Advancing Design Management and Preconstruction 

As a design or construction professional, you are engaged in the production of remarkable and complex buildings. Your kind of skill and experience is becoming scarce - just as demands are increasing due to more complex projects. This contributes to construction costs increasing two to three times faster than the national rate of inflation.

No human calculus can possibly account for all interacting attributes that impact today's complex projects.  New forms of knowledge-based data processing can more accurately predict outcomes and do so in a fraction of the time of conventional methods. Like today's GPS that advises a re-routed course and adjusts your ETA, Building CATALYST predicts outcomes and guides you to the right course - especially in the planning and early design stages when the highest-impact decisions are needed.

The benefits roll out in three ways - by predicting, optimizing, and steering the program, design parameters, schedule and cost:

Steering results with greater certainty

Building CATALYST gives you the ability to predict and steer project outcomes based on dozens of interacting variables or attributes. The results are remarkable - enabling you to far more accurately predict the program, design parameters, schedule and/or cost.

You can begin before the program is published, or at any point in the design process. If you start in the schematic design, for example, you can model the project in CATALYST, then import the design parameters. You can then evaluate the program, design efficiency and cost-effectiveness. As shown in this figure you can (1) define and develop the project, then (2) establish the target value set, and (3) steer the design to the approved target. Building CATALYST directs you to the issues and opportunities across dozens of attributes.


As the design is refined the uncertainty is reduced and the decisions informed that lead the design toward the approved target.

Can the results be trusted?

The question most often asked is, "what is the basis of the predictions?" The default predictions come from published data, expert opinion and actual completed project data from a wide range of sources. It's the latter - actual completed project data - that is most trustworthy. For several building types, we display a warning if there isn't sufficient actual underlying data.

A 2018 study of 100 real-world completed projects reveals remarkable predictability. From a consistent set of critical attributes about a project's occupancy and constraints - we can accurately predict how much building is needed, how long it will take to produce, and how much it will cost - all within a very useful range of variation. 

This linear regression chart shows the danger of $/GSF type prediction vs. the certainty offered through the Building CATALYST system - using advanced data (big data) analytics.


As shown, only 17% of the projects fell within 8% compared to the average within their building group (i.e. Hospital) - using the simple $/GSF approach. This compares to 85% of the projects that fell with 8% of the mean prediction - using CATALYST's data processing approach. 

This breakthrough in predictability has profound implications to the planning and preconstruction processes described above.

You may be interested in where this data came from. As shown here 26 different building types in 10 groups are represented.


This study includes projects spread across the 22 states shown here. Since this study was performed, additional building types from more states have shown similar results. 


These projects have been built by a wide range of builders across the country. A few companies have actually moved into one stage or another of piloting the use of CATALSYT. The BOLDT Company, based in Appleton, WI leads in the use of CATALYST on several projects.


Want to explore further? This Overview shows you how projects are created, defined, and reported in Building CATALYST.