D4COST Key Features
D4COST comes loaded with a database of 1,172 construction projects broken down in the CSI MasterFormat™. All data in D4COST is unique because it is real cost data from projects that were actually completed. Historical data comes to life with D4COST because the software also includes integral cost escalators (that let you take costs from one time to another) and local (regional) adjusters that allow you to move building costs from one place to another. With D4COST building cost data, no matter where or when it was collected, project data can be used to cost model for like construction in a different time and place. That’s the beauty of the system, and that is what constitutes the cost modeling philosophy of D4COST.
E-Z Database Searches
Breeze through a complex database with ease with D4COST's SQL search capability. The SQL search wizard writes complex statements for you in seconds, and it only takes a few minutes to learn. Now you have search power to the nth degree. In addition D4COST allows you to customize and save your search results.
More On Screen Information
View projects, plans and site plans on the screen. Select from an integral database of hundreds of cost models.
Loaded with integral cost escalators through the year 2021, and Over 600 local (regional) adjusters, D4COST allows you to take projects from any one time and place and slip them into another. This feature allows you to take broad strokes and fine tune them. You can move a cost model from place to place and from time to time, comparing it with other models, or you can move any model from its time and place to that of the project you are budgeting or cost modeling. Architects, contractors, and developers find this extremely advantageous because it allows them to take their past projects and use them as cost models for future constructions.
Further Customize D4COST By Incorporating Your Own Adjusters
Integral cost escalators take into account the ups and downs of construction costs in the U.S. over time and allow you to intelligently apply them to historical data. Local modifiers allow you to move a cost model from one place to another taking into consideration the differences in building costs (materials, labor and other factors affecting costs). You can literally move a model from one place to another with confidence that your costs will be adjusted accordingly. You can even add your own local, regional or International modifiers, and cost escalators to adjust costs from place to place and add custom modifiers from your own experience, further enhancing the adjustment power of D4COST.
Multiple Project Averaging
D4COST allows you to select a list of projects, cost escalate and locally modify them from their respective times and places to your projected time, place, and average them automatically. A lot of work goes on here to allow you to apply averaging intelligence and technology to your cost estimating power. Two types of averaging are established — true averaging and smart averaging. True averaging takes all divisions and divides them by the number of projects. Smart averaging takes into account that you might have items (or data structures) that do not match from case to case. It takes the divisions, checks the other projects for that division, and averages them by the number of instances found. Averaging becomes a very powerful tool, and is quick and easy to learn.
Opening Multiple Projects On Screen Allows Close Comparison of Building Costs
By placing multiple projects side by side, D4COST allows you to examine building costs as never before. You can literally investigate line by line division and subdivision costs and make comparisons of project notes while modeling. By adjusting projects from their different times and locations to your target time and location, you can now compare apples to apples in a way never before possible.
Run Side-by-Side Comparison Reports
Anytime you can compare projects side by side makes your job easier. D4COST's Comparison Report feature allows two projects to be compared side by side with the differences reporting in dollars and percentage in a crisp professional report.
Import Your Company Building Cost Data
Your proprietary company data of completed projects is a valuable resource to your company. We have long contended that this data once stored in D4COST becomes a gold mine for future cost modeling and to market your services. D4COST comes with a handy Import Utility to import your data seamlessly into D4COST (Optional in D4COST Express).
Define Your Own Data Templates
D4COST comes with three templates for cost modeling — CSI MasterFormat™ the new CSI MasterFormat™ 2004 Edition; and Uniformat. Plus, D4COST allows you to create your own data templates for the cost data that you enter or import. That means that if your company only services a segment of the industry — HVAC for example — you can create and save your own custom data structure to a template that can be called up when you are entering data, saving you both time and money. D4COST now comes with an easy template import feature using an XLS format. You can easily create as many formats as you like, as many as you need. You can develop an infinite variety of formats and still have the search, cost escalating and local modifying power of D4COST at your fingertips to apply on your own data.
It's All In The Details
D4COST allows you to input project notes after each subdivision in your own cost model, plus you can enter major project notes at the Comments Tab (that will accept 35,000 characters of information to explain your project in detail). You can also attach image files to any projects you add to the system, allowing you to store plans, photos and project documentation along with your project information. Using D4COST you will have a complete electronic archive.
Edit Divisions At Will
Even after a format is selected, you are still allowed to go in and edit the divisions on a case study. Assuming you might want to change a division label, no problem. You can also add divisions that are not part of the building costs and keep items separate from building costs if you want to input "hidden" costs or "soft" costs along with "hard" costs.
Add Unit Costs Easily
Adding elements by units is easy with D4COST. Functionality of a Unit Cost Calculator is built into D4COST. You simply label the unit, enter the cost of the unit, and enter the number of units. A quick click and the item is entered in your division and converted to the square unit of your cost model so you can instantly see the square cost impact. Each item is automatically labeled in the project notes, and you can add as much detail to the notes as you desire. Plus, a utility to store unit costs is included. A unit may be added and cost escalated from the time and location the unit cost was incurred to the date and location of the model into which it is being added. The function is built into the software. For users who want a ready made unit cost database, three optional unit cost databases are offered that are time/date stamped (static method can also be selected).
Import/Export Features Add Flexibility To Your Data
D4COST Import/Export supports like data format for instant transfers. You can also export to a comma separated value files in seconds. D4COST allows you to define your own data structure formats and, as a result of user defined structures, you may want to set up data in accordance with a format you are presently using. Data structures may vary from record to record and therefore a variety of Export/Import routines may be required. No problem. Custom data Import/Export programming is available from DC&D Technologies, Inc., at a reasonable hourly rate. Call upon DC&D to assist you if you need help in creating a customized transfer routine to move data from different platforms into D4COST without having to key the data again.
Currency Modifiers Allow International Estimating
If you are ever called upon to look at a cost model in a different currency, no problem. D4COST allows you to enter today's exchange rate and model in International currencies in real time. This becomes a very useful feature in today's growing international markets. The system even provides for you to add your own International Modifiers for construction costs, too.
Export To XLS Format And Other Formats
D4COST enables users to export their data into other formats. Once data is exported into other formats, data can be manipulated for comparisons and custom reporting.