Have You Tried It? Unit Costs in Autodesk Takeoff 

As part of our new “Have You Tried It” blog series, we are highlighting one of our recently released features within our Autodesk Construction Cloud portfolio that may have flown under your radar. Whether you’ve started using them or not, all the features highlighted in this series have the same things in common - they will improve your user experience and enhance productivity for your team.  

This month, we’re highlighting the unit cost functionalities available within Autodesk Takeoff. 

What is Autodesk Takeoff? 

If you are unfamiliar with Autodesk Takeoff, here is a quick overview. Autodesk Takeoff is our cloud-based quantification software that allows estimators to create 2D and 3D takeoffs from a single solution. This empowers estimators to increase takeoff accuracy and reduce takeoff time while improving collaboration, ensuring everyone is working from the latest project documents. 

How does Unit Cost work in Autodesk Takeoff? 

Autodesk Takeoff recently added the ability to apply a unit cost to the outputs of 2D and 3D takeoff types, which can help establish rough budgets and estimates. You can pick the currency of your choice within the Takeoff Packages settings to start applying unit costs.

Unit costs can be added to the takeoff outputs in a couple of different ways. You can use the output definitions table to import multiple output definitions simultaneously, including costs, using the template provided to streamline the output creation process, saving considerable time.

You can also add unit costs to outputs directly in Takeoff types when performing 2D and 3D takeoffs. Cost calculations are displayed and updated within the inventory panel as you continue to perform takeoff, giving you a clear view of how your cost trends as quantities increase or decrease.

The inventory and cost information can also be exported to Excel to be leveraged externally downstream. For additional time savings and standardizations, cost information is included when importing takeoff types from another takeoff package or project, eliminating the need for double entry.  

How does the ability to add unit costs benefit me?  

Estimators are often asked to put together a high-level conceptual estimate for various reasons. Conceptual estimates can guide you in making design and budget decisions and evaluate different options to better align with cost expectations.

Conceptual estimates give teams an idea of a project’s cost and can also help determine project feasibility – whether a project is worth pursuing. It can help estimators make better budget decisions early on without spending considerable time performing a detailed estimate during the early project phase.  

Estimators can develop rough budgets by applying unit costs to takeoff quantities in Autodesk Takeoff. Estimators often have to relay to owners and other stakeholders why a project’s scope or budget changed at different milestones during the design development.

By using the digital comparison process within Autodesk Takeoff, estimators can easily compare project snapshots to current work in progress to quickly identify the difference between milestones in takeoff quantities and associated costs to have a more data-driven conversation. 

"Autodesk Takeoff is transforming the way we quantify, estimate, and plan our projects. Having all 2D and 3D data connected in one ecosystem builds on Windover’s purpose of automation and taking the proper steps to streamline our preconstruction workflow. The ability to add unit costs and see the cost changes reflected in the inventory as the takeoff progresses helps us see where item costs are at and make the right decisions and adjustments if needed early on."

-Amr Raafat, Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) at Windover Construction. 

Get started today

Take a closer look at Autodesk Takeoff to see how it can help you level up your quantification workflows to provide more accurate estimates and takeoffs across your projects.    

Samira Tily

Product Marketing Manager, Autodesk Construction Solutions