The QS is a Construction Economist. His role is to advise the Client and the Design Team on contractual and cost matters on a Construction & Fit Out Project.
In practice he controls the construction Project Budget in the following ways:
1. Cost Control
Prepare Estimates based on Preliminary Drawings to establish the Client’s budget.
Prepare an Outline Elemental Cost Plan before the design is fully developed to check if the cost of the preliminary design matches the Client’s budget.
Prepare a Detailed Elemental Cost Plan just prior to submission for planning to ensure that project is still within the Client’s budget.
Prepare Cost Checks during development of construction drawings to ensure that project remains within the Client’s Budget.
These Cost Plans/Checks are vital to ensure that the end cost of the project is economically viable and are a requirement of the lending Bank.
2. Bank Requirements
Provide information on the Project on a regular basis to the lending Bank that satisfies their criteria, e.g. Tender Reports, Cost Reports, Cash Flow Estimates, and Final Account Projections.
3. Preparation of Contract Documentation
The main method of ensuring continuance of the above Cost Control is to provide a Bill of Quantities to contractors for pricing. This is prepared using a standard method of measurement agreed with the Construction Industry Federation.
The Bill of Quantities is the Architect’s and Engineer’s drawings and specifications translated into words and quantities. Everything affecting the cost of the Project is included in the BOQ.
Use of a Bill of Quantities eliminates many areas of uncertainty and allows Contractors to Tender from a level playing field. This results in more competitive prices. The Bill of Quantities is like a jigsaw with all of the pieces priced individually, allowing the Client to put the jigsaw together in the manner which suits him best from both a Design and a Cost point of view.
4. Payments to the Contractor
The QS values the work carried out by the Contractor, Sub-Contractors and Specialist Contractors and recommends the amounts to be paid to them each month. The Architect issues his Certificates for Payment based on the QS’s Recommendations.
The QS negotiates and agrees the value of all changes and variations to a project. He assesses the Contractors claims for extras, increased costs, delays, etc. and agress the Final Account.