How to Use Cost History for Conceptual Estimating in DESTINI Estimator Construction Estimating Software

Preconstruction teams gather a lot of information, but it is extremely frustrating to leverage that information if you don’t have a standardized way of retrieving it.  

Where is your project data stored? Do you have one centralized source from which to draw project data from? 

In an informal poll conducted at a Beck Technology workshop at Advancing Preconstruction 2021, Greg O’Bryan, Preconstruction Manager at The Beck Group, asked how preconstruction professionals were finding project data cost history. The majority answered they were using internal Excel spreadsheets, sifting through old files, and/or just using their experience.  

However, using our 25+ years of working with preconstruction teams, we know gathering information in this way is extremely inefficient, especially with the way we work now—multiple offices across the country and with remote work, it is getting more difficult to find reliable information quickly.  


DESTINI Estimator construction estimating software captures all this project data, which we call cost history, in one single database from where everyone on your preconstruction team can draw from, creating a reliable single source of truth this is quickly and easily accessible.  

What is Cost History?  

Cost history in preconstruction is the cost and non-cost related information (contextual data) which describes some aspect or aspects of a construction project. In essence, everything construction estimators and precon teams do.  

Capturing cost history ensures cost certainty and cost stability in your estimate throughout the entire life of a project.  

Cost history allows you to benchmark—compare a group of similar projects or aspects of projects to other projects and for trending—comparing one project over time. It also allows you to track a metric or a set of metrics for a project.  

Screenshot of Microsoft Power BI's integration with DESTINI Estimator.

You can leverage your cost history as big picture or as granular as you wish. Leveraging your cost history gives you a high rate of confidence in your estimates and allows you to analyze data for present and future projects.  

DESTINI Estimator is a data-based estimating system, so capturing cost history is a native feature to the software and enables your precon team to use this data to make better project decisions.  

Because of this cost history, you can build a more accurate conceptual estimate in much less time.  

Conceptual Estimating 

Along with integrated detailed estimating, and both 2D takeoff and 3D takeoff, DESTINI Estimator’s conceptual estimating capabilities are built into the platform and this innovative approach makes conceptual estimating simple and intuitive. 

Click here to watch how conceptual estimating in DESTINI Estimator works. 

By combining powerful parametric estimating with cost history, users can select from user-defined templates that enable quick, accurate, and transparent estimating that instill confidence in your team and your customers. 

Templates are the starting point of where you begin to build a new estimate. They are set up by your team with a standard structure of like projects, so that the layouts, filters, and line items are already completed when you begin a new estimate.  


DESTINI Estimator’s Project View enables users to set up templates that contain lists of variables they want their teams to track throughout the life of the company’s projects. In the conceptual phase, these variables can be used to formulaically drive quantities and items in the estimate. Additionally, linking the variables in the Project View to a company defined conceptual workbook that’s stored within the template can drive the values of the variables and correspondingly the estimate. 

Benchmarking unit prices against similar projects is a breeze. All projects being benchmarked can be both regionally and time adjusted enabling a very simple, efficient, and transparent method of assigning the most appropriate unit prices based on your cost history making conceptual estimating easy. 

DESTINI Estimator is unlike any other estimating software you have used because Beck Technology has built the platform to keep up with construction project complexities as well as think ahead of what the construction industry needs.  

Conceptual estimating and cost history are ingrained in DESTINI Estimator so the preconstruction professional not only gets the job done but has better clarity around the data, can access historical numbers easily, and tackle more jobs with confidence than ever before. 

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