Document Type

Working Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Construction engineering


The scenario I have chosen for my paper concentrates on my experiences while employed as a senior estimator with Aidan Elliott Construction Ltd in 2009. Aidan Elliott Construction Ltd was a medium sized building contractor based in the Republic of Ireland. The company in question had an annual turnover of €15m, and was engaged in procuring construction contracts through competitive tendering. The contracts in question ranged in value between €200,000 and €12m. My responsibilities included pricing individual tenders, and compiling all the necessary documentation surrounding the procurement process for that company.As a company, we were pricing work on a competitive basis based on very restrictive profit margins. The intention was to increase margins through better buying and production methods, once the projects became live contracts. However, through analysis we found that margins were being compromised due to excessive waste on site, not accounted for in submitted tender sums. We found that better buying was increasing margins post tender on certain packages, however these gains were being threatened by the level of waste tolerated on site. The waste percentages were identified by conducting reconciliations at final account stage on materials used against tendered quantities. Generally our tenders included an average of 3% in material quantities to cover unavoidable waste, such as cutting and nature of supply specific to certain materials. Our post final account analysis was delivering findings of actual waste in the region of 6%, twice the tendered allowance, due to excessive avoidable waste occurring on site