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The Tri‐Service Automated Cost Engineering System (TRACES) consists of a suite of software applications designed to support the cost engineers throughout the Corps of Engineers, as well as the cost engineers with the Air Force and Navy. TRACES applications are used in support of military, civil works and for Support to Others projects worldwide. TRACES provides a standard suite of automated tools used for the preparation of planning and budgetary estimates, for analysis on budget cost data during design, bid opening and modification estimates, and captures contract costs for historical purposes. In addition to the Tri-Services (Army, Navy, and Air Force), support is provided to the Department of Energy (DoE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

TRACES reduces the time required to prepare or review construction cost estimates by enabling the cost engineer to develop standard formats, processes and procedures. TRACES results in more accurate construction cost estimates. The mission of TRACES is to build a user‐friendly, cost engineering platform in a true Windows environment, with all systems and databases required to prepare, analyze, review and maintain all types of cost estimates and schedules.

TRACES modules include the following:

  • MicroComputer Aided Cost Estimating System Second Generation (MII): MII is a software application used by the Corps of Engineers and A‐E firms for the preparation of detailed construction cost estimates. The software is used for the preparation of programming estimates, current working estimates, bid opening estimates and construction modification estimates.
  • Parametric Cost Estimating System (PACES): PACES is a software application used for preparing parametric construction cost estimates and cost estimates where little or no real design has been developed to date. This software is licensed to the Department of Defense.
  • Cost Book / Unit Price Book (UPB): Rather than being a software application, this is a database containing construction cost data for approximately 70,000 different cost tasks. The Cost Book is used by MII for the development of line item costs associated with the project cost estimate.
  • Area Cost Factors (ACF): ACF is an application used to analyze the associated cost for construction at a specific location (worldwide) as compared to a U.S. average construction cost.
  • Historical Analysis Generator (HII): HII is a Web‐based software application developed for collecting construction cost data and for evaluating building costs based upon common facility types. MILCON and Civil Works sections are available.
  • Cost Risk Analysis (Crystal Ball): Crystal Ball is a DOD licensed application applied on top of Excel to provide the capability of evaluating risks associated with the project and how they affect the construction costs for the proposed project.

 (as of April 2014)


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