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VisualAnalysis Tutorials: Bill of Materials Tool


The purpose of this tutorial is to get you started with using the Bill of Materials Tool.

Project overview: Create a model similar to the one shown below:

The model consists of a two-story frame with 6" concrete (f'c = 4 ksi) plate elements for the floors.

The Generate Standard found on the Create Tab of the Project Manager works really well when creating such a structure. For simplicity, make the stories 10 ft high and the bays 10 ft wide. The columns should be W 14x43 shapes and the beams W 16x26's. If you need help creating the model please consult the VisualAnalysis User's Guide (Help | Contents).

Version Note: This tutorial may have been created using a prior version of VisualAnalysis. Minor changes to the software may have occurred including new features and graphics updates. Changes in numerical analysis methods may also lead to slightly different values for results. The appearance of dialog boxes and the Project Manager may be altered slightly. Consult available Web training Videos (

Using the Tool

Editing Prices:

First, make sure your units are in lb-ft or k-ft to ensure your report looks the same as that pictured below. Once you have the model set up, select the Report | Bill of Materials menu item. Select the "Edit material/member pricing information" radio button and click Next. You are brought to the Bill of Materials Edit dialog where you can edit the pricing information for the different items. Begin by double clicking the area for "ASTM A992 Grade 50". For the W 14x43 enter a cost of 1.5. For the W 16x26 enter 1.25. These prices are in dollars per pound. Now move on to the concrete. Change the default price to 0.1. This price is in dollars per pound. Check the "Apply default cost to this group" box. Note that the 6" plate price is updated to reflect this change. Click "Next" to move on. In the Connection and Form Costs area, click on the [+] to "expand" the ASTM A992 Grade 50 field. Make sure the box "Include in Report" is checked. Let's assume each steel connection costs $200 (this would allow for some miscellaneous steel plate material and fabrication time). Enter $200 in each field. Each end of each member counts as one connection. In the "Concrete (f'c=4ksi) field. Here we will enter in a cost for formwork. The user can choose to use this to price the form material, rental, and labor for formwork. It is up to the user to calculate and enter what they are pricing, and how much it will cost (i.e. one could include form work material, labor and concrete finishing costs as one value). In the slab form cost field enter $2. This will be the cost of the slab forms in dollars per square


Generating the Report:

We will want to generate a report that includes the quantities and estimated cost of the Beams, Columns, Connections, and Slabs, and formwork. Make sure the boxes corresponding to Quantities, Estimated Cost, and Connections and Forms are checked. Now choose finish and the Bill of Materials Report is generated. The overall cost should sum out to around $16,000.

Below is a sample printed report.