the newsletter of tbd consultants - edition 3, 3rd qtr 2006

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In this Edition

The TBD Bid Index
Value Engineering
MasterFormat 2004

Construction Management Specialists
111 Pine Street, Suite 1315
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 981-9430


The TBD Bid Index

"ENR has only gone up by 5%, but we're seeing bids going up by about 10% since last year - what's going on?" Well, for one thing, the ENR indexes are not meant to show changes in bid prices. There are two main ENR indexes, the Building Cost Index (more applicable to general building work) and the Construction Cost Index (more applicable to civil engineering work), and both of these are based on specific selections of materials and labor types, and reflect the changes in prices for those selections. Over longer periods of time, these will tend to reflect the changes in the cost of construction projects, but they don't, and aren't meant to take into account the changes in the bidding market, which can result in swings of 20% or more above or below what one might call the ENR index 'norm'. The article about hospital costs in the previous edition of this newsletter discussed some of the drivers affecting bid prices.

In order to try and see how the actual bidding market has performed over the past the past few years, we set up a standard project (based on a classroom building) and analyzed our estimates for this type of work going back to the start of 2003 and priced the model project for each quarter since that date. The following chart shows the results from that analysis plotted in comparison to the ENR Building Cost Index specific for San Francisco. It is our intention to maintain this index on a quarterly basis and make it available through this newsletter and our Web site.

TBD Bid Index:

1Q: 100.001Q: 106.931Q: 117.641Q: 136.86
2Q: 100.102Q: 108.482Q: 120.272Q: 135.66
3Q: 103.843Q: 111.623Q: 127.25 
4Q: 104.854Q: 115.594Q: 137.21 


Value Engineering

Value engineering was devised during World War II, and has continued to prove its worth since that time. We discuss the history and practice of Value Engineering in this article.



Museums come in a dewildering selection of types, so what are the issues affecting the design of them? We address these issues in this article.


CSI's MasterFormat 2004

MasterFormat has 16 Divisions, right? Well, the 1995 edition has, but what about the 2004 edition? Here we look at the changes occurring in MasterFormat.


Design consultant: Katie Levine of Vallance, Inc.