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DCD E•News

Volume 4 - Number 5

  May 2009

Current Issue

Click on the Issue to Read


Cost Trends

May/Jun Cost Trends for 2009
Mar/Apr Cost Trends for 2009
Jan/Feb Cost Trends for 2009

Nov/Dec Cost Trends for 2008
Sep/Oct Cost Trends for 2008
Jul/Aug Cost Trends for 2008

Cost Guides

Building Sq Foot Cost Guide
Medical Building Cost Guide
Educational Building Cost Guide

LEED Square Foot Cost Guide
Metal Construction Cost Guide
Commercial & Ind Cost Guide

Related Publications!


DCD Green Library
2009 Edition

A comprehensive project library on CD-ROM of LEED and Sustainable Building Costs is now available from Design Cost Data magazine. A must have with the current market moving green. The DCD Green Library includes 59 projects along with informative articles & DCD cost guides on Green Building. Projects are organized by building type and escalated to January 2009 and January 2010.
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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

Construction Nightmares:
Jobs from Hell
and How to Avoid Them

   Learn from the mistakes of others instead of making them yourself!
   Arthur F. O'Learly, FAIA, MRIAI, a 40-year construction project veteran, relates actual jobs gone bad from the world of construction, dealing with plans, extras, delays, interference, scheduling, change orders, defective construction, inadequate supervision, incompetent contractors and just about every other problem that could happen on a construction job.

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DCD Goes Digital

March/April 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 click here and complete the online form.

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

Editorial, advertising,
administration, circulation
and production
P.O. Box 948
Valrico, FL 33595-0948
P 800-533-5680
F 888-533-5680


Architecture Billings Index
Shows Early Signs of Improving Business Conditions
Business environment remains unfavorable,
but the bottom of the construction cycle could be forthcoming

   After a series of historic lows, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) was up more than eight points in March. 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 March ABI rating was 43.7, up from the 35.3 mark in February. This was the first time since September 2008 that the index was above 40, but the score still indicates an overall decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry score was 56.6.
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DCD Archives: Real Project Data,
Real-Time Cost Estimator

    It’s been said that there are no new ideas, just different versions of those ideas brought forth by new people.
    From an architectural standpoint, that’s a gift of sorts. The ability to reference historical data about an actual project – and replicate it – generally ensures an end-result that is physically sound and commercially successful. But where this data becomes less relevant is estimating project costs.
    The value of using historical project data to project costs is limited without the ability to modify and change the data to reflect time, place and other variables. And while a skilled estimator can modify an existing project to account for changes, it can be a tedious and time-consuming process that often results in a “best guess” projection.
    DCD Archives, a new web-based estimating product recently launched by Design Cost Data™, the industry’s premier cost-estimating publication.
    To subscribe, go to and click on the DCD Archives box, or call 800-533-5680 for additional information.
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Beloved Industry Icon
Arthur F. O’Leary FAIA, MRIAI
1924 – 2009

Arthur F. O’Leary FAIA, MRIAI    Each issue of DCD magazine for as long as I can remember has included an excellent, informative column by Arthur F. O’Leary on this page. It is with great sadness to tell you that Art passed away on March 28 at the age of 84 in County Louth, Ireland where he had retired with his wife Inny.
    Arthur was an expert in the field of architectural forensics. He graduated in 1951 from the University of Southern California, School of Architecture with a Bachelor of Architecture, where he also served on the faculty for 10 years. He served as an arbitrator and consultant on more than 300 industry litigations and has written, lectured, and published extensively in over 40 years of professional activity. He co-founded O’Leary Terasawa Partners, a Los Angeles architectural firm that became WWCOT in the 1990s after a merger. He was named a fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1976.
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Increase Your Efficiency with Bluebeam PDF Revu 7.0
New Version Just Released

    In today’s market it is only logical for companies to look for ways to maximize their efficiency resulting in better profitability. One way companies can achieve greater efficiency and cut costs is to take a close look at routine procedures and evaluate new tools on the market that will save them money and increase their effectiveness.
    Bluebeam Software, Inc. offers powerful PDF technology that allows electronic sharing of information. Bluebeam’s PDF program can be used to mark-up and edit plans during the design review process, submit RFIs, send out bid documents, perform on-screen take-offs for estimating and archive files resulting in great office efficiency.
    Just released, Bluebeam PDF Revu 7.0 is the latest version of Bluebeam’s professional and affordable PDF solution. All enhancements have been requested by users and include more flexible options, faster document review, more mark up tools, and better PDF distribution. puts a positive new spin on the usefulness of historical project data. DCD Archives combines the value of actual project data with the versatility of regional modifiers, cost escalators and other customized edits in a simple, easy-to-use tool that gives old projects new life.

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Building Information Modeling......
A Natural Progression Of Technology

Three years ago, our office launched an initiative to implement a Virtual Design & Construction ( VDC ) Technologies system through the use of Building Information Modeling ( BIM ). Long & Associates is a full-scope Architecture / Engineering firm founded in 1974, and we see the transition to BIM as the industry basis for project design and delivery to be a natural progression of technology similar to the transition from hand drafting to computer-aided design and drafting in the 1980s. Even before CADD technologies became very detailed and sophisticated, and before standardized protocols were instituted by industry associations, our team developed an organized and integrated set of standards and methods for computerized document production. The use of BIM & VDC technologies and processes represent a change in building design, delivery, and management exponentially greater than did the advent of CADD. The corresponding challenge includes rethinking the entire design and documentation sequence, setting appropriate parameters for the volume of information that can or should be integrated into each stage of the work, and redefining what constitutes the “deliverable” for a project.
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PPG Debuts New Web-Based BIM Module For Architects

    PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG) has created Building Information Modeling (BIM) files for its Duranar coatings, Pittsburgh Paints, Porter Paints and architectural glass products.
    The files, which are found on the PPG Ideascapes Web site, enable architects to download Revit Architecture files so they can incorporate PPG products into their digital designs. The files may also be used with Google SketchUp Viewer, another popular building modeling software.
    The BIM modules are part of PPG’s on-going effort to give architects and contractors a robust collection of Web-based tools that allow them to streamline the design, documentation and construction of environmentally-sustainable buildings.

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New Construction Confidence Index from McGraw-Hill Construction at 25; Shows Firms Wary of Slow Recovery

    Engineering News-Record (ENR) and McGraw-Hill Construction Research & Analytics have introduced a new quarterly Construction Confidence Index to measure industry sentiment about the construction market, including market sectors, expectations and trends. The Construction Confidence Index is 25 on a scale of 100, where a value of 100 indicates all respondents report “improving” activity and a value of 50 means all respondents report “stable” activity. Results from the inaugural survey are included in this week’s issue of ENR, “Survey: Firms Don’t See Quick Recovery.”
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New Petersen Website Loaded With Innovation

    Petersen Aluminum has updated its website,, with useful, easy-to-use innovative features designed specifically for architects and contractors.
    Highlighting the site is the PAC Visualizer that allows visitors to create a quick, customized look at panel profiles and finishes. Also new to the site are installation videos with life-like illustrations and graphics.
    Product pages have been expanded to include complete submittal information with testing/approval data, drawings in PDF and CAD and downloadable specification sheets.
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American Institute of Architects (AIA) Upgrades AIA Contract Documents Software and Releases New Construction Manager Documents

    Updated Software Offers Improved Functionality, Greater Ease of Use; New Documents in the Construction Manager as Advisor and Construction Manager as Constructor Families
    The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today announced the release of an updated version of AIA Contract Documents® software as well as new Construction Manager documents. Guided by extensive input from hundreds of Contractor, Owner, Architect and Attorney users of AIA Documents, the updated software features easier project and document management, flexible dialogs allowing for easier document completion, Microsoft Excel® capabilities in several G-Series forms and one-click custom template creation. The new Construction Manager documents include new documents in the Construction Manager as Advisor (CMa) and Construction Manager as Constructor (CMc) families. Collectively called the “4.0 Release,” this new software and documents release builds on AIA Contract Documents’ 120 years of experience in defining the contractual relationships in the design and construction industry and deliver additional value, ease of use and new features that address users’ needs.

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    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


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