It is probably worth beginning any chapter on cost planning by defining what a cost plan is and looking at the distinction between a cost plan and a cost estimate. As many quantity surveyors undertaking their Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) will be able to testify; a popular revision question is – what is the difference between a cost estimate and a cost plan? Unfortunately for quantity surveyors in training there is no simple answer to this. A cost estimate provides a single snapshot of the estimated final construction cost of a project, during a point in time in the development of design. A cost plan is a more strategic document and can consist of series of cost estimates which are formed at various stages of design development.
This chapter explores with the use of industry case studies the development of cost plans for various design options or a particular design. Cost plans are examined against the new standardised approach and commentary is provided on cost databases, adjustments required to benchmarked data and on the new rules of measurement. There will also be some reflection on how design and cost plans can be adjusted to reflect the drive to reduce carbon and improve sustainability as well as recent developments such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) and their impact on cost planning.
18.2 Concept and format of a cost plan
The cost plan is used to ...