and general cost controlling
/ management for the construction
building industry with Kocon software
for MICROSOFT EXCEL or
ORACLE 8.0 - fischersoft®
is the Controlling specialist for the microsoft Excel based
software line KoCon the management information system for the steering of building
cost control from construction costs
ref. to the german RBBau and cost calculation to
or AKS85 (inclusive KBK road construction
measures) with DIN 276 payment output book, HOAI option, Project plan, central discharge, generation of bar
graph, date monitoring,
prognosis and budget
control. Software development f. ground construction foundation engineering building industry.
Projectmanagement RBBAU for Office 95 - 2000 Windows 95 98 ME NT 2000 construction cost consultation
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from Computer Spezial III/94
Project related cost controlling is a stepchild of public construction project administration. The efforts with manual procedures to reach a standard and to solve the existing conflict between DIN 276 and the requirements of an assignment related cost control system are immense. At the same time, the procedures, as in the past, are very time consuming. This is especially true with large projects, which seldom can be counted on as having up to date knowledge of the project. Also the methods and knowledge of the free-lance partners of the construction project administration are very different, and regarding cost controlling are partially incomplete. Uniform standards do not exist and computer use is only sporadically successful.
2. Manual procedures in accordance with the RBBau
With the successful introduction a few years ago of project based cost controlling according to examples 22, 23, and 24, of the RBBau (guidelines for the planning and execution of German federal construction standards in the realm of the Federal Republic's financial administration), for the first time a uniform procedure of cost controlling in the area of public construction administration has become the norm. It arose from the fundamental discrepancy of cost monitoring according to DIN 276 and the creation of project assignments relative to the historic growth of the trades in the construction industry and construction professionals, vis-a-vis a re-coding of cost groups according to project groupings/cost control units. It is not the tendency of each cost group of the DIN 276 to yield a partial budget of the total budget, however, but to yield a sum of the construction re-coding cost calculation. Up to the end of the project this measure is the only substantial figure for cost control. The entry in the construction output book, according to DIN 276, occurs independently of it.
This conversion takes place in Example 22. The sum of the cost calculation, and the sum of the cost control units must be the same. The quantity of the cost control units should correspond with the quantity of the imparted assignments/projects.
The special assignment itself is administered like Example 23 which is like an index: budget, assignments, payments, supplementary assignments, and final payments are noted here. Of particular importance for the result of cost controlling is the decisive role of continuous updating of the expected account total. In this figure is again reflected the imponderability and the expiration of time at the construction site, and it must be here that quantity increases, not given in writing, but verbally executed for supplementary assignments etc. must be summed up. Here the ability and the information held by the on-site project leader and technical personnel are in demand.
In Example 24 the cost control units are summarized to give a project result. In the optimal case high and low costs of the individual trades cancel each other out.
The idea to improve cost controlling through the creation of partial budgets is not new. A weakness in the system is the process of re-coding, which is dependent upon the basis of the cost estimation and the difference is the following: If the cost estimation is created based on the trades, the completed assignment packages will fall easily into place. If it is based on area or construction segments, then the result can only be partially accurate. The process itself can not correct false or uncertain entries. It is also valid, as in the statement, "garbage in, garbage out'. The method does not replace the qualified project leader, who carefully watches over the project and executes the contractual obligations. From this no miracle can be expected and methodology above all shows the need for discipline and can be very helpful.
3.0 The Idea - Conversion for Microsoft EXCEL 1:1
The cost of computing 60 to 80 cost control units for assignment summation, supplementary payments, installments, and final payments, and the carrying over of statements from Example 22 to Example 23 and from there into Example 24 is difficult with a manual operation. A daily execution of each book entry is hardly possible without a considerable use of personnel.
The tabular calculation program, Microsoft EXCEL, is widely used in public administration. As the universal tool for calculations of all kinds, it is standard equipment at many work places. It is also suitable through its far reaching options for macro-programming and as the basis for the brisk development of relatively complex applications.
We found in the architects Frenz & Frenz from Bremen, and the software house fischersoft®, also from Bremen, the partners for the mutual conversion of the previously described manual system into an EXCEL 4.0 macro-program. The program is easy to use, requires minimal previous knowledge and minimal hardware, and is a user friendly system for both large and small construction projects. With the introduction a few years ago of the Examples 22 to 24 in the financial construction administration, which is advantageous, the basic sequence is already familiar to most workers.
The federal state working group ISYBau is now supplied with a powerful tool for cost planning and control which will be further developed. This development, initiated by us and jointly operated, fills a market niche for a simply and quickly installed aid which does not require an extensive understanding of computer systems. Computers with a 386 processor, the MS-DOS operating system with Windows 3.1, EXCEL 4.0 and approximately 4.0 mbyte of free hard drive will be sufficient.
4.0 Data processing, advantages and simplifications
Numerous aids are offered in Example 22 to assist the re-coding process. A cost disposition can be stated, the conversion of amounts follows according to the settlement can be arranged by the bush of a button, through which a complete summation automatically follows. All general data and the budget of the cost controlling unit are passed on to the blank form for the assignment based Example 23, which is automatically generated for all assignments/cost control units. In Example 23 summations after each entry are automatically written in, and wrong entries/book entries are caught through the system controls. The compilation of Example 24 is finally generated automatically, so that no manual activity is needed to obtain an actual cost status of the project.
The program used by the Bremen construction administration is the version, 'KoCon-light' which means that the supplemental tools such as cost estimation according to DIN 276, as a pre-integrated component, statistical analyses, and other options were missing. The contractual obligations call for the free use of the program by the 'Hochbauamt and other local government officials of the construction administration in Bremen' including its free-lance partners for building design in Bremen. The program/software is naturally available commercially outside of this user circle, especially in the expanded version, Kocon-Plus.
Strong inter-regional interest has been noticed, and numerous extensions of the procedures, for example, fee calculation for architects and engineers in on-line connection (bi-directional dynamic data exchange) for charging building costs according to DIN 276, are available.
Further supplementary modules, such as the contruction account book ("Bauausgabenbuch") and the "Abschlagsauszahlungsbuch", will be available shortly. Interfaces for importing relevant data from the usual AVA programs are either available or can be created when needed.
So, a 'public-private partnership' proved to be useful to both sides and a new product has been distributed to the market.
Falko von Strauß und Torney
Director of the Building construction office of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen
computer special III/95
KoCon Plus, a supplementary program for tabular calculation with EXCEL under Windows, shows how user-friendly and simple cost controlling applications can be.
Based on an assignment based cost controlling according to the RBBau, (guidelines for the planning and execution of German federal construction standards in the realm of the federal republic's financial administration) all the construction project participants can observe an operating program with many important control functions, and one which clearly and quickly makes available all essential information.
Kocon-Plus in Practice
KoCon Plus 3.0 is structured for cost planning, in an intelligent format according to DIN 276, version 4.81 or 6.93, as well as cost control through the reorganization of the construction segment oriented DIN 276 to the cost control units:
in 'Example 22'
the contractor sheets in 'Example 23'
as well as balancing or analyzing in 'Example 24'
We can state, that with the currently available 3rd program version of KoCon-Plus, we received numerous user suggestions and the uncontested advantages of EXCEL 5.0 were evident.
This is shown through the adequate functioning of the system, and also in the lucid working portfolio which at any time permits a clear and quick inspection of all steps in cost planning or control. Tiresome assignments in the area of bookkeeping, such as compiling the 'Bauausgabenbuch', (chronological listing of all assignments) the Abschlagsauszahlenbuch, (survey of all payments to a contractor) as well as the 'Sicherheitsleistungenbuch' (listing of all retainers or bank guarantees) are automatically executed through KoCon-Plus, and can be accessed at any time just by using a menu command.
It is possible to enter the value added rate to each individual accounting process, with long-term projects, or with the creation of the cost statement with net figures. By using the menu command total cost controlling can be changed from gross to net figures.
One of the most difficult tasks in finishing a project is the statement of final costs according to the DIN 276 arising from the actual originating costs.
Thus, KoCon-Plus with data feedback from 'Example 24' to final cost statements according to DIN 276 offers a unified instrument. A definite structure relevant to the task of the cost control units can be observed (possibly great differences, summary of homogenous performance) and in the dialogue led program within the shortest time period, a cost statement according to DIN 276, weighted according to percentage based distribution or also exactly specified, can be created.
The printout of all or individual worksheets is essentially simplified through a dialogue field with adjustable options. One time adjustments can be called up at anytime. The printing process will run fully in the background if enough memory is available.
In the new versions of the scheduling planner numerous individual components are supported and corresponding suitable entries in 'Example 221 are converted into a divided bargraph.
Construction Segment Oriented Cost Calculation
The software fulfills the desire for the integration of a price databank, as well as a construction segment oriented cost calculation through the use of KoCon-KoBe. The program extension KoBe is a tool for architects who are required to operate according to DIN 276, in which a simple, dialogue led work path, a room/construction segment oriented cost estimation or calculation can be created. The project design is laid out and managed in the form of a project portfolio within the EXCEL 5.0 system. A worksheet with all the necessary construction segment designations is created for each room.
A suitable, office-specific, short text with quantity and unit price is inserted into the actual construction segment using the connection to 'mark' and 'insert'. (comparable to the drag and drop process)
Each time a trade listing and summary can be generated from the quantity and data sets. If during the duration of the project, individual positions must be changed, the trade listing (Gewerkeauflistung) serves this purpose, with its special filter function of quick changeability of individual positions, and feedback in the actual room construction segments. The trade summary represents a basis for the report (Auschreibung) as well as the connection to cost controlling with KoCon Plus.
A shortcoming with the system is probably the absence of budget or account related book entry possibilities from assignments and payments. As fischersoft has communicated to us, this issue is already being addressed. The appropriate function extension should be available to the user in future versions, in the same way as the option of period oriented analysis of assignments and payments from 'Example 23 and 24' were developed.
Dipl. Ing. Volker Borchers - Architect BDA
(TBB Architects- W. TURK * V. BORCHERS * R. BURCKHARDT - Bremen)
For further information please contact:
Weimarer Weg 12, D-35039 Marburg, Germany
Tel: (+49) 06421 93 007
FAX: (+49) 06421 93 008
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