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The Role of a Quantity Surveyor

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Construction
Wordcount: 2333 words Published: 18th Jul 2018

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Quantity Surveyors are also widely known as construction economist or cost manager. They are known as one of the professional advisers to the construction industry. As an advisory, Quantity Surveyors estimate and monitor all construction cost thought the whole development process which is shown as below:-

In each phase there consists of many stages. Quantity Surveyors are also involve with tax depreciation schedules, replacement cost estimation for insurance purposes and if necessary intervention and negotiation. Quantity Surveyors are mostly employed as consultants to the clients on major building and construction projects. In the development process Quantity Surveyors tend to work closely together with architects, projects owner, accountants, insurance underwriters, lawyers and judges and also with all levels of government authorities.

These are the stages in each phase:-

However, the Quantity Surveyors mainly involved themselves from the feasibility stage of a project to the completion of the construction period.

Inception Phase

During the inception phase, client’s instructions are given to Quantity Surveyors. Also, Quantity Surveyors will advise the client on the need to obtain statutory approvals and of the duties of the client under the CDM regulations. After they received information about the shop lots from the client, then they will visit the shop lots and carry out an initial appraisal.

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The appraisal stage is the first stage in the development process which involves both identifying the client’s requirements and the possible constraints on development. Studies will be undertaken to enable a client to decide on whether to proceed and if so which procurement route should be selected, on the basis of the outcomes required. In the other words, Quantity Surveyors will carry out studies to determine the feasibility of the Client’s requirement.

Strategic Briefing

The strategic briefing stage, which is done by or on behalf of the client, identifies the key requirements and constraints involved. It identifies the procedures, organizational structure and the type and range of consultants to be used. It is important during this early part of the process to consider a range of issues that are going to determine whether the project has any chance of coming to fruition.

Feasibility and Viability

At feasibility stage, Quantity Surveyors use their knowledge of construction methods and costs to advise the owner on the most economical way of achieving his or her requirements. They may use techniques such as Cost Planning, Estimating, Cost Analysis, Cost-in-use Studies and Value Management to establish and control a project budget. Accurately determining the construction cost at project inception is the key to setting an achievable budget and assessing project feasibility. This is available for any proposed development including subdivision, construction, refurbishment or maintenance concept.

Construction Phase

During construction phase, Quantity Surveyors are called on to fairly value “Progress Payments” at regular intervals. They will also value changes to design or quantities which may arise by reference to appropriate Bill of Quantities rates. The contractor’s Quantity Surveyor/contract administrator will have prepared claims for progress payments and additional work.


Mobilisation is the award of the building contract to the successful firm and the formal appointment of the contractor. During mobilisation, Quantity Surveyors provide production information as requested for the building contract and for construction of the shop lots.

Construction to Practical Completion

Construction to Practical Completion is the stage when the contractor commences the work on the shop lots. Throughout this stage, formal written instruction order are given to the contractor for changes in the design and valuation of the partially completed works are prepared and agreed for the purpose of interim payment certificates. Quantity Surveyors will make visits to the works in connection with the Architect’s design and provide further information reasonable required for construction. Upon completion, the formal signing over the project to the responsibilities of the client is made. Assessment, preparation and negotiation of the final account statement with the contractor, completes the project’s construction financial status.

When construction is completed, Quantity Surveyors can produce depreciation schedules of the various project components and advise on realistic insurance replacement costs. In the case of construction disputes the Quantity Surveyors are often called on as an expert witness, and some quantity surveyors act as arbitrators. Both the contractor’s and owner’s quantity surveyors will be involved in this.

Finally, on completion the contractors hand over the building to the developer. Usually a ‘defects liability period’ is written into the contract, and the contractor remains liable for repairs for a specified period. Finally, all outstanding payments will be settled and the building will be, hopefully, put into its intended use.

Occupation Phase

After Practical Completion

After Practical Completion is one of the stages during occupation phase. One of the main tasks of Quantity Surveyors is to ensure that the project can be completed to the specified quality, the calculated costs and within the appreciate time scale. Besides that, they have to identify defects, make final inspections and also settle Final Account.

Demolition Phase

Demolition phase is the final stage in a project’s life cycle. It may also a possible new beginning of the life cycle on the same site. In addition to new projects, Quantity Surveyor s also uses their skills in refurbishment of old buildings, alterations to existing buildings and insurance replacement estimates. In public authorities Quantity Surveyors maintain cost statistics on a state or nation-wide basis, and there are opportunities for academic careers in the building disciplines.

Design Phase

When this shop lots project approaches design phase, Quantity Surveyors involve themselves a lot in this phase. Outline proposals, detailed proposals, final proposals, production information, tender documentation and tender action are the stages in design phase.

Outline Proposals

As this stage progresses towards finalized plan, comparison and preparation of several alternative schemes are done in order to determine the general approach to the layout, design, and construction. Quantity Surveyors have to closely collaborate with all the members of the design team and the clients. An approximation of construction cost on shop lots is provided by Quantity Surveyors. Therefore, the Quantity Surveyors must maintain close contact with contractor as well as other professionals such as Architects and Engineers in order to determine the cost suggestion of the alternative proposals as they are prepared.

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Detailed Proposals

At this stage, the shop lots design is getting more settled with more details which are contributed by all members of design teams. This detailed proposal is derived from the outline proposal. The specification, method of construction, and the preparation of a cost plan are critically examined. The cost plan prepared by the Quantity Surveyors shows the proposed distribution of costs over the elements or components of the shop lots. All the relevant design information such as ground floor plan, roof floor plan and ground beam details of the shop lots is collected. A detailed report regarding the design and the cost plan can be submitted to the clients before the detailed proposal is developed. The cost estimation, including both initial and future cost, of the shop lots is provided by the Quantity Surveyors.

Final Proposals

The detailed design of shop lots is finalized at this stage in order to move to the end of a set of final tender documentation. A variety of ideas from the members of design teams contribute greatly to final outcome. A fully estimation of cost on shop lots is prepared by Quantity Surveyors to provide clients with a possible tender price and cost checks for specific items in order to confirm that the cost required for the items is not over budget. Providing accurate cost estimation is crucial in this stage because there might have any changes in the design which will result in abortive work.

Production Information

Production information is prepared for tender purposes. The preparation of final drawings, schedules, and supporting specifications on the shop lots will be now preceded by the architects, engineers, and quantity surveyors. Preliminary tendering procedures is determined by Quantity Surveyors during this stage in order to prepare a list of potential main contractors, enquiries to sub-contractors and suppliers, invitation to tender, and information to tender documents.

Tender Documentation

At this stage, Quantity Surveyors play an important role to ensure that the project is carried out smoothly. The tender documents such as condition of contracts, specification, drawings and Bills of Quantities (BQ) are going to be finalized. These tender documents are provided by Quantity Surveyors to contractors, clients, and sub contractors for tender purpose. Quantity Surveyors prepare and collect the tender documents in adequate details to enable tenders to be attained. The role of Quantity Surveyors in this shop lots project is to ensure all the drawings, schedules, and specification particulars are correct. The BQ are designed principally as tendering documents, yet a valuable aid is also provided to the pricing of variations and computation of valuations for interim certificates. Besides, BQ which is prepared by Quantity Surveyors provides a good basic for cost planning and help in identification of work to ensure the cash flow in a correct way. The Quantity Surveyors also have to prepare the Prime Cost Sums and Provisional Sums of the shop lots. If there has an argument between clients and contractors regarding their interest on the shop lots, the Quantity Surveyors appear to solve this kind of conflicts.

Tender Action

The main purpose of the tender action is to choose the appropriate contractor to carry out construction work diligently. Various methods, which the client and his adviser may use to obtain offers, are covered in tendering procedures. The tendering procedures are divided into two parts which are open and selected tendering. In open tendering procedure, any firm that may be interested in this shop lots construction project is being invited through the press advertisement to submit a tender. On the other hand, the selected qualified contractor is contacted based on the financial background and other features in the selected tendering procedure. The Quantity Surveyors will ask the opinion of the selected contractor. Quantity Surveyors will also recommend the most suitable contractor to the client. The contractors who have more experiences in shop lots construction project are the first choice to be selected. This stage typically is approached about one month before the tender documents are circulated.


The existence of Quantity Surveyors are getting more and more important in the construction field such as building construction , heavy construction or civil construction and industrial construction.

Basically, Quantity Surveyor is the person who is responsible for figuring out just what a building is going to be cost and in some cases for making sure that the construction costs and production are managed as efficiently as possible such as the shop lots that in mentioned in Question 1. Shop lots are one of the examples of the commercial development. In order to build shop lots, millions of dollars which is depend on the client need is needed. Quantity Surveyors should be aware that the materials price of some important materials such as cement, iron, ready mix and others will always changes. Besides acts as the financial overseer of a particular project, Quantity Surveyors translate the plans into detailed costs. Quantity Surveyors also help to minimize the time scales, the costs of a project and enhance value for money, while still achieving the required standards and quality. Through negotiation, successful Quantity Surveyors can save large amounts of money for the companies they work for.

In the current economic climate, where the construction industry is booming and construction companies are under increasing pressure to meet the needs of developers, and given the shortage of personnel, it is no surprise that Quantity Surveyors have expanded their role in this way. However, this practice must be monitored closely to prevent the integrity of the profession ever being called into question. Besides, Quantity Surveyors also must be flexible to any kind of work conditions such as site and office. For example, Quantity Surveyors are not only required to help the client in calculating the costs for a projects such as shop lots, they still need to go to site to ensure that the job had be done by the contractor according to the agreement that had be done before passing the project to the contractor. This can avoid contractual disputes to happen.

In construction and development projects where the watch word is “VALUE FOR MONEY” , the Quantity Surveyors must be involved from the inception phase to . Last but not least, it is a truth that Quantity Surveyors professional skills are highly respected and often achieved top managerial status.


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