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Soft Cost Estimation: State of the Practice 25 7% Startup Cost Estimate (% of 6% 5% Construction) 4% Upper Bound 3% Midpoint 2% Lower Bound 1% 0% 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Questionnaire Respondent Figure 10. Startup soft cost estimates. 3.4. Questionnaire Results: Drivers Identified Cost estimators were asked in an open-ended format to identify the kinds of project charac- teristics or circumstances that would ultimately impact their choice of percentages and that have impacted soft costs for past projects. The questionnaire suggested several attributes, but estima- tors were free to make their own responses as well. For each soft cost component (following the FTA SCC structure), estimators were requested to identify "cost drivers" that would have high, moderate, or minimal/no impact on soft costs in percentage terms. The results of this part of the questionnaire are presented in Table 8. Respondents generally identified a wide variety of soft cost drivers, and this research uses these as a starting point for its historical analysis presented later. Some drivers relate to the physical 45% Mid-Range Estimated Soft Cost 40% (% of Construction) 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 1* 2* 3 6 7 4 8 9 5 10 Questionnaire Respondents Other Insurance + Legal Project Mgmt. and Construction Admin. FD PE * Respondents estimate PE + FD as combined amount; PE displayed here using average split Figure 11. Midpoint soft cost estimates for all components.
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Table 8. Soft cost drivers identified by questionnaire respondents. Cost QUESTIONNAIRE RESPONDENT SCC Impact 1 and 2 3, 4, and 5 6 10 Alignment Grade; City v. Alignment Grade; City v. Alignment Grade, City v. High Alignment Profile Rural Rural Rural Preliminary Vehicle Quantity; Design Vehicle Quantity, Design 80.01 Moderate Project Delivery; Mode Quantity and Type of Stations Engineering Speed Speed None/ Mode Peak Throughput Procurement Strategy Mode Minimal Tunnel and Aerial Guideway; Completeness of P.E.; City v. Alignment Grade, City v. High Community Outreach Quantity of Stations; Mode Rural Rural City v. Rural; Project Delivery Deviation from P.E. Vehicle Quantity, Design 80.02 Final Design Moderate Value Engineering Method; Mitigation Decisions; Alignment Grade Speed None/ Design Speed; Grade; Peak Peak Throughput Budget Mode Minimal Period Throughput Tunnel and Aerial Guideway; Ability and Experience of Vehicle Qty., Design Speed, High City v. Rural Quantity of Stations; Mode Contractor Stations per LF; City v. Rural Project Management City v. Rural; Project Delivery 80.03 Moderate Alignment Grade Special Design Skills Project Delivery Method for Design and Method; Mitigation Construction None/ Design Speed; Grade; Peak Peak Throughput Available Engineering Pool --- Minimal Period Throughput Tunnel and Aerial Guideway; Ability and Experience of High Available Resources City v. Rural Quantity of Stations; Mode Contractor Construction City v. Rural; Project Delivery 80.04 Administration Moderate Alignment Grade Available Skills Alignment Grade Method; Mitigation & Management None/ Design Speed; Grade; Peak Avoid Owner / Contractor Peak Throughput --- Minimal Period Throughput Duplication Tunnel and Aerial Guideway; High Market Forces Risk Assessment City v. Rural Quantity of Stations; Mode Owner's experience; City v. Rural; Project Delivery 80.05 Insurance Moderate Brownfield v. Greenfield; City Risk Assessment Alignment Grade Method; Mitigation v. Rural None/ Design Speed; Grade; Peak Project Delivery Method Safety Record --- Minimal Period Throughput Tunnel and Aerial Guideway; High Brownfield v. Greenfield Requirements Identification City v. Rural Quantity of Stations; Mode Legal; Permits; Review Fees by City v. Rural; Project Delivery 80.06 Moderate City v. Rural Schedule Station Density other agencies, Method; Mitigation cities, etc. None/ Design Speed; Grade; Peak Vehicles; Design Speed Agency Coordination Brownfield v. Greenfield Minimal Period Throughput Tunnel and Aerial Guideway; Necessary Balance of High Elevated or Tunnel City v. Rural Quantity of Stations; Mode Requirements Surveys, Testing, City v. Rural; Project Delivery Vehicles; Design Speed; 80.07 Moderate Avoid Duplication Brownfield v. Greenfield Investigation, Method; Mitigation Mode Inspection None/ Design Speed; Grade; Peak --- Share Historical Information Alignment Grade Minimal Period Throughput Tunnel and Aerial Guideway; Vehicle Quantity, Design High New Line v. Extension Operation Coordination Quantity of Stations; Mode Speed City v. Rural; Project Delivery Elevated or Tunnel; Design 80.08 Start up Moderate Skill Level Available Station Density Method; Mitigation Speed None/ Design Speed; Grade; Peak Schedule and Warranty Vehicles --- Minimal Period Throughput Issues