/ Construction / Trimble Introduces GCEstimator Software Suite to Streamline Construction Estimating for 2D and 3D Workflows

Trimble Introduces GCEstimator Software Suite to Streamline Construction Estimating for 2D and 3D Workflows

Matt Ball on October 15, 2014 - in Construction, Modeling, Products, Project management

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 15, 2014—Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) introduced today the Trimble GCEstimator Software Suite, an integrated solution that speeds the process of creating estimates for complex, deadline-intensive construction projects. GCEstimator incorporates best-of-breed software from Trimble Buildings’ portfolio of Design-Build-Operate technologies, which enable general contractors and construction managers to increase efficiencies, win more work, and maximize the profitability of projects before, during and after construction.

GCEstimator combines software capabilities from Trimble’s acquisitions of WinEstimator, Inc. and Vico Software, Inc. into a comprehensive, fully integrated solution.

  • Trimble WinEst – database-driven software that uses a highly flexible spreadsheet for creating, adjusting and presenting cost estimates.
  • Trimble Vico Office – virtual construction software that augments 3D models with constructability analysis and coordination, location-based quantity takeoff, 4D (time) scheduling and production control, and 5D (cost) estimating.
  • Trimble Document Controller Standard – an application that automates change detection between design iterations in both 2D design drawing sets and in 3D models created using Building Information Modeling (BIM) software.

“One of the biggest challenges for construction firms today is to rapidly produce detailed, accurate estimates from both 3D BIM-based models and traditional 2D plans,” said Steve Watt, market segment manager for the General Contractor / Construction Manager (GC/CM) Division of Trimble Buildings. “At many companies with diverse portfolios, that often means deploying multiple cost estimating and quantity takeoff tools, each requiring a separate cost database, a lot of data-wrangling and costly resources. With the GCEstimator, Trimble has eliminated this problem by providing quantity takeoff from both 3D models and 2D drawings, and a single database or cost library to drive all estimates.”

Managing the Complexities of Hybrid Portfolios

Today’s hybrid 2D/3D project portfolios present new challenges to the long-term accuracy and integrity of estimates, when changes to a few objects in a BIM model can obsolete hundreds of items in a cost estimate. GCEstimator software eases updates by creating and saving dynamic links between the values in the models and the corresponding items and assemblies in the estimating cost library. When quantities change in new versions of 3D models or 2D electronic plans, users are automatically alerted to which items have changed, dramatically improving estimate accuracy and dramatically reducing the time to perform quantity takeoffs on future projects.

The growing use of powerful, BIM-based design tools has also encouraged the practice of “target costing”—designing to a budget by experimenting with multiple design options. In addition, the increasing portability of BIM models across construction systems has added to the complexity of identifying design changes from one model iteration to the next. GCEstimator software highlights these differences, allowing customers to clearly explain the cost impacts of design changes.

“Attempting to tie together many different digital takeoff and estimating tools can be time consuming and cumbersome,” said Ram Ganapathy of DPR Construction. “As an existing Vico customer, I’m excited about GCEstimator software because it’s a purpose-built estimating solution that will move the industry away from ‘data stitching’ between tools and toward one-stop native data mapping, which can enhance our own project information system.”

“GCEstimator underscores Trimble’s vision to transform the way construction processes are conducted,” said Mark Sawyer, general manager of Trimble Buildings’ GC/CM Division. “We approach our acquisitions and product development initiatives with an eye toward delivering integrated workflow solutions that make the jobs of construction professionals easier and more transparent—boosting accuracy and quality.”


GCEstimator software suite is available now as a subscription service, greatly reducing initial out-of-pocket costs typically associated with perpetual licenses. Additional information may be found at: http://buildings.trimble.com/products/gcestimator.

About Trimble Buildings

Trimble Buildings, a part of Trimble’s Engineering and Construction segment, is a world leader in solutions that optimize the complete Design-Build-Operate (DBO) lifecycle of buildings. Trimble’s product and professional service offerings—spanning top brands such as SketchUp, Tekla, Gehry Technologies, Proliance, Vico Office, WinEst, Accubid, Manhattan Software and more—improve productivity, visibility and data interoperability, from simulation to renovation. Used in over 150 countries around the world and supported by a global dealer and distribution partner network, Trimble technology is a mainstay of the building industry.

Information on Trimble Buildings’ DBO portfolio is available at:  http://buildings.trimble.com.

About Trimble

Trimble applies technology to make field and mobile workers in businesses and government significantly more productive. Solutions are focused on applications requiring positioning or location, including surveying, construction, agriculture, fleet and asset management, public safety and mapping. In addition to utilizing positioning technologies such as GPS, lasers and optics, Trimble solutions may include software content specific to the needs of the user. Wireless technologies are utilized to deliver the solution to the user in the field and to ensure communication between the field and the office. Founded in 1978, Trimble is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif.

For more information, visit: www.trimble.com.

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