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RICS releases project duration calculator

The Building Cost Information Service of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has developed a construction duration calculator.

The web-based BCIS calculator provides a robust estimate of how long it will take to construct a building, based on basic information about the project.

It is aimed at helping clients have more knowledge of duration of projects complimenting already existing tools that provide a similar service for cost estimation.

Using the actual construction duration of over 4,500 new build and refurbishment projects in the UK, BCIS has developed a model to predict the most likely time a particular type of building could take.

Construction News looked at how long seven projects are forecast to take according to the calculator and found that five tallied with how long construction firms said they would take.

However the £25 million Liverpool Lime Street redevelopment, which is set to be completed in Spring next year, was forecast to last 74 weeks by the calculator.

Meanwhile the £35 million Olympic handball arena which was announced last week is forecast to be completed quicker than expected by the calculator.

The BCIS calculator estimates the project will be completed in 66 weeks compared with an official finishing time estimated to be well into 2011.

Forecast foundations

The BCIS construction duration calculator bases its forecasts on eight separate details relating to the project.

These include the type of work: either new build or refurbishment, contract value, date of project, location, procurement route, selection of contractor, client type and building function. 

BCIS executive director Joe Martin said: “According to the latest construction industry Key Performance Indicators 48 per cent of projects do not finish on time.

“We are always hearing in the news that building projects have overrun and in some respects we come to expect this, but more often than not an unrealistic timeframe has been proposed at the outset.”

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