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OST - 06.02.01 - Using Takeoff Boost™ to Jump Start Your Project - Overview and Requirements

Views: 2224 Last Updated: 03/23/2023 09:06 am 0 Rating/ Voters
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The information below applies to the latest version of On-Screen Takeoff,, released March 23, 2023.

What Is Takeoff Boost™ and How Does It Work?

Takeoff Boost™ for On-Screen Takeoff, is a separate but integrated service that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to enhance productivity, improve accuracy, and streamline workflows for General and Trade Contractors. Takeoff Boost is integrated into On-Screen Takeoff, although it requires a separate subscription and license key (see Requirements below).

Takeoff Boost makes it easier for you to get a preliminary scope of work on a takeoff project. In seconds, Takeoff Boost analyzes a plan and then creates Conditions and takeoff to account for:

  • Boost Footprint area
    • Footprint Area (Horizontal area outline of a building, drawn along the outside edge of the exterior wall)
  • Boost Gross Area
    • Gross Area (Horizontal area drawn along the centerline of any interior walls and/or outside edge of any exterior walls)
  • Boost Net Area (less walls)
    • Net Area (Horizontal area drawn along the inside edge of surrounding walls)
  • Boost Walls (linear)
    • Lines (straight segments only for v.1)
  • Boost Counts
    • Counts such as Furniture, Doors, Toilets, Sinks, etc.

These preliminary takeoff results allow an estimator to review the scope/scale of a project quickly to determine its suitability for more in-depth estimating.

What Takeoff Boost Isn’t

Let’s get this out of the way, no technology or automation can take the place of a seasoned, knowledgeable estimator. Takeoff Boost is not “complete, automated takeoff” that a user can use, with the wave of a magic wand, to estimate an entire project. Takeoff Boost gives you a great head start on your takeoff, and AI is improving all the time, but, as the estimator, you still play a critical role in bringing “human experience” to review and fine-tune the project.

Also, Takeoff Boost isn’t a "fit" for every contractor. For the initial version, what Takeoff Boost finds may not help you in your particular trade or scope of work. You’ll need to judge if what Takeoff Boost can do for you brings value to your organization.

Although the results Takeoff Boost delivers are fairly accurate and the takeoff provided can give you a significant jump start on your Bid, you must review all takeoff Results, rename Conditions, reassign takeoff from the Conditions Boost creates to appropriate Conditions you create, and fill-in missing takeoff manually.


To use Takeoff Boost, you'll need a few things:

  • You must activate a valid takeoff license (OST), see Licensing On-Screen Takeoff for more information.
    • Your takeoff license must be under a current maintenance subscription; please contact Customer Success to renew your maintenance if you have allowed your maintenance subscription to lapse.
  • You must activate a Takeoff Boost service license (this is separate from your takeoff license and begins with "BOOST+" instead of "OST+" or "OST@"), you can register for a Takeoff Boost Trial and find out more information here: https://www.oncenter.com/OST/whats-new/.
    • Takeoff Boost is a subscription-based service and requires renewal, just like your Takeoff Maintenance Subscription.

In addition to proper licensing, your Project/Bid must:

  • Your project must not be set to a "Locked" Job Status (see Masters: Job Statuses for more information).
  • Your Project cannot be open (locked) by another user (if you are using a shared (SQL) database).
  • You must have permissions to add takeoff to the Project (if your company uses logins to open the database - see Securing Your Databases (using Access Levels...)).
  • The Page must be scaled using Architectural or Metric scale types, see What is Scale for more information (Civic Scale is not supported currently).
    • Takeoff Boost works on floor plans and enlarged floorplans, it is not supported on Detail, Section, or Elevation plans, at this time.
  • The Page must be linked to a PDF file.
    • When running Takeoff Boost on a multi-page PDF file, only the current Page (on which you are running Takeoff Boost) is extracted and saved (temporarily) as a single-page PDF file. That single-page PDF is uploaded to the Takeoff Boost service for processing and deleted when you close On-Screen Takeoff (or Stop the running Takeoff Boost process on that Page).
    • If you were provided TIFs originally, you can print them off to PDF using any PDF Printer (Microsoft builds one into Windows) (be sure to print them to Architectural Size, not something like letter size).
    • If you have converted your PDFs to TIFs already, you can create a new Bid, re-add the PDFs, leave them as PDFs, run Takeoff Boost, copy takeoff to your original Bid, and then delete that 2nd Bid.
    • See Printing Plans and Takeoff to PDF for some tips about printing to PDF.

For OST to connect to the Takeoff Boost service:

  • You must have an active, high-speed internet connection.
  • Your Firewall must be configured to allow OST to connect to the Takeoff Boost service (see Configuring Your Firewall for details on configuring your connection to support Takeoff Boost).

Warning - Scale
It is critical that you set and verify Scale before running Takeoff Boost on a Page. Incorrect Scale will cause takeoff errors because Takeoff Boost relies on correct Page scale to identify objects on the Plan.

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Product documentation (user guides) describes functionality in the latest version of each major release and may not match the functionality in the version you are using. Please check the Product Information and Downloads pages by clicking one of the product buttons above.

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