• non-historical, bottom-up cost estimate
  • preliminary layouts and sketches for basis of assumptions
  • alternative equipment / treatment technology “best value” analysis based on construction
  • 5-year plan cost estimates

Conceptual cost estimating is an important pre-design planning process during which a project's budget is approximated. Instead of cutting corners by using historical project data or similar-scope projects, we take the specific project's details and go through the process of filling in gaps typically overlooked when using historical data. We treat each conceptual estimate as if it were a project with 100% plans and specifications, and we take the time to conduct site visits to determine potential access issues or structure conflicts.

We work closely with our clients to ensure that all of their needs are met within the scope of the project. We strive to accurately account for the necessary improvements and/or rehabilitation provisions so our clients can be assured that their project's budget is correct. Take a look at our past conceptual estimating projects to see how we can apply our skills to your project. 

Our team's involvement - which has begun as early as the 5-year planning phase - typically starts with meetings to get an understanding of the problems we are looking to fix and budget for. From there, we begin our site visits, taking numerous pictures to get ideas for installation methods and to document the surrounding conditions.

If we are asked to provide 5-year planning consulting, we then begin to prioritize the projects based on a variety of prerequisites that we identify with the client. We also look at how each improvement affects treatment efficiency and integrates into the overall plan.

Another factor to consider is ultimate build-out and capacity. Do we need to prioritize projects based on a growing community? If we go ahead with this project, will we outgrow it before the next improvement is initiated? These are the types of questions we ask our clients and work to solve as early as five years out.

As we move through our conceptual estimating process, we also prepare necessary preliminary drawings to allow a visual representation of the plan that we've estimated. For example, the drawings may show the ideal right of way for a pipeline or the assumed dimensions of a structure based on our experience in the field. We also provide a detailed critical path (CPM) construction schedule so our clients know how much time to allot and where it falls within the capital planning timeline.