Array ( [page_title] => Review: Zone Cost Calculator [curr_path] => )

Review: Zone Cost Calculator

Date: Monday, December 14, 2015

"I was recently asked to review the BimRecipeZone Cost Calculator. A tool created by the team at bim bakery™ .

The tool is based on ARCHICAD workflow, which for me is a great starting point, as I do not support any tools or add ons that contradict the ARCHICAD workflow. A demo video of the tool can be viewed here. 

Essentially, this tool offers the user access to a spreadsheet of building cost rates (probably sourced from previous similar project types or from your project QS), which can be associated to ZONE elements in a project file, to create cost estimates of project work, WITHIN the project environment. The tool further supports updates of the rates and ofcourse it supports updates of the changes of the project geometry. Note that the project geometry is limited to massing via the ZONE TOOL."

How does it work?

Step 1, you load the tool into your library. This will provide you with 3 “items”

Item A: a ZONE STAMP, which you can select in the ZONE TOOL dialogue box, this stamp has display functionality, to display in the ARCHICAD floor plan view, the calculation results directly for the individual ZONE, ie. how much do the doors, walls, slabs, plumbing items cost in that ZONE, the user interface is particularly friendly and well designed, allowing flexibility and intuitive workflow

Item B: a TXT file conversion of the XLS rate sheet from your QS, this is the file that you can update if the rates change during the project.

Item C: a schedule setup, which allows you to run scheduled views and tabulated calculation sheets for ARCHICAD use or for export, of the totals of multiple (according to your selections) ZONEs, ie. an entire floor, wing or building in your project file, this is close to the traditional estimate formats that are used in the building industry.

Step 2, you start drawing various ZONEs as design process, immediately you will see their individual costs in your PLAN window.

Step 3, you generate the custom schedule and review your project budget vs design, at this point you may opt to import revised rates and immediately rerun the calculations or revise your design geometry and rerun calculations

Looking at this solution from a workflow perspective, I would say that the simplicity and the value feedback is a phenomenal combination, it can certainly be recommended!

The tool is presently provided with the following components:

  1. a sample txt file for project rates, you can literally create your own text file from any XLS file, as long as it matches the format of this file
  2. a default schedule, closely setup to match current building industry estimation standards, this can be modified to suit your layout needs from within ARCHICAD, once it has been loaded
  3. a step by step guide, which covers everything from the installation procedure to the basic functionality

The latest manual is available on line, with the new UI’s in:

In addition, the full library is available. A fully functional demo is available, and all tools and solutions are #FreeForStudents. Download here:

A great tool overall, try it today! All GRAPHISOFT SA SSA clients, have access to the full tool version at a 10% discount, by using the following coupon code: