Transforming construction with one ridiculously smart tool.

Building Catalyst integrates critical information from key project stakeholders - owner, occupants, planners, designers and building producers. It helps the designers and building producers to understand and optimize the building based on the owner's business case.

Our simple, menu-driven, project definition makes planning and preconstruction easy - even fun. We lead you through an intuitive "check box" and filtered "drop-down" selection process.  You can start in the planning, or at any point in the design process. In the planning stages, you can model a project's space program, building massing and scope, schedule and/or costs. As the design is developed, you can transition from predictive costs models to more conventional forms of cost estimating and value analysis..

The following figures display excerpts from our website screens and reports. Enterprise subscribers are provided their own, private, web portal as shown in Figure 1. When logged in, you can select “Projects” to access or move existing projects or, as shown,select "Add Project".

Figure 1 – Add Project from Home Page

We currently include 70 building purposes (like Cancer Center) within 13 building categories (like Healthcare) as shown in Figure 2. 

Figure 2 - Select Building Category and Purpose

Input Menus

Once the project purpose is selected and project named you will be guided through up to five input pages. Figure 3 shows excerpts from the Project Definition and Standards pages. Each of these selections impacts the projects program, design metrics, schedule and/or cost calculations.

Figure 3 – Project Definition and Standards Input Pages

The Program page follows in order to produce real-time return of total gross building area, and the facility’s functions are selected. Figures 4 (a and b) show how this works. As the functions are entered, downstream space program, massing, scope and schedule and costs are all calculated.

Figure 4a - Program Input Summary

Figure 4a displays the collapsed program summary by department – indicating the number of contributing functions and area. Behind the scenes, the core and common spaces are recalculating, and the total building program (gross building area) is immediately returned and displayed.

Figure 4b expands the Radiation Oncology department, displaying the various functions within the department – together with a final expanded display of a function where the number of metrics are input – number of Linear Accelerators in this case. Catalyst calculates the baseline or benchmark area including supporting spaces. As the actual program and design develop, the calculated area is replaced with the revised area.

Figure 4b - Department and Function Selections

We automatically predict the number of elevators, stairs, parking spaces, footprint, building envelop and many other quantities. There are more elevators per thousand square feet in a hospital than office building, for example. The mechanical rooms in northerly climates are larger than in southerly climates. Likewise, the foundation depths and snow loads must be accounted for.

For some early planning models, you can by-pass the remaining inputs and go directly to reports.

The fourth input page for building Scope, identifies dozens of key parameters and quantities. Figure 5 displays excerpts. We calculate the market average and range of variation (not shown here) for parameters. Again, as the program and design develop, these parameters can be revised – either manually, or automatically, through the Import feature.

Figure 5 - Scope Page Excerpts

Our fifth input page, Cost, display the cost in Uniformat Level 3 as shown in Figures 6 (a and b). The hard costs are calculated based on prior input selections

Figure 6a - Cost Page Excerpts

Our system allows you to easily transition from data modeling to cost estimating. In the early design stages, project elements like sitework and exterior wall typically require a more detailed study. As the design progresses, more of the project elements  transition from a predictive model to a more conventional estimate. Figure 6b shows the C3030 Ceiling Finishes cost detail. Every Uniformat Level 3 element has its own estimating page that can draw from a our global catalog and/or your own cost catalog. The unit costs are automatically normalized to the project’s location and time frame. Alternatively, user can perform their estimates in a third-party software, and then import the Level 3 values into Catalyst.

Figure 6b - Cost Detail Example – Ceiling Finishes

Note the above description of what’s included and excluded from the ceiling finishes. We provide standards and definitions within all attribute groups. This helps make standardization habitual, and paves the way for greater streamlining, integration and automation throughout your organization.

Outputs and Reports

Building Catalyst produces a variety of displays and reports. Let’s look at some excerpts from a few of these. Figures 7 (a and b) shows the summary section of the Program-based Results

Figure 7a – Program-based Results - Summary

This report illustrates an important benefit of modeling project results based on the owner’s business case – by department and function. We are able to estimate the interior and MEP works directly associated with the functions, and then apportion the site, shell and support/core are work across the functions. Figure 7a displays the report summary – with departmental totals. Figure 7b show the further breakdown of key metric, area and cost by function. We can see the significant variation in costs of a linear accelerator at $572/SF compared to the exam rooms at $315/SF, for example.

Figure 7b – Program-based Detail – Radiation Oncology

Next, we look at the costs displayed by building system based on the Uniformat cost coded system. Figure 8 displays the System-based Results summary and Shell detail.

Figure 8 – Systems-based Summary and Detail – Shell

Keep in mind that these reports are produced and then revisable in real-time, when any upstream selection is changed.

We include a series of comparison reports starting with the Two-set Comparison shown in Figure 9 (a and b). In this case we show the cost model based on the space program and conceptual design, in the left column – compared to the target value set.

Figure 9a – Two-set Comparison – By Department Summary

Figure 9b – Two-set Comparison – By Building Shell

Finally, let’s look at a multi-set comparison. As a predictive modeling solution, Building Catalyst calculates statistical range analysis based on the amount of information provided. Figure 10 shows the Variation by System showing a number of sets leading up to establishing the target value.

Figure 10 – Variation by System – Hospital Example

The bell curves graphically display the range of variation in the tabular data above, with the horizontal (x-axis) representing cost and the vertical (y-axis) representing likelihood or probability density.

Building Catalyst includes powerful enterprise-wide analysis. Typical analysis compares the market average baseline or benchmark (shown by the top outlined bar) prediction against the estimated or actual results (shown by the bottom color filled bar). Figure 11 displays the Biology Teaching Lab results across three selected science facilities. Note, that we have recieved permission to use these projects for demonstration purposes. The right-hand chart shows how much gross building area is needed for each lab. This includes an apportioned share of core and common spaces. The left-hand chart shows the cost per lab. These costs have been normalized to the same location (Greater St. Louis, MO) and time (2020 Construction Start). 

Figure 11 - Biology Teaching Lab Analysis

Figure 12 shows compares the Gross to Net area and Direct Building Systems costs across several higher education academic and science buildings. 

Figure 12 - Direct Building Systems Analysis

Catalyst provides comparison of selected building systems at the Uniformat Levels 2 and 3 detail. Figure 13 compares the superstructure, and 14 the plumbing system.

Figure 13 - Superstructure  Analysis

Figure 14 - Plumbing  Analysis

Please contact us at info@buildingcatalyst.com to discuss or set up a demonstration.