ASTM-E2516 Standard Classification for Cost Estimate Classification System

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Standard Classification for Cost Estimate Classification System



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1.1 This classification provides a generic classification system for cost estimates and provides guidelines for applying the classification to cost estimates.

1.2 This classification maps the phases and stages of cost estimating to a generic maturity and quality matrix, keyed to a level of project definition, that can be applied across a wide variety of industries.

1.3 The Cost Estimate Classification System has been developed in a way that:

1.3.1 provides a common understanding of the concepts involved with classifying cost estimates;

1.3.2 defines and correlates the major characteristics used in classifying cost estimates, and;

1.3.3 uses the degree of project definition as the primary characteristic used to categorize estimate classes.

Significance and Use

Use of this classification will improve communication among all the stakeholders involved with preparing, evaluating, and using cost estimates.

The various parties that use cost estimates often misinterpret the quality and value of the information available to prepare cost estimates, the various methods employed during the estimating process, the accuracy level expected from estimates, and the level of risk associated with estimates.

This classification applies the level of project definition as the primary characteristic for determining an estimates classification.

Using this classification will help those involved with project estimates to avoid misinterpretation of the various classes of cost estimates and to avoid their misapplication and misrepresentation. Improving communications about estimate classifications reduces business costs and project cycle times by avoiding inappropriate business and financial decisions, actions, delays, or disputes caused by misunderstandings of cost estimates and what they are expected to represent.

This classification is intended to be generic and so provide a system for the classification of cost estimates in any industry.

Estimate classifications provide valuable additional reporting information when used as an adjunct to Practice E 1804.


Bid/tender; Class 1 estimate; Class 2 estimate; Class 3 estimate; Class 4 estimate; Class 5 estimate; Class of estimate; Cost estimate; Cost estimate classification methodology; Deterministic; Effort to prepare estimates; End usage; Estimate classification; Estimate classification matrix; Estimating methodology; Expected accuracy range; Level of project definition; Life cycle; Maturity and quality matrix; Project; Stochastic; ICS Number Code 03.100.60 (Accountancy)

To find similar documents by ASTM Volume:

04.12 (Building Constructions (II): E2112 - latest; Sustainability; Property Management Systems; Technology and Underground Utilities)

To find similar documents by classification:

03.100.60 (Accountancy)

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Document Number


Revision Level

2011 R19 EDITION



Modification Type


Publication Date

Oct. 1, 2019

Document Type


Page Count

7 pages

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