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DCD E•News

Volume 4 - Number 2

  February 2009

Click on the Issue to Read

Cost Trends

Jan/Feb Cost Trends for 2009

Cost Guides

Educational Building Cost Guide
LEED Square Foot Cost Guide
Metal Construction Cost Guide
Commercial & Ind Cost Guide
Building Sq Foot Cost Guide
Medical Building Cost Guide

New Releases

ENR/DCR Square-Foot Costbook 2009

ENR/DCR Square-Foot Costbook 2009

   Developed in partnership with Engineering News Record, Design Cost Data, and BNi Building News, this ready-reference costbook also features illustrations of each building type, a guide to 5-year cost trends for key building materials, Plus detailed unit-in-place costs for thousands of items -- from asphalt and anchor bolts, to vents and wall louvres. By purchasing this book, you will also receive the 2010 edition, on a no-risk free trial basis. Read More

Architect's Square Foot
Costbook 2009

The theme of this year's edition is Commercial and Industrial Buildings. Also, over one quarter of the case studies presented feature significant green building strategies as indicated by the LEED® Rating system, encompassing recycled construction waste, recycled material content and re-use, recycled rainwater, bio-retention and wetland storm management, indoor environmental air quality, energy efficient lighting, hybrid HVAC systems, green roofs, and native or adaptive vegetation.
Read More

DCD Goes Digital

July/August Issue of DCD

     Design Cost Data Magazine is now available in digital format in addition to its print edition. DCD can now be delivered right to your Inbox. By signing up as a digital DCD subscriber you will have instant access to the most current case studies, cost trends, square foot cost guides and articles DCD has been delivering since 1958.
     With your subscription to the digital edition of DCD you can:

  • Peruse DCD online instantly without mail delays

  • Contact advertisers easily through the ad hotlinks

  • Zoom, print or send a page to a colleague

  • Print any or all of DCD to read later

To sign up for the free digital edition of DCD go to and complete the online form.

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of Design Cost Data.
Please don’t hesitate
to give us a call at
if you have any questions.

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P.O. Box 948
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Enhanced Online Conceptual Estimating
Functionality Coming to DCD.COM

     Five years ago, the archives of Design Cost Data magazine were opened to DCD subscribers on DCD.COM. The archives were posted in a quick moving database to use for conceptual estimating, ‘what if’ scenarios, and more.
     The database was built upon DCD’s philosophy that there is no better benchmark for future construction than the cost of an actual building targeted to a new location and new time using scientific cost escalators and regional modifiers.
     DCD is no stranger to conceptual estimating software as the developer of D4COST™ in 1990. D4COST is used by thousands of construction professionals for conceptual cost estimating and data archiving.

Read More

The Up Side of A Slow Economy

     First question most of you will likely ask is “what upside is there to a slow economy”? I’ll admit there can be a challenge to finding it. The truth is most construction companies have been running so flat out for the last four to five years they have not had time for much housekeeping, and often lack of good housekeeping can cause long term problems.
     When we talk about housekeeping we aren’t referring to cleaning windows obviously, we’re talking about training staff, hiring better qualified personnel and upgrading technology to get work done better and faster.
If a piece of equipment on a job site gets broken, chances are its fixed immediately or replaced because it causes too much down time and inefficient use of field labor. On the other hand when a company runs flat out they may limp along with lower skilled workers in middle management, less skilled estimators and estimating software that has limited capacity. I’ve heard from many employers who echo that scenario..

Read More

The Quiet Green Revolution 

     Each year more than nine million people visit the Statue of Liberty located on Ellis Island in New York harbor. This makes it one of the busiest tourist attractions in the country.
     Unbeknownst to most of those visitors, a Green revolution has been taking place on the island.
Read More

Concrete Modular Buildings
Help Upgrade Hernando County, Florida School

     Students at a Florida grade school are getting a lesson in economics and the environment from an unexpected source - the concrete modular buildings that will serve as their learning space.
     The John D. Floyd K-8 School for Environmental Science received 22 new classrooms and a full service kitchen from Royal Concrete Concepts, a manufacturer of concrete building systems including custom concrete modular's, pre-engineered walls, and roof. The buildings, which are now being installed at the school, were ordered by the Hernando County School Board District to replace temporary portable classrooms.
Read More

The Top 10 Ways to Improve Safety and Productivity
on Your Jobsite in 2009!

     Select the Right Formwork: Formwork, the temporary or permanent molds used to hold wet concrete until it sets, is a crucial element in concrete construction. The selection of formwork greatly affects the schedule, labor requirements, quality and total cost of a project. Because conditions vary for each individual project, there is no simple formula for choosing the right formwork supplier or system. Formwork typically accounts for 40-to-60-percent of the total cost of a building’s structural concrete frame. For concrete walls, the cost can be in the 50-to-60-percent range. These percentages include the cost of material and labor, with the largest cost for labor. It is important to analyze labor costs thoroughly, as this is the bigger number and reducing this number will have a much greater impact on bottom-line costs.
Read More

Architecture Billings Index
Remains at Historically Low Levels

Commercial sector continues to be hardest hit by economic downturn

     Following consecutive months with record low scores, with the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) moved up only very modestly, signifying that the design industry remains mired in a steep downturn. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the December ABI rating was 36.4, up from the 34.7 mark in November (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The inquiries for new projects score was 37.7.
Read More

New Study Reveals Shake-up
in the Most Promising Markets for 2009

      ZweigWhite's just-released 2009 AEC Industry Outlook: Strategy and Insight for Design & Construction Firms reveals a shake-up in the markets that firm leaders in the architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting industries expect to be most promising. While health care still holds the top spot, despite the impact that financial markets have had on project funding, three of last year's top five ranked markets (higher education, K-12 schools, and the office market) did not even make the list in 2009. Instead, industry leaders have tapped the municipal government, transportation, energy/power and green building markets to round out the top five most promising markets in 2009.
Read More

AIA Selects 10 Communities for Community Assistance Program to Promate Long-Term Sustainability

      The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Center for Communities by Design has selected Los Angeles, Cleveland, Indianapolis, SE Tennessee Valley, Tenn., Virginia Beach, Va., Orange, Mass., Port Angeles, Wash., Hilo, Hawaii, Beatrice, Neb. and Eagle River Valley, Colo. as ten communities to receive technical assistance under the Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) program in 2009. The collaborative SDAT brings together architects and other professionals assembled from across the country to provide a roadmap for communities seeking to improve their sustainability – as defined by a community’s ability to meet the environmental, economic, and social equity needs of today without reducing the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Read More

DCD Subscribers: The archives of Design Cost Data are available online at DCD.COM in the DCD Archives™. The DCD Archives™ contains over 1,200 completed projects, and their actual cost to build, to assist you in developing preliminary cost estimates, building type research, cost modeling and more. The DCD Archives™ includes cost escalators through 2012 and regional modifiers in an easy-to-use cost modeling database.
    Access the DCD Archives™ with your DCD Subscriber Number that is located on your DCD Magazine mailing label next to your last name. To become a subscriber of DCD, you can subscribe online at
DCD.COM or call us at 800-533-5680.

Thank You for being a subscriber to Design Cost Data. 
Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800-533-5680 if you have any questions.
© 2009 • Design Cost Data • P.O. Box 948 • Valrico, FL 33595-0948 • All rights reserved