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Analogous Estimation

Analogous Estimation for Life Cycle Costing in Civil Engineering and Transport Infrastructure

January 11, 2024 Civil Bites 1 Comment

Analogous estimation is a valuable tool for life cycle costing (LCC) in civil engineering and transport infrastructure projects. It involves comparing the proposed project to similar existing projects and using their cost data to estimate the new project’s costs. This can be particularly helpful in the early stages of project development when detailed information is scarce.

Here’s how it can be used:

  1. Identify Analogues: This involves searching for projects with similar characteristics to the proposed project, such as project type, size, location, materials, and construction methods. Databases, professional organisations, and industry publications can be helpful resources for finding analogues.
  2. Adjust for Differences: No two projects are exactly alike. Carefully consider and adjust the cost data from the analogues to account for any significant differences between them and the proposed project. This could involve factors like inflation, changes in technology, local construction costs, and project complexity.
  3. Estimate Costs: Based on the adjusted data from the analogues, estimate the costs for various life cycle stages of the proposed project, including construction, operation, maintenance, rehabilitation, and eventual demolition.
Cost Planning, Civil Engineering, Analogous Estimation
Cost Planning, Civil Engineering, and Analogous Estimation

Advantages and Benefits of Analogous Estimation:

  • Early Stage Estimation: When detailed information is lacking, analogous estimation provides a quick and cost-effective way to get a rough idea of project costs.
  • Reduced Uncertainty: By comparing similar projects, the analogous estimation can provide a more realistic and grounded estimate than purely theoretical approaches.
  • Improved Decision-Making: Early cost estimates can inform feasibility studies and help decision-makers compare different project options.
  • Benchmarking: Analogous estimation allows for benchmarking the proposed project against similar projects, identifying potential cost savings or areas for improvement.
Cost Planning, Civil Engineering, Analogous Estimation

Comparison to the Top-Down Approach:

The traditional top-down approach involves breaking down the project into smaller components, estimating the cost of each component individually, and then summing them up to get a total project cost. While more detailed, this approach requires significant time and resources, especially in the early stages of a project.

Analogous estimation, on the other hand, is faster and less resource-intensive, making it ideal for initial cost estimates. However, it is important to remember that analogous estimates are not as precise as those generated using more detailed methods.


In conclusion, analogous estimation is a valuable tool for life cycle costing in civil engineering and transport infrastructure projects. It provides a quick, cost-effective way to get a rough estimate of project costs and can help with early-stage decision-making. While not as precise as other methods, it can be a beneficial starting point and can be used in conjunction with other approaches for a more comprehensive cost estimate.

One Comment

    February 25, 2024 REPLY

    I do trust all the ideas you’ve presented in your post. They are really convincing and will definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are too short for newbies. May just you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.

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