Estimating preliminaries

Estimating preliminaries

Pricing preliminaries and determining a margin for profits and overheads

Outline and Background of Case Study

The New Intercity Fleet is a $2.3 billion NSW Government PPP project to replace trains carrying customers from Sydney to the Central Coast, Newcastle, the Blue Mountains and the South Coast. RailConnect (a consortium of Hyundai Rotem, Mitsubishi Electric Australia and UGL) will design and build the passenger carriages, with the first trains delivered by 2019 and the rest of the fleet being delivered progressively through to 2022. Maintenance will be undertaken at a new facility in Kangy Angy, located between Sydney and Newcastle on the Central Coast of NSW.

RailConnect will procure, supply, install, integrate and commission the maintenance facility installation works and provide input into the design of the maintenance facility construction.

As a new graduate from a construction management course you will be responsible for estimating the right price in a three-week period, whilst dealing with a significant quantity of tender addenda that keep coming through until a day before the tender closes.


  • What happens if your tender price is found to be extremely low after tenderer details are published?
  • What about all the wasted effort if your price is too high?

Purpose – aims and objectives

The purpose of setting out this example is to show that some activities in the construction industry are highly time constrained and require intense concentration to detail, somewhat similar to the assignment deadlines that you are currently doing. Good time management is important.

The aim is to help students understand that obtaining a clear grasp of the coursework in this unit will put them in a good position to manage circumstances similar to those outlined.

The objective is to provide students with several good examples of personal time management strategies to help them build resilience aligned to a circumstance of this nature.

Antecedents (precursor)

A positive work – life balance and work ethic will assist in the circumstance identified. Thorough time management skills are also a prerequisite. A positive work – life balance and work ethic would assist in the circumstance identified.

Thorough time management skills are also a prerequisite. These time management skills can be built into assessments and at the time of reflecting on past coursework exercises.

Protective Factors

In the particular circumstances identified in the case study above it may be observed that building peer group relationships and managing those relationships together with associated task allocation in a fair and equitable way would be useful.

Risk Factors

Following the items identified under protective factors, it may be observed that discussion around engaging support, building competence in the coursework would serve to reduce the risk factors.

Resilience or coping

  • Some discussion around possible outcomes associated with the case study with a particular focus on the positive is useful.
  • Providing solutions and a way forward, both immediately and in the short term are helpful.


A particular benefit arising from the case study identified above would be the discussion around personal time management. As indicated from the outset there are many activities in construction which are highly time constrained and required detailed attention owing to their relatively complex nature.

High levels of organisational capability and understanding people management would be useful benefits and consequences arising from this case study.

Contribution by

Professor Peter Davis, University of Newcastle

Pat McAllister, Hansen Yuncken

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