Estimating Methods
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Estimating: Methods & Challenges

Accurate and precise estimating is critical to the financial viability of a construction firm. This workshop provides an introduction to the field of construction estimating and covers methods and challenges encountered in the development of a dependable estimate. This workshop will provide you with the knowledge and skills to visualize the scope and magnitude of a construction project and produce reliable estimates. This is accomplished by the use of a case study simulation with the aim of determining the quantity and type of materials required for the project. This course qualifies for 7 PDUs.


This course is intended for people working in estimating or any individual who wants to become an estimator. This practical course will benefit:

  • Contractor/Project Managers
  • Schedulers/Planners
  • Anyone who quantifies cut and fill, underground utilities or road-building
  • Project Engineers
  • Project Administrators/Coordinators


This one day workshop is in compliance with the Project Management Institute (PMI®’s) Global Standards and the American Association of Cost Estimators (AACE). It incorporates proven processes and techniques instruction. Participants will operate in small teams (4-6 per team) to learn and practice estimating. Each team will use the processes taught in class to try various methods, confront and overcome challenges that are inherent in estimating to a real-to-life project. Additionally, project estimates will be assessed for risks, as well as strategies for risk mitigation. At various places in the process specific/formal review checkpoints will be discussed to assure that the project estimates meet appropriate stakeholder requirements.


  1. Using lectures, individual exercises, discussion and a powerful case study simulation you will learn the theory and practical application of the following:
  2. Have a good understanding of estimating practices.
  3. Put into practice real-life methods for determining job costs.
  4. Use essential formats for clearly estimating equipment labour, material, and other service costs related to completing a project.
  5. Assess and decide how a variety of physical site complexities may affect the estimate cost of a project, and use methods to counteract these variances.
  6. Better identify and interpret general site conditions, special conditions, and technical specifications associate with site-work projects.


  • Introduction
  • Estimating Methods
  • Estimating Challenges: Risk & Procurement
  • Case Study / Simulation
  • Estimating Earthwork
  • Estimating Underground Utilities
  • Estimating Roadwork & Paving


Bud MacAulay Lush, PhD, MSc, CSM, FRCPM
Bud is a multiple award winning international facilitator, coach, and consultant with over 35 years direct working and teaching experience in integrated systems program management, corporate-enterprise wide initiatives. He has consulted on organizational change, performed requirements engineering and management, designed project management processes and control systems in many sectors including health sciences, automotive, energy and petroleum, aerospace and defense. Dr. Lush has been a guest simulation designer/lecturer at the U.S. Defense Systems Management College, and USC's Institute of Safety and Systems Management. He holds an M.Sc in systems engineering and a Ph.D in systems management. Bud is the creator of Canada’s first Masters Certificate in Engineering Management, and a founding faculty member, principal technical content producer of the Centres of Excellence in Project Management and Business Analysis at York University's Schulich Executive Education Centre, Schulich School of Business, and its partner universities throughout North America.

Kelly Paradis, P.Eng., PMP
Kelly based in Ottawa, is a Senior Project Manager, Atocrates Consulting and Education Services. She is a professional engineer (P.Eng.) and registered project manager professional (PMP) with 15 years of experience in site inspection, road construction, land development engineering design, project management and contract administration. Kelly is a graduate from the University of New Brunswick with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree as well as a graduate from Carleton University’s Sprott School of business with a Master Certificate in Project Management. Kelly, a Senior Project Manager is knowledgeable in construction as a site inspector for municipal infrastructure projects. She also specializes in storm water management design and construction for residential and municipal projects.

In addition Kelly is experienced in all facets of project management including initiating, planning, executing (design), monitoring and controlling (quality control and assurance; cost control; change control), approvals, principles of construction documentation, risk management, time management, and project closure.

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