There is a misconception that cost planning is a benchmarking exercise, which it certainly isn’t. Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) and technological advances in building materials and systems mean that clients can no longer rely on simple benchmarking cost data. Cost planning involves working in collaboration with the design team, in the best interests of the client and end users, to ensure delivery of a product which is efficient, value for money, sustainable and meets expectations.
The Quantity Surveyor’s role may be perceived to begin post-contract, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact it is during the pre-contract financial management stage of a project where the Quantity Surveyor (QS) can really earn their keep. When engaged from the very earliest stage of a project, the QS will set a realistic budget and help determine the financial viability of a scheme, and for this reason it is important that cost estimating and cost planning is never overlooked.
Our experience and knowledge of RICS guidance is at the forefront of our QS services. From the outset of each project, using digital measurement software, our QS team measure the project in accordance with RICS guidelines. The skill and experience of the team is then utilised to appraise all information, comment on risk/abnormals and advise clients of any factors likely to affect the cost of the scheme, before preparing the initial budget estimate.
Cost planning skills are put into practice as the design develops and it is at this point that we are able to provide value engineering services, in the form of design economies and specification alternatives, to promote a more cost effective building model. We also implement stringent cost checks and market test allowances to ensure the costs of design changes do not spiral out of control. These measures combined contribute to our effective and accurate financial management of the design.
There are many challenges to cost planning; level of information, innovative building systems and market conditions to name but a few, but access to our in-house cost database and multi-disciplinary services provides assurance that our advice is clear and accurate and gives clients the confidence to make informed decisions and contributes to the delivery of a successful project.
For more information please speak to Ben Barlow, Senior Quantity Surveyor , on 01702 548 449 or firstname.lastname@example.org