BSD CostLink/AE RS Means Cost Data

Your subscription to BSD CostLink/AE includes the current RS Means cost data contained in their Building Construction Cost Data (BCCD) and assemblies cost books.

  • To keep things simple, all costs in AE are installed costs that include material, labor, and equipment components, in addition to pre-computed subcontractor overhead and profit.
  • 77 parametric RS Means building cost models ranging from simple office buildings to hospitals and schools.
  • 11,000+ installed systems and assemblies plus 24,000+ line item costs.
  • Cost factors and indices updated for over 700 North American locations.
  • Cost data includes RS Means Square Foot Models data and the complete RS Means Assemblies Cost Data and Building Construction Cost Data (BCCD) Books.
  • Cost data is updated annually.

The Development of Cost Data

The following is how RS Means explains the basis of their costs. The staff at RS Means continuously monitors developments in the construction industry in order to ensure reliable, thorough, and up-to-date cost information. While overall construction costs may vary relative to general economic conditions, price fluctuations within the industry are dependent upon many factors. Individual price variations may, in fact, be opposite to overall economic trends. Therefore, costs are continually monitored and complete updates are published yearly. Also, new items are frequently added in response to changes in materials and methods.

Costs - $ (U.S.)

All costs represent U.S. national averages and are given in U.S. dollars. The Means City Cost Indexes (Location Adjustment) should be used to adjust costs to a particular location. The City Cost Indexes for Canada can be used to adjust U.S. national averages to local costs in Canadian dollars. No exchange rate conversion is necessary.

Model Costs

The base building cost for each of the 77 model buildings is computed from a small number of variables, including total area, perimeter, number of floors, and exterior wall and framing systems. Each of these variables is linked by formulas to assemblies and line items that are added to compute the total base building cost. A number of optional additives are provided for each building model, allowing the user to select appropriate added items and insert required quantities. Each model is based on specific parameters that cannot be varied significantly without invalidating the resulting cost estimate. For example, a building model of two stories cannot be used for a cost estimate of a similar building type of five stories, since many of the systems used and some of the computations would be inappropriate for the taller building.

Material Costs

The RS Means staff contacts manufacturers, dealers, distributors, and contractors all across the U.S. and Canada to determine national average material costs. Included within material costs are fasteners for a normal installation. RS Means engineers use manufacturers’ recommendations, written specifications and/or standard construction practice for size and spacing of fasteners. Adjustments to costs may be required for your specific application or location. Material costs do not include sales tax, but can be adjusted in the Cost Tab of the Summary Info in CostLink/AE as described in chapter 4.

Labor Costs

Labor costs are based on the average of wage rates from 30 major U.S. cities. Rates are determined from labor union agreements or prevailing wages for construction trades for the current year. Rates, along with overhead and profit markups, are listed on the inside back cover of the appropriate RS Means cost book. If rate increases are expected within a given year, costs should be adjusted accordingly.

Labor costs reflect productivity based on actual working conditions. These figures include time spent during a normal workday on tasks other than actual installation, such as material receiving and handling, mobilization at site, site movement, breaks, and cleanup. Productivity data is developed over an extended period so as not to be influenced by abnormal variations and reflects a typical average.

Equipment Costs

Equipment costs include not only rental, but also operating costs for equipment under normal use. The operating costs include parts and labor for routine servicing such as repair and replacement of pumps, filters, and worn lines. Normal operating expendables such as fuel, lubricants, tires, and electricity (where applicable) are also included. Extraordinary operating expendables with highly variable wear patterns such as diamond bits and blades are excluded. These costs are included under materials. Equipment rental rates are obtained from industry sources throughout North America — contractors, suppliers, dealers, manufacturers, and distributors.

General Conditions

The Installing Contractor’s overhead and profit (O&P) is automatically included. General Conditions, when applicable, should also be added to the Total Cost including O&P. The costs for General Conditions are listed in the Reference Section of the appropriate RS Means cost book. General Conditions for the Installing Contractor may range from 0% to 10% of the Total Cost including O&P. For the General or Prime Contractor costs for General Conditions may range from 5% to 15% of the Total Cost including O&P, with a figure of 10% as the most typical allowance.

Overhead and Profit

Overhead and profit is the arithmetic sum of Material (which is the bare material cost plus 10% for profit), Labor (the base labor cost plus total overhead and profit), and Equipment (the bare equipment cost plus 10% for profit). Details for the calculation of Overhead and Profit on labor are shown on the back cover of the appropriate RS Means cost book.