Here at TA Europe, we believe that Active Cost Management includes cost estimation, cost control and cost optimisation. These actions form the base of comprehensive, transparent, controlling and forward-looking management of costs in order to achieve the best possible cost-benefit ratio for clients and users – right from the start of a project to minimise potential project risks at the same time.
In connection with this approach the following questions arise at the beginning of each project:
- When do we get involved?
- Where do we get involved?
- How do we get involved?
When do we get involved?
The costs are always the central focus of the consideration of all project participants during the entire life cycle of real estate or infrastructure projects, from the concept to the demolition phase.
Active Cost Management takes this fact into account and considers the costs not only from the first mention in the HOAI phases but from the project initiation or the definition of the project baseline or user requirements. It always involves a conscious, traceable identification, assessment, and controlling the entire project costs.
The focus of the costs includes not only the costs during the design and construction phase of objects but also the cost at all phases of the object lifecycle, e.g. the operational phase, with the same intensity and meaning.
The figure shows the development of costs across life cycle phases, the strong and rapidly declining influence on cost development, and the consequences for the timely provision of project information. It illustrates the need for active action in relation to costs, especially in the earliest phases of the project, which set the course for the future development of costs within a project.
With the help of Active Cost Management, we control the execution processes of planning and cost management from the earliest project phases, we manage the provision of information and define the necessary estimation methods and the level of detail of the project cost models. Thus, e.g. in the pre-planning phase of a project it can be the correct procedure strategy to ensure success to build up a detailed cost model based on the valuation of detailed cost elements (see the illustration) and to not only produce a cost estimation according to minimum requirements of the DIN 276 and other sets of rules.
This knowledge of the relationships and effects is always at the centre of active cost management; our practices, tools and the development of our cost benchmarks are optimised accordingly.
Where do we get involved?
Our Active Cost Management covers all different areas of cost management, from costings to comprehensive cost control. The most important areas are:
- Development of project-specific cost management process models
- Cost estimations in different project phases (from cost budgets to cost determination) based on appropriate methods
- Estimation of lifecycle costs and whole lifecycle costs
- Forecast of operational costs
- Cost evaluations in case of TDDs or real estate evaluations (CAPEX-, OPEX calculations)
- Cost optimization, economic feasibility studies, value engineering bid evaluations, cost modelling for comparison offers (“own bidder”)
- Transparent, comprehensible cost controlling
Our service and project portfolio includes all project phases, including project developments, planning and construction projects, conversion and expansion projects as well as cost models for PPP projects. Our methods are suitable for all project types. Successful cost projects of the recent years can be found especially in new buildings and conversions of clinics, university buildings, cultural buildings, production buildings and office buildings.
How do we get involved?
Active cost management always means, to act consistently and transparently, to include all aspects of the project costs in the consideration during an entire project. It always means accurate, responsible and comprehensive identification, assessment and control of costs across all project phases whilst always complying to planning and client/user decisions.
Above all, this requires the early development, coordination and installation of an integrated, comprehensive cost structure system, the use of appropriate estimation methods and tools and the provision and application of appropriate cost databases and cost benchmarks.