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Baldwin, A N (1982) Computer aided estimating for civil engineering contractors, Unpublished PhD Thesis, Department of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University.

  • Type: Thesis
  • Keywords: estimating; information technology; interview; prototype testing
  • URL: https://hdl.handle.net/2134/17215
  • Abstract:
    At the start of the research the impact of computers upon the world of estimating for civil engineering works had been minimal and barely touched the six thousand middle sized companies within the construction industry, The challenge of the research was to: - determine the requirements of a computer aided estimating system for civil engineering estimators: - to design a system to meet those requirements; - to produce and field test the system: - to explore the use of estimator’s data within other functions within the contractor’s organization, A study and critical appraisal of previous research and the six types of existing estimating systems was made to determine why computers have failed to make an impact upon this area of the construction industry, The estimating and tendering process was examined by interviewing eight estimators from three different civil engineering companies a minimum of four times over a period of one year. Eleven existing methods of task analysis were examined, were found satisfactory for the analysis of the estimator’s tasks for the purpose of the research, A hybrid method of analysis was developed which was used to analyse the estimator’s tasks for the purpose of producing a Specification for a computer aided estimating system, The system was produced by an iterative method of design, development, testing and re-design until an acceptable solution was reached, The system was tested by: - installing a minicomputer within the estimating department of a civil engineering contractor’s organization and inviting six estimators to test and comment on the system; - demonstrating the system to individuals and groups of practising estimators from forty construction companies where comments on all aspects were noted, As a result of the research a computer aided estimating system that was acceptable to civil engineering estimators was produced, To date eight such systems have been installed within contractor’s offices and this fact gives some indication of the success in meeting this main objective. The other outcome of this work is: the determination of the implementation and user support requirements for the introduction of computer aided estimating systems into contractor’s organizations; the production of user support facilities for the system including a comprehensive user manual and training programmes for the system, In addition the work has created a platform for the construction of a completed linked suite of construction management programmes unavailable before because of the paucity of existing computer aided estimating systems.