The Quantity Surveyor is a construction professional, he or she is qualified and adequately trained to advise on all aspects of construction costs, financial and contractual administration. He or she is an expert on the cost and management of construction projects, whether building, civil or heavy engineering.
Throughout the world, Quantity Surveyors are working on projects as diverse as housing, commercial property developments, hospitals, mosques, petrochemical plants, highways, dams and airports. There are more than 1000 qualified Quantity Surveyors in Malaysia and a few hundred more in training for the profession
Whenever any building project is proposed, it is important that the cost involved is known in advance. These include site preparation cost, construction, labor, material and plant costs, professional fees, taxes and other charges as well as the likely running and maintenance costs for the new building. The Quantity Surveyor is trained to evaluate these costs and to advise on alternative proposals.
Once the decision is made to build the project, the Quantity Surveyor advises the client on appropriate contract arrangement as well as the legal contract and conditions under which the building will be constructed.
He or she also, acting on behalf of the client advises the architect and engineer on the cost implications. This includes the different construction methods, alternative choice of materials and size and quality of the project. This is also to ensure that each element is reconciled with the cost plan allowance and the overall project cost remains within the budget.
These skills place Quantity Surveyors in a strong position to take a leading managerial role throughout the development of a project. For example, they are able to assess the implications of changes in design, site conditions and working arrangements and give the client accurate budget and time estimates.
Quantity Surveyors may work in a variety of areas vis. private practice, government sectors, educational institutions, construction companies, property developers, banks and financial institutions, industrial companies and other commercial companies. Their professional skills are highly respected and often achieve top managerial status.
The services provided by the Professional Quantity Surveyor can be categorised under the following :
The scope of basic service is outlined as follows :
- Preparation of preliminary cost estimates and cost plans of the development project.
- Advise on cost estimates in relation to design development of a project.
- Advise on procurement, tendering and contractual procedures and arrangement.
- Preparation of the Bill of Quantities or Specification document for tendering purposes.
- Organise the calling of tenders.
- Evaluation of tenders received in the form of tender reports.
Preparation and execution of the formal contract.
- Interim valuation of works in progress on site for purposes of interim payments.
- Preparation of financial statement of regular intervals during the construction period.
- Settlement of the final accounts of the projects.
Besides the aforementioned basic services, the following supplementary services may also be provided by the Professional Quantity Surveyor if required :
- Preparation of feasibility studies of a project.
- Projection of estimated project or development expenditure and anticipated income cash flows.
- Evaluation of contractors registered for prequalification.
- Comparative cost studies on the economics of the project during design stage.
- Project management of construction project.
- Life-cycle costing and studies on economics of alternative design.
- Pricing of Bills of Quantities or negotiating and agreeing Schedule of Rates.
- Valuation or auditing of contractual claims for arbitrations litigation cases.
- Valuation or auditing of insurance claims for fire damaged buildings.
- Auditing of contracts and their related budgets and expenditure.
- Application of the full scope of quantity surveying services in Turnkey or Privatisation Contracts.
The Project & The Professional Quantity Surveyor
The services of a professional Quantity Surveyor can be useful applied to anything that involves measurement and pricing and as yet, his services have been not fully made use of. However the following are projects, by no means exhaustive of which quantity surveying services can be utilised :
- Bungalows, flats, apartment, townhouses, condominium developments, housing schemes and town ships and places.
Commercial offices, banks, shopping and entertainment complexes, hotels, chalets, hostels, holiday and recreational resorts including tourist complexes.
- Universities, colleges, educational institutions and research centres, hospitals, medical centres and monumental works.
Airports, seaports, railway and vehicular terminals and telecommunication buildings and towers.
Bridges, highways, roads, reservoirs, dams, power and atomic stations including other related civil engineering and infrastructure works.
- Factories, warehouses, mills, manufacturing and assembly plants, refineries, oil rigs and petrol stations.
Extension, alterations, restoration and demolition works including interior architectural work.