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Quantity and Cost estimation from ArchiCAD

Narendra
Booster

Dear All,

Quantity and Cost estimation from ArchiCAD (Compared with Cigraph’ s Archiquant add-on and Vicco Office).

I do not know estimation practices fellow ArchiCAD users are using. But I, in our country expect quantity and cost estimates of components required in elements and objects (walls, beams, etcetera along with GDL Objects). The reason is rates of components vary with elements at various locations.

I would expect volume of wood, number of hardware pieces, area of glass and number of carpenters along with respective costs when estimating a wooden door. (* “Cigraph’ s Archiquant” add-on can do this)

I have tried to search this solution to my problem of detailed component level cost estimation for more than one and half decade from Graphisoft, user-forums, my software dealers, and many others.

This is about finding quantity and cost estimation through ArchiCAD, without any success.

Cigraph and its CEO Istvan Toth gave me some relief for what I had wanted. However, Cigraph has collapsed and hence I am back to the square one.

“ArchiCAD calculation module” of ArchiCAD has not changed for one and half decade and I do not think any practice depends on it for its failure to calculate from all the properties like the width height volumes surfaces parameters in elements and gdl objects. The report format of the same is worst, and no one can program it to a desired format.

The question remains if there is any solution to detailed cost estimation which will give quantity and cost estimates of components from the ArchiCAD model.

In India this is very much required.

In India we grossly depend on “schedule of rates” prepared by government departments, and they are a good database and that they are backed by analysis of component quantities of the listed items of buildings.

Many software companies in India and abroad have created software that link building elements like walls, beams columns to the database items of the district schedule of rates from Revit. But it is sad that no one has developed such linking which Cigraph provided.

Now with the end of Cigraph, future of above-described estimation in detail from ArchiCAD faces a dead wall.

Someone from Graphisoft -Hong Kong office suggested me a software but that to had linking to Autodesk products only.

I remember Graphisoft had prepared a 6D estimation module sometime in 2006 which I presume was handed over to Vicco. Does it work with ArchiCAD in the original way? But I presume it is extremely expensive and hence un-affordable to small practices like ours. What is opinion of the fellow architects?

In short, Will someone guide me so that I can generate detailed quantity and cost estimates either from ArchiCAD or any other third-party software makers who can link data of ArchiCAD?

Architect Narendra Suryavanshi-ArchiCAD User, Designer and Owner

48 REPLIES 48
Rick Thompson
Expert

I sympathize totally. Since you've been down this road for a long time you might have run into some discussions I have started about this issue. GS claims AC will perform these functions based now on the Properties and calculations items. Another abbreviation also works well here.. BS.  Maybe one day it could, but no one I have talked with at tech support has been able to extract from the new way anywhere near what the now abandoned Listing functions could.  I have had tech support people admit this privately.  You simply cannot calculate simple items like Listing can (studs.. paint.. DW mud.. etc). At least with Listing you can export into a spreadsheet and have some useful data to work with. That section of the program is now buggy to the point of using workarounds to get it to do what it once did "easily".  So, I see it as we're basically screwed if calculating materials is needed.  I actually thought that's what BIM referred to 🙂 

 

My business is a bit unorthodox in that I resell plans over and over, and have been doing this since the mid 90's.  That means I have to carry hundreds of pln's through multiple versions.  Material list is something I have to generate. Fortunately I am now old and not so concern about generating new plans, so last summer I made sure every plan has a generated material list.  That took a few months, but now done.  If I were starting over I'd find a new software, but I love AC for everything else.  

 

This link discuses some of the issues >>>. https://community.graphisoft.com/t5/Documentation/Properties-and-Classifications-vs-Listing/m-p/3597...

 

Rick Thompson
Mac Sonoma AC 26
http://www.thompsonplans.com
Mac M2 studio w/ display
mthd
Mentor

Hi Narendra, have a look at this and see if it may help you out with a free trial being offered as well ? You could also contact them for more information to see if it can do the complete job properly (HVAC/MEP/Electrical & other services) for you.

 

https://centralinnovation.com/archicad/extensions/ci-tools-quantities/

 

I am retired from Quantity Surveying & Estimating but I did it with my own spread sheet and hand drawn plans and framing layouts. 

Edit: There are many ways available to go about doing a quantity take off or extraction of quantities in AC. A basic rule is: The more accurate your model is the more accurate your quantities will be.

 

I personally would not recommend that an Architect do their own quantity take offs without being trained as a professional Quantity Surveyor first. Then I recommend that they get suitable experience and feedback from a construction firm, to see if you have got all the quantities correct and have covered every single item without exception. If you cannot do this then please do not set yourself up for a legal dispute or lawsuit. I personally wouldn’t take a quantity list from just any Architect seriously without checking absolutely ever single item down to every nail and fastener. The construction contractor is the most qualified person to consult because he knows exactly what it takes to complete a building with regards to cost.

 

All the best.

 

 

AC8.1 - AC27 ARM AUS + CI Tools
Apple Mac Studio M1 Max Chip 10C CPU
24C GPU 7.8TF 32GB RAM OS Ventura

Another day, another new reason to never update to 26, let alone 27.

 

Cheers to all

Hi @Rick Thompson, you wrote: “If I were starting over I'd find a new software, but I love AC for everything else”. In the US there are a couple CAD home design programs that are quite good with materials list. Chief Architect & SoftPlan.

 

I used to have two types of clients, Home Builders & and those wanting Architectural Drafting and Design work. Some of the Home Builders wanted material lists with a complete bill of quantities and all the associated costs. I used CA because it is great at automatically framing the building. I never fully trusted the ML inside CA so although I drafted the framing in CA, I still took off my quantities by hand. I used my own formulated XL spread sheet that had my own calculation formulas in them.

 

When you have the experience to know what to allow for and constant feedback from the builder. Then your experience grows in knowing how much to allow for each trade to complete their work. You not only have to know the materials but the wastage factors and the labour components. 

It’s a completely different profession so I understand why GS leave that to other software. The good thing about AC is that you can export a 3D model into another app for quantity surveying and estimating purposes.

AC8.1 - AC27 ARM AUS + CI Tools
Apple Mac Studio M1 Max Chip 10C CPU
24C GPU 7.8TF 32GB RAM OS Ventura
Botonis
Advisor

It is really unfortunate that Cigraph closed down. 

In previous posts I referred to Archiquantplus 2.0 as the best quantity and cost Calculation addon made for Archicad so far. 

The scheduling capabilities were unlimited compared to Archicad's and the fact that the UI was graphical based with menus and pictures, made it optimized with Arcicad's workflow.

If you add to that that everything was calculated in real time and in absolute live sync with the model we had the perfect addon for quantity calculations.

For the moment an IFC export to another app seems the only solution for Archicad.

 

Botonis Botonakis
Civil Engineer, Enviromental Design MSc., BIM Manager for BS ArhitectsVR
Company or personal website
Archicad 27. Windows 11. Intel Xeon 2699x2,64 GB RAM, Nvidia 3080Ti. 2 Monitors.
Narendra
Booster

Hello All,

Many thanks for the discussion and the remedies suggested. I have already tried and stopped Calculation module and faced several inabilities.

However, it would be better is to re-invent Cigraph' Archiquant by one of the third-party add-On makers.

Someone might say that it is an improvement over GS’s calculation module. But the working in it far easier than AC’s module. Besides it can find out quantities of 2D elements too. (one need not prepare 3D models of everything).

You can import a cost-database inside and check costs and quantities inside AC.

Besides you do not have to export or import the model to a third-party software maker. Besides you can test calculations inside AC while still designing a building.

To simply put it, it would be better to purchase of Archiquant from Cigraph and make it work as an add-on.

If GS guys are reading this post, they can think of purchasing the Archiquant and revive it.

Hi Botonis,

Looks like we are selling in the same boat due to Cigraph's closing.

I would appreciate to know a solution you are using after Archiquant.

Hi mthd,

To calculate the estimates by hand ???? Hmm! 

Buildings today have become more complex than previous years. Their budgets have increased. Besides No body has time to do manual calculations after working in AC to produce 3D model which is a digital twin of the actual.

Manual calculations are likely to be err-prone. They cannot accommodate changes in the design as they are static. 

Hi Mhtd.

Have you used Central Innovations' solution? If so what is your experience?

"The construction contractor is the most qualified person to consult because he knows exactly what it takes to complete a building with regards to cost."

Should we stop using AC as well?

 

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