QUANTITY SURVEYING / CONSTRUCTION ECONOMICS

By Steven S Mwalango –  Art in Tanzania internship

Quantity Surveying refers to a profession that manages all aspects of the contractual and financial side of various construction projects. Construction projects are categorized into two fields such as Building Construction Projects and Civil Construction Projects. Building construction projects include a construction of different building structures such as residential buildings, office buildings, retail developments, schools, hospitals and more of the other building structures. Civil construction projects involve construction of different civil works like roads, dams, bridges, sewerage as well as mining works.

Quantity surveyors and construction economists, sometimes known as construction cost estimators. Quantity surveyors can work in either consultancy side (client’s side) or contractor side and can operate both office works as we as site works. Their role is to manage all costs relating to construction projects from initial design calculations (preliminary work estimations) to the final account (completion of the project), seeking to minimize costs and enhance value for money, while achieving the required standards and quality.

The most important considerable factors in any construction projects are cost, quality and time. These factors are fundamental to the success of any construction related project, all the way through from project initiation to completion of the job. All aspects of the project need to be correctly cost and financially sustainable. If cost in a construction project will not be strictly considered during preliminary stage (before starting construction project), then project’s overall quality and completion time could suffer as well.  If they are too generous, funds could be exhausted before the project is completed. Therefore, it is a question of balance and being realistic about what can be achieved by analyzing the timeframe in which it is expected that the project be completed within an available cost, quality and time in a construction project.

Beneath are various fundamental roles for a quantity surveyor to the success of any construction related project, from project initiation to project completion.

Such typical roles for a quantity surveyor or construction economist include:

  • Conducting research and preparing construction budgets for a range of construction and construction related projects.
  • Planning the costs of each phase of the project to ensure value for money as well as sustainability in terms of the overall project.
  • Advising both contractors and state agencies on costing related matters for various construction projects.
  • Advising on choosing contractors and procurement processes.
  • Administering the costs during the project for both contractor and other related parties, such as the client.
  • Negotiation and dispute resolution.
  • Taxation and funding advice.

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