Volume 4 - No. 9 September 2009
In This Issue
- 2010 ENR/DCR Square-Foot Costbook Just Released!
- Architecture Billings Index
- Riverbend Elementary School
- Corporate Online Social Media Policies
- Pre-Qualify the Quality of Roof Systems
- DCD Cost Guides
- AIA Contract Documents
- Data Center Construction
- Conceptual Estimating
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DCD Cost Trends
2010 ENR/DCR Square-Foot Costbook
As you know, square-foot costs can vary widely, making it difficult to use them for estimating and budgeting. But the 2010 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.
DCD Green Library
2009 Edition
green library

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.
Quick Links...
Architecture Billings Index Bounces Back After Substantial Dip
Improvement in business conditions tempered by a leveling off in project inquiries 
   Exhibiting a welcome rebound following a 5-point dip the month prior, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) was up almost 6 points in July. 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 July ABI rating was 43.1, up noticeably from 37.7 the previous month. This score, however, still indicates a decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry score fell to 50.3 from 53.8, but it was the fifth straight month with a score in above 50.
   "It is always encouraging to see an uptick in our index, but there has been too much contraction in recent months to get overly optimistic about business conditions returning to levels they were at two months ago," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. "In addition to a very competitive marketplace, architects continue to report that lenders have still not yet fully opened credit lines and that the stimulus funding has so far provided limited project activity for the design community overall."
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Riverbend Elementary School - a Model for Energy Self-Reliance
    The new 86,000-square-foot Riverbend Elementary School designed by Nacht & Lewis Architects, a leading architectural firm in Northern California, is a model of energy self-reliance. But Riverbend Elementary isn't just a model of energy efficiency it is also a school that carries the prestigious moniker of a CHPS designed school - a school designed to meet the sustainable standards set by the Collaborative for High Performing Schools.
   Founded in 1999 as a collaboration of California utilities to address energy efficiency in schools, the Collaborative for High Performing Schools is a non-profit organization dedicated to make schools better places to learn. Shortly after its inception, the program quickly expanded to include many aspects of school design, construction and operation. Eleven other states seeking better designed and healthier facilities for their students have adopted the program. You can learn more about CHPS at http://www.chps.net.
Corporate Online Social Media Policies: A Necessity in Today's Business Environment
    Social networking is the leading phenomena in modern society. You likely hear mentions of Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Digg, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube on a daily basis, regardless of whether or not you participate in this new media. These tools are the new way of networking. Simply, online social media is about dialogue, two-way discussions that bring people together in order to discover and share information. According to web-strategist.com, on average, each adult with a social networking profile is on 1.6 sites and 39 percent of adults have profiles on two or more sites. Further, 57 percent of adults have joined a social network, making it the number one platform for creating and sharing content.
    Whether or not you personally participate in social media, it is likely that others at your company do. Maybe more important, it is likely that your customers or potential customers also participate in social media. Forrester recently released a report stating that buyers in the business-to-business (B2B) arena are one of the most social groups around.
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Four Ways to Pre-Qualify the Quality of Roof Systems
   In a tough economy, both manufacturers and customers are tempted to cut corners when it comes to quality.
   From the manufacturer's perspective, reducing the cost of raw materials is the easiest way to improve shrinking margins. However, altering key raw materials poses a significant performance risk, frequently precipitating production and/or field failures.
   From the customer's perspective, quality is too frequently an out-of-sight, out-of-mind consideration. When competition is fierce, it's easy for customers to push back on pricing without applying due diligence to ensure that cost comparisons are being made on an apples-to-apples basis. Two "or equal" products may perform quite differently in application, according to the quality of the raw materials used.
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DCD Cost Guides
The DCD Sq. Ft. Cost Guide for Buildings with Metal Construction
   Design Cost Data™ magazine includes a new Square Foot Cost Guide in each issue. These square foot cost guides have been assembled from projects in our database, the DCD Archives online at DCD.COM. These guides are provided to the industry by DCD as a benchmark for future building costs.
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AIA Contract Documents: The Best Option
    For 120 years, AIA Contract Documents have defined the relationship and terms involved in design and construction projects. During this time, AIA Contract Documents have been the primary national source of standard form documents, both reflecting and defining standard industry practices. Many of the concepts, indeed even some of the language, contained in other standard forms, government contracts and custom-drafted documents, can be traced back to AIA standard form documents.
Data Center Construction Costs Are Down, According To A Study By Environmental Systems Design
   The current economic crisis has an up-side for owners of mission-critical facilities: on average, it costs less today to construct a new data center than it did in late 2007, according to a study by Environmental Systems Design (ESD).
   In today's economy, owners are likely to find significant savings on labor, data center equipment and building materials, and transportation of building materials and equipment. Most notably, ESD found that the prices of feeder and cable have dropped by more than half; major data center equipment by 12%; labor and materials overall by 19.6%, and shipping and handling by 15% from the fourth quarter of 2007 to July 15, 2009.
   "Our analysis shows that for any company anticipating the need to build or expand a data there is currently a window of opportunity to realize considerable savings," said Raj Gupta, President and CEO, Environmental Systems Design.
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 1,300 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 2014 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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