What is a Quantity Surveyor

They do not value houses, arrange mortgages or design buildings. Other surveyors do these tasks – see our links. What is a Quantity Surveyor? A Quantity surveyor typically managing cost effectiveness in the construction process from initial calculations to establish land costs, through preparing early stage budgets and detailed cost plans, procurement, the construction phase and up to the final costs. They look after their client’s contractual interest and ensure they receive independent advice on costs and entlement.

Historically, practices mostly concentrate on the measuring and valuing of construction work being carried out under a building contract. They were handed the architect’s drawings, advised on likely costs, drew up tender documents itemising the work to be carried out, helped to let the construction contacts, valued work as it proceeded and prepared final accounts.In the early 1980s, quantity surveying firms found themselves developing project management services, followed by the provision of development appraisals, lifecycle costing, facilities management and other property related services. More surveyors were employed by commercial construction firms and not just professional practices or agencies of government.The clients required a more collaborative approach to construction and an end to the contractor’s traditional game of treating the contract sum as his starting-point and then squeezing additional money out of the work. This resulted in partnering and/or framework arrangements coming to the fore in the 1990s. At the same time, clients were looking for designs that already reflected the limits of the budget, rather than waiting for the Quantity Surveyor to point out likely cost overruns later. Recent years have seen quantity surveyors become the key advisers on construction and development strategy.The clients required a more collaborative approach to construction and an end to the contractor’s traditional game of treating the contract sum as his starting-point and then squeezing additional money out of the work. This resulted in partnering and/or framework arrangements coming to the fore in the 1990s. At the same time, clients were looking for designs that already reflected the limits of the budget, rather than waiting for the Quantity Surveyor to point out likely cost overruns later.

Recent years have seen quantity surveyors become the key advisers on construction and development strategy. The result is that the Quantity Surveyor today provides complex, solution-based services on a scale that few could have imagined only a few years ago. Although many Quantity Surveyors provide traditional services, they also service new industries and offer a wider spread of services to a wider spread of clients than in the past. It is no longer a profession only found in the former areas of the world where British ideas prevail but in Europe, the USA and China. Quantity Surveyors are involved all types of projects in the built environment. Working on residential developments, buildings and structures such as roads and bridges, factories, offices and schools.

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