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ESSENTIALS OF THE STANDARD METHOD OF MEASUREMENTS IN THE PREPARATION OF BILLS OF QUANTITIES FOR BUILDING WORKS IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

Contents
1.0 INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................................................... 2 2.0 ESSENTIALS OF THE STANDARD METHODS OF MEASUREMENTS IN THE PREPARATION OF BILLS OF QUANTITIES, AND THE CONSEQUENCES THAT WOULD BE ON THE QUANTITY SURVEYING PROFESSION OF NOT HAVING SUCH A SYSTEM IN PLACE .......................................... 2 3.0 CONCLUSION ............................................................................................................................. 4 4.0 REFERENCES .............................................................................................................................. 5

FRANCIS MUSHENYA (09192429)ESSENTIALS OF THE STANDARD METHOD OF MEASUREMENTSIN THE PREPARATIONOF BOQs FOR BUILDING WORKS Page 1

1.0 INTRODUCTION
Measurement of building works in the construction industry involve some elements of variability and uncertainty, for example measuring the excavation work for extensive deep foundations or the laying of underground services under very variable site conditions. For these and other related reasons, it is essential that a code of measurement specially applicable to this class of building works is used to carry out building measurements (MCMAQS International, 2011). Formal agreement to standardize the method of preparing measurements in the construction industry was first issued by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Building Employees Confederation in 1920.This was done to form the basis for the measurement of bulk building works by quantity surveyors when preparing bills of quantities. The first edition of the standard method of measurements was issued in 1922 with the expressed objective of providing a uniform method of measurement based on the leading London Quantity Surveyors. Further editions were issued in 1927, 1935, 1948, 1963, 1978 and the latest in 1988. The revision of the editions was as a result of greater number of changes with far-reaching effects than had occurred in previous measurements of building works(Seeley, 1988). This document is discussing why the standard method of measurements (SMM) for building works is essential in the preparation of bills of quantities and elaborating on what the consequences would be on the quantity surveying profession of not having such a system in place.

2.0 ESSENTIALS OF THE STANDARD METHOD OF MEASUREMENTS IN THE PREPARATION OF BILLS OF QUANTITIES FOR BUILDING WORKS, AND THE CONSEQUENCES THAT WOULD BE ON THE QUANTITY SURVEYING PROFESSION OF NOT HAVING SUCH A SYSTEM IN PLACE
Building measurement is a fundamental requirement for the evaluation of the cost of proposed works and the calculation of the final account for the works executed (Willis and Newman, 1988). The principle importance of having the standard methods of measurements as the basis for measuring building works is that it provides uniformity in the way bills of quantities are prepared. This helps in modern day building construction to set out rules for measuring and describing building construction works. Furthermore, the unification of building measurements embodies the essentials of good practice to the quantity surveyors involved in the preparation of bills of quantities for building construction. With the fact that building construction may include very large works both in scale and cost, it follows that the method of measurement used should reflect this fact in its ethos and
FRANCIS MUSHENYA (09192429)ESSENTIALS OF THE STANDARD METHOD OF MEASUREMENTSIN THE PREPARATIONOF BOQs FOR BUILDING WORKS Page 2

approach. Therefore, the standard methods of measurements act as a guide in tender costing and valuation when bills are prepared, thereby preventing anomalies and differences in interpretation of works. This has led to the introduction of various levels of classifying building works from which descriptions can be developed hence making compilation of the bills of quantities more effective (Randall, 1988). Bills of quantities that are prepared using the standard method of measurements are more consistent with greater consistency in the levels of details. This is so because standardization in the format of bill preparation has brought about a reduction to unnecessary confusion among contractors tendering for a particular project. Previously, confusions arose due to great variations in measurement of building works. Therefore, having this system in place enables quantity surveyors to easily and effectively serve the purposes of project planning, costcontrol and management. The adoption of the similar approach for the measuring of all building works has increased the levels of commonality in understanding building works. This is achieved because parties that are involved in the project (client and contractor) can easily understand what has been included and what has been assumed when the bill of quantities is prepared. The variations in quality of the bills of quantities have been reduced by ensuring that an adequate description of the works in a recognized format is given to all contractors tendering for a project. To add on, the standard method of measurements permits standardization to the format of bill preparation, thus assisting quantity surveyors and contractors in pricing building works. The system makes it possible for contractors to valuate the variations in bills of quantities for similar projects (et al Willis and Ashworth, 1987). The consequences that would be on the quantity surveying profession of not having the standard methods of measurements in place would be that greater consistence of contents and descriptions in the bills of quantities cannot be achieved (Ashwoth, 1973). Effective reading together of documents prepared by different quantity surveyors will be a nightmare if bills of quantities lacked uniformity hence making it more complicated in the distribution of building information. The adverse effect of not having this system in place would be that it will be more difficult and complicated for quantity surveyors to operate in different regions the world because measurements of building works would lack uniformity and vary widely from place to place. To add on, greater variability in measuring of building works would bring about risks in estimating building costs by the quantity surveyors and consequently causing disputes between the parties involved in the project. Lack of uniformity in the preparation of bills of quantities could make the pricing of building works by quantity surveyors difficult (Wainwright and Whitrod, 1980).
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3.0 CONCLUSION
Prior to the introduction of the standard methods of measurements, there was no uniformity of practice in the measurement of building works. This made the architects and surveyors responsible for the preparation of bills of quantities to largely work out their own systems of measurements they thought fit. Therefore, this made it difficult for parties involved in the project to clearly interpret the value and measure of the works to be executed. With the standard method of measurements in place, it is evident that measurement of building works has been made uniform and consistent. The order and nature of billed items, the units of measurements and even the methods of tabulating the information has been made more elaborate in modern day building construction in terms of uniformity and consistence in the construction industry. This has enhanced the accuracies of pricing and evaluating various building works.

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4.0 REFERENCES
Ashworth A. (1973), BUILDING ECONOMICS - 3rd edition. Great Britain; Macmillian Education press Limited. MCMAQS International Group (2011), PRE-QUALIFICATION STRUCTURED LEARNING (PQSLS) SERIES/SCHEDULE OF RATES VS BILLS OF QUANTITIES. http/www.Mcmaqsinternational.com (23th June,2011). Randall M. (1988), MACMILLIAN DICTIONARY OF BUILDING. London Macmillanpressltd. Seeley I. H. (1988),BUILDING QUANTITIES EXPLAINED. London Macmillian Education Ltd. Wainwright W. H. and Whitrod R. J. (1980), MEASUREMENT OF BUILDING WORK. London Hutchinson and publishing Co. Willis C. J. and Ashworth A. (1987),PRACTICE AND PROCEDURES FOR THE QUANTITY SURVEYOR. London Macmillan press ltd. Willis. C. J. and Newman D. (1988), ELEMENTS OF QUANTITY SURVEYING 8th edition. BSP Professional books publishers.

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