Building Elemental Cost Summary Based On UNIFORMAT II Standard

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The building elemental cost summary is an integral and key component of the ASTM UNIFORMAT II Standard E1557. It provides for a common point of agreement on costs for all project stakeholders.

UNIFORMAT II elemental costs include material costs, labor costs, and sub-contractor overhead and profit. An element's cost is calculated by:


  • multiplying the element unit cost (also called unit rate) times the quantity of the element,
  • summing the costs of the assemblies that constitute the element, or
  • summing the material and labor costs of the system components that make up the element.

At any stage of cost estimating, elemental estimates can be based on elemental rates and quantities or the summing of assembly and component costs, or both. Using one approach for some elements does not restrict the use of other approaches for other elements in that same estimate.

Building Elemental Cost Summary


The ASTM E1557 "Standard Classification for Building Elements and Related Sitework - UNIFORMAT II" provides a common structure linking the building program, specifications, and estimates.

Its integration in the design process results in improved communications and coordination among all project participants, an accelerated design, and significantly increased productivity.

The classification provides the Project Manager with an essential tool to control project scope, cost, time and quality.