Performing Construction Quantity Survey

Published On 13/10/2021
Author : Kinjal Shah

A construction QS is about measuring items on drawings to identify how many resources (material, labor, and equipment) are needed to complete a job.

Why QSs Are Necessary for Construction Projects?

Generating extremely accurate construction estimates for construction work is crucial for success. A rough estimate leaves with extra material to pay for them, which could result in cash flow.   

Who Is Responsible for Completing a Construction QS?

In large construction contraction companies, often a billing and tendering department shares responsibility for QS and progress invoicing compilations.

In smaller companies, until it’s feasible to hire more staff, the owner or a single estimator will handle all QSs, but this practice is unsustainable for the long term if the business aims for substantial growth.

Material Take-off

When there are material QSs, which involve performing measurements and applying formulas to determine how much material is needed. Most trades also perform material QSs. Some examples include measuring:

  • Running meter for installing tile skirting, window sills, electrical cables, etc. 
  • Surface area (square meter) for installing flooring, application of plaster, paints, or pouring concrete grade slabs.
  • Volume (cubic meter) for civil and site work such as excavation or pouring concrete slabs or walls.

Quantity survey results in the exact amount of materials needed for construction. 

Material QSs require assigning items and assemblies to measurements so that it can calculate quantities based on how materials are packaged, e.g. for 1 cum of concrete, you would need 7 bags of concrete, 1200 Kgs of coarse aggregates, 800 kg of fine aggregates, 125 lts of water.

 The Real Purpose of a QS in Construction

The most common mistakes that happen in the QS process come down to missing deadlines and inaccurate measurements which leads to improper invoicing.

The QS is just one part of the preconstruction process, leading up to creating an estimate and proposal. The objective of performing QSs is to create a clear picture of the cost of materials needed for a construction job. It aims to determine non-material costs, like labor hours, overhead, equipment requirements, and other indirect costs. The construction estimate is where all of these costs together are applied to get a total project cost. 

How to Speed up QS process and Progress Invoice (Running Bills) cycle

QSs is done usually in excel. This is time-consuming and has more chances of human error. The time crunch of using excel means that invoices are compiled late.

Using a cloud-based QS method eliminates these drawbacks. Such tools for QSs offer substantial benefits such as:

  1. One single database of quantities
  2. Up to 10 times faster compilation of measurements
  3. Digital storage of information for easy access
  4. Simplified collaboration of data among team members
  5. Ability to work from more than one device or location
  6. Reduced rework and manual data entry
  7. Higher levels of accuracy in measurements

With the right software tools, digital QSs set up for more success during estimating by allowing to seamlessly create a bill of materials for suppliers, incorporate labor and materials using pre-built and customizable libraries. Apart from this digital QS tool that offers a bid calendar that allows understanding which bids each team member is working on at a given time, what’s their workload, also it allows export data from your digital QS platform to determine the types of jobs that bring in the most profit so can help make decisions about projects to seek out or bid on.

 What Happens after the Construction QS?

When all measurements are finalized, it’s time to create an invoice. This is where an invoice can be generated by the QS’s measurement sheet linked with Bill of Quantity (BoQ) items. We generate an invoice and provide it to the client in the format they prefer E.g., excel, PDF, or online access to invoice for reviewing details. 

Using Cloud QS and Progress Billing Software

Cloud QS software will make the QS process faster, smoother, and more accurate. It also provides better security  with Access from any device, any time, and helps to Reduced rework

This will transform the way company does preconstruction and can be the catalyst for better growth and increased profits.

For this, you can try the most flexible running bill and estimating platform