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Cost Estimation Template
Cost Estimation Template
SPU Cost Estimating Guide
Last Revised: 7/27/2015
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1. Overview
Follow this guide when preparing cost estimates for all infrastructure projects. It is
applicable to all infrastructure projects, including habitat and other "green" infrastructure
projects, pipeline, storage, and other "gray" infrastructure projects.
Cost estimates prepared using this guide are used for the following purposes:
helps with portfolio management and project prioritization
developing proposed rates
develop SPU’s 6-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP)
developing the CIP budget submittal
evaluating options and making stage gate, value engineering, and other business
use in contract advertisements
manage costs and ensure projects are completed within approved funding levels
communicate project costs to internal and external stakeholders.
This guide provides templates and directions for preparing project cost estimates. You
may need to supplement the guide with professional construction cost estimating
expertise to develop high quality project estimates, especially on large or complex
projects. If you can’t find the answers to your cost estimating questions in this guide,
please contact the Cost Estimating Guide support team at
For small projects, the Small Project Management Plan included in the “Small Project
Guidance” section of the Project Management Methodology may be used instead of the
templates in the Cost Estimating Guide. The fundamental concepts of the guide are still
valid for small projects.
1.1. Frequency of Cost Estimate Updates
Cost estimates typically are prepared and/or updated at the following times:
During Initiation, to obtain Stage Gate 1 approval;
During Options Analysis, as part of the Stage Gate 2 business case;
Immediately following Stage Gate 2 approval, as part of developing the Project
Management Plan (PMP);
At 30% Design;
At 60% Design;
At 90% Design;
At Final Design, to obtain Stage Gate 3 approval;
Following bid opening, to obtain Stage Gate 4 approval; and
At regular intervals during Construction, including Closeout.
Unlike the initial estimate and other updates, the update prepared for the Stage Gate
2 business case includes estimates for each option. The economic analysis in the
business case at Stage Gate 2 compares the present value of Triple Bottom Line life
cycle costs for all options.
In addition to the updates listed above, cost estimates are updated as part of SPU’s
change management process and are reviewed monthly in the Enterprise Project
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