6 ways to improve quantity takeoffs

As we touched on in our previous blog post, there are a number of challenges the Construction industry is facing today. In this blog post, we’ll look specifically at the problems quantity surveyors & estimators encounter on a daily basis and how to overcome them.

6 ways to improve quantity takeoffs

The problem with quantity takeoffs today

Traditional 2D takeoff continues to be a leading method for estimating quantities on projects, but it can be very time-consuming with scale rules, highlighter pens and spreadsheets. Paired with the rise of projects needing to be completed using Building Information Modelling (BIM), estimators and quantity surveyors end up using a number of different software solutions. As a result, the disconnected nature of 2D & 3D takeoffs can become a challenge.

Autodesk recently released its Construction Outlook report which highlights that schedules on bidding in particular, are getting tighter & tighter as we look at the data coming in from the field. In addition to this challenge, competition continues to increase in this space as more and more people are bidding on the same projects.

The covid-19 pandemic has also highlighted the challenge that individuals face when they are not working in the same location. People need to collaborate with different people in different disciplines of an organisation, which is not always as straight forward as we’d like it to be.

How can quantity takeoffs be improved?

So how do we get around these challenges? Let’s look at some of the elements you can gradually start to implement on a project-by-project basis…

  • Increased collaboration – ability to increase collaboration with other estimators and team members.


  • Single source of truth - Rework caused by poor project data costs the industry approximately 280 billion dollars annually. By working off one single source of truth, teams can reduce errors by not working off correct, updated information.


  • Connected 2D & 3D - 2D drawings are derived from 3D models with connected data, allowing estimators and quantity surveyors to better understand how components are installed and identify potential clashes before problems arise out on-site.


  • Improved data accuracy – teams can better plan & forecast their projects



  • Standardisation – by standardising on one platform, teams are able to function more efficiently. There’s no learning curves between projects and company standards are always met. BIM is becoming more frequent in estimation workflows and the ability to connect 2D & 3D quantifications together in a single platform helps with this.


  • Digitisation – there are still a lot of workflows which occur at pen & paper level in the construction industry today, so the more we can bring that information into the digital age, and have it available for collaboration, the better you can perform on your projects.

How do you achieve this?

Introducing Autodesk Takeoff

Autodesk Takeoff, part of the Autodesk Construction Cloud unified platform, allows estimators to produce & perform more accurate 2D takeoffs and generate automated quantities from 3d models within a single takeoff solution.

Autodesk Takeoff sits nicely between Autodesk BIM Collaborate & Autodesk Build in the pre-construction space covering 2D & 3D takeoff and scope analysis. BIM Collaborate is typically used for the design & pre-construction side of a project, empowering teams to improve the constructability of models, increase the transparency of managing risk, and facilitate more efficient design collaboration & coordination.

Autodesk Build on the other hand is typically used on the construction side of a project, empowering office, site execution & project management teams to seamlessly collaborate on construction projects and keeping them on-time & on budget.

Just like all the products within the Autodesk Construction Cloud, Autodesk Takeoff sits on top of the fully integrated document management system Autodesk Docs. Autodesk Docs enables compliance with ISO 19650 standards for BIM projects, whilst allowing you to organise, share & distribute files on a single connected environment.

Explore the full range of products available in the Autodesk Construction Cloud unified platform here.

See Autodesk Takeoff in action

In this short video, our Construction Application Specialist Callum Rudge introduces the Autodesk Takeoff interface and walks through how to make a package.

For more information on Autodesk Takeoff and to see a full product demo, watch our on-demand webinar recording.


To keep up to date with the latest advancements to the Autodesk Construction Cloud or the Construction industry, please get in touch with us. Alternatively, join our bi-weekly webinar sessions #WorkSmarterWednesdays.


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