10 Best Estimating Takeoff Software for Precast Concrete, Modular Building and Prefabricated Metal / Timber Construction

10 Best Estimating Takeoff Software for Precast Concrete, Modular Building and Prefabricated Metal / Timber Construction

A Box-shaped Precast Concrete Wine Press designed by Architect Felix Burkhard in Mühlhofen, Germany

Estimating and taking off quantities for precast concrete, modular or prefabricated building is a much easier task than quantification of wet construction methods. Most of the time, contractors specializing in prefabricated building have standard house designs and models which can easily be replicated on site anywhere where the site conditions are not extra-ordinary. They already know the number of modular units / panels needed to complete a specific standard model in their portfolio. The estimating software for this kind of work can generate pre-existing quantities (quantities for standard models never change) and it will also price each model using rates from the modular unit manufacturer or factory. For each item in the bills of quantities, the software must automatically add an allowance for labour, profit margin, overhead expenses and equipment etc. If the project is taxable (according to laws in your country), tax must added to the contract sum. Contingencies or provisional sums for unforeseen work are usually not present in modular building or any kind of project employing 100% prefabricated methods.

The advantage of precast concrete or any type of modular building and prefabricated construction is that it’s a dry method of building. The building units are ready-made factory units that are ready for transportation to the site where the construction team will quickly assemble them to form a complete house or dwelling. The assembly of the building blocks can be finished within a day, so you can see why this method is better than the traditional wet building method which can take up to 12 months depending on the size and scope of the project. In wet building methods, concrete is mixed, prepared and cast on site, so you have to wait for the concrete to dry before proceeding. Wet cement mortar joints are used to bind bricks together, and once again, you have to wait for the mortar joints to dry before proceeding to the next stage. Bricks are small building units compared to precast concrete modular units, and as a result, the bricklayer will spend a lot of time building the walls. In order to reduce construction time and save money in the process, the client has to employ modular building methods using large prefabricated panels or units. Modular building is quickly becoming a modern method of construction, not only for residential buildings, but for commercial and industrial buildings as well.

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