According to the National Building Specification (NBS), Building Information Modelling (BIM) is “a process for creating and managing information on a construction project throughout its whole life cycle.” BIM is vital for the construction industry as it gives a holistic view of every project. It enables the design, construction and engineering teams to collaborate and create better outcomes.

Quantity Surveyors also have a vital role in construction projects, as they are in charge of estimating and controlling the costs. They also ensure that the finished building meets both legal and quality standards.

Ways in which Quantity Surveyors can use BIM

The main ways in which Quantity Surveyors can use BIM as part of their role include:

  • Automatic creation of quantity takeoff using BIM software as it has built-in intelligence about each building element. It will also automatically update if any changes occur in the design process throughout the lifecycle of the building.
  • Creating 3D models to visualise and understand the project more efficiently.
  • Conducting clash detection to identify and resolve design issues before the first brick is laid.
  • Managing project costs through BIM allows relevant cost and quantity information to be uploaded to the building model and updated simultaneously as any design changes are made.

The benefits of using BIM for Quantity Surveyors

BIM offers many benefits to the construction industry as a whole, but the ones that are specific to Quantity Surveyors include the following:

  • Increased accuracy in quantity takeoffs. Correct cost estimation is crucial to the success of any construction project, and the direct quantity extraction features of BIM mean quantities and cost estimation will be way more accurate.
  • Enhanced communication and collaboration with project stakeholders. As a shared 3D model of the project is created as part of the BIM process, not only do all stakeholders understand the intent of the design more clearly, but the actual project itself should stay aligned with the project owner’s original intentions.
  • Better visualisation and understanding of the project due to the 3D model being created as a virtual representation of the end building. This allows designers, clients and everyone involved in the construction of the building to see the entire project scope in one place, allowing them to more easily visualise the project’s progress and identify any potential delays.
  • Improved project cost management, thanks to close collaboration and communication between all project team members. The BIM process also allows for more accurate estimating and forecasting of project costs, helping to ensure budgets are not exceeded.

Challenges in using BIM for Quantity Surveying

There are some challenges associated with using BIM for Quantity Surveying, and these include the following:

  • Technical challenges in adopting BIM.
  • Human factors such as resistance to change. Most construction workers are used to working with specific processes and tools, and they can be fearful of change. They may also need more management support and more time to learn the new software.

In summary, Quantity Surveyors can use BIM to enhance their role in construction projects, including automatic creation of quantity takeoff, 3D modelling, clash detection, and project cost management. To find out more about how you can adopt BIM for better project outcomes, please get in touch with The CAD Room on 0161 427 0348 or email us at