Research published by RCIS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) has shown that Building Information Modelling (BIM) can be a great benefit to Quantity Surveyors, by enabling them to speed up the estimating process through the use of the New Rules of Measurement.

What is a Quantity Surveyor?

The main aim of the role of a Quantity Surveyor is to provide expert advice on construction costs by ensuring proposed objects not only offer good value for money but that are affordable as well. They do this by helping the design team and end-client assess and compare the different options available to them, and by tracking any variations, to ensure the costs remain under control throughout the project lifecycle.

The tasks that a Quantity Surveyor undertakes include:

  • Advice on procurement
  • Contractual claims
  • Estimating and resources costing and analysis
  • Monthly valuations
  • Preparation of bills of quantities
  • Quantity take-off
  • Tender documentation, and
  • Final accounts

As you can imagine, therefore, Quantity Surveyors have played a huge role in the construction sector over the past 150 years. However, when BIM was introduced, some felt this was a threat to the role as its ongoing technological improvements would put the job under question.

In reality, though, it is the opposite. Advancements in automated measurements and quantifications, paired with the development of the processes associated with BIM, have meant that quantity-surveying functions have become more efficient as a whole. BIM is beginning to be widely adopted in the construction industry, and so Quantity Surveyors are being urged to adopt it in order to boost the cost-effectiveness and therefore the value of their functions.

It is really important, therefore, that Quantity surveyor’s (and estimators) aim to grasp the full potential of all that BIM has to offer. By learning about how they can develop and employ the most effective processes and tools, they can harness the power of BIM in their existing operations.

The value of BIM, after all, lies in its ability to add useful repositories of information to a model – which will require close collaboration between Quantity Surveyors and designers going forward. On top of this, Quantity Surveyors will need to be able to extract quantities, interpret the accuracy of these quantities and align them with standard methods of measurement as required.

What BIM will do is free up hours from time-consuming tasks which don’t require specialised experiences, allowing the Quantity Surveyor to concentrate on value-added work, such as confirming the information, verifying the correct application of the scope and adding in any information that was not modelled originally. All of these tasks require the technical knowledge of a Quantity Surveyor – meaning they need to have a strong understanding of advanced software going forward, or they will be at a competitive disadvantage.

So, when you think about the range of benefits available to Quantity Surveyors who embrace BIM, it’s clear that they cannot continue to be slow to adopt the technology going forward. If you want to put your misgivings to one side and embrace BIM, then please get in touch with the experienced team at The CAD Room on 0161 427 0348 or email us at