On-Demand Course

Now available for purchase.

Interested in registering 5 or more engineers for a course? Contact us for information and rates.


0.5 CEUs / 5 PDHs


Member $220 | Non-member $270


Douglas D. Gransberg, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE

Purpose and background

This course teaches the fundamentals of quantity take-off (QTO) used in construction cost estimating for projects whose contract will be awarded on a lump sum or firm fixed price basis. It teaches the development of a work breakdown structure (WBS) to organize the estimate and correlate with the schedule. Technical focus is on quantity take-off for typical structural systems including earthwork, reinforced concrete, and brick/block. Accurate estimation of quantities of work is the basis for completing a viable cost estimate, especially in lump sum contracts. This is because the contractor is at risk for the actual quantities of work. It is also important for engineers that prepare estimates to support the design and procurement process to ensure that the project owner’s project budget is sufficient to cover the scope of work. This course will take an estimated 4 hours 30 minutes to complete.

Benefits and learning outcomes

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Develop a work breakdown structure for a typical building construction project.
  • Develop a work package plan to support a consistent quantity take-off.
  • Calculate the quantities of work for earthwork, concrete, and masonry in the building.
  • Apply the principles of quantity take-off to typical components of a building.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Achievement of the learning outcomes by attendees will be assessed through a short post-assessment (true-false, multiple choice, and fill in the blank questions).

Who should attend?

  • Cost estimators
  • Planners
  • Design engineers
  • Architects
  • Project managers


Learners should have a basic understand of the components of a building and the ability to complete basic algebraic calculations required for the QTO process

Course outline

Module 1 : Introduction to cost estimating for lump sum projects.

  • Lesson 1.1 = Estimating fundamentals - this video contains a short quiz
  • Lesson 1.2 = Work break-down structure – this video contains a short quiz
  • Lesson 1.3 = Quantity take-off tools
  • Lesson 1.4 = Quantity take-off tool example
  • Learning exercise
  • Bonus content : BIM QTO interview

Module 2 : Earthwork QTO

  • Lesson 2.1 = Earthwork take-off methods – this video contains a short quiz
  • Lesson 2.2 = Earthwork shrink and swell calculations – this video contains a short quiz
  • Lesson 2.3 = Earthmoving equipment
  • Lesson 2.4 = Earthwork take-off example
  • Learning exercise

Module 3 : Reinforced concrete QTO

  • Lesson 3.1 = Estimating concrete quantities – this video contains a short quiz
  • Lesson 3.2 = Estimating reinforcement quantities – this video contains a short quiz
  • Lesson 3.3 = Estimating formwork quantities
  • Lesson 3.4 = Concrete take-off example
  • Learning exercise

Module 4 : Masonry QTO

  • Lesson 4.1 = Masonry terminology – this video contains a short quiz
  • Lesson 4.2 = Estimating concrete block masonry quantities – this video contains a short quiz
  • Lesson 4.3 = Estimating clay brisk masonry quantities and ancillary items
  • Lesson 4.4 = Masonry take-off example
  • Learning exercise

Module 5 = Final exam