V1.1 Key Feature: Instant Quantity Estimates
Quantity estimates are important in every stage of the building process, from Schematic Design to construction. Modumate makes it easier to get accurate quantity estimates from your model.

V1.1 Key Feature: Instant Quantity Estimates

Quantity estimates are important in every stage of the building process, from Schematic Design to construction. Modumate makes it easier to get accurate quantity estimates from your model.
March 26, 2021

What are quantity estimates?

Quantity estimates are a crucial step towards the completion of an architectural project. They are estimations on the amount of material needed to construct a structure. These estimates are used to purchase the correct amount of materials for construction and quotes, and they are the first step of learning whether your design is within the client’s budget or not.

Architecture firms, contractors, and engineers use quantity estimates for a variety of different uses. In smaller firms, architects or contractors will normally do the quantity estimates themselves, while in large firms they will normally hire a professional estimator. These quantity estimates are computed at all different stages of a project.

Quantity estimates during design phases 

During the Schematic Design phase, quantity estimates are often used to produce a rough cost estimate for the project. These estimates often contain a substantial amount of unknowns as many portions of the project are still being fleshed out.

During the Design Development phase, quantity estimates are often used to give more accurate cost estimates for the design. In this phase, the architect and consultants start to dive deeper into the structural system, building systems, building materials, and code compliance. This means that it is often the stage during the design process in which design decisions based around cost must be made. 

During the Construction Documents phase, quantity estimates need to be extremely accurate. Quantity estimates will be used by contractors to submit quotes for the construction of the design. They are also used to start ordering materials that will be used during the construction of the design. It is crucial that during this phase quantity estimates are extremely accurate to ensure that the correct amount of materials arrive to the site on time.

Common ways to estimate quantities

Quantity estimates can be measured using several different methods. 

One method is to manually trace places and estimate the dimensions of materials and compute how much material will be needed using a spreadsheet. 

Another method is to use your model to generate quantity estimates. This involves adding parameters and quantity values to your modeling software so it can generate summary tables. 

Save time getting quantity estimates

Here at Modumate, we realized the importance of having accurate quantity estimates at your fingertips. That is why we implemented instant quantity estimates. 

The goal is to save you time by not having to calculate the quantity estimates by hand, and save you money by helping to prevent purchasing too much or not enough construction materials. 

When you export quantity estimates in Modumate, you will get accurate estimates that you can trust. The estimates are based on your 3D Modumate model and the substantial metadata that is attached to it. 

Metadata is the extra data that Modumate carries about the items in your model. This includes things like the exact location, materials, size, etc. Modumate then uses this data to create your instant quantity estimates. 

How to view and export quantity estimates

In Modumate you can view quantity estimates using the Browser tab located in the left toolbar. In the Browser, you can export a CSV that contains the quantity estimates for each material in the model, or view each material using the browser. When using the browser you can view the number of linear feet or square feet for each material, separator, assembly, and FF&E. 

Here are the steps to viewing quantity estimates in the Browser -

  1. Open the browser tab located at the bottom of the left toolbar. 
  2. Select a specific part or assembly by using the search bar or looking through the file structure.
  3. Select project-wide quantities

You can also export a CSV that contains a list of quantities for all the materials in the entire project. This is extremely useful to provide cost estimations and to order construction materials.

Here are the steps to export a quantity estimate CSV file:

  1. Open the browser tab located at the bottom of the left toolbar.
  2. Click “Export Quantities CSV”
  3. Select a file location on your computer to save the CSV
  4. Open the CSV using a CSV reader like Microsoft spreadsheet or google sheets. 
  5. View your accurate quantity estimates.

Architects are now expected to be more involved in the construction process. Clients are expecting architects to be more data aware and have more knowledge about the amount of materials and cost associated with their design. 

Having quantity estimates early in the design process will allow you to have some of the knowledge you might need to please your clients. Modumate allows architects to have access to this data at their fingertips. 

Modumate is the first software to give you accurate quantity estimates instantly from your 3D model. This makes it easy for you to become more data aware about your own project. The more data that you have, the more questions you will be able to answer, and the happier your client will be. 

Have questions, comments, or concerns? Send us an email at info@modumate.com and we will make sure to respond.

Happy Modelling,

-The Modumate Team


Modumate is a 3D building design platform for professional architects and contractors who draft drawing sets in 2D CAD, quantity estimates, and renderings.

Using Unreal Engine 4’s gorgeous graphics and our unprecedented approach to BIM, we supercharge your 3D design abilities and export instant 2D DWG backgrounds, quantity estimates, and renderings.


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