I have a dream...

After more than seven years of intensive experience with BIM as an architect, I live in hope that software manufacturers will fulfil their promises for a brighter future.

One of those promises, perhaps the one that has seduced me the most, is of the instant budget, in real time, as your project is being shaped.

At each moment, for each insertion of each element, software adds partial costs and, in a simple window, shows the result.

Imagine the impact that this small window would have on architectural design, on construction itself.

The drawing is here. All you gentlemen programmers have to do is to build the code, if you please.


Anonymous said...

I think your request is a little simplified. You need two costs from the model :-)

Design Cost $
Actual Cost $

petrov said...

...and where do you get the costs from? I suggest that this needs tie in between more than one company - such as the design software company and the cost/estimating people and the manufacturers. Oh hang on though, the design on even slightly more complex projects comes from a wide group of designers using a wide range of design software, so you need all of them talking to one another through, maybe through some sort of server-centric digital hub thing that can handle all these formats and link to live cost data.
Hmmmm, perhaps more than just code is needed...?
Great idea though and I suspect one that is already being pondered behind the scenes.

Miguel Krippahl said...

If this little magic window is requested by my customer, I believe one and the other will get much closer.

Never worried before about the fabrication of pencils, why should I worry now how this would be done done?
All I know is, this is something of immense value for honest designers (and all of their clients), and it has a change potential like maybe no other single step in the implementation of the digital office in the architecture field.

Architect said...

OOh Ooh. I like the intant estimates idea. Perhaps it could be automatically added to the project information at each save point.

petrov said...


I do agree with you, just making the point that it's not just code - it needs more collaboration between players who sometimes find it tough to talk to each other, let alone work out how to work together technically. If you and the customer (and me and mine) find it useful we should tell our software suppliers - I think we are in agreement?

Miguel Krippahl said...

Of course I know it is not just code.
But I, as a customer, should not have to care.
All I am asking is a simple inteface, where I can input the data and extract it, via a simple window.
If the data comes from the manufacturers, online, so much the better.
But if I have to input it, no problem there, as long as it is a simple and safe process.
I would even be happy, at this point, just to attribute a price per square meter to each composite element. This value is safe, although not very exact, and easy to find. I just have to go to my last project and look it up.

DavidG said...

Cost data comes from people who understand construction and its costs. If you want to get 85% accurate, there are numerous services that provide cost data at different scales - from components up to buildings.

However, every contractor would could build your design will have to be able to price it. Our architect-led construction firm uses a software estimating package called Quest that could easily export cost data to a model.

The problem isn't getting data ... it's getting good data. The accuracy of the last 15% has a significant impact.

David Gunderson, AIA

Miguel Krippahl said...

Integration of that "magic window" in my design software would allow me to make much better design decisions.
Even with a 15% error margin.

Anonymous said...

There's such solution. Unfortunately (for you) it's not Archicad based.


Miguel Krippahl said...


D2C looks promising.

Unfortunately, it does not look very different, in it's work flow, from the Archicad and Revit solutions.

It does not contain that little magic window I am dreaming about.