Efficient, Accurate Cost Estimating

June, 25-27, 2018

New Orleans, Louisiana

Day One
Tuesday June 26, 2018

Day Two
Wednesday June 27, 2018

Chair’s Opening Remarks

KEYNOTE: Establishing Better Relationships Between Utilities, Engineers & Contractors to Improve Quality of Estimates

  • Mani Amini Project Manager at The Spear Group & Utility Representative, Florida Power & Light


  • Highlighting stages of the planning process that can be made more collaborative to procure more fair and accurate costs
  • Exploring best practices to bring companies onto the same page and conceivably foster culture change
  • Understanding the value of establishing long-term relationships between stakeholders to cut costs and how these relationships can be forged

The Utility Perspective: What Factors & Criteria Determine a Quality Bid?


  • Benchmarking key variables on a bid which are prioritized by clients, and often result in bid success
  • Reviewing how these factors can be communicated more effectively to bidding contractors before they begin compiling estimates
  • Improving feedback to contractors post-bid to ensure better estimates next time around

Speed Networking & Morning Refreshments

Revealing Ways Utilities Review Estimates Submitted by Contractors


  • Understanding how Utilities compare their own internal estimates with the bids received and the elements that can signal a quality bid
  • Outlining a review process to determine reasonable contingencies and highlight the expectations for risk management by the client
  • Hearing how Utilities resolve differences in their estimates and reach a conclusion of which contractor to award the project

Improving the Quality of Pre-Construction Documents

Establishing Processes to Improve the Detail & Scope of Designs & Engineering Documents to Better Inform Estimates

  • Kurt Traub VP Transmission & Distribution Line Engineering, Ampirical


  • Understanding the detail and scope required by contractors to more accurately estimate projects
  • Encouraging the early input of Contractors and Engineers in the role of design scope and standards during the planning process to improve quality and constructability of designs
  • Improving the speed and accuracy of producing a bill of materials early on in the design process to give the contractor a better understanding of project scope

CASE STUDY: Exploring the Use of BIM in Substation, Transmission & Distribution Design


  • Exploring the role of 3D modeling as a visual aid to develop awareness of estimators and engineers of project scope
  • Demonstrating the practical application and benefits of leveraging BIM technology on substation construction projects
  • Exploring ways to streamline design updates between the Utility, Engineer and Contractor to inform real-time estimates and future bid quality

Lunch Break

PANEL: What Makes a Quality RFP & How Can This Reduce Overpricing?

  • Alex Vermoer Senior Supervising Engineer, PEPCO Holdings
  • Alex Monn Senior Substation Engineer, MISO
  • David Reinemann Director of Estimating, Henkels & McCoy
  • Vishal Patel Chief Estimator – Industrial/Renewable, Cummings Electrical
  • Jeff Albright Manager of Estimating, Davis H Elliott Co.
  • Eric Lucas Estimator – T&D, Capital Line Electric Builders Inc.


  • Establishing what information and detail is needed in an RFP to ensure that contractors have sufficient information to create quality bids
  • Analyzing different formats to present valuable information in the most clear and efficient way
  • Exploring ways to improve clarification for contractors after receiving RFP documents to reduce the need to include costly contingencies

Improving Approaches to Estimation

Establishing Internal Collaboration Between Departments to Improve Accuracy of Estimates

  • Jammie Simonds Director of Electric Project Estimating, National Grid


  • Reviewing the benefits of involving operations staff in front end planning and estimating to sanity check costs with real-world experiences
  • Analyzing ways to successfully integrate estimation, construction, and project control departments through improved communication and system integration to increase accuracy of bids
  • Understanding the impact of creating ‘active estimators’ on overall bid success by including them in field learning and operational close out activities

AUDIENCE DISCUSSION: Benchmarking Different Approaches to Cost Estimation for Utility Projects


This interactive session will discuss different ways to approach creating an estimate from format, to WBS, to pacing models, and benchmark the benefits and drawbacks of various approaches. The aim will be to compare and contrast possible approaches to provide more insight in to data collection and management to help innovate estimation practices.

Afternoon Refreshments

Leveraging Historical Data & Cost Tracking

Reviewing a Formal Structure for Collection & Analysis of Historical Data

  • Reeyna Daniel Construction Estimating Supervisor, Utility Representative


  • Identifying which data offers genuine value for long-term analysis and prioritizing it for collection to inform future estimates
  • Establishing a central database to collect and collate data into a clear, usable format for analysis
  • Exploring how technology and software can streamline the data management process, including establishing company specific libraries

CASE STUDY: Reviewing How MISO Leverage Data to Develop Conceptual Estimates for Transmission Projects


  • Understanding the role of conceptual estimates for building a business case and evaluating project alternatives in the yearly planning process
  • Assessing how estimators can produce a robust estimate using historical data, and where early designs may not be available
  • Understanding project specific factors that need to be accounted for when applying historical data, such as location and local environmental considerations

Chair’s Closing Remarks