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Approximate cost estimates for structural works are always needed for one reason or another at the initial design stage in the building construction industry, and the techniques generally used for their preparation are the percentage estimate method, the superficial or floor area method (also known as the square metre method) and the approximate quantities method. A proper application of the first two methods requires an




in-depth knowledge of historical cost information of completed buildings and of the effect of design parameters on the construction cost. Information on constituent quantities of completed buildings is not readily available. Realistic estimates may thus require the engineer to work out different schemes so that the most economical one may be selected.




It is time consuming and unsystematic if this has to be done for every project. With these drawbacks in mind, the author has supplied the basic data and discussed, in relation to commercial buildings ranging from 5 to 50 storeys, the effect of different design parameters on quantities of constituents for common structural systems, namely the reinforced concrete beam and slab system, the flat slab and waffle slab systems, and the prestressed concrete beam and reinforced concrete slab system.




This approach to constituent quantities will enable both students and professionals to develop esti mates with ease, speed and accuracy. A critical review of the previous work relating to structural design economics has indicated that the investigations were either based on records of past completed projects or on first principles by analysis, design and computation of quantities.




The former approach has a number of drawbacks and, in view of this, the author decided to follow the more scientific approach of analysis, design and computation of quantities for structures of varying heights and structural systems based on the latest British Standards and Codes. The information on constituent quantities is presented in the form of charts and the effects of design parameters such as column grid size, number of storeys, location of structural components, arrangement of beams, grades of concrete, etc. on the quantities of various constituents of concrete




construction for different structural systems have been discussed. Using the charts presented, applications for comparative cost estimation to assess the effect of various design parameters, for approximate structural cost estimation of an overall project given its design features, for checking the estimates for structural works, for calculation of quantity index for structural works, and for various other building economics studies have been illustrated.




I wish to express my sincere gratitude to my onetime colleague Professor C.K. Murthy, CKM Consultants Pte Ltd, Singapore for his valuable assistance and thought-provoking suggestions throughout the stages of research over the years during which the material incorporated in this book was developed. My sincere thanks are due to Professor Bill Lim, formerly Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Building, National University of




Singapore, for his unceasing encouragement and assistance throughout the research investigation. My sincere thanks are also due to Professor I.H. Seeley, formerly Professor and Head of Department of Surveying and Dean of the School of Environmental Studies, Nottingham Trent University, and Visiting Professor, National University of Singapore, for encouraging me to initiate the writing of this book and further for the pains he took to edit it.




I am grateful to the following consulting organisations who kindly allowed the collection of relevant data of the completed projects for case studies: Houkehua Consulting EngineersLangdon Every and Seah Rider Hunt Levett and Bailey Steen Consu Itants Pte Ltd thank Mrs Christina Chong and Miss Frances Loh sincerely for their assistance. Last but by no means least, the moral support and the acceptance of divided attention over the years by the author's family are recognised with warm appreciation.

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