Developing Tools & Processes for Faster,

More Accurate Conceptual Estimating

November 5-7 | Houston, TX

Workshop A
Monday, November 5, 2018

13.00 - 15.00
Benchmarking Approaches to Conceptual Estimating

Due to the complexity of industrial facilities, it is not uncommon for estimators to have to provide costs for a project that does not yet have fully defined project scope, or little to no engineering complete. Whether providing estimates for capital planning and economic analysis on the owner side, or filling in the gaps of unknown scope in an estimate for bid, conceptual estimating is an
indispensable skill for anyone working in this market. With this intention, this workshop will:

  • Review the different stages of front end planning and the information that is available at each stage: How can the
    estimator maximize the tools they have to inform conceptual estimates?
  • Benchmark different methods that can be taken to conceptually estimate common facilities, highlighting the benefits of each approach and how they can be practically applied.
  • Break down the process of costing unfamiliar components: What tools and methods can be used to ease this process?
  • Discuss various formats that can be used to present estimates, factors to include, and how to ensure sufficient breakdown of scope is provided to justify discrepancies with future project estimates

Workshop leader

Dave Chick 
Chief Estimator
Campos EPC 

Workshop B
Monday, November 5, 2018

15.30 - 17.30
Finding New Staff & Developing Skilled ‘Industrial’ Estimators

With no clearly defined career path into estimation, it is becoming increasingly hard to expand teams, either employing skilled estimators, or finding and developing new talent. Therefore, this workshop will explore how leaders can develop more effective training programs to condense years of practical field experience and technical skill, and get new staff up to scratch faster.


  • Developing tools and procedures to ease training on the job and simplify complex estimating practices for those who lack industry experience
  • How rotation and mentoring schemes can provide technical skill and overall project awareness quickly and easily
  • Improving team training to maintain development of senior staff and continuously improve skills of the entire department The second part of this session will explore the future of the industry, and the potential for creating a career path into estimating.

Answer burning questions, such as:

  • What can be done to engage new talent earlier and promote estimating as a career option from college?
  • How can we work with external training providers, associations, and academic institutions to develop dedicated programs that address key skills of estimating industrial type projects?

Workshop leader

John Swatsell
Manager of Industrial Estimating
Walker Industrial LLC