Cost Estimating & Management

Construction Cost Estimating for Improved Risk Mitigation, More Accurate Budgeting & Stronger Relationships

Conceptual Estimating

Conceptual Estimating


Design Phase Estimating


Bid Evaluations & Analysis

risk management

GMP Negotiation & Reconciliation


Change-Order Review & Negotiations

stakeholder management

Independent Cost Estimates

Our Role

As an architect, engineer or owner, you understand the importance of the project budget. Our construction cost estimating team can assist you in reducing the risk of project cost overruns throughout the course of the project. We achieve this by integrating our multi-disciplined staff of cost estimators, mechanical and electrical engineers, quantity surveyors and construction consultants with our state-of-the-art estimating software and technology.

All of our estimates are prepared “in-house” by our knowledgeable and experienced staff of cost estimators, engineers, quantity surveyors and project managers who have the ability to help clients manage their construction costs. We provide cost estimates at all typical design stages and for all construction disciplines including architectural, structural, civil, mechanical, electrical and plumbing.

We utilize state-of-the-art technologies for estimate preparation, leveraging the latest in Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology to prepare detailed and accurate estimates. This methodology involves the utilization of a software platform consisting of On Screen Take-Off (OST) by On Center for quantity take-off, Assemble for extraction of estimating data from 3D models and Interactive Cost Estimating (ICE) by RIB.

Independent Cost Estimates

As an independent cost estimating firm, our estimates are accurate, unbiased and objective. This helps lesson your level of risk and provides considerable peace of mind during design. For significant change-orders, we produce independent estimates to assist in the evaluation and negotiation process. With the use of On Screen Take-off, it enables us to efficiently confirm the correct quantities of both the additions and deductions within the change-order. As labor rates and mark-ups are typically predetermined in the contract, it only leaves the productivity factor for any negotiation. This process takes much of the emotion out of the negotiation process and gives the Owner the confidence in agreeing to an appropriate price.

Our Cost Estimating Process

Over the past 20+ years, we have compiled an extensive cost database, which we continuously update with costs obtained from recent project bid results, GMP reconciliation, change-order negotiations and regular material, and equipment and labor rate price checks. We use the latest project cost control techniques to establish realistic project budgets. We then carefully monitor the design of your project as it progresses through all phases to keep it in line with the approved budget.

Also, we assist in bid review and analysis and with implementing effective cost control measures during the construction and close-out/occupancy phases of the project.

Cost Estimating Can Help You...

Reasonably determine the financial feasibility of your proposed project.

Establish a budget and carefully monitor it throughout the design phases.

Significantly mitigate your level of risk with an independent cost estimate.

Correct errors by eliminating unnecessary contingencies & scope overlaps.

Establish a basis for comparison to ensure reasonable contractor pricing.

Build strong relationships between all project team members.



Improved technology in both take-off and unit cost application to produce independent, accurate cost estimates.



Our Cost Estimating approach is based on company-wide standards and proven methods.



We have the ability to clearly show the data and process to support our estimate for easy analysis by others.



We have the ability to clearly show the data and process to support our estimate for easy analysis by others.



We offer unbiased, independent cost estimates in order to achieve an objective view of the project budget.



Cost estimating brings consistency, clarity and accuracy to build trust and establish strong working partnerships.


Peace of Mind

An independent cost estimate helps mitigate risk and provides considerable peace of mind during design.

Property assessments


Our estimators can help guide the design and construction phases in the most cost-effective manner.

What is Cost Estimating?

Cost estimating is the process of systematically forecasting all costs associated with completing a project within a defined scope. In the construction world, a construction estimate delivers a comprehensive forecast of all projected costs needed to complete a project. This estimate serves as a roadmap for a project to be designed, bid and built and can be used to assess financial feasibility, budget for expenditures and oversee project spending.

Taking on a sizeable construction project ultimately comes down to managing a considerable amount of complexity and risk. The bottom line is always at stake, timelines are tight and disputes among the various project team members can occur. When considering a development, there are numerous costs beyond just labor and materials that directly impact the total project cost and need to be examined and budgeted for. A well-researched, accurate construction estimate will examine all these costs and more, including materials, labor, location, climate, project duration, building codes, equipment and the availability of utilities, and so on. Additionally, factors such as surface topography, soil conditions and material lead times are considered.

Armed with an accurate cost estimate, you can reasonably determine the financial feasibility of the proposed project, make modifications if needed, finalize the scope, establish a budget and carefully monitor the budget as it progresses throughout the design phases. A construction estimate also enables you to price-check builder’s quotes and independently verify the accuracy of estimates and material costs. It can even help bring a project plagued by cost overruns back into alignment by correcting quantity and pricing errors and by eliminating unnecessary contingencies and scope overlaps.

Our Construction Cost Estimating Portfolio

Chicago Public Schools

Since 1996, we have provided Construction Cost Estimating services to the Chicago Public Schools. Total projects budgeted and estimated to date are valued at over $5 billion.

We provide cost estimates at all levels of design plus change-order analysis and recommendations. To date, we have completed over 4,000 projects for the Chicago Public Schools Capital Improvement Program.

Art Institute of Chicago

We have provided a wide array of services to The Art Institute of Chicago over a number of years. These services have included Cost Estimating services and fiscal year budgeting and for projects such as renovations to the European Decorative Arts Gallery, the Medieval Arms and Armor Gallery, the Japanese Gallery, the Ryerson Burnham Libraries Shelving Expansion, the Noguchi Fountain and the Prints and Drawings Galleries.

Milwaukee Streetcar

We have provided Cost Management, Infrastructure Management and Owners Representation services for the Milwaukee Streetcar project.

The initial Phase 1 alignment will connect the heart of the Central Business District with the Milwaukee Intermodal Station, high-density residential areas just north of downtown and the lakefront. Phase 2 will add a ½ mile extension extending service to the lakefront.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need an independent cost estimate?

An unbiased, independent, third-party cost estimate helps serve as a basis for comparison and assists in determining the reasonableness or unreasonableness of the bid or proposal(s) being evaluated. Consequently, it helps lessen your risk and brings greater assurance to the project at hand.

Why the Concord Group?

Our Cost Estimating team is comprised of a minimum of 14 estimators in one location, covering all design disciplines. Over the last 25+ years, we've developed a comprehensive catalog of historical construction costs on all types and sizes of buildings. Our history of repeat business with our clients is a testament that we exceed expectations.

Our Service Sectors






Higher Education

mission critical

Mission Critical



Commercial and Retail

Commercial & Retail

mixed use development

Mixed-Use Development



senior living

Senior Living





convention and conference centers

Convention Centers

About The Concord Group


If you are looking for a construction consulting firm you can trust to deliver a successful project, you’ve come to the right place. Since 1996, we have built a reputation for delivering high quality, accurate and timely work for governmental agencies, healthcare organizations, educational facilities, institutional clients and architectural/engineering firms along with retail, residential and property development companies.

Our team of highly skilled construction cost consultants, project managers, cost estimators and engineers have successfully completed over 4,000 projects throughout the United States. Some of our projects include the Art Institute of Chicago, Lexington Convention Center, Milwaukee Streetcar, Welsh-Ryan Arena, Helen DeVos Children’s Museum and the Hub for Collaborative Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Headquartered in Chicago and with offices in Milwaukee, Grand Rapids, Columbus, Atlanta and Dublin (Ireland), we have provided construction consulting services throughout the entire Midwest, United States and Europe.

We specialize in providing an array of construction consulting services such as Owner's RepresentationCost Estimating and Cost ManagementInfrastructure ManagementCost SegregationReal Estate Advisory Services and Technical Services. We have formed strong and long-lasting relationships with many of our clients, some of whom have been with us since we started our business. We'd love to add you to that list.

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