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What is a Quantity Surveyor?

The Quantity Surveyor is a professional who works in the field of construction management by providing effective cost control for the project. A Quantity Surveyor is not a Land Surveyor or a Building Surveyor. Quantity Surveyor should have adequate knowledge about Engineering, Construction Design, and Architecture. Quantity Surveyors help their clients to keep the project within budget and time. Based on the industries they work in, they can be called cost consultants, project control professionals, or can work as Project Manager for the Client.

For more info, read this: Quantity Surveyors and their Role throughout the Building Process

Quantity Surveyor’s role as Project Monitor

Construction projects are, by nature, exposed to a variety of risks and uncertainties. For example, contractors may not perform the works on time, and in accordance with the specifications, productivity on the construction site might be affected by risks associated with labour uncertainty, poor site management or selection of equipment, or poor understanding of the project design. Permitting issues may arise which inhibit the ability to complete the project as designed or within the timeframe or costs originally agreed to.

External factors beyond the control of parties, such as force majeure events or other types of supervening events, may cause delays or require changes to projects. Ultimately, these risks must be understood and allocated between the parties, given that the manifestations of such risks will inevitably give rise to costs and disputes regarding which of the parties must bear them. The construction industry is complex, with lenders not necessarily in possession of the resources or expertise within their institutions to monitor all technical issues and performance requirements and/or develop an informed view of associated cost issues. The professional practice of project monitoring is therefore required to minimize lenders’ risk exposure in the administration of its loan for a given construction project. Some of the principal reasons for utilizing project monitoring services in the construction process include:

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Project monitors, by nature of their expertise in cost, estimating, scheduling, and contractual matters, have a good grasp of the services that may be expected to be performed as part of the construction process. They have detailed knowledge of the current costs of such services and of the labour and material that are required to perform such services. Project owners/developers prefer to borrow project funds from lending institutions (such as banks, trust companies, and pension funds), which institutions will require independent project monitoring and reporting in relation to the relevant construction process. Project/construction managers acting as the agent of project owners/developers may be perceived to be in a conflict-of-interest situation since their service is paid by the Owner or the borrower. Lenders may not have adequate in-house expertise or resource to carry out the necessary project monitoring or reporting function, particularly for smaller accounts or where expertise or resources to carry out the necessary project site is too remote. Architects and/or consulting engineers are not necessarily trained in the skills of project management, construction cost estimating, and risk analysis. Complementary to the traditional project management functions, project monitoring, and reporting functions are independently provided to the Lenders to ensure that their financial interests are protected.

Also Read: Difference Between Construction Estimator and Quality Surveyor

Project monitoring and reporting services are typically provided by an independent consultant for clients that may include financial institutions, governments, real estate investors, and other organizations. Depending on the type of client, project, and the scope of services provided, practitioners of project monitoring in Canada are referred to divergently as project monitor, construction loan monitor, quantity surveyor, cost consultant, or technical advisor. The appointment of a project monitor does not replace any of the traditional project management functions but protects the lender’s interests by monitoring the performance of the developer and its team. Project monitors have in-depth knowledge of how construction projects are delivered and managed, issues that can arise during the design and construction phases, as well as issues relating to handover of the works as phases of the construction work are finalized, and the pitfalls lenders and developers face during the course of a construction project. Project monitoring services facilitate the flow of project-related information to lenders with accurate, timely analysis and clear, concise reporting. Reference document Project Monitoring for Real Estate Lending, Canada.

Representing the Owner as QS/ Cost Consultant

Cost Planning and Cost Control Services during Design

  • Provides capital cost estimates at various stages of design
    • Provide a Class 3 estimate at schematic design. The accuracy of these estimates may vary from -20% to +30%.
    • Provide a Class 3 estimate at the design development
    • Provide Class 2 estimate at 50% contract document stage. The accuracy of these estimates may vary from -10% to +15%.
    • Provide Class 2 estimate at 75% contract document stage
    • Provide Class 1 estimate at 95% to 100% construction document stage. The accuracy of these estimates may vary from -5% to +10%.

Tender Analysis

  • Obtain copies of three (3) lowest tender for analysis.
  • Analyze and evaluate the lowest bidder and recommend any cost reduction if required.
  • Prepare a construction cash flow based on the lowest acceptable tender and as per the construction schedule.

Also Read: Interesting Things about Project Quantity Surveyor that can Help Your Business Grow

Cost Control Services during construction

  • Review the work breakdown structure based on the Contractor’s progress claim
  • Visit the site to review site progress and provide a monthly progress report to the Owner
  • Evaluate and monitor progress claim. QS to report the value of work complete and estimated cost at completion.
  • Review and evaluate all Change Orders submitted by the contractor
  • The quantity surveyor to verify any additional cost or time claim submitted by the contractor, evaluate them, and provide a recommendation to the Owner.
  • Prepare a final cost report for the project. Prepare a report outlining the project in terms of the original budget and schedule as compared to cost at completion and schedule at completion and identify the reason for this variance.

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Ataur Rahman

President at prycoglobal
Ataur Rahman is the president at Pryco Global Inc (PRYCO). He has more than a decade of experience in the leadership role, majorly into Oil & Energy and Heavy Civil & Commercial Construction Projects. He has turned around a couple of loss-making businesses unit into profit centers through effective Cost Management, Process Improvement, Business Strategy Realignment, Reorganizing Organizational Structure.
Ataur Rahman