Request for Services estimates explained


This blog answers questions that have come up recently regarding very preliminary project estimates for $150M that were included in the Request for Service (RFS) documents when the Building Committee was soliciting proposals for an Owner’s Project Manager and a Designer/Architect in 2016.
Budget development is an ongoing process through the Feasibility Study and Schematic Design phases of the project.  Prior to these phases, it is difficult to understand the scope of the project and the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) discourages districts from performing any pre-feasibility estimating.  Therefore, early budget ranges contained in the Owner’s Project Manager and Designer Request for Services (RFS) were based on comparative data from other similar projects at that time and used as a starting point.
The non-binding, early numbers did not contemplate the complexities and unique features of our site, nor did they consider our Educational Program because we had not written it. It was not possible to estimate the full scope of our project because no work was performed prior to hiring the Owner’s Project Manager and Designer/Architect.
It is common for early budget ranges to be lower than the final budget. For almost every district, the estimates shown on the RFS can be as much as half the estimate in later stages. 
RFS (Request for Services) Project Estimate
Preferred Schematic Report (PSR) Estimate
* note: the final budget is $291M.
From the beginning to end of the Feasibility Study, it is common for the estimate to have an upward trend as more information is gathered.  Ultimately the primary goal of the Feasibility Study and Schematic Design phases is to arrive at a detailed Project Scope and Budget that is approved by the MSBA.  Only at that point is the budget of the project defined and finalized.  The budget for the AHS project will be finalized at the end of the Schematic Design phase in mid-April.

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