Creating and Comparing Conceptual Estimates

This video demonstrates how to create and compare conceptual estimates using the Autodesk Revit platform. The video shows techniques for: using conceptual mass families to model design alternatives; adding parameters to quickly model size and shape variations; using mass floors to quantify key metrics; scheduling and summing mass floor areas; using simple formulas to estimate project cost.

Exercise 7.3.1: Creating and Comparing Conceptual Estimates

In this exercise, students will learn how to:

    • Create conceptual mass families to quickly model conceptual design alternatives.
    • Add parametric controls to dynamically flex the mass size and shape.
    • Use mass floors to divide a mass form into floor levels and quantify key metrics (area, perimeter, and volume) for each level.
    • Schedule and total mass floor areas.
    • Add parameters and simple formulas to compute conceptual cost estimates.

Student Exercise


    • Create a conceptual cost estimate for the conceptual mass model contained in the dataset.  

o    Divide the conceptual mass into mass floors with a 12-foot floor-to-floor height.

o    Create a schedule of the mass floors and calculate the total area available.

o    Add a calculated value parameter to compute a cost estimate for each floor and the total conceptual cost for the entire building based on the areas enclosed.

    • Duplicate the previous estimate and adjust the copy to allow you to refine the estimate on a floor-by-floor basis:   

o    Add a shared parameter to assign a function to each of the mass floors.

o    Update the schedule to use different costs per square foot based on the function assigned to each mass floor.

o    Add a calculated value to the schedule to compute a conceptual cost for each mass floor based on the function specified.


    • Add parametric control to the conceptual mass to enable you to quickly test different configurations and see the impact on the conceptual estimate.  

o    Edit the conceptual mass family and add parameters to quickly change the length, width, and height of the mass.

o    Reload the mass family into your project and flex the new parameters to see the impact on the conceptual cost estimate.

o    Set up design options to enable you to test and display conceptual estimates for three different length/width/height configurations.


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Learn how to fluidly design, communicate, analyze and plan using BIM models in an IPD framework. Use Autodesk Revit 2014 to access the functionality of all the Revit disciplines in one interface.  

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