Volume 4 - No. 6 June 2009
In This Issue
Architecture Billings Index
Up Side of A Slow Economy
DCD Archives
Maximize the Potential of Green Construction & Renovation
New Construction Confidence Index
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DCD Cost Trends
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.
ENR/DCR Square-Foot Costbook 2009
As you know, square-foot costs can vary widely, making it difficult to use them for estimating and budgeting. But the 2009 ENR Square-Foot Costbook practically eliminates this problem by giving you costs that are based on actual projects -- not hypothetical models. For each building type you get a detailed narrative with background information on the specific project. 
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Architecture Billings Index Points to Possible Economic Improvement
Unfavorable business conditions remain, but inquiries by potential clients continue to grow

   After an eight-point jump in March, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) fell less than a full point in April. 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 April ABI rating was 42.8, down from the 43.7 mark in March. This was the first time since August and September 2008 that the index was above 40 for consecutive months, 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 56.8. 
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The Up Side of A Slow Economy & How It Can Improve Your Estimating Department
   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.
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DCD Archives
Professional Building Cost Estimating on the Internet
   Over 1,200 projects - as featured in Design Cost Data™ magazine - are featured in this database along with cost escalators and regional modifiers to create professional Statement of Probable Cost reports. Industry professionals use this information for pre-construction costs, conceptual cost modeling, 'what if' scenarios, budgets and more. Access to this database is part of a subscription to Design Cost Data magazine.
    Depending on the DCD subscriber level, projects can be customized quickly to a new bid date and location. The square footage and project line item subdivision amounts can also be changed for further customization. Professional reports of the new cost model and the actual project as it appeared in DCD magazine can be printed.
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How High Performance, Energy-Saving Glass and the LEED Certification Process Can Maximize the Potential of Green Construction & Renovation
    Facilities managers understand that by making buildings more energy efficient and environmentally friendly they can reduce operational costs and increase building occupant productivity and health. That's the good news.
    The bad news - it isn't obvious how to produce an all green facility. As stake holders desire to save energy and make facilities more environmentally benign, property managers need not become versed in the often confusing language of sustainability to define realistic green construction and renovation project objectives and management requirements. Fortunately, there is plenty of help available.
    Surprisingly, the promise of green design, as exemplified in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification process of the United States Green Building Council, is very straightforward. Despite this simplicity, it is quite powerful and effective at delivering desired energy-saving performance within budgets often comparable to those for traditional construction.
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The Nation's #1 Conceptual Cost Estimating Software And Project Archiving System
    D4COST is the nation's #1 building cost estimating software for conceptual estimating created from ACTUAL projects that have been built. D4COST supplies you with a library of 1,100 real projects (buildings) NOT an average. D4COST is the best source to validate any preliminary cost, develop a reliable preliminary or conceptual square foot cost estimate, cost feasibility, valuation study, or budget. Learn more
    D4COST offers a full working demo with a 20 project sampling of our database. Click Here to download a copy today.
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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 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. 
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