User Guide

   BudWrap Insulation Estimator is easy to learn and simple to use. Several features assist in repetitive operations, as well as simplified Piping Insulation Cost entry options, described below. Drop-Down Menus provide valid choices at key points. Coverage specifications are retained to eliminate repitition. Navigation between entries and programs is easy and intuitive. Validation is extensive. Comprehensive Reports are quickly produced. Cost Projections are produced instantly opon demand.

   BudWrap is essentially two systems, PIPING and EQUIPMENT. Piping costs are maintained in Project Maintenance, and Equipment Costs are maintained separately. Entry is provided for Piping and Equipment Components in separate programs, as well as Piping and Equipment Unit Prices. Full Job Control and Data Integration are featured. Reports are quickly produced, concise, and comprehensive.


   This screen serves to select an existing Project to recall, or begin entry of a New Project.

Project Control

   BudWrap’s Command Center, from this screen you can update Project Specifications, Piping Costs, Equipment/Flatwork/Cylindrical Costs, enter and maintain Piping and Equipment Component Takeoff Quantities and Specifications, produce Piping and Equipment Unit Prices, review Material Price Listings, calculate Cost Projections, perform Job Control and print resulting Reports. Refer to the illustration below.

Typical Entry

Update Project/Piping Costs

   This screen is also used for NEW Project entry. This screen maintains identifying information, including a unique, free-form Project Number, as well as Project Name, Owner, RFQ #, start and end dates, and Project Type. Project Type is crucial, as it affects various Support factors in subsequent projections. Weather factors — Heat, Cold, and Precipitation — are also vital, as well as Labor factors, including Local Productivity, ie, proficiency of the local labor pool, and Quality of Supervision. An average hourly Wage rate is necessary for Labor calculations, which should be an overall average on the jobsite, including all trades, levels, and supervision. An Overtime rate is also vital, either Time-and-a-Half, or Double overtime.

   If you are using our Custom Materials, simply compare your discounted price to our table price for the same size and material, available in List Piping/Equipment Materials Prices to arrive at the appropriate Discount Percent. Our tables reflect full wholesale price.

   Piping Insulation Costs are also maintained on this screen. Basically self-explanatory; it is mandatory that a price be specified for all material types used. In the case of Materials not covered by our Custom Price tables, you may opt for our original Discount Tracking system. Here we require only ONE prominent price for each pipe Insulation Type used — Calcium Silicate, Mineral Wool, and/or Fiberglass, Single and/or Double Layer — and from that we extrapolate your remaining Pipe Insulation costs. You will be given the option of entering Custom Prices at Component Entry, described below. We also use this screen to maintain costs for Piping Jackets, Bands, Pre-Fabricated Jacket Ells (one sample price) and a necessary specification: Measure Method. The options available are Weld-to-Weld or Centerline measuring, crucial in determining Ell footages.

Equipment Costs

   This is where Equipment Costs are entered and maintained, including Flat or Blanket Insulations of the three standard Insulation Types — Calcium Silicate, Mineral Wool, and Fiberglass — as well as Jacketing not covered by Piping, and many associated materials: Weld Pins, J-Hooks, Road and Hex Mesh, Cement, A-Cloth, Girts and Standoffs.

Piping Components

   This is where Piping Components are entered and maintained, including Coverage specifications, and Takeoff quantities. BudWrap greatly simplifies Piping Entry, by simplifying Piping attachments into one of Eight categories: Straight Pipe, Bends (Sweeps) and Pipeline, 90- and 45-degree Elbows; Fittings; Flanges; and Flanged Valves. (See below) As noted above, Fittings cover many contingencies; virtually EVERY custom cut — Hangers, Buck Stays, Pipe Supports, Steam Tracing, T’s, Reducers — ALL are Fittings; see General Information below.

   We also offer QUICK-IN!! described in Data Integration below, where digital Piping Spreadsheets are uploaded to populate the Buddy Piping table.

Typical Entry

Piping Component Input And Equipment Component Selection Screens

   Coverage specifications include Insulation Type, Thickness and Layer, Metal Type and Thickness or Gauge, and Band specifications: Type and Spacing. On this screen the user may also override our table prices with atypical costs for Straight Pipe Insulation, Flange and Flanged-Valve Insulation, and Prefab 90- and 45-degree Metal Elbows. This pricing system is described in greater detail below. Always select Single Layer with Custom Materials (not Standard). Note that we will preload the price spreadsheets from your vendor into your database for your immediate use, included with your BudWrap membership.


LF/Day Entry    The BudWrap Insulation Estimator has no rival for Industrial and Mechanical Production Rates. To facilitate Commercial contractors we now offer a Commercial Project Type, with labor rates appropriate for that type of Project. We also offer FLEX LABOR where you may override our adjusted Industrial or Commercial rates with rates you feel appropriate to the application. This rate is displayed for each component in the Components List, and is one of the Optional entries in Piping Component Entries as on the left. One iteration through Bid Calculation is required to initially populate this value. Once changed, its value can be restored to the Buddy default simply by reverting its value to zero, then recalculating the Project.

Equipment Components

   Takeoff Quantities are Square Feet, not Linear as in Piping. Coverage specifics are potentially more complex than Piping, including Glass Fab, Hex Mesh/Cement or A-Cloth, and a wider variety Jacket Materials is available, including Corrugated and PVC. Fasten Method is a required entry, if relevant: To Plate (Weld Pins), J-Hooks/Road Mesh, or Bands (Cylindrical Equipment only).

   A unique Equipment Component entry will consist of a Bid Item, an Eqpt/Element (name or identifier) and an Equipment Type. The Type may be Flat or Cylindrical Duct, Boiler (and Casings), Pump or Turbine, Hopper, Expansion Joint, or Vessel with up to TWO coverings, and up to FOUR Heads/Cones per Element.

   Coverage Specificactions are maintained from one New Component entry to the next, to facilitate speedy takeoff input.

Job Control and Progress Charts

   Contract in hand and Project underway, Job Control and Progress Charts will enable you to assess the progress of your crew, accurate to the moment, producing easily understood Bar Graphs, showing actual progress relative to your bid. This information will help you maximize your efficiency and identify possible areas of concern.

   Job Control consists largely of Monitoring. Often this is accomplished by the General Foreman, in the normal course of his duties. For both Insulation and Jacket, BudWrap requires Application Man-Hours devoted to component to date, as well as Support hours. In addition to Scaffold/Lift erection and relocation, Cleanup, Material Movement, and other Support attributable to a specific Component, one should also include a reasonable assessment of the General Foreman’s time, proportional to that Component, as well as Monitoring, if separate, and any other non-specific Support Labor. This will insure full accuracy and compliance with your Buddy bid, which included these costs.

   These Man-Hour totals, along with Support hours, are entered into Update Piping Line (or Equipment Element) Completion, along with Completion %s for both Insulation and Metal. These figures can be updated on an ongoing basis, for an accurate picture at any time.

   Progress Charts are produced upon Completion entry. These bar charts reveal a wealth of information. Broken down by Insulation, Jacket, and Support, Blue Bars reveal where progress is ahead of the bid, whereas Red Bars show where progress is lagging. There can be many reasons for minor discrepancies, differences in accounting Support hours, among others. Of more concern may be Patterns of color appearances, of either color. Excessive Blue could indicate misrepresentation of completion, or skipped or substandard work. Excessive Red could indicate Labor or Logistic issues, or may indicate an excess of Uncontracted Field Changes – all billable at Unit Price rates.

   Four Detail Levels are offered for Progress Charts: Component, System/Line, (or Element, in the case of Equipment), Bid Item, or Project. At each level, the Color Bars represent an accurate portrayal of actual progress at that level, in relation to contracted progress to that point.

   Job Control and Progress Reports will isolate concerns, and increase efficiency and productivity.


Unit Prices

   Unit Prices provide accurate per-linear-foot (Piping) or per-square-foot (Equipment) costs, including Materials and Labor, Insulation and Jacket, Application and Support. Breakdowns are provided for Insulation and Jacket Materials and Labor. Misc Costs (occasionally with Equipment) Overhead and Support are included, as well as a total Unit Price. Piping Unit Prices also include Per-Unit costs for 45- and 90-degree Elbows, Fittings, Flanges, and Flanged Valves. This feature should prove useful for providing timely quotes for Additions and Changes. Unit Prices are specific to a Project, and use all of its Jobsite Conditions, including Average Wage, and Material Costs, to arrive at the results.

   Addition of and maintenance to Unit Price Items is similar to the corresponding Piping and Equipment Component Entry Forms; essentially the same coverage (Insulation and Jacket) details.

   Equipment Unit Prices also include an Element Unit Price which is an aggregate $/SF cost for all the Components comprising the Element. (Shell, cones, caps, etc) This price is calculated upon Bid Calculation.

   Every time a new Piping or Equipment Component is added to the BudWrap System, a corresponding shell Unit Price record is written.
   New Unit Prices can be added at any time, for Sizes or Types not already present. When a Unit Price record is selected from the Unit Prices Screen for editing, the Unit Price Breakdown details — Insulation and Metal Materials and Labor, eg — are reported, as well as the total Unit Price. One iteration of Bid Calculation is required to populate the Unit Prices. Changes to an existing Piping or Equipment Component will automatically update and zero the associated Unit Price record.

Spreadsheet Specs

   The purpose of this program is to supply Coverage Specifications represented by a Code in Spreadsheets submitted using Submit Piping Spreadsheet, in the Piping Components selection screen. Material combinations require Insulation Type, Jacket, and Band requirements. Pipe Size, Insulation Thickness, and Layer are present the submitted Spreadsheet. These will vary from one installation to the next, and will be Customized as per your requirements. These entries are subject to the same Validation as Piping Components, insuring accurate Materials and Prices, and errors are as easily corrected. Please note that this facility is only available on BudPlus and SwiftBud membership packages.

List Piping/Equipment Material Prices

   This selection of Insulation Materials and Jackets demonstrates the Custom Materials database. These Table Prices represent full Wholesale prices from current Midwestern U.S. and Canadian suppliers and fabricators. To arrive at your appropriate discount rate, compare your discounted, actual price to our table price, to arrive at a Discount Percent, which is then applied to the balance of our table prices. Included with each NEW BudWrap subscription is a fresh collection of your vendor’s current price tables for your use.

Calculate Project/Print Reports

   Upon selecting this option, a number is generated, reflecting total costs. Scores of years’ experience are condensed into a microsecond, to produce that number. All of the information necessary to prepare a comprehensive and winning proposal is contained within the following reports:

Bid Recap

   This spreadsheet details all relevant costs, classified by Bid Item, and System/Line/Element detail projections. Application Labor and Materials Costs are supplied, for both Insulation and Jacket. Man-hour totals for each are also reported. Accurate projection of Support Labor and Jobsite Costs is also featured. Home office costs, taxes, profit, and other non-jobsite-related costs are not included.

Typical Bid Recap

Bid Recap

Materials List

   A comprehensive listing of all Materials required for a Project, complete Insulation and Jacket requirements, as well as Bands, Weld Pins, Road Mesh and Cement, A-Cloth, and Girts and Standoffs, for Jacket on Flatwork, as well as other incidental Material requirements. BudWrap automatically accounts for the supporting grid structure when Jacket on Flatwork is specified. Nothing is missed.

Components List

   A complete listing of all Piping and Equipment/Flatwork/Cylindrical Component entries, including all Takeoff Quantities and Coverage specifications.

   Piping Components all list an associated LF/Day figure, which may reflect the Application Rate BudWrap has determined is appropriate, or the rate the user has chosen to use.

   This report specifies all components to be treated, the precise details of their exact coverage, and should be used as a basis for agreement for the contracting parties.

Costs and Specifications

   A listing of all Project Conditions specified — Type of Project, Labor and Weather factors, and all Material Costs specified, for both Insulation and Jacket, Piping and Equipment.

   Piping Insulation Costs specifications for a typical Project.

Data Integration

SwiftBuddy Digital Takeoff Upload

   Digital drawings are quickly uploaded to BudWrap when using PlanSwift takeoff software. Custom BudWrap templates are available at the Templates, Parts, Inputs menu on the right side of the PlanSwift screen, coverage specifics entered, then Linear (Piping) or Area (Equipment) quantities clicked into memory. Attachments (90/45 Elbows, Flange Pairs, Flanged Valves, and Fittings, for Piping, Flashing for Equipment) are added via Takeoff Summary in the left panel of the PlanSwift screen.

PlanSwift Screen

   Takeoffs are exported to BudWrap by selecting Export By Page at the top right of PlanSwift, and selecting the Export to CSV option of the popup menu which appears. Then, from the BudWrap Project Control menu, Upload PlanSwift Takeoff will validate submissions, then export successes to BudWrap to populate the Piping and Equipment tables. The Project is then ready for immediate computation.

PDF Options

   Any BudWrap Insulation Estimator website page can be downloaded in PDF format to for subsequent print, email, or offline view. Click the Download article as PDF link at the bottom of every page. PDF

DEMO Options

   The online demonstration database is a fully-functional Estimator’s Buddy installation, complete with all the verification procedures, resources, and reporting of a production Buddy installation. Your changes are simulated and not performed, to preserve the demonstration database. For a snapshot of Buddy’s performance with your specific project, simply email us a spreadsheet with your Piping or Equipment takeoff quantities, along with material and labor costs and assessments. We will select some of your line items, input them into Buddy, then send you screenshots of the resulting Reports, along with the Entry screens which led to them. Compare these to your existing method. This will demonstrate the ease of Buddy’s use, and the accuracy of the Labor and Support projections, unavailable from any other source.

   If you are using a Piping Spreadsheet alongside Buddy, you can use our Upload Piping Spreadsheet program, available in the Piping Components menu. Your spreadsheet will be uploaded to the Buddy server, validated, and used as input to populate our Piping table. Our demonstration examples are based on a spreadsheet common in the industry. We tailor our upload program to your spreadsheet. An integral part of the system is the Spreadsheet Specs program. This serves as a cross-reference, to provide specifications not maintained in the spreadsheet. The intent of this system is to avoid the duplicate entry previously necessary, if using both systems. This feature will save you much valuable time.

   Our Demonstration examples require .csv (comma-separated value) file format, no larger than 390 KB, both of which can be tailored to the user’s requirements. Successful Submission and Validation will produce a new Buddy Piping Table, ready for Bid Computation. Of course our Demonstration Database is inert, and no changes will have actual effect. We customize the Upload program to match each client’s spreadsheet.

   The companion to the Upload program is Spreadsheet Specs, found in the Project Control menu. The function of this program is to maintain a Cross-Reference, for Materials not specified in the Spreadsheet, instead referenced by a Code. In our Demonstration example, these would include Insulation Type, Metal, and Band requirements. Pipe Size, Insulation Thickness, and Layer are present in the Spreadsheet. Our demonstration is based on a spreadsheet common in the industry. This program will also be tailored to individual requirements.