What is a quantity surveyor

What is a Quantity Surveyor?

Last updated on January 9th, 2023 at 04:32 pm

A quantity surveyor is a professional who gives advice on the cost and management of building projects. They can work on both small and large scale construction, including residential, industrial, and commercial. They are highly trained professionals who know a lot about all parts of the building process, from getting permits to keeping an eye on budgets.

The role of a quantity surveyor includes estimating budgets for materials and labor costs; preparing tender documents; evaluating bids; negotiating contracts with subcontractors; monitoring progress throughout the life cycle of the project; and analyzing data to ensure that all planned specifications are met within budget. 

They also provide expert advice on value engineering solutions for potential savings during construction. Furthermore, quantity surveyors specialize in claim resolution should any disputes arise between contractors and clients regarding payment or other contractual obligations.

Role and responsibilities of a quantity surveyor

Measuring and estimating construction costs:

This involves carefully assessing different components of the project such as dimensions, materials and labour requirements. The surveyor then applies current market rates to each item to determine an accurate total cost for the job. 

If changes need to be made during the course of a project, these must also be assessed in terms of their effect on the overall budget. Once all measurements have been taken into consideration, a detailed cost report is prepared for clients outlining all items used in building their structure.

Managing budgets and contracts:

Managing budgets and contracts are two of the key responsibilities of a quantity surveyor. They must be able to accurately estimate construction costs and provide useful financial advice and guidance.

They use their expertise to help clients determine which materials and services are necessary for a project, as well as to manage the associated costs.

They will also review existing contracts, helping ensure that all parties involved are in agreement with the terms laid out. They are responsible for ensuring that all parties meet their contractual obligations and that any changes or modifications do not exceed the allocated budget.

Through careful management of both budgets and contracts, They can save businesses time and money while helping them achieve their construction goals in an efficient manner.

Providing advice on procurement and tendering:

Advice from quantity surveyors is invaluable when it comes to tendering for contracts or procuring goods or services. They can help clients make informed decisions about which contractors have the best ability to meet their needs and also advise on payment methods that are most appropriate for particular projects. 

This could include anything from outright purchase to various types of leasing agreements; whatever is most suitable for budget constraints and operational objectives.

They can assist with assessing project risk by identifying potential areas where costs may be over-estimated or under-valued.

Ensuring compliance with building regulations and codes:

They must ensure that all building regulations and codes are met during a construction project. This is essential to ensure the safety of workers, residents, and visitors. To do this effectively, the surveyor must be aware of local laws and ordinances regarding building standards in their area.

By staying current on all applicable building codes, a quantity surveyor can help ensure compliance throughout the entire process. They will also need to review any proposed changes or modifications with architects or engineers to make sure they meet code requirements before moving forward with construction. 

Assessing and evaluating changes to construction plans:

A quantity surveyor is responsible for assessing and evaluating changes to construction plans, so they must have a thorough understanding of the project’s scope and cost. They will review any modifications made to the existing plans in order to determine the financial implications of such alterations.

This includes looking into materials, labor and subcontractor costs, as well as other necessary services and supplies. They will also be required to produce reports that analyze these changes, which can then be used by senior management or stakeholders when making decisions about budget allocation.

The process of assessing changes to construction plans typically involves breaking down each proposed alteration into individual components that can be more easily evaluated from a financial perspective. By doing this, potential risks or benefits associated with implementing the change are highlighted and can be taken into account before moving forward with implementation.

Skills and qualifications needed for a quantity surveyor

Educational requirements:

The most common educational requirement for becoming a quantity surveyor is earning a bachelor’s degree in quantity surveying. This type of program includes courses such as mathematics and statistics, economics, engineering science, construction technology, building law and regulations, project management techniques, and more. 

Most programs also include an internship or practicum where students can gain hands-on experience with various aspects of project planning and implementation. Once they have completed their degree program successfully, aspiring quantity surveyors must seek certification from their local professional association.

Professional certification:

It is an important aspect of a quantity surveyor’s career. Because this occupation involves complex financial responsibilities, being certified is an acknowledgement that a quantity surveyor has the deep knowledge, skills, and experience to handle this kind of work. It help employers know they are hiring someone who meets industry standards and is committed to ongoing education and professional development.

There are several organizations that offer certifications for quantity surveyors including, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) American Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB). 

To become certified, individuals must typically have substantial educational backgrounds in construction management or related fields such as engineering or architecture. They must also demonstrate their commitment to continuing education through workshops, seminars, and conferences in order to maintain their certification status.

Technical skills:

They must also have a strong knowledge of construction technology and design principles, as well as a familiar with safety regulations and environmental issues.

They need excellent computing skills. This includes an ability to use computer-aided design (CAD) programs, spreadsheets, and database software for cost estimating and budget management. 

Being able to interpret plans quickly is also key; this requires an understanding of architectural symbols and conventions used in plan drawings. They also need good communication skills that allow them to collaborate effectively with other professionals involved in the project such as architects or engineers.

Interpersonal skills:

Interpersonal skills are essential for a successful quantity surveyor to have. Great communication skills are needed in order to effectively discuss and negotiate matters with clients, contractors, and other stakeholders on a construction project. Problem-solving is another important interpersonal skill for a quantity surveyor as they must be able to come up with creative solutions when faced with challenging situations. 

Negotiation is also necessary in order for the quantity surveyor to ensure that their clients receive the most competitive prices from suppliers or contractors while still maintaining quality standards of workmanship. With these interpersonal skills, a quantity surveyor can achieve successful outcomes on any construction project they undertake.

In addition, it is important that the quantity surveyor possess good organizational abilities and leadership qualities so that they can manage projects effectively by coordinating activities between different teams of workers.

Career opportunities for quantity surveyors

A career as a quantity surveyor can be very rewarding and is a great choice for those interested in construction management and cost engineering. There are many opportunities in this field, both domestically and abroad.

Quantity surveyors can work as consultants to assist with bidding, scheduling, cost control and administration of contracts for construction projects. They can also act as estimators for tenders or bids on new projects, helping the contractor develop an accurate budget for the work that needs to be done.

They are also responsible for keeping track of all materials used during a project’s construction process, from start to finish. This includes maintaining records of changes in specs or materials due to unforeseen circumstances and providing reports on any financial discrepancies that may occur throughout the project’s lifespan. 

Challenges faced by quantity surveyors

Managing conflicting interests and expectations of different stakeholders:

Quantity surveyors are tasked with ensuring the successful completion of a project and often work with multiple stakeholders who have conflicting interests and expectations. To effectively manage these conflicts, quantity surveyors need to be able to identify what each stakeholder needs, listen to their concerns and negotiate solutions that will satisfy all parties.

Good communication is key in managing conflicting interests and expectations. Quantity surveyors must establish an open dialogue with stakeholders, understand their perspectives, discuss potential solutions openly and be willing to compromise when necessary.

Additionally, it’s important for quantity surveyors to document any agreements made along the way while clearly communicating any changes or updates as they arise throughout the project timeline. By engaging in respectful negotiations that consider all stakeholders’ needs, quantity surveyors can help ensure a successful outcome for everyone involved.

Dealing with unexpected changes or delays during construction:

Dealing with unexpected changes or delays during construction is something that quantity surveyors are well-equipped to handle. They have the experience and knowledge necessary to anticipate potential problems before they occur, meaning that projects can be completed as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Quantity surveyors also understand how delays or changes in scope can affect a project’s budget, so they may suggest alternate solutions that will help keep costs down, while still achieving the desired end result.

In addition to anticipating disruptions and providing cost-efficient solutions, quantity surveyors are responsible for ensuring that projects adhere to certain regulations and standards. Through regular communication with all stakeholders involved in the project,

They can ensure proper safety protocols are being followed and any legal requirements for completion of the job are met. Furthermore, it is their responsibility to report any issues or discrepancies encountered during construction so these problems can be addressed quickly and effectively.

Maintaining accuracy and attention to detail in a fast-paced environment:

Quantity surveyors must maintain accuracy and attention to detail in a fast-paced environment. They are responsible for ensuring that all project costs are tracked, recorded and reported accurately and on time. When working in the construction industry, quantity surveyors must have a keen eye for detail, as even the slightest error can lead to costly mistakes.

In order to successfully manage their workloads, quantity surveyors should establish well-defined processes for keeping track of progress and managing documents. This includes setting up systems for tracking changes in project scope, reviewing contract clauses regularly and creating detailed cost reports on a regular basis.

Additionally, they should ensure consistency by using standardized forms or templates when documenting data throughout the entire process. By doing so, they can not only improve accuracy but also reduce errors caused by human oversight or negligence.

Bottom Line

They play an essential role in the construction industry. Their jobs involve a great deal of responsibility and require a combination of technical knowledge and interpersonal skills. A career in quantity surveying can be both rewarding and challenging, offering limitless opportunities for professional growth.

Those interested in pursuing this field should consider all aspects carefully before making a commitment. With the right attitude and dedication to learning, anyone can become an outstanding quantity surveyor who contributes significantly to the success of projects.