Rules of Measurement to be published by 2010

Quantity surveyors will measure construction projects from beginning to end using a single standardised rulebook for the first time, it has emerged.

The RICS is to publish its Rules of Measurement in stages over the next two years. They will comprise three sections: cost planning, procurement and whole-life costing. The current guidance only covers procurement.

Michael Sullivan, chair of RICS

Michael Sullivan, chair of the RICS’ QS and construction faculty, said: “The move will make it easier for clients to compare data, employers to train staff and the industry to design best practice. It’s a generational shift.”

The introduction of guidance for the cost planning stage – typically a year to 18 months before work starts – was the most significant change, he added.

He said: “There will be some people who will think it makes life harder, but it means we are doing things in more detail, more accurately and on a common basis. We are just trying to make sense of a complex world.”

It means we are doing things in more detail, more accurately and on a common basis

Michael Sullivan, RICS

Trevor Lowe, an associate at Gleeds who specialises in whole-life costing, welcomed the news. He said: “It should make things more transparent.”

The cost planning section is expected to be published in spring next year, followed by procurement at the end of next year and whole-life costing at the end of 2010.

The last of these will be linked to whole-life costing guidance published by the RICS Building Cost Information Service in July.

The rules will not strictly be compulsory but Sullivan said a QS would be “expected to follow them or have a very good reason not to”.