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Taking Estimates to New Heights with RSMeans data

Taking Estimates to New Heights with RSMeans data

An engineering firm with clients spanning several industries

Project designs and condition assessments requiring accurate, detailed estimates

A respected source for reliable construction cost data

Background: Launching into New Industries

Just 10 minutes south of the Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida, stands a sandy-colored building with oak trees in its parking lot that serves as office of Nelson Engineering Co. If you were to pass the unassuming office on Florida’s State Road 3 highway, you’d be forgiven if you presumed Nelson’s clientele consisted of only local projects. But within its walls, Nelson’s 100 employees balance projects of all shapes and sizes, working for both public- and private-sector clients, the likes of which include internationally renowned names like NASA, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and other commercial space industry clients.

Among those 100 employees, you’ll find Tom James, who works as a Project Manager and Certified Professional Estimator at Nelson Engineering. Between his weekends spent surfing and fishing, Tom handles estimating responsibilities for the firm’s design projects, facilities assessment and segregation studies for a wide range of clients. Nelson, which initially began as an environmental engineering group, now has mechanical, electrical, civil, chemical and LEED-certified engineers on its team, so their projects span across several industries. As James told us, “We don’t turn down work.”

Solution: Reliable, Reputable Cost Data

As their company has grown into new industries, one thing has remained constant: Estimates are a cornerstone to their work. As James put it, “As a company, we’ve been doing a lot of design work for different organizations: Government organizations and private organizations. And all of those now, all the design requirements or contracts that we’ve received, have cost estimating element to them. It’s required at every design phase, from conceptual, 30, 60, 90, all the way to the issue of construction.”

RSMeans Data Online Personalized Demo

In order to best prepare their estimates, Nelson Engineering has utilized RSMeans data for years, renewing both their Costworks CDs and RSMeans Data Online subscription yearly. James makes use of RSMeans data on a daily basis. “I can’t think of anything we don’t use it for. Most of the projects require it. All our facility condition assessments,” James said. “I’ve mentioned cost segregation studies. It’s required, because we have to show the IRS where we got our costs from for these particular items this company wants to accelerate depreciation of. We have to quantify it and cost it out. RSMeans data is that product for us.”

Result: “Good Data In, Good Data Out”

Over his 12 years with Nelson and millions of square feet of building assessments, Tom has stuck with RSMeans data for his estimates, partly because of the reputation of reliability RSMeans data holds. “Everybody knows RSMeans data. I mean, there’s no doubt about that. We can, as engineers and cost estimating professionals, point back to that as out sourcing. And that’s very important for engineers and cost estimators to be able to do that.”

RSMeans Data Online Trial

But beyond the reputation, James trusts RSMeans data for its accuracy. “You guys provided the costs. You know the escalations. You know the man hours, all those kinds of things. If RSMeans data says this is the cost, then this is the cost. I can hang my hat on it. Good data in, good data out.”

Learn more about RSMeans data from Gordian and take your estimating to new heights.

About Gordian

Gordian is the leading provider of Building Intelligence™ Solutions, delivering unrivaled insights, robust technology and expert services to fuel customers’ success through all phases of the building lifecycle. Gordian created Job Order Contracting (JOC) and the industry-standard RSMeans Data. We empower organizations to optimize capital investments, improve project performance and minimize long-term operating expenses.

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