustrates its equipment and furniture (Brook, 2016). Certainly, this programs includes statements regarding room adjustments of each room and it is possible to locate every room in the building. Similarly, the schematic plan for the floor has the capacity to demonstrate the location of every room in the building as well as the correct adjustments which justify the sensibility of the floor. Also, it projects the amount of space required for the wall and corridors. Important to note that is the schematic plan should not be substantially bigger than what was initially agreed to during the approval of the program. Elevation views of the exterior provide the overview of the entire building wall sides, which shows the shape style and the necessary material to be used. Certainly, the material has to be durable and of low maintenance cost. On the other hand, the site plan provides an illustration of the building placement location. The site is supposed to clearly exhibit safe and efficient response pattern space for outdoor recreation. Roof plan should be simple with an accurate estimate of possible construction cost (Smith, Jaggar, and Love, 2016). Building section is a portion through the building which enables the project owner and the estimator to better realise the internal space of the building and the way in which dissimilar part of the building work together.  

Using precast façade to situ concrete walls for residential blocks

Precast concrete has been in use for many years because of its aesthetic resourcefulness and durability. In addition to the wide-ranging importance of concrete, precast concrete has other unique strengths. Accordingly, other than being flexible and durable precast concrete is eco-friendly and significantly minimise the time of construction. Some of the major significances related to precast concrete include control, easy installation, and top quality and durable, fireproof, and aesthetic value.  

Using steel formwork instead of timber formwork for concrete

In the recent past steel, formwork has been gaining popularity in the construction sector because it can be used for a long period and can also be reused for quite a long time (Lloret et al., 2015, p. 41). Despite the fact that steel is costly it has the capacity to be utilised within a wide range of projects. As a result, that means that the use of steel formwork shall be of great significance to developing a 40 story tower since it will be able to last for all that period. Therefore, unlike the use of timber formwork which is the most common formwork used in the construction industry. Accordingly, the use of steel shattering provides charismatic finishes to concrete surfaces, whereas the use of timber formwork though easy to produce but it is time-consuming when it comes to big constructions like the 40 storey tower. On the same note, timber formwork cannot be used for long as it can only be utilised for at most six times while steel formwork can be used for up to 100 times. In this case, steel is the most suitable option for a 40-storey building because it is able to cater for curved structures like columns, tunnel, sewer, tanks, and retaining wall. Similarly, steel formwork shattering is strong, lasting and durable. It is also waterproof thus it minimises the effect of honeycombing. Moreover, it is easier to install and dismantle steel formwork with a lot of ease.     

Pricing preliminaries

Provision of temporary office: The temporary office provides accommodation room for the site manager, space for holding meetings and offers storage space for documents of the site.
Provision of temporary electricity, water, and telephones: According to the Construction design and management (CDM) regulations construction site should be well distributed with water as to ensure sanitary conveniences, drinking water, and washing facilities have to be availed on a construction.      
Safeguarding the works and materials and protection of adjoining properties: The owner making proposal for construction of the building has the responsibility to protect the adjoining property from probable damage from construction work. In case of the building is close to adjacent property boundaries to ensure these properties are not damaged by the proposed construction project. 
Site internal transport services: Internal transport services is described as the management of the movement of materials, equipment, and tools as well as other related objects from the point of discharge to the point of use.
Safety, health, and welfare of workpeople: To ensure safe construction site entails erecting appropriate cordons and hoarding. This can be achieved using proper signage and lighting in the construction site. Also, footpath should be kept clean and free from debris to avoid injuries. The construction site should provide workers with welfare and toilet facilities. The welfare facilities include washing facilities, clean drinking water, eatery points and changing zones.   
Scaffolding: It is a temporary platform used to provide support, elevate and give materials at the time of construction.
Removing rubbish and cleaning: The removal of litter around the construction site help to ensure that the site is free from obstructions. Certainly, this help to ensuring that the floor is safe, free from slip and suitable for working.   
Final Clearance and handover: This entails ensuring that the project has met the quality requirements of the project parameters. It includes aligning of the project deliverables against its management plan. During this stage, the owner of the project takes the ownership of the building and make the final payment to the contractor.

Principles/methods for construction pricing preliminaries

The process of project cost estimation is core to setting up a base for taking initiatives, making key decisions, budgeting activities as well as regulating costs. The process of cost estimation has to abide by a set of principles which act a basis for determining and calculating the right project costs (Kern, and Formoso, 2012, p. 220). These principles include information accuracy and relevance, integrity, uncertainty and risk, validation and release and use.
 Information accuracy and relevance. Development of cost estimation has to be based on relevant existing information whereby all information for estimate development has to be refined, filtered and thoroughly considered to find the most accurate and relevant information.
Integrity. Any cost has to be generated with high ethical standards through an open and transparent procedure.
Uncertainty and risk. All project costs have to be identified with an estimate included at the time of risk and uncertainty consideration.
Validation. The project’s cost should only be validated by an expert or an unbiased team.
Release and use. Before the release of a project’s cost estimate it has to be thoroughly reviewed to ensure that the estimate content is valid to avoid any misunderstanding.    
Brook, M., 2016. Estimating and tendering for construction work. Routledge.
Lloret, E., Shahab, A.R., Linus, M., Flatt, R.J., Gramazio, F., Kohler, M. and Langenberg, S., 2015. Complex concrete structures: merging existing casting techniques with digital fabrication. Computer-Aided Design, 60, pp.40-49.
Smith, J., Jaggar, D.M., and Love, P., 2016. Building cost planning for the design team. Routledge.
Kern, A.P. and Formoso, C.T., 2012, August. Guidelines for improving cost management in fast, complex and uncertain construction projects. In 12th Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction (pp. 220-233).

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