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Quantity surveyor: Job description

A quantity surveyor manages all costs relating to building and civil engineering projects, from the initial calculations to the final figures. Surveyors seek to minimise the costs of a project and enhance value for money, while still achieving the required standards and quality. Many of these are specified by statutory building regulations, which the surveyor needs to understand and adhere to.

A quantity surveyor may work for either the client or the contractor, working in an office or on-site. They are involved in a project from the start, preparing estimates and costs of the work. When the project is in progress, quantity surveyors keep track of any variations to the contract that may affect costs and create reports to show profitability.

The title of the job may also be referred to as a construction cost consultant or commercial manager.

Typical work activities

Tasks vary depending on the nature of the project being worked on and the point in the process it's at. Typical activities throughout the stages can include:

  • preparing tender and contract documents, including bills of quantities with the architect and/or the client;
  • undertaking costs analysis for repair and maintenance project work;
  • assisting in establishing a client's requirements and undertaking feasibility studies;
  • performing risk and value management and cost control;
  • advising on procurement strategy;
  • identifying, analysing and developing responses to commercial risks;
  • preparing and analysing costings for tenders;
  • allocating work to subcontractors;
  • providing advice on contractual claims;
  • analysing outcomes and writing detailed progress reports;
  • valuing completed work and arranging payments;
  • maintaining awareness of the different building contracts in current use;
  • understanding the implications of health and safety regulations.

Areas that may be worked on once the surveyor has experience and specialised knowledge include:

  • offering advice on property taxation;
  • providing post-occupancy advice, facilities management services and life cycle costing advice;
  • assisting clients in locating and accessing additional and alternative sources of funds;
  • enabling clients to initiate construction projects;
  • advising on the maintenance costs of specific buildings.
 
 
AGCAS
Written by AGCAS editors
Date: 
May 2012
 

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