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How a quantity surveyor can ease cost management at the design stage using a building product model

Wilfred M. Matipa (Department of Built and Natural Environment, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK)
Denis Kelliher (Informatics Research Unit in Sustainable Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National University of Ireland Cork, Cork, Ireland)
Marcus Keane (Informatics Research Unit in Sustainable Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National University of Ireland Cork, Cork, Ireland)

Construction Innovation

ISSN: 1471-4175

Article publication date: 11 July 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The role of the professional quantity surveyor is to provide information with regard to the initial and future costs so that sound financial factors – inter alia – are considered by the design team. However, it has always been very difficult to produce conceptual estimates because they require the ability not to count the bricks, windows, doors and fixtures but the ability to visualise these components. This problem stifles quantity surveyors' capability to meet the demand for “value for money” (VfM) throughout sustainable building development. The purpose of this paper is to describe results from a case study of deploying a building product model on a commercial project in Ireland, with a view to easing the cost management duties of the quantity surveyor.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper comprises a case study of the Environmental Research Institute project and a questionnaire survey of quantity surveying business in Ireland.

Findings

Quantity surveying still encounters serious data compatibility problems in integrated teams because most software available on the market run proprietary file formats. It is concluded that there is a huge business potential for quantity surveying to facilitate designing to a budget within integrated teams, and that software interoperability could have a negative impact on professional fee structures, which could trigger more robust appraisal strategies for building products if quantity surveying is to maintain a leading role in providing cost management services to the construction industry.

Research limitations/implications

Some case study data could not be made public.

Practical implications

Quantity surveyors might be encouraged to be innovative when using computerised systems that could produce better cost models; hence meet the demand for VfM throughout sustainable building development.

Originality/value

The paper provides valuable information to built environment stakeholders working in integrated teams so as to optimise whole life resources expendable on a constructed facility.

Keywords

Citation

Matipa, W.M., Kelliher, D. and Keane, M. (2008), "How a quantity surveyor can ease cost management at the design stage using a building product model", Construction Innovation, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 164-181. https://doi.org/10.1108/14714170810888949

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited