NetworkingTrimble Introduces Connected Model-Based Estimating Workflow for Mechanical Piping and Electrical Contractors

Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) introduced today its model-based estimating workflow, which seamlessly connects the Building Information Model (BIM) to the estimate for mechanical piping and electrical contractors. Powered by a direct API connection between Trimble® SysQue® detailing software and Trimble Estimation® MEP cloud estimating software, the workflow provides contractors with greater project insight and visibility, improved collaboration and more accurate project execution.

Model-based estimating focuses on the “I” in BIM to create the estimate from the constructible model. The detailer creates the constructible model—up to Level of Detail (LOD) 400—using SysQue. Once the model is complete, the model information is sent to Trimble Estimation MEP with the click of a button. A populated estimate with the selected details is then automatically created in Estimation MEP complete with a list of materials that contain a description, size, price and labor hours from Trimble’s industry-leading MEP content database.

“We have heard from MEP contractors that disconnected, siloed workflows are a source of huge inefficiency and profit loss,” said Lawrence Smith, vice president and general manager of Trimble MEP. “By connecting the detailed model with the estimate and sharing rich Trimble-managed content between applications, we are breaking down data silos, improving collaboration and unlocking significant value for MEP contractors.”

The generated estimate can be used for:

  • Quantity comparisons and improved future bid accuracy – Compare original bid estimates against what has been modeled, approved, and coordinated to better understand project status and improve bid accuracy on future projects
  • Securing the final Bill of Materials (BOM) – Determine final quantities, materials and manufacturers for buyouts
  • Extending model data – Estimation MEP extends model data with catalog numbers and material pricing
  • More accurate project execution – With more detailed information from the coordinated model, contractors can more accurately plan their projects through their shops and into the field

“At Icon Mechanical, we use the model for everything—from prefabrication to loading points to the total station—and the next step for us is model-based estimating. As a design-build contractor, we do a lot of value engineering analysis of systems. By running the options we’re considering through the model-based estimating process, we can quickly compare different design options in different systems to determine what will be the most cost effective option for each project,” said Tim Riedle, vice president of Engineering at Icon Mechanical.

“Additionally with Trimble model-based estimating, the ability to track cost progress versus the estimate—our earned value versus spent value—more routinely provides an enormous advantage. It’s a pain to re-do estimates every single time; the model-based estimating workflow provides a process we can run the model through to see how we’re tracking without starting from scratch each time,” added Riedle.

“Trimble model-based estimating is a game changer for us,” said Mike Chiappone, VDC manager at Lightning Cad, Inc. “We can be more accurate with pricing and labor, and quickly send a model to Trimble Estimation MEP for progress estimates.”


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