Technical Committee on Cost Estimating

Technical Committee on Cost Estimating

Technical Committee on Cost Estimating

Phone Conference Meeting Minutes

March 07, 2013

Members Present / Members Absent
Allen Ellis / Darrell Richardson / Keith Platte, AASHTO
Dave Kent / Natalie Roark(Vice Chair) / Matt Vincent
Christine Krall / Edwin Okonkwo, Secretary / Jack Young
Greg Davis / Jeffrey M. Hisem
Terry Knouse / Jay Drye
Charles Nickel / Ken Spear
John Riedl / Lesly Tribelhorn, Chair
Mike Ginnaty


Old Bisiness:

  • The Cost Estimating Guide book has gone to print and copies should be out soon
  • The teleconference meeting minutes for September and November have been located and posted at the appropriate SharePoint site.
  • The final draft of the 2012 Annual meeting minutes is also posted on the Committee’s SharePoint site.
  • The Chairperson has requested that AASHTO create a new “Document” folder on our SharePoint, so that we can upload documents directly to the folder.
  • The SharePoint clean-up is still an on-going process. Little progress has been made; goal is to make it easy to locate things on the site.
  • The SharePoint double log is an issue that has been elevated. Lesly has asked AASHTO to eliminate the second log-in.
  • Note: Keith Platte has a new job and will be leaving sometime in July. No replacement yet.

Research topics discussion:

Congratulations to the TCCE on a job well done; The Practical Guide to Cost Estimating; 1st edition has been published by AASHTO. See

Research topic proposal; the research proposal for basic cost estimating training was approved for 20-07 funding in the amount of $100,000. Lesly, Terry and Greg are panel members. The NCHRP will scope the project and contact the panel members.

Review of on-going research topics;

John Riedl provided an overview on “Determining Outsourcing Feasibility and Standard Pricing Methodology”. John had a discussion with Jack Young on this topic because California has good experience in outsourcing. California’s experience with outsourcing has mainly been in areas of Design-bid-build. Jack Young will follow-up on Caltrans’ experience and provide summary to John on alternate procurement process in CA.

Dave Kent added that NY Legislation has just passed a law allowing exploration of alternative procurement.

Terry Knouseindicated that Virginia is pursuing similar course as California, moving in the right direction, but it is a challenge to estimate Design-Build projects.

Dave Kent; briefing on “Procedures and Models for Estimating Preliminary Engineering Costs of Highway Projects”. Dave stated that the report has not been completed and would like to reschedule for next meeting.

Darrell Richardson; Briefed on “Forecasting ENR Construction Cost Index: A Time Series Analysis Approach”. Every month, Engineering News-Record (ENR) publishes Construction Cost Index (CCI), which is a weighted-aggregate index of the 20-city average prices of construction activities. Although CCI is increasing in the long-term, it is subject to considerable short-term variations, which make it problematic for cost estimators to prepare accurate estimates. The ability to predict CCI can result in more-accurate bids and avoid under- or over-estimation. This research looked at atime series analysis anddeveloped a CCI forecasting model based on the Seasonal Auto-Regressive Integrated Moving-Average (SARIMA) methodology. SARIMA investigates the underlying characteristics of the CCI data and makes systematic forecasts. The predictability of the developed SARIMA model is better than the predictability of the ENR subject matter experts' forecasts. The developed forecasting model can be used to prepare more-accurate estimates for contractors and budgets for owners and reduce construction costs by better-timed project execution. Darrell will post a pdf version of the research on the committee’s SharePoint site.

May presentations – Christine and Greg

July presentations – Edwin, Natalie and Jack

2013 Annual Meeting

The 2013 Annual meeting will take place on September 24-25 in Oklahoma City. The chairperson will have additional information on the agenda by next meeting. A representative from Oklahoma DOT will join us in next meeting to provide some updates on annual meeting. Members are encouraged to suggest a discussion or workshop topic. There will be a new folder created on our SharePoint for ideas and topic discussions.

Action Items:

Christine and Greg; Prepare to present an overview of the assigned on-going research topics.

Darrell; Post the pdf version of the research “Forecasting ENR Construction Index; A time Series Analysis Approach” on the SharePoint.

Lesly will coordinate with Oklahoma DOT to have a representative join our meeting in May.