The Engineer’s Cost Handbook Tools for Managing Project Costs Edited by Richard E. Westney, P.E.
All engineers work with variables. The mechanical engineer’s variables may involve dynamics; the electrical engineer’s, power; or the civil engineer’s, loads. Yet there is one variable that affects every engineer’s work, a variable so powerful that, if it is not analyzed properly, no engineering project can succeed. It is the variable that, today more than ever, governs the work that all engineers do. That variable, of course, is cost.
Cost determines which projects will go ahead. Once a project is approved, costs often determine the design approach to be used. And once the project is completed and operations begin, costs determine whether it will be a success.
Successful engineers today understand that technical work is merely part of a cost-driven business process. In most companies, the successful project is not necessarily the one that has the most sophisticated design-more likely it is the one that makes the most money. Modern engineers know that a project that was a technical success will be judged a business failure if costs are not analyzed and controlled.
The purpose of The Engineerk Cost Handbook is to enable engineers to work with cost with the same confidence, competence, and skill that they can apply to any other variable. Costs can be studied, analyzed, and optimized like any other engineering variable, so they are something with which an engineer can feel comfortable.
As with most engineering applications, cost engineering is a disciplined process. This handbook is organized into three parts that track the natural flow of a project through cost estimating, economic evaluation, and cost control. Each chapter is written by a cost engineer with top credentials who has distilled his experience into guidelines that are easy to pick up and use.
The book describes cost control systems and shows how to apply the principles of value engineering. It explains estimating methodology and the estimation of engineering, engineering equipment, and construction and labour costs; delineates productivity and cash-flow analysis; and more.
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