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 neither a Land Surveyor nor a Building Surveyor. Some clients who are not familiar with the Quantity Surveyor term often cannot differentiate between a Quantity Surveyor and Land 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. Sometimes based on the industries they work, they can be called cost consultants, project control professional or can work as Project Manager for the Client.
The Professional Quantity Surveyor is a vital member and brings value to the design and construction team. A PQS has the right experience and expertise in the field of construction costs. A PQS can be retained by the Client in design and construction. The PQS will help the Client from the inception to the total completion of the project. Engaging a PQS very early in the project can provide a substantial cost saving in the project and save the Client a considerable cost due to time and cost overrun in the project.
The PQS selected for the project will work with the Client and the design team to establish the program budget. During the design phases, the PQS will prepare elemental cost plans based on at what stage the design is. The cost estimate can be used to monitor changes and variations in the anticipated cost; based on the anticipated cost; a decision can be taken whether to allow the addition or deletion of the design so that the original budget can be maintained. Before the tender, the elemental cost estimate should be reviewed. The pretender estimate is used to evaluate bids received. The QS then helps the Client in the bid evaluation process to select the right proponent.
Sometimes Client engages a Construction Quantity Surveyor at the construction phase. The QS will help the Client in cost control of the project based on the approved budget; manage all changes in the projects, tracks delay in the project, and its implication on the project. However, when a QS is engaged only in the construction phase, there is no way he can contribute to the validity of the original project budget. Hence it is highly recommended that a PQS should be engaged very early in the project when the project initiation process starts.
Providing high-quality Project quantity surveying services, during the design and construction phase, contribute immensely to the financial success of the project.
Experience has shown that there can be a various problems if a PQS is not engaged in the project. There can be substantial delay and cost overrun in the project. Management of Change resulting in a delay of the project. The project may not be completed due to a dispute between the Client and the Contractor. It is also important to select the right PQS, who has the required qualification and experience needed to manage the project.
A PQS based on the experience can work in various industries like Building Construction, Oil & Gas Construction, Dams, Roads and Bridges, Infrastructure, Water and Waste Water Treatment and network facility, Nuclear Facility, etc.
As per Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyor, a PQS can provide the following Quantity Surveying Services:
- Cost Consulting, incorporating
Feasibility Studies and Conceptual Estimating; Project Budgeting; Cost Planning / Cost Control Estimates (in either elemental or trade format); Assembly of Tender Packages; Tender Review and Contractor Selection; Functional Cost Analysis; Review and Recommendation of Project Progress Payments; Review and Negotiation of Change Orders and Contractual Claims
- Mortgage Monitoring, incorporating
Review and Verification that Project Budget is adequate to complete the Project; Progress Draw Review and Monitoring of Costs incurred; Verification of Borrower payments.
- Value Management, incorporating
Review of Project Program, Design, and Cost Studies; Service Provider for Value Management Workshops; Evaluating Processes and Components; Preparation of Recommendations.
- Life Cycle Costing, including
Life Cycle Cost Plans; Discounted Cash Flows; Sensitivity Analysis.
Reserve Fund Studies and Cost to Complete Reports; Property Condition Reports; Risk Analysis; Insurance Replacement Cost Assessment; Project Management; Project Scheduling; Construction Project Management; Construction and Project Cash Flows; Mediation and Arbitration; Expert Witness; Bills of Quantities and/or Materials; Material Take-offs.