Measurement, is it necessary anymore?

I’ve followed a discussion on LinkedIn recently where a student posted a comment seeking help on advice for the measurement of centre lines for some taking off he was doing. It caused quite an interesting conversation to develop that, instead of giving the guy the actual answer he was looking for, a whole debate ensued about the merits or otherwise of measurement.

One part of the debate centred on a clients view that he did not see it necessary to pay for a BOQ to be produced anymore, accepting that someone had to do it, but not his Consultant QS. His view being it gave him little or no value, so why pay for it.

It ended up in a traditional ‘old school’ view that BOQ’s are very necessary against a more modern and pragmatic approach, to what is really important in the process of construction quantification.

So should we be bothering to measure out all sorts of quantities in great detail anymore?

Or should we be taking a different approach?

This kind of continues on from my blog of last week about BIM and bills of quantities being on the way out.

I don’t think we’ll ever get away from the need from having to have projects quantified, as at some point someone has got to put either a cost plan or a budget together and eventually someone will end up constructing the project and will need to understand the basic component parts of it.

After all somewhere along the line the costs have got to be controlled, and with the correct quantification of the project you stand a very good chance of at least achieving that!

It’s just to what level of detail will you be going?

And who will it be produced by?

Man or machine?

Let me know what you think in my poll.

4 Responses to “Measurement, is it necessary anymore?”


  1. 1 ardi May 20, 2011 at 7:35 am

    nice blog…..i’m interest about quantity surveying world…i’m QS from indonesia…thanks

  2. 3 Tinie October 14, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I’m a trainee QS and am considering doing my dissertation on the subject. Will a QS’s role ever be seen as a waste of money by the client. Will the role be superseded by BIM. Surely this is a possibility pre contract? Any thoughts?

  3. 4 derekmynott October 15, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Interesting subject to pick for your dissertation.

    I don’t think employing a QS by a client will ever be seen as a waste of money. The role the QS carrys out may well change over time as it has done in the past. The use of software for measurement will increase and we should embrace the use of technology in our everyday roles for this. There will still be a need for a human being to interrogate the information produced and that to me is where the QS will still play a big role.

    You cannot rely on what the computer tells you from a set of data. Every project is unique and requires careful thought, attention and planning.

    It should however free up the QS to get more involved with the creative and value added work with the design team. They can then be even more actively involved about choices of construction and the cost implications this may bring, together with enhanced value engineering.

    It will be a long while before BIM reaches us all for our everyday jobs, in my opinion. However if there is enough impetus put behind it by the Government and major players in the industry it will gather pace; it certainly is the ‘hot topic’ to talk about at the moment.


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About Me

I’m now the Managing Director of Mynott Associates Limited my own specialist measurement business. I’ve been in the industry all of my life since I left school. My first job was with Bovis Construction as a management trainee where I trained to become a quantity surveyor. I’ve worked for contractors all through my career, I am FRICS, FCIOB and MCIHT qualified and act as an RICS assessor. I’m also a keen Arsenal supporter having followed them from a young boy

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