Conceptual Cost Estimator FAQs

Do cost factors need updating periodically?

According to John Page, cost factors do not or should not vary significantly, in his experience. The Conceptual Cost Estimator™ in its present format does not allow users to modify the cost factors used in calculating the estimates.

One cost item that may have varied significantly is the computer usage costs, where before companies adopted personal computers, they were still using outside (service bureau) computer services, many now can get this work done in-house on their own computers. So this cost may be reduced. You may adjust this cost accordingly in your estimate.

Where can I obtain process equipment costs?

Matches provides process equipment costs online at no charge. Of course, you can also contact equipment vendors directly for quotes.

Can the Conceptual Cost Estimator™ be used outside North America?

Yes. The Conceptual Cost Estimator™ is used in many countries. Of course, the same considerations that apply to all other estimating programs also apply to CCE, in the sense that adjustments have to be made to the final estimate to account for regional differences.

How can I make adjustments to the conceptual estimate?

After you have created a conceptual estimate, you can make any changes to the individual cost items, and CCE will recalculate the entire estimate using John Page’s factors. So, the adjustments are made to the cost items. Also, your knowledge of the particulars surrounding a project will enable you to make specific adjustments. For instance, site work is assuming a level, fairly average soil. But if extensive site clearing and preparation is required (swampy site, draining and piling required; or hard rock requiring blasting and heavy hauling) then you would increase the costs upward to compensate for the additional difficulty.

If your project is an expansion to an existing unit, and if the existing plant is up and running during construction, then you may want to increase your construction costs reasonably to account for the delays you may encounter with obtaining permits, aboveground and underground obstacles, coordinating tie-ins, commissioning and start-up, etc.

Will the Conceptual Cost Estimator™ produce estimates that are identical to those created with the tables in John Page’s The Conceptual Cost Estimating Manual?

John Page made several adjustments to the ratio formulas during the development of this program, and as a result, the estimates produced by the Conceptual Cost Estimator™ will not be identical to those obtained via manual calculations using the tables in his manual. One obvious reason is that the tables in his manual contain ranges, for example: on page 318, REFINERY PROCESS SYSTEMS, Ratio percentages, Direct Cost: items 1. Process Equipment column II shows a range of 44.3-44.6. John may have selected 44.4 for the program. Next column, III, where it shows 7.70-7.80, John may have selected 7.75 for example. These numbers are examples only. In other words, when a user is consulting the tables in John’s book, he will have to make a decision as to what adjustment he prefers, based on his knowledge of the project. In the program, such adjustments are not an option at this time.

If you would like to suggest a question for this FAQ, please contact us.