BIM is key to future of QS profession

Building Information Modelling (BIM) can help quantity surveyors to speed up the estimating process by supporting the use of the New Rules of Measurement, says new RICS research.

BIM’s ability to automate measurement and speed up the traditional estimating process are its key benefits for QSs, according to a new RICS research report published today (January 31st). Entitled “How Can Building Information Modelling (BIM) support the New Rules of Measurement (NRM1)?” the research finds that the main advantage of BIM is its capability of capturing, managing and delivering information.

The research, by the University of Salford, finds that the efficiency and accuracy of QS functions can be significantly improved by aligning the BIM based cost estimating and planning processes with NRM1, as it resolves the problems related to the quality of the BIM models and the issues created by the variations of design details. It also notes that BIM delivers a more efficient operational solution for quantity surveyors for cost estimating, with its ability to link the relevant quantities and cost information to the building model and update them simultaneously to design changes.

Alan Muse, Director of Built Environment Professional Groups at RICS, said:

“There has been an ongoing debate within the QS profession about the impact of BIM, with some claiming it will render the profession redundant. At RICS, we have long held the view that BIM will enable and support QSs to provide more reliable and accurate data. This research fully supports that view.

“The report demonstrates how BIM can deliver better consistency in the level of design information included, more reliable data exchange and more coherent formats for estimating. Improvements in these areas will build the confidence of QS professionals in BIM based estimating, and encourage a higher level of adoption of BIM within the QS profession.”

The study concludes that it is essential for the project team to agree on a set of requirements, from the viewpoint of cost estimating and planning to enable the quantity surveyor to use BIM more effectively.

NRM1 was launched by RICS last year, and complementary to the Black Book, the NRM suite provides a common measurement standard for cost comparison through the life cycle of cost management. The suite has been developed as a result of industry collaboration to ensure that at any point in a building’s life there will be a set of consistent rules for measuring and capturing cost data, thereby completing the cost management life cycle and supporting the procurement of construction projects from cradle to grave.

A better understanding of costs during the construction process will increase certainty for business planning and support a reduction in spending on public and private sector construction projects in the long run.

To download the report please visit www.rics.org/research