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Estimate House Construction Cost & Contract Assignment

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You work for a housing association that is looking to undertake a substantial program of planned maintenance works for five blocks of two- to three-bedroom apartments, of concrete frame and brick infill construction. The three-story buildings will be refurbished using over-cladding and improved insulation to the walls. The windows, doors, kitchens, and bathrooms are to be replaced. Each block comprises 12 apartments and is currently fully occupied.


You have been asked to advise on the cost management of the project. In providing this advice, your manager has asked you to prepare a briefing note to explain the processes involved in preparing early cost advice. The briefing note should include:

a. a critical discussion of an appropriate approach to establishing an estimated cost for the project considering the RIBA Plan of Work stage the project is at and including an analysis of cost information that could be used; and (approximately 1,100 words)
b. detailed calculations establishing the life-cycle costs for two window specifications for the apartments. Include in your briefing note a recommendation for an appropriate window specification considering its life-cycle cost and the appropriateness for the building’s use. (approximately 400 words)

Note: For part b, one specification being considered is painted, double-glazed, standard softwood
windows complete with all sills, ventilators, ironmongery, and fixings with an initial cost of £430/m2,
redecoration costs of £15/m2 every three years, annual cleaning costs of £12/m2 and replacement
required at 18-year intervals.

You are to assume a second window specification with different initial costs and different patterns of
maintenance and replacement to demonstrate your understanding of life-cycle costing. You should
use a 5% discount rate in your calculations and assume a building life of 40 years.

Also, Check Out: The Site Management Assignment

Additional Guidance

• You are not required to produce an estimated cost for this project when answering part a of the Assignment 1 task.
• Please state any assumptions clearly within the briefing note. Any backup information, calculations, etc. should be in an appendix to the briefing note.
• Supporting information on how to prepare a briefing note is available in the ‘Assessment preparation’ week of the module on the VLE.
• A blank briefing note template can be found in Section 9 of the ‘Study Skills’ area of the VLE.

Reference list

You should include a reference list with a minimum of five separate relevant and appropriate sources that you have written about and cited within your work. A bibliography of uncited sources is not required.

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Additional information

Further information to support you with this assignment is available within the study materials for this module on the UCEM VLE. It is recommended that you engage with the Assignment briefing webinar and Assignment forum, as the module team may signpost relevant learning activities and also answer any questions you may have.

Marking guidance for this activity

This guidance is designed to help you to do as well as possible in your assessment by explaining
how the person marking your work will be judging it. Your work will be assessed in relation to the requirements set out in the assessment criteria marking guide at the end of this document and the grading guidance section below.

It is recommended that you read both of these sections before starting your assessment to learn what will help you achieve the highest marks. Before submitting your assessment you should review it to check you have produced what is required to achieve the highest marks. When you receive your feedback from your tutor you should be able to see where you gained marks and, where relevant, recommendations about how to improve your performance going forward.

Grading Guidance

This grading guidance section explains in more detail what a submission for this assessment should include in order to achieve a mark at the threshold, good and excellent standards.


You will have described the methods of producing an estimated cost for this project and outlined the sources of cost information commonly used. Reference to appropriate stages of the RIBA Plan of Work should be included. An additional window specification will be selected for the apartment building and the life-cycle costs of the two options compared.


You will have met the criteria for the Threshold and analyzed the methods of producing an estimated cost in relation to the project scenario and available design information; discussed the availability and reliability of cost information and included detailed life-cycle cost calculations and reasoning for two appropriate window specifications.


You will have met the criteria for Good and further demonstrated insight and analysis about the methods of producing an estimated cost and suitable sources of cost information considering the type of project. In making your recommendation of window specification you will have shown reasoned insight as to its appropriateness for the project scenario. Reasoned and insightful assumptions will have been made about the project and client, and arguments developed around this.

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Word count and overwriting Exceeding 10% of the stated word count may limit the marks allocated for communication (see assessment criteria marking guide below). The following table outlines the inclusions and exclusions in the word count of the most common features of assessed pieces of work. Not all these features may be relevant to your assignment; please refer to the assignment task for confirmation of which features are required.

Included in wordcount Excluded from wordcount
Introduction Executive summary/abstract
Main body Title page/front cover
Footnotes/endnotes Contents List
In text citations Calculations
Words in tables Drawings/Images
Conclusion List of references
Recommendations Bibliography
Headings and titles, except for those
explicitly excluded