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iTWO costX® Consultant Series: Estimating Using Database Rate Libraries

For our latest blog post, Asia Sales Manager and iTWO costX® Consultant Andy Ang has taken a closer look at the Rate Library functionality of our software platform.

Rate libraries are among the most helpful features available in iTWO costX®, but not everyone understands their potential. There are two vital data considerations for those looking to estimate efficiently; quantities and rates. Any changes made to either of these factors will have a significant impact on the overall figures produced.

When working with iTWO costX®, quantities will be directly extracted from 3D BIM models or else measured from 2D drawings, so figures will only change when updates or revisions are made. As for rates, changes may occur due to several factors such as location, supply and demand, currency exchange discrepancies and more.

With this in mind, iTWO costX® users looking to enhance their efficiency can build up database rates for different locations, before easily applying them across all relevant projects.

In the below example, we’ve set up three different rates for neighbouring regions.


If you were to create a project in one of the specified locations, it’s a simple process to select that option from the ‘Location’ drop-down menu.



What’s more, each of the rate items can be linked with iTWO costX® Phraseologies using rate item codes.


For those who don’t know, Phraseologies are a grouping of helpful phrase descriptions which can be displayed in the Costing View before being dragged and dropped into your workbook.


They are an excellent resource for quickly identifying line items and other aspects of your in-progress estimates.

All your created rates can be built up according to a number of factors, including material, labour, plant and machinery. These built up rates can link the breakdown items into their correspondent rate libraries. For example, if you update material costs, the built up rate which links with it will update accordingly.


The rate libraries associated with each workbook can be easily changed and recalculated using different rate libraries if required.


For corporate users, there can be significant value in setting up a central database of rates that can be utilised across all projects. Whole project teams can estimate effectively based on the same setup, with rate libraries able to be duplicated or updated easily so there is no need to update Bills of Quantities one-by-one.

Administrators using iTWO costX® at corporate level can even set authorisations for database rates, to protect the rates from unwanted or accidental amendment. Those who take the time to fully utilise the iTWO costX® rate libraries function can improve their productivity and estimate with greater precision.

To learn more about the extensive potential of iTWO costX® rate libraries, feel free to reach out to your local RIB office today!