We ask readers to share their visions of the construction industry in 25 years’ time. Here, John Rowan and Partners chairman Mash Halai predicts how life will change for the QS

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B175 thought for tomorrow

Mash halai bw 2018

Over the next two decades I would like to see a greater importance being placed on the role of the quantity surveyor. In the first instance I think this will be driven by factors such as compliance, the management of information and security of funding. We are already seeing an increase in client focus on compliance, especially in housing. I have no doubt we will see funding from major housing bodies being refocused on the compliance of their housing stock in the near future. 

Along with compliance, we may see an increase in demand for QSs to undertake forensic reviews of historic projects, identifying overspend and areas in which a contract hasn’t been fulfilled properly. This is an area where QSs are underused at present, but one where I believe the role has the greatest potential to add value. 

We may see an increase in demand for QSs to undertake forensic reviews of historic projects, identifying overspend

Following the collapse of Carillion and the questions surrounding its failure it is likely we will see a rise in demand for bank monitoring – a role that sits perfectly with QSs, as they bridge the gap between funding institutions and construction projects, translating a project’s progress and clearly identifying future issues.

Like any sector, technology will play a huge role in the development of the QS, with communication platforms such as Skype continuing to reduce the need for travel, while improving international working and onsite communication.  We are already using systems with digital plans and automated measurement, which saves time, improves accuracy and provides compliance and change control. These systems will continue to get more sophisticated, linking in directly with the contractor and client to increase pricing accuracy. Also by then BIM should be fully embraced on all projects, creating significant time savings across the board.  

From a personal perspective, I would like to think that we will be brought in earlier on projects in the future – helping to drive value for money within the design process and setting the ground rules for a project’s return on investment at the outset.

Do you have a Thought for Tomorrow? Just send your name, job title and company, and 250 words to building@building.co.uk, with the heading “Building Your Future”, answering these questions:

  • What would you like the construction industry to look like in 25 years’ time?
  • And what needs to change to make that happen?