Quantity surveyors undertake key roles in construction projects and help to deliver a successful project outcome. Quantity surveying has been very much in the spotlight recently as the construction industry undergoes a period of significant change due to technology advances, as well as the new ways of working introduced in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. In order to improve the efficiency, cost effectiveness and sustainability of your building projects, the people involved in your project remain key to your success. The benefits of using a quantity surveyor are significant and they help to enhance your project team.
The value that they bring to construction projects is ever-increasing, especially as they will often facilitate the adoption of new technology which has a number of its own benefits. In this article, we discuss what a quantity surveyor is, what they do, what makes a good quantity surveyor and what the key benefits of using them are.
What Is A Quantity Surveyor?
A quantity surveyor is an expert at costing a building throughout all stages of a project. They are responsible for managing all contractual and financial aspects of a construction project including the upstream and downstream elements of the supply chain. Typically, they are involved in the life cycle costing, cost planning, procurement & tendering, contract administration and commercial management. Chartered quantity surveyors are surveyors that have gained chartered status. In order to become chartered, a surveyor will need to pass an Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) and become a RICS member. They are involved as a specialist in one area or generalise in multiple areas during a construction project.
What Does A Quantity Surveyor Do During The Different Stages Of A Construction Project?
Throughout all the different stages of a construction project, quantity surveyors adopt an important role in helping to manage and facilitate the feasibility of cost through from the design construction stage through to the project completion.
During the feasibility stage of a construction project, they will advise on the potential of a site and determine what the client of the project can afford to build. The involvement of a quantity surveyor at this stage is incredibly valuable as it identifies issues earlier and helps to prevent unfeasible elements of a construction project from proceeding to the subsequent stages.
In the construction stages, a quantity surveyor’s role evolves further into presenting cost information to the client on specific elements of work. This happens on a periodic basis and allows payments for completed work to be made. Alongside this, they divide the various parts of a project into work packages which are given to specialist construction companies. As part of this process, they evaluate who offers the most suitable solution for the best possible price.
All stages of a construction project involve significant work for quantity surveyors. Other prominent roles include managing contractual & legal matters, managing costs and ensuring that the overall budget is adhered to, making employee & subcontractor payments, settling final accounts, providing financial advice and monitoring the project progress for the client.
What Makes A Good Quantity Surveyor?
Good quantity surveyors share many common characteristics. Their role is fast-paced and involves tight deadlines at various different stages of a project, so they are often good at managing pressure and negotiating between the various parties involved in a construction project. They also have advanced knowledge of building legislation, building materials and design, which they draw on during each project that they undertake. The quantity surveyors at JB Associates are calm, methodical and have a strong grasp of the financials.
By choosing JB Associates as your commercial quantity surveyors, you will benefit from a team of highly numerate and experienced surveyors with experience in a wealth of different industries. We stand out from other quantity surveying companies as our team has advanced experience in several specialist sectors including critical infrastructure, aviation, and residential property. This specialist experience is complimented by all the qualifications and characteristics that you would expect from chartered quantity surveyors. JB Associates offer RICS quantity surveying services as a RICS regulated firm for commercial and residential services.
How Does Quantity Surveying Link To Cost Consultancy Services?
Quantity surveying and cost consultancy services are very much linked as they take different roles within the construction process. Quantity surveying tends to consist of managing the budget on live projects. Whereas cost consultancy involves advising clients at the initial stage of a construction project where the business case and the associated budgets are scrutinised.
What Are The Key Benefits Of Using A Quantity Surveyor?
Mitigate Project Risk
Every building project has its own collection of risks which are unique and vary depending on the nature of the project. Involving quantity surveyors in your project at an early stage will help to mitigate the project risks. Sometimes risks can come from the most unexpected areas, and they are often not confined to finances too.
The key value that a chartered quantity surveyor brings to the table is an ability to advise you on the development of a strategy that mitigates and manages project risks. Professional financial management can help to limit the risks by advising on the most suitable cost structures for your project and maintaining a cash flow that is able to support the continuation of all the project stages. Alongside advising on the financial risks of the project, they will also provide advice on other aspects on the project including quality, safety and time.
Reduce Project Costs
Reducing project costs is often a priority for every construction project, with unforeseen costs and additional expenses remaining a realistic possibility, reducing costs can create an additional contingency that can be deployed elsewhere. In order to reduce costs and implement strong cost controls a quantity surveyor can establish accurate budgets, monitor spending and implement staged progress payments.
The reduction of costs is also strongly linked to the estimation of costs. Estimating costs is a difficult task for all construction companies and inaccurate estimates or extra costs can quickly undermine the accuracy of your plans and therefore introduce project risks. Fortunately, a quantity surveyor will be able to cross-reference the project in hand against other similar projects, which adds further accuracy and a greater level of confidence in the estimates that are made.
Manage The Financial Requirements Of The Project
Securing the financial resources for the project can be a complicated process. If you are looking to secure a form of finance to fund your construction project wholly or partially, a quantity surveyor’s cost estimate will be truly invaluable. The provided cost estimate can be used to secure the finance, and lenders will often favour finance applications with a detailed cost estimate.
Advise On Construction Contracts And Manage Disputes
Every construction project will have a range of contracts in place with suppliers and subcontractors in order to deliver a successful project outcome. A quantity surveyor is very much involved with construction contracts and will have had input in their creation and any contract negotiations. They will also draw upon their experience with previous projects of a similar nature to ensure that pitfalls are avoided where possible and opportunities are taken. The surveyor is therefore well placed to ensure that the clauses in the contracts are adhered to by the various parties involved, while of course protecting the interests of the client.
The enforcement of contracts does not end here. In the event of a claim or dispute arising from one of the construction contracts, your quantity surveyors will be able to help. They are trained to manage disputes and can draw upon their contract management experience to help protect the best interests of the client. Having a skilled consultant quantity surveyor by your side can make all the difference.
Professional Quantity Surveyors In Hampshire & London
The professional quantity surveyors at JB Associates are ready to help with your construction project. We provide quantity surveying services as a RICS registered firm for commercial and domestic projects. We have the right surveyors in our team to help you deliver a successful project where the contractual and financial aspects of the project are taken care of by professionals that you can trust. Our clients include Telefonica, Kier, Balfour Beatty, Interserve, SSE, CBRE, Ramboll and Pick Everard.
There are many quantity surveying companies that you can choose from, so making sure that you choose the right surveyors for your project is key. Why not contact us for a no-obligation discussion and find out how we can help with your construction project? Email us at [email protected] or call: 01590 688 928.