• Many Glacier Hotel at Glacier National Park, Montana

    DSC Workflows

Cost Estimating Standards

Review Design Standards General Statements before utilizing this web page.


Requirements
Laws
Regulations
Government Directives & Government Standards
National Park Service (NPS) Requirements
Professional Guidance
Resources


Requirements

Laws

  • Antideficiency Act (ADA), Public Law 97-258, 96 STAT 923
    Prohibits federal agencies from obligating or expending federal funds in advance or in excess of an appropriation, apportionment, or certain administrative subdivisions of those funds.

Regulations

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

  • FAR 36.609-1 Design within funding limitations - Unless otherwise specified in the design contract documents, the A-E shall design the project so that bid construction costs will not exceed funding limitations established as the "Basis of Fee Negotiation." This regulation applies, conditionally requiring the A-E to redesign the project at their own expense to assure that a responsive construction bid amount will be within funding limitations.
  • FAR 36.203(a) Government estimate of construction costs - An independent Government estimate of construction costs shall be prepared and furnished to the contracting officer at the earliest practicable time for each proposed contract and for each contract modification anticipated to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold. The contracting officer may require an estimate when the cost of required work is not anticipated to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold. The estimate shall be prepared in as much detail as though the Government were competing for award.

Government Directives & Government Standards

Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide: Best Practices for Developing and Managing Capital Program Costs GAO-09-3SP - The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is charged with providing information to Congress to assist them with oversight of federal operations, programs, agencies, and to assess their stewardship of public funds. The GAO produced this guide March, 2009 to:

  1. "…help federal agencies produce well-documented, comprehensive accurate and credible estimates", as attributed to the Comptroller General in the press release that accompanied the report.
  2. "Establish a consistent methodology that is based on best practices and that can be used across the federal government for the developing, management, and evaluating capital program cost estimates", as stated in the preface to the report. (GAO Report, March 2, 2009)
  3. Reduce the risk of cost overruns, missed deadlines, and performance shortfalls.
  4. Improve the accountability and tracking of program changes; evaluate how well programs, risk management and cost control practices are performing; and improve the ability to respond to and litigate cost.

National Park Service (NPS) Requirements

Management Policies

Management Policies 2006 - The Guide to Managing the National Park System

Director's Orders (DOs)

Denver Service Center (DSC) Requirements

NPS Cost Estimating Requirements Handbook (pdf)

  • Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
    All building project estimates shall be formatted utilizing the UNIFORMAT II (WBS), pursuant to, ASTM E1557-09
    • All Class C estimates must be summarized to the asset level and broken down to UNIFORMAT II, Level 2, with supplemental detail to at least Level 3.
    • All Class B Cost estimates must be segregated by asset and shall be summarized to UNIFORMAT II, Level 2 and broken down to UNIFORMAT II, Level 3, with supplemental detail to Level 4.
    • All Class A Construction Cost estimates must be segregated by asset and shall be summarized to UNIFORMAT II, Level 2 and broken down to UNIFORMAT II, Level 3, with supplemental detail to Level 4. Material, Labor, and Construction Equipment costs must be itemized separately.
    Depending on the project's stage of development, the Level 4 detail may be referenced in accordance with ASTM E1557, Appendix A, or CSI MasterFormat 2004. The two classification systems relate to each other as represented in Appendices H and I in the NPS Cost Estimating Requirements Handbook.
  • Mark Ups
    Estimating Mark-ups and their application to various levels of construction estimates are defined in the NPS Cost Estimating Requirements Handbook.
    • Asset Categories
      The NPS defines an asset as a physical structure or grouping of structures, land features, or other tangible property which has a specific service or function. The Service's asset portfolio includes over thirty asset types-from roads, trails, buildings, and utility systems to monuments, marinas, fortifications, and aviation systems. For a list of asset categories, see Appendix G in the NPS Cost Estimating Requirements Handbook.

Professional Guidance

Resources