Cost Estimating for Developer

Estimating/Cost Validation of Sole-Sourced Project




Client Need

The client, a commercial developer, has a multi-phased development in San Diego, California. Prior to construction, the owner wished to complete a third-party validation of the proposed budget on the next phase of a large development. Since this phase in question was to be a sole-source, design-build package, completed by the general contractor that was engaged to complete the initial phase, the exercise was to confirm appropriate budgeting for the project. It was key for the owner to keep costs within the original forecasts for each phase of the overall development.

Churchill Solution

The Churchill team reviewed the 60% Design Drawings provided by the design-build team to establish the initial estimate. Subsequent meetings with the general contractor and owner’s representative were utilized to gain clarification on conflicting information identified, align design targets, and offer potential Value-Engineering options. A follow-up estimate was completed based upon a 90% Construction Drawing set. Churchill further completed an evaluation of MEP-FP bid packages that were engaged to assist with design. The packages included individual trade leveling assessments and copies of the vendor responses selected for the award. Each work product provided to our client included a full description of the project to be completed with relevant updates, assumptions and exclusions, a summary of the costs per square foot and per designated unit, a summary and detailed break out by division, and a breakout of the assumed or detailed soft costs (inclusive of insurances, bonding, contingencies, and fees).


Churchill completed a detailed final estimate for the client. Due to specific variabilities identified as potential gaps between the analyzed MEP-FP awarded bids, industry, and regional knowledge; Churchill included estimate balance figures for the client to evaluate. The work product was utilized to verify the validity of the final budget provided by the design-build team and establish a rational project contingency.