Center approves release of RACER cost estimating software update

Published Dec. 30, 2014

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Environmental and Munitions Center of Expertise (EM CX) has approved the release of a new version of the Remedial Action Cost Engineering and Requirements (RACER®) software.

A parametric, integrated cost-estimating application, RACER is designed to provide an automated, consistent and repeatable method to estimate and document the cost for the environmental cleanup of contaminated sites with the information available at the time of the estimate preparation.

image of individual using RACER software“We try to continuously make the program better, to have the most accurate up-to-date cost data incorporated into the system,” said Deborah Walker, RACER project manager in the EM CX, part of the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville. “The costs to perform environmental cleanup projects increase every year and it’s important the software keeps pace so project managers can accurately calculate their required environmental liability estimates.”

Version 11.2 incorporates annual cost data updates, as well as new and re-engineered technologies – most of which enhance the estimates of cleanup costs for hard-rock mining sites. Additionally, the Asbestos Removal Technology was updated to reflect current industry standards.

Both Department of Defense Financial Management Regulation and Defense Environmental Restoration Program guidance provide for the use of electronic cost estimating software in most environmental liability estimating situations. The RACER application is used by DOD and other federal agencies for developing parts of out-year environmental liability estimates and annual budgets. It is also used to prepare individual cost project estimates and to evaluate cost reasonableness of estimates.

RACER provides the detail of an engineers’ estimate, but it also can be used at early order-of-magnitude stages of cost estimating. It accurately estimates costs for all phases of remediation, from pre-study and design to operations, maintenance and site closeout.

The EM CX manages execution of the contract with AECOM Technical Services Inc. on behalf of the RACER Government Steering Committee, which includes members from USACE Headquarters, Army Environmental Command, Air Force Civil Engineering Center, Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center, Defense Logistics Agency, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, Department of Interior, Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard.

RACER 11.2 is available to approved users from the members of the Government Steering Committee, which includes the Army Corps of Engineers, as well as authorized contractors. To obtain a copy of the update, request a registration form by email from and return it to AECOM via fax, mail or email. Once approved, USACE users must have the update installed by an ACE-IT technician. Users outside of USACE should follow their own agency approval and installation process.

RACER users can request assistance from the RACER help line at (800) 499-2919. 

Summary of changes in RACER 11.2

Cost data updates:

Assembly Cost Database:  The latest assembly unit price information is included from the 2012 Government Cost Book.

Area Cost Factors:  Area cost factors for all continental United States and overseas locations have been updated per USACE PAX Newsletter No. 3.2.1, dated March 20, 2014.

Per Diem Rates:  Per diem rates have been updated to reflect current rates obtained from the Department of Defense Travel Management website.

Escalation Factors:  Escalation factors have been updated to reflect current rates obtained from the Secretary of the Air Force Escalation Factor calculator (indices dated May 20, 2014).

New technologies:

  • Earthwork
  • Treatment system building

Re-Engineered Technologies:

  • Water treatment technologies (updated to meet the higher flow rate demand of large-scale mine reclamation projects):

o   Coagulation/flocculation

o   Dewatering (sludge)

o   Discharge to publicly owned treatment works (POTW)

o   Media filtration

o   Metals precipitation

o   Neutralization

o   Passive water treatment

  • Asbestos removal technology
  • Operations and maintenance and residual waste management technologies (updated to account for related tasks associated with new technologies and these updates)

Public Affairs Office

Release no. 14-016