Course Syllabus


Professor:                  Tripp Shealy, Ph.D.   

Office:                         113C Patton Hall                                

Phone:                         540-231-6478                    


Office Hours:              Monday and Wednesday 2pm - 4 pm or by appointment  - You are welcome to stop by my office anytime.  

Semester Schedule:

Teaching Assistant:  MiguelAndres Guerra    

Office:                         315 Patton         


Office Hours:              By appointment

PREREQUISITES:   At least a C- in CEE 3014 ~ Construction Management (or equivalent)

Required Materials


Course Description 

The course is designed for you to develop an understanding of the estimating process from the initial conceptual design phase of a project through to the preparation of the final bid estimate, as well as the bid itself.

Course Learning Objectives

On completion of the course, students will have made a significant contribution to their careers as professional engineers and will be able to:

  1. Evaluate a client’s conceptual design and provide broad, conceptual cost estimates commensurate with the level of detail available.
  2. Prepare pre-bid estimates based on parameters and historical cost records.
  3. Determine the cost of work crews by analyzing labor, material and equipment rates and develop bid item level estimates based on crew costs and crew productions.
  4. Design construction operations and select between alternative strategies to prepare a construction cost estimate for a typical civil engineering project.
  5. Trace the steps needed to submit a bid which is responsive to owner requirements and responsible in terms of bidders’ business risk.
  6. Understand the process used to transform a bid into a construction budget and perform interim cost and progress calculations.
  7. Contribute as a member of an integrated team to complete a project design.
  8. Exhibit skills in preparing a written report and giving an oral/visual presentation.                                       


5%      Participation 

10%    Assignments 

30%    Exams (March 1, April 26)

55%    Projects (Flooring, Conceptual, Parametric)  


                        Grading Scale**

                        A         94-100%                                             C         74-77.9%

                        A-        91-93.9%                                            C-        71-73.9%

                        B+       88-90.9%                                            D+       68-70.9%

                        B         84-87.9%                                            D         64-67.9%

                        B-        81-83.9%                                            D-        61-63.9%

                        C+       78-80.9%                                            F          less than 61%


NOTE:  Students must obtain a passing grade on the Final Project and a passing grade on the final course average to receive a passing grade for the course.

General Coursework and Standards of Performance: 

  • The performance standards for this class are based professionals expect of you in the to design and construction industry.
  • You will have the opportunity to complete discussions and assignments throughout the semester. These discussions/assignments will be based on materials introduced in class, but will require additional research, investigation, study, and/or analysis outside of the class discussions. Don’t ask me unless you have asked your team mates and googled for the answer.
  • All assignments must be completed in a professional manner. Professionalism includes technical merit and the overall formatting and presentation of the information.
  • Late assignments will not be accepted or evaluated without significant extenuating circumstances.
  • Legitimate foreseeable conflicts with graded work due dates (e.g. interviews, participation in sports/professional activities, religious observances, etc.) must be brought to my attention well before the due date of the assignment.
  • Any situation that is affecting a student's performance, or may affect it in the future, should be discussed with the instructor as soon as possible. Delays in communicating such information typically limit strategies for successfully addressing the situation.

Class Principles

  • You are expected to conduct yourself with professionalism. This value applies to class attendance, class decorum, submission of assignments, and personal integrity.
  • You are responsible for your own learning. I will facilitate the learning process by providing directions and assessments.
  • Material will be based on practical application of proven best practices.

Class Participation

  • “Showing up” is not considered participation and very little credit is given for mere attendance. If you attend class, but fail to participate actively, you will receive a poor participation grade. The reason for this is you are contributing to the learning process of your classmates. I will be objectively rewarded for participation throughout the semester and update your participation grade to reflect ongoing performance.
  • More than one tardiness will negatively affect your participation grade. This course is to prepare you for a career in the engineering and construction industry. Showing up late to class, like work, will result in negative consequences.

Attendance Policy

  • Attendance is not required and students who miss classes will not be penalized. Attending class should be an efficient use of your time to help with completing your assignments and your final project. I will work to assure that reading, homework, and classes are all indispensable. Therefore it is likely that poor class attendance will probably result in poor performance, but that decision and its associated risks rest with you.

Homework Policy

  • Homework will include discussion posts, individual assignments and group assignments.
  • Discussion Posts: If I think you did not put effort into answering the question or fail top provide documentation/reference when require you will receive half credit. Late discussion posts will not be graded. You will receive a zero. 
  • Individual assignments: Late assignments will not be accepted and the student will receive a grade of zero for the assignment.
  • Group Assignments: Late group assignments will not be accepted and students will receive a grade of zero for the assignment.  If you have questions or disagreements within your team please speak with me.


  • Exams may consist of multiple choice questions, short answer questions, calculation questions, writing assignments or a combination thereof. 
  • Explanation questions: to receive full credit, short answers to questions must be complete, focused, clear, concise, and well presented.
  • Students arriving late/leaving early for an in-class exam will forfeit any time missed and not be allowed additional time.
  • Students who are absent for any graded requirement will receive a zero grade for that requirement, unless a verifiable emergency situation can be substantiated. 
  • Calculation questions:  All relevant steps and calculations needed to solve a problem must be shown.  If an inappropriate amount of calculation is given in the solution of a problem, credit may be reduced at the discretions of the instructor.  

Design Project  

A significant portion of this course is project based. You will begin working on your final design project roughly the week after spring break and continue through the end of the semester.  The project will exercise a number of the skills and concepts learned earlier in your studies and throughout this course. The project will require you to investigate multiple project alternatives, clarify project requirements, select a value-adding alternative for sustainability, and present a your proposed estimate and bid documents at the end of the semester. Additional information will be provided during the Project Introduction (refer to class schedule).  

Disability Accommodations

If you need adaptations or accommodations because of a disability (e.g. learning, attention deficit disorder, psychological, physical, etc.), or if you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need special arrangements in case of the building must be evacuated, please notify me through email or discuss with me in person the first week of class.

Academic Integrity

I expect you to uphold the Virginia Tech Honor Code at all times.

This includes neither giving nor receiving unauthorized assistance on assignments and exams. If you have doubts about whether or how the Virginia Tech Honor Code applies to a particular assignment or examination please ask for more specific guidelines from the instructor before submitting the work for evaluation. This code embodies a spirit of mutual trust and intellectual honesty that is central to the very nature of the university and our shared values.

Course Summary:

Date Details