Posted: March 10, 2014
On Center Software: 8708 Technology Forest Pl. , Suite 175 The Woodlands, Texas 77381, United States
Posted: March 10, 2014
As a construction trade, firestopping is one of great detail where every aspect of a job is crucial and unique different substrates, type of Block-out Blanks to use with multiple penetrations, type of sleeves to use in a particular penetration, insulation in curtain walls, and so on.
With firestopping, accuracy is required in the takeoff interpretation of structural and engineering drawings and designs to assure that all required preventative solutions are addressed up front so as to avoid unnecessary problems down the road, such as failed inspections and project penalties. Knowledgeable firestop estimators carefully comb through numerous printed architectural and engineering plans to tabulate penetration and block-out blank counts; to determine thickness and volume; and to identify substrate and joint types, quantities of insulation and intumescent caulking per gap size, as well as the requirements of various materials. It takes significant time and skill to determine the material values due to unique conditions and odd shapes where it’s challenging to measure precise values.
Further complicating the process, firestop projects are mostly estimated and bid blind. That is, a bid is based on design intent versus actual design and implementation by the mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP) contractors. Actual design and implementation can only be determined during the firestop contractor’s pre-inspection before firestopping begins and MEP contractor designs are shared. Blind bidding can create change orders when actual MEP implementation drastically deviates from the intended design.
While manual takeoff and estimating processes are still common today, there is a better and more accurate way for firestop companies to effectively double their estimating productivity by submitting more bids in less time with greater confidence with the use of digital takeoff and estimating applications. Digital takeoff and estimating applications quickly pay for themselves in several ways: first by increasing the number of jobs a company bids to win more work; second by eliminating the need to print, handle and store bulky paper-based plans and other documents; and third by easing the estimator’s analysis after pre-inspection to review the initial designs and bids compared to the actual MEP designs and implementation.
From start to finish, an experienced firestop estimator who is proficient with these automated tools develops a more precise, detailed bid in much less time compared to doing it manually.