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Calculating in construction software vs. Excel

In the world of construction and estimations, two powerful tools take center stage: calculation software en Excel. Both share the same fundamental questions: What do I need? How much do I need? What is the cost per unit? These questions form the core of every estimation process, both in calculation software like KPD Tendering and in Excel. Discover more about the differences between calculation software and Excel.

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The basics: Calculating in construction software and Excel

The starting point is identical in both cases. In both Excel and KPD Tendering, you begin by identifying what you need, determining the quantity, and calculating the cost per unit. In Excel, you might use formulas and tables to organize this information. In calculation software, such as KPD Tendering, this process is approached in a structured manner. For each item, you create a list of the required resources, specify the quantity through norm types and norm formulas, and ensure that each resource has a unit cost.

Features in construction software: enhancements to the basics

The additional features in construction software, like KPD Tendering, serve two main purposes: saving time and optimizing the primary task, which is estimation. Here are some notable features:

  • Libraries: Construction software utilizes libraries to store and reuse data. This eliminates the need to enter the same information repeatedly, speeding up the estimation process and minimizing errors.
  • Efficient Excel Import: With construction software like KPD Tendering, you can easily import data from Excel. This eliminates the need to manually type out the entire bill of quantities, saving time and reducing the chance of errors.
  • Autocalculation based on standard bill of quantities: KPD Tendering uses autocalculation based on a standard bill of quantities. This means you don’t have to calculate recurring tasks repeatedly; you can reuse previous work easily.
  • Search screen: KPD Tendering provides a lookup screen that allows you to quickly find specific information. This improves the efficiency of data retrieval compared to manually searching through Excel files.
  • Reference items: By using reference items, you can use previous projects as a basis for new estimations. This not only saves time but also ensures consistency in your estimation processes.
  • BIM Functionality: Advanced construction software, like KPD Tendering, integrates Building Information Modeling (BIM) functionality. This allows you to quickly incorporate quantities from the BIM model into your bill of quantities, enhancing the accuracy of your calculations.
  • Data Management: For Excel estimations, typically, each calculation is worked on in a separate file. This makes it difficult to create overviews or do data analysis. In construction software, all estimation data is collectively stored in one database, offering numerous advantages.
  • Error Control: Excel formulas are susceptible to errors. Deleting a formula by mistake, a misplaced reference, or numbers falling just outside a formula’s range can lead to significant errors in the final total. In calculation software, inputs and formulas are standardized, and numerous validations are built-in to ensure accurate totals.
  • Scalability: An Excel file is suitable for estimations of limited scale. With bills of quantities containing several (tens of) thousands of lines, the file can quickly become unwieldy and potentially crash. Calculation software like KPD Tendering is designed to handle both small and very large estimations smoothly.

Conclusion: The best of both worlds

While Excel remains a powerful tool for certain applications, calculation software like KPD Tendering offers clear advantages for professionals in the construction sector. The structured approach, combined with time-saving and efficiency-enhancing features, makes construction software an indispensable tool for modern construction projects. It’s not so much a matter of choosing between Excel and calculation software but rather leveraging the best of both worlds to achieve the most optimal estimations.

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