A uniform system for measuring building works helps to facilitate industry wide consistency and benchmarking, to encourage the adoption of best practice
and to help avoid disputes. There are various methods of measurement used within the industry. The most commonly used versions being Standard Method
of Measurement 7 and New Rules of Measurement 2.
The elder of the two, SMM7 is published by RICS and ‘provides a uniform basis for measuring building works and a guide to sound practice. It also
responds to alterations made to Common Arrangement of Work Sections, the document upon which SMM is based.
NRM2, which now takes precedence over SMM7, is also published by RICS and their website states the second volume ‘provides detailed rules for the
measurement and description of building works for the purpose of obtaining tender prices. Although written primarily for the preparation of bill of quantities
and quantified schedules of works, the rules will be invaluable when designing and developing standard or bespoke schedules of rates, or other
quantity-based pricing document.’
CESSM 4: “The Civil Engineering Standard Method of Measurement” by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), outlines procedure for the preparation of a
bill of quantities for civil engineering works. ‘The original concepts of standardised approach and item coverage remain as fundamental as they did when they
were first introduced in 1976. All of these principles remain unchanged. This fourth edition has been updated to incorporate modern construction
techniques and is now contract neutral in order to facilitate use across a variety of contract suites including with NEC, FIDIC and ICC.’
A Bill of Quantities (BQ) is a document prepared by a Quantity Surveyor (in this case one of our Virtual QS surveyors) which provides project specific
measured quantities of items identified in the drawings and specifications.
Once complete, the BQ can be issued to tenderers to price. Having a set BQ means all tenderers will be pricing based on the same quantities and therefore
will be easier to compare. The tenderer will return their priced bill of quantities, whereby the whole price and the price of individual items can be assessed;
this will then form the basis of their offer.
Many clients now prefer the use of Cost Plans instead of BQ where possible. Our surveyors can easily provide quantities for a cost plan in either a template provided by the client or using their own.
Virtual QS provide a variety of measurement services. Please contact us for enquiries.