Volume 4 - No. 7 July 2009
In This Issue
Architecture Billings Index
Best Estimate Winner
Best Estimate Runner Up
CSI to End Support of MasterFormat 95
DCD Subscriber Benefit
Catch Falling Profits!
Downturn in Nonresidential
Conceptual Estimating
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Our Sponsors
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 Green 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.
Architect's Square Foot Costbook 2009
This manual presents detailed square foot costs for 65 buildings tailored specifically to meet the needs of today's architect. For each project you get a complete cost breakdown of the included systems, so you can easily calculate the impact of modifications and enhancements on your own projects.
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Architecture Billings Index Shows No Significant Improvement in Business Conditions
Inquiries for new projects remain favorable, but not translating into work

   There has been a recent moderation in the downturn in design services billings, but the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reveals that an economic recovery has stalled. 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 May ABI rating was 42.9, nearly identical to the 42.8 mark in April. This 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 55.2, the third straight month with a score in the mid-50's. 
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Best Estimate Challenge Winner:
The Northern Arizona University Union Dining Hall
by Kinney Construction Services
Sponsored by Design Cost Data Magazine and the International Builders Exchange Executives
   Kinney Construction Services won the Best Estimate Challenge with their submittal of the new Northern Arizona University Union Dining Hall project.
   The new dining hall at NAU included over 23,000 square feet of new construction and 4,140 square feet of renovations to the existing Union Building on NAU's central campus.
   The new dining hall and renovations to the existing Union building was completed in 13 months, in time for the start of classes in Fall 2008.
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Best Estimate Challenge Runner Up:
The Westin Book Cadillac Hotel Restoration
by Marous Brothers Construction And Jenkins Construction
   The Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit, Mich. was constructed in 1924 and cost $14 million to build. It was the tallest building in Detroit and the tallest hotel in the world at that time.
CSI to End Support of MasterFormat 95 on December 31, 2009
   The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) announced that the organization will cease to license and support MasterFormat 95 as of December 31, 2009.
   The CSI Board of Directors voted to stop licensing and supporting MasterFormat 95 during its June 16, 2009, meeting at the CSI Annual Convention in Indianapolis.
   "Now that the new edition has been widely accepted by the industry, we felt it was time to complete the transition to MasterFormat 2004," said CSI Executive Director and CEO Walter Marlowe, P.E., CSI, CAE. "As a result, CSI and Construction Specifications Canada (CSC) will no longer support MasterFormat 95 after December 31, 2009."
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DCD Archives
Professional Building Cost Estimating on the Internet
   Over 1,300 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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Catch Falling Profits!
Implement a Digital Safety Net
    Digital Production Control allows owners, project managers, architects, and other industry professionals to see real-time production as it happens.
   Technology is revolutionizing the construction industry. While estimators are reaping the benefits of estimating software, project managers have greeted the industry shift with more reluctance than acceptance. All the while, architects, engineers, and general contractors are demanding more and more from project managers in all of their construction endeavors, and adopting speedier, more accurate practices is no longer a matter of choice, but rather, a necessity for staying competitive and squeezing the ever-fading profits out of a cash-strapped market. Aside from the demands of colleagues, project managers are facing the challenges of completing profitable projects. Winning a job in this economy means taking out a sizeable portion of profits even before the actual work begins. It is no wonder that project managers are worried about cost overruns on these budget-breaking projects that are, unfortunately, becoming the norm. With no dependable way to red flag overruns and properly monitor a project's completion percentage, companies are losing money in even the most practiced types of construction ventures.
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Significant Downturn in Nonresidential Construction Activity Projected through 2010
Greatest drop in commercial and industrial sectors
    Feeling the effects of the struggling overall U.S. economy, nonresidential construction spending is expected to decrease by 16 percent in 2009 and drop by another almost 12 percent in 2010 in inflation adjusted terms. Commercial projects will see the most significant decrease in activity. In contrast, most institutional building categories are expected to see much more modest declines over this period. These are highlights from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast, a survey of the nation's leading construction forecasters.
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.
 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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