Making the Right Choices
There is also here an interesting anomaly. The more elegant and simple the
solution to meet the design criteria, the cheaper the cost of both construction
AND the detailing effort. It is well worth searching for.
The next question is how early and how detailed should cost effective comparisons
be made? Bear in mind that, while it is easier to draw comparisons the more detailed
costing efforts become, it is also easier to "lose sight of the woods for the
trees". How often does one find a project team's design, schedule and cost functions
getting "bogged down in detail"?
To state the obvious, cost-effective analysis should only be taken to the level
of detail commensurate with the stage in the project and the ability to draw reasonable
comparisons and hence make selections from amongst options.
This suggests that different guidelines should be set for evaluating costs
at different stages of the project. These should range from macro levels during
conceptual analysis to medium levels for design evaluations to micro levels during
construction. Such values may also vary according to the relative emphasis on
the various project restraints, such as the relative importance of budget versus
Bear in mind that a time delay near the end of the project is far more expensive,
and therefore more important, than one earlier on by virtue of the much higher