Building Cost Estimating and Bridge, Highway, Railroad Engineering

This course is designed to assist newly-arrived engineers, architects and others who have professional college degrees in understanding what is required of them in order to successfully find a position in their chosen profession. Thus, a major portion of the time is spent on terminology and on the structure of the professions as they relate to job search requirements and advancement in grade and salary.

1. Bridge, Highway, Railroad Engineering

This part of the course prepared by Ira N. Pierce, P.E.  Course materials will be supplemented by class handouts.

2. Buildings Cost Estimating

Throughout this course, current local major infrastructure projects that are now either under design or being prepared for bidding will be used as examples of how to perform cost estimating, as provided by Mr. Arkadiy Jyansky of the New York construction management firm of Jones-GMO.

  1. Purpose of the cost estimate
  2. Designing in steel and concrete
  3. Preparing the project breakdown, in accordance with CSI (Construction Specifications Institute) standards
  4. Pricing – Direct/indirect labor; material; equipment; insurance; bonding; fringes; profit
  5. Quantity take-offs: Pricing foundations, structure, roofing, envelope, interiors
  6. The general conditions
  7. Preparing the conceptual and preliminary cost estimates
  8. Preparing the bid proposal
  9. Preparing the contract documents
  10. Change orders
  11. Technology to assist the cost estimator: Computer programs, digitizers
  12. Other issues facing the cost estimator and industry

Meeting times: Thursday, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Instructors: Ira Pierce, P.E., Arkadiy Lyansky


The Retraining program is made possible through generous donations from the Robin Hood Foundation and Con Edison. The Retraining Program would also like to thank our individual donors for support


  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.