The owner develops an estimate. The engineer develops an estimate. While both are right, they’re rarely close and often worlds apart.
When they’re not worlds apart, we take notice. This is one of those rare times. I was recently talking to a senior estimator at a top 10 Engineering News Record engineering-procurement-construction (EPC) firm about a major capital assessment feasibility estimate he delivered to his client: a major utility on the East coast.
The EPC was hired to provide an estimate so the utility could use it to validate their own internal estimates. This is not an uncommon practice regardless of whether the EPC is hired for other services. Those experienced in the scientific world of estimating will find it unbelievable that their two estimates could be within 2% of one another. I’m not talking about a small repair project either—this project was valued at close to a billion dollars!
The one thing the two companies have in common is that they leverage the Eos High Voltage Knowledgebase supported by Sage Estimating. Both companies modified the knowledgebase to reflect regional rates and materials, which is a commonly recommended calibration practice to ensure accuracy and defensibility. And both took advantage of the takeoff automation, base and factored production rates, and commodity pricing included in the database.
At least this time, “when worlds collided,” it wasn’t such a bad thing.
* Several sections of new transmission lines, removal and replacement of existing distribution lines, and many substation upgrades.
By Tony Colburn