BIM-based Costing Using Autodesk Takeoff

17 March 2022Architecture and Engineering, Autodesk Construction Cloud, Construction, Revit, Uncategorizedautodesk takeoff, takeoff



In the recent webinar, “BIM Based Costing: Understand Your Project Costs,” Mark Petrucci and Blake Douglas teamed up to explain how Autodesk Takeoff uses 2D PDFs and 3D building information modeling (BIM) files to count materials and arrive at project costs.

The Takeoff demo by Mark Petrucci, who regularly trains people to use products on the Autodesk Construction Cloud platform, is a half-hour well spent if you’re interested in using Takeoff to generate quantities to do costing on your projects. In a clear and logical way, Mark walks you through the entire process from logging in to exporting the inventory created.

person's hand holding receipt and other hand using white adding machine on a desk


Known as materials takeoffs or quantity takeoffs, this is basically counting how much of each material is needed to complete a construction project. The verb takeoff is a process of counting. The noun takeoff is the amount of a material that’s counted. Takeoffs are then used in estimating, which is the process of adding costs to the materials counted in a takeoff, including labor and equipment expense.

Traditional methods of developing a takeoff are:

  • from paper, manually highlighting sections and counting them.
  • from 2D PDFs with electronically highlighted drawings.
  • from 3D models based on their properties and can calculate counts, length, area, and volume.

Estimators and contractors do takeoffs, and it would be ideal if they could just open the data-rich Revit model and get quantities from a Revit schedule. But they do not typically use Revit. Therefore, Autodesk Takeoff is perfect for their quantification and estimating needs.

Image: Takeoff API release, AutodeskForge

Autodesk Takeoff

Autodesk Takeoff is part of the Autodesk Construction Cloud (ACC). Two things set Takeoff apart from other takeoff tools in the industry: the seamless integration with ACC and seamless integration with 2D drawings and 3D models.

The key Takeoff workflow follows:

  1. Log into
  2. Create or select a project
  3. Add team members to the project
  4. Configure takeoff settings for the project
  5. Publish files to Takeoff – either 3D models or 2D files as sheets
  6. Create takeoff packages to organize what you’ll be counting
  7. Perform quantity takeoff
  8. Export inventory created to be used in estimating

Features in Takeoff

The major features of Takeoff used for organizing takeoffs are Classification Systems, Sheets and Models, and Packages.

  • Classification Systems – Here you define the units of measure you want to work with. You can upload your own custom system or download a template and fill it in. If you need to, you can even have two classification systems within the same Takeoff project. However, once you start quantifying, you cannot make changes to the classification system(s) you’re using.
  • Sheets and Models – You will upload and publish files that are used only by Takeoff. There is a separate Files menu that includes files and folders that are part of Docs on the Common Data Environment (CDE). You can move files from the CDE to the Sheets and Models folder. 2D sheets are generated from PDF documents. A 3D model is your Revit model.
  • Packages – These are your output to be used in estimating. Packages are focused on what you want to quantify. You can create a separate package for each section you want to count, i.e. floors, walls, power, duct, etc. Each package is available to open and use separately. For time savings, you may want to import takeoff types from another project or a template file.

Using Autodesk Takeoff makes the best use of staff time in turning materials counts to estimates to determine the cost of a project. Autodesk Takeoff makes the best use of your data-rich BIM models and PDFs for your most reliable BIM-based project costing.

Want to know more? Get the lowdown on Autodesk Construction Cloud.



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