What Is A Quantity Surveyor?

A Quantity Surveyor (QS) is a qualified professional generally working within the construction industry with construction costs and contracts expertise. Technical training to become a QS begins with attaining, through formal studies, a degree in Quantity Surveying from a recognised university. The highest rank of QS professionals will have also qualified for professional accreditation through membership to a recognized professional body such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) – London, UK. Those who are qualified members of the RICS are entitled to use the designation “Chartered Quantity Surveyor” or simply “Chartered Surveyor”. All Members of the RICS are assessed for membership against strict criteria to assess professional knowledge and experience, and must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct to ensure the highest standards of professional excellence are maintained. RICS members can be identified by the letters after their name – MRICS or FRICS indicates that the surveyor has qualified as a Chartered Surveyor and you can be confident that these professionals are highly experienced and qualified persons who will offer specialist expertise laser level.

ACHIEVING GREATER COST CERTAINTY IN CONSTRUCTIONCost certainty and cost control are essential for any client/developer planning a small development project such as a small house build up to larger scale developments such as a resort hotel or condominium developments. It is surprising that some developers choose to build without the consultancy services of a qualified and experienced Quantity Surveyor. The Quantity Surveyor should ensure that your commercial interests are safeguarded at every stage of the design, procurement and construction process. The services of a qualified and experienced Quantity Surveyor can help developers reduce capital outlay, increase value, and maximize development yield.

HISTORY OF QUANTITY SURVEYINGThe QS profession developed in the UK during the 19th century when specialist tradesman (often a guild member) know as “measurers” began preparing standardised schedules of works for building projects in which all of the construction materials, labour activities and the like were quantified, and against which competing builders could submit priced tenders. All tenders were based on the same schedule of information, and as such they could be easily analysed and compared to determine best tender offer. One of the earliest known QS’s was Sir Henry Arthur Hunt who was involved in estimating the construction costs for works at the Houses of Parliament after the fire in 1834 that destroyed the old Palace of Westminister.

ACTIVITIES OF THE QUANTITY SURVEYORThe QS will provide expertise and advice to a developer throughout the project from inception to final completion. The QS handles estimating and cost control, the tendering process and, post contract award, the commercial management of the project. A qualified QS will be able to carry out estimating and measurement of construction works prior to tender, produce the bill of quantities; produce tender documentation and manage the tender process; clarify and evaluate tenders; and manage the resultant contract through monthly valuations, variations control, contract administration, assessment of claims and final account resolution.

Quantity Surveyors control construction costs by accurate measurement of the work required, and the application of expert knowledge in materials, labour and construction costs. The QS is trained in understanding of the cost implications of design decisions at an early stage to ensure that accurate budgets are in place and risk for cost overruns is reduced.The technique of measuring quantities from drawings, sketches and specifications prepared by designers is known as “taking off”. The quantities of work taken off are typically used to prepare bills of quantities and/or Schedules of Works, these should be prepared in accordance with industry standard methods of measurement acknowledged by the QS profession and representatives of the construction industry.

Experienced and competent QS’s will safeguard the commercial aspects of the development ensuring it is designed and constructed in such a manner as to secure value for money and cost certainty. The QS should also be competent and experienced with the ability to draft, interpret and administer the complexities of modern construction contracts.QS’s IN THAILAND In Thailand, Quantity Surveying is a relatively new profession to the locals and presently the majority of qualified and internationally recognized quantity surveyors within the Kingdom have been trained abroad. To my knowledge there are no Thai universities offering degree courses in Quantity Surveying at this moment. This missing link needs to be addressed in order for Thailand to produce home grown qualified and internationally recognized quantity surveyors. According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) there are approximately 81 Chartered Surveyors currently working in Thailand – with only 45% this number specialising in Quantity Surveying.

CORE QS SERVICES:• Budget Preparation;• Risk Analysis;• Cost Planning & Estimating;• Tender & Contract Documentation;• Cash Flow Forecasting;• Value Engineering;• Procurement;• Post Contract Monitoring;• Change Management & Valuation;• Monthly Cost Reporting;• Monthly Payment Valuation & Certification;• Claim Analysis;• Final Account Negotiation & Settlement;• Dispute Resolution.

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