Web-based calculator uses data from thousands of real schemes to predict more accurate project time frames

The RICS Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) has launched a new tool for calculating how long a construction project may take.

The web-based calculator uses the construction duration of over 4,500 new-build and refurbishment projects to develop a model to predict the time a particular type of building could take.

Calculations are based on eight separate details relating to the project, including the type of work – either new build or refurbishment – contract value, date of project, location, procurement route, selection of contractor, client type and building function.

Joe Martin, executive director of BCIS, comments: “According to the latest construction industry key performance indicators, 48% of projects do not finish on time. We are always hearing in the news that building projects have overrun and in some respects we come to expect this, but more often than not an unrealistic time frame has been proposed at the outset.”

Martin added that the strength of the calculator lies in the data used to make the estimates. With real timescales from so many varying projects, it becomes easier to come up with a reasonable assessment at the start of any project. The data used by the calculator will be updated and expanded on a regular basis.