For many concrete contractors, the traditional methods for Construction Takeoff might feel safe and comfortable – but the truth is, they are risky. Manual Quantity Takeoff (QTO), and even digital 2D based construction takeoff software, leave projects open to errors and miscalculations.
The risk that goes hand-in-hand with older methods is one reason many contractors are turning to BIM-based information management solutions, the latest advancement in construction takeoff software. Many contractors still using traditional QTO methods might be skeptical of these new tools for construction takeoff. Surely these seemingly complex software tools must be difficult to learn and use, making them less efficient than the trusted-but-tedious methods? Not at all. These new ways of working produce more accurate quantities, and they do it faster and with less hassle, letting contractors who make the jump to BIM become more competitive and win more bids.
It’s as easy as Q-T-O
With 3D model-based information management solutions, such as Tekla Structures, creating a model for accurate quantities works in a similar way than 2D on-screen digitizer software. Just import the drawing files from design team and start modeling quantities in 3D right on top of those using easy and intuitive tools purpose-built for the task. The 3D model can be built in a matter of minutes by simply clicking the points in drawing and dragging and dropping structures into place. Or you can just import a design intent model, convert that to Tekla model and develop it further so that it better suits for contractors’ purposes using the same easy-to-use tools.
Once the 3D model has been built, all quantities are automatically available for managing and reporting – meaning no more manual calculations and no more mistakes. The 3D model makes it next to impossible to overlook quantities, making the quantities more accurate and complete than ever before. The risks that come with 2D based construction takeoff methods are no longer a concern. Important information such as cost codes, concrete mix and so on can be added to model objects according your preferences. What’s more, quantities can be automatically organized according to preference, such as location, structure and pour type, material and so on, making information easy to manage. In project changes, just adjust the parts in 3D model, and all information is updated automatically. And when you select a takeoff item in your structured list of materials, it is highlighted in the 3D model, so even after several changes you know exactly how the quantities are calculated and what is included.
Benefits beyond quantities
Easier, faster, and more reliable construction takeoff is a marvel all on its own. However, the benefits of BIM software stretch far beyond estimates. When used effectively, a model created is much more than just a source for accurate estimation quantities – it’s a complete information management solution which can be used throughout pre-construction and construction for pour and formwork planning, scheduling and extraction of detailed quantities for budgets and ordering materials, rebar detailing and even on-site, for better coordination and collaboration without unnecessary rework.
One of the most valuable perks of the accurate 3D model is the ability to assess constructibility. Thanks to visual information and clash detection capabilities, the question “Can we built this as it is designed?” can be answered early in the process with only a glance. Similarly, pours can be planned and construction quality quantities automatically reported just by adding pour breaks to the concrete model, and tracked in real-time by utilizing the automated tools and intelligence in the model. In short, modern information management tools allow contractors to what would be impossible to do with traditional methods.
Join the competition
The concrete industry is becoming increasingly competitive as more and more contractors begin adopting the new tools available for managing information. Those still using traditional methods might be comfortable, but when their competitors are able to complete bids and projects faster, easier and with better accuracy and quality, they will soon find that they are lagging behind and that it’s time to catch up.
Want to learn more about how the competition is using model-based QTO? Check out this guide for "Better Performing Concrete Takeoffs".