The Role of a Quantity Surveyor in Sustainable Construction Projects

In the wake of growing environmental concerns, the construction industry is undergoing a profound transformation, with sustainability taking centre stage. Amid this pivotal shift, our role as Quantity Surveyor has become increasingly instrumental in steering construction projects toward a more sustainable future.

By integrating expertise in cost management, materials assessment, and project co-ordination, Quantity Surveyors are playing a crucial role in fostering sustainable construction practices.

  1. Assessing and Managing Sustainable Materials: Quantity Surveyors are tasked with evaluating the environmental impact of construction materials and identifying sustainable alternatives that can minimise the project’s carbon footprint. Our proficiency in material procurement and cost analysis allows us to recommend eco-friendly alternatives that strike a balance between environmental impact and cost-efficiency.
  2. Cost-Effective Sustainable Solutions: One of the primary challenges in sustainable construction projects is often the perception of increased costs. Quantity Surveyors bring cost management expertise to the table, helping project teams navigate the intricate terrain of sustainable construction within predefined budgets. By providing detailed cost assessments, we assist in making informed decisions that prioritise sustainable solutions without compromising financial viability.
  3. Implementing Green Building Practices: Quantity Surveyors actively participate in implementing green building practices by ensuring compliance with sustainability standards and regulations. A meticulous approach to project planning and budgeting facilitates the integration of renewable energy sources, energy-efficient systems, and water-saving technologies, thereby fostering environmentally conscious construction practices.
  4. Risk Assessment and Mitigation: Sustainability initiatives often come with inherent risks and uncertainties. Quantity Surveyors employ analytical skills to identify potential risks associated with sustainable construction methods and devise strategies to mitigate them effectively. By conducting comprehensive risk assessments, we contribute to the development of resilient and sustainable construction plans that minimise adverse environmental impacts and financial risks.
  5. Collaboration and Communication: Quantity Surveyors act as effective intermediaries between various stakeholders, including architects, engineers, contractors, and clients. Through effective communication and collaboration, we can facilitate a shared understanding of the project’s sustainability objectives, ensuring that all parties remain aligned with the overarching sustainability goals throughout the construction process.
  6. Monitoring and Evaluation of Sustainable Practices: Throughout the construction lifecycle, Quantity Surveyors monitor the implementation of sustainable practices, tracking their effectiveness and identifying areas for improvement. By employing robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, we are able to provide valuable insights into the performance of sustainable initiatives, enabling stakeholders to make informed decisions for future projects
  7. Life Cycle Costing Plans (LCC): LCC plans provide an estimate of the entire cost of an asset, or parts of an asset, over a prescribed period including; initial construction costs, maintenance operating, occupancy costs and end of life costs.  What are the benefits to the client of an LCC?
  • LCC provides Clients with an appreciation of the entire cost of an asset over its anticipated life expectancy. This allows informed decision-making during option appraisals and business case approvals as various options being considered can be evaluated on a life cycle basis in addition to the initial capital investment requirements.
  • LCC plans also provide a robust cash flow forecast for the revenue budgeting for future financial years.  The forecast annual expenditure can be adjusted for the time value of money; i.e. net present value, etc.  This can also be used to inform impairment and depreciation calculations by the Client’s finance teams.
  • Modus have provided Life Cycle Costing reports at various stages of project design for several schemes including Emergency Department Expansion at William Harvey Hospital – Ashford, a Student Accommodation Scheme in Bermondsey and an Assisted Living Scheme in Bracknell.
  1. Embodied Carbon Assessments: Whilst Quantity Surveyors are not directly responsible for producing them, our Cost Plan quantities are often used to create built-in carbon assessments. Built-in carbon assessments, also known as embodied carbon assessments, are evaluations of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the production and lifecycle of building materials. These assessments are critical for understanding the environmental impact of construction projects and for making decisions that can reduce carbon footprints.

To conclude, the role of a Quantity Surveyor in sustainable construction projects transcends traditional cost management responsibilities, encompassing a holistic approach that integrates sustainable principles into every facet of the construction process. By leveraging our expertise, we hope to drive the industry toward a more environmentally responsible and financially viable future, ultimately contributing to the global effort to create a sustainable built environment for generations to come.

Jack joins us for work experience

This week we welcomed 17-year-old Jack into the office on work experience. Jack, from Ramsgate, is currently completing his last year of A-Levels and is making the decision whether to go to university to study Quantity Surveying, or to go down the Apprenticeship route.

We asked Jack to give us an overview of what he’s done this week during his time with us.

“On Monday I was introduced to the welcoming team at Modus. I then had some 1 to 1 time with Michael and Martin, the Directors at Modus, who gave me an introduction to Quantity Surveying. I then met Joe, one of their current apprentices, who got me started with my first task which included measurement of finishes. This was my first look into the day-to-day tasks when in the office. I left that day with an interest and excitement for the next day.

On Tuesday I met up with Sam, Associate at Modus, in Hastings to visit one of their active sites that they were surveying. Whilst on site I learnt about many different building techniques which would be useful for my task the next day when returning to the office. I also learnt the many roles that a quantity surveyor must take on at different jobs and the importance of strong communication. Sam was really helpful and eager to answer any questions I had.

On Wednesday I used the information and experience that I had gathered on site with Sam to complete a measurement of the external works at one of the sites I visited. Being there in person at the site really helped give me a better understanding of the layout plans. This allowed me to visualize and interpret the data much more easily, making the task at hand easier to complete. However, when I did have any questions, Jake was very helpful and ensured that I understood everything.

On Thursday I used all of the knowledge I had gained on previous days to complete a finish measurement task which, when I completed it, gave me a feeling of accomplishment as I had used everything I had learnt up to that point to complete the task fully by myself. Due to finishing that task so fast I was set another task by Tom, of which he gave a great explanation on how to complete it which really helped me.

Overall, I have learnt many things about quantity surveying such as measurements, bills of quantities, tendering, site management and different construction methods. Everyone at Modus has been a huge help and have really help boost my interest in the field of quantity surveying and have made me eager to learn more and even pursue a career in the field.”

We hope we’ve made the decision a little easier for Jack and either way, are delighted to see young people interested in the Quantity Surveying profession and the Construction Industry.

Modus shortlisted for SECBE SME of the Year 2024

We’ve been shortlisted for SME of the Year in the 2024 South East Constructing Business Excellence (SECBE) Awards! 

After an exciting year of change and growth at Modus, we’re delighted to have been recognised for all the hard work we’ve put in over the last 12 months, from being successful on a number of notable frameworks, to growing our team and expanding the services we offer to our clients.

Finalists in the ‘SME of the Year’ category were judged on aspects such as training and development, team satisfaction, nurturing emerging talent, financial stability and community engagement.

We look forward to attending the awards ceremony in June!

The Canterbury Academy Cricket Tour 2024

Modus were honoured to be able to support a recent cricket tour to Sri Lanka for students at The Canterbury Academy. The Trust is one of our long-standing clients, having provided quantity surveying services on several projects including a Hearing Impairment Unit, Cullum Centre and New Classroom Block.

Here are a few words from Sports Director, Phil, at The Canterbury Academy.

“The experience was fantastic for the players on and off the cricket field. We had the opportunity to travel around Sri Lanka and get to understand some of the challenging circumstances people face in other parts of the world. Several of our players had never travelled outside of Europe so seeing Asia was an incredible experience for them. We visited an orphanage set up after the devastating tsunami and this was a particularly poignant part of our tour.”

We are so glad the students got to experience this amazing opportunity and are delighted we could help make it happen for them.

Modus shortlisted in the 2024 RICS Awards︱QEQM Hospital Margate

We’ve been shortlisted in the 2024 RICS Awards!

Along with our friends at Hazle McCormack Young LLP (HMY) and WW Martin Ltd, the now completed 3-year long remodeling and expansion of the Emergency Department at QEQM Hospital in Margate has been shortlisted in 2 categories!

Refurbishment / Revitalisation – South East
Public Sector – South East

The works, completed in 3 phases, has provided the hospital with a new children’s emergency department, twelve new treatment bays for adults, dedicated mental health facilities, a new entrance, waiting area, rapid assessment and treatment area and a new resuscitation unit

It’s amazing to see the project being recognised for the positive impact the improved facilities at the hospital have had on both patients and the community, as well as staff, nurses and doctors.

“The RICS Awards showcase the most inspirational initiatives and developments in land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. They recognise outstanding achievement, teamwork and companies.”  As a RICS regulated firm, it is a huge honour to have been selected as finalists in both categories.

Fingers crossed for the regional stages of judging in June, of which the winners of each category will be progressed to the national awards in October. See the full shortlist here

Take me to the full project case study

Bills (of Quantities) are back in town!

Bills of Quantities may not be the most thrilling part of our job, but the financial and timely benefits  they provide to all parties certainly make them slightly more attractive!

Many consultancies nowadays, including ourselves, pride themselves on being ‘modern’ yet ‘traditional’, but what does ‘traditional’ actually mean? One key meaning is the ability to measure traditionally and create a comprehensive Bill of Quantities.

The last few years or so has seen a notable decrease in the amount of Bills being produced by Quantity Surveyors, however, with a new emphasis on early engagement and collaborative working, Bills of Quantities are making a comeback. They ultimately ensure that everyone, from the outset, is working to the same set of specifications. A return to a more equally balanced use of both Traditional and D&B contracts has also facilitated this.

So, ignore the myths flying about that Bills of Quantities are a dying art, they’re back and they’re here to stay!

Let’s go back to the basics, what is a Bill of Quantities?

A Bill of Quantities is a comprehensive document prepared by a Quantity Surveyor which itemises and quantifies the works associated with a construction project.

It serves as a detailed list of the work to be executed under the contract, along with their corresponding quantities and rates. On a traditional form of contract, bills of quantities are provided by the client and ensure all tenderers are provided with a standardised document, making it easy for contractors to submit an accurate and fair price for the works associated with the construction project. Thus, providing the client with transparency in the tender returns, reducing the risk of ambiguity, errors or omissions and overall ensuring that the tenders are reviewed on a like-for-like basis. On D&B contract, each Contractor will have their own BoQ produced.

Bills of quantities typically include detailed information such as:

  • Description of the scope of works, broken down into the component parts, with reference to drawings and specifications,
  • Accurate quantification of the components that are required for construction,
  • Measurements and dimensions of the components of the project,
  • Unit prices for each item or component,
  • Total cost for each item or component and overall cost for the project,
  • Specifications and quality standards for materials and workmanship.

What are the benefits that a Bill of Quantities can provide to both a contractor and a client?

Contractors often use bills of quantities to prepare their bids for a construction project, as it helps them accurately estimate the costs and resources required to complete the work. It also serves as a point of reference during the construction phase, ensuring that the project is executed according to the specified quantities and standards. Additionally, a bill of quantities facilitates cost control, progress monitoring, and helps in resolving any disputes that may arise during the construction process.

Benefits of a Bill of Quantities to Contractors

  1. Accurate Cost Estimation: The detailed breakdown of materials, labour, and other costs enables contractors to provide more accurate cost estimates for the project, reducing the likelihood of cost overruns and unexpected expenses.
  2. Transparent Pricing: A bill of quantities ensures transparency in the pricing of materials and services, which helps in minimising disputes and misunderstandings between the client and the contractor.
  3. Efficient Resource Management: Having a clear understanding of the quantities and types of materials required helps contractors plan and manage their resources more efficiently, leading to better project scheduling and resource allocation.
  4. Quality Control: A bill of quantities often includes specifications and quality standards for materials and workmanship, ensuring that the project meets the desired quality levels and complies with the specified requirements.
  5. Risk Management: By providing a comprehensive overview of the project requirements, a bill of quantities helps in identifying potential risks and challenges early in the project lifecycle, allowing for proactive risk management and mitigation strategies.
  6. Facilitates Project Monitoring: A bill of quantities serves as a benchmark for monitoring the progress of the project, enabling stakeholders to track the actual costs and quantities against the estimated values, thereby ensuring better project control.
  7. Legal Protection: In the event of disputes or claims, a bill of quantities serves as a crucial reference point, providing a clear and detailed account of the agreed-upon quantities and prices, which can help in resolving disputes more effectively and minimizing legal risks.

Benefits of a Bill of Quantities to the Client:

  1. Early problem identification: Tender design documents are reviewed in detail during the measurement process, meaning errors, co-ordination issues and missing details will be found and corrected/provided before the tender is issued to contractors.
  2. More appetite to tender: There will be more appetite from contractors to tender a scheme; the BoQ is the ultimate tool for pricing the job. If the tender documents don’t include a BoQ, each contractor, or their subcontractors, will have to undertake their own measure of the project so that they can price it accurately. This is a significant amount of work and especially in the current market, contractors will be deterred from tendering if no BoQ is included.
  3. More competitive process: This also means the process will be more competitive as more contractors are likely to tender.
  4. A reduced tender period: Contractors will not need to have a Bill of Quantities undertaken before they can start pricing the scheme.
  5. Standardised tender returns: The returns received will be on the same basis, in a standardised format and will be comparable with little or no assumptions, giving the Client confidence that the tender returns are on a like-for-like basis.
  6. A detailed tender analysis can be undertaken: This ensures that there are no errors in the contractor’s price, giving clients more cost certainty when going into contract.
  7. Accurate Monthly Valuations: Monthly valuations can be accurately assessed against the measured works, ensuring that contractors are only paid for work completed
  8. Conflict Reduction: Any variations/ additional works can be accurately measured and priced using the rates in the BoQ, reducing the risk of conflict during the construction process.

In a nutshell, Bills of Quantities, both client and contractor side, play a critical role in ensuring the smooth execution of construction projects, promoting transparency, accuracy, and effective communication between all parties involved. If you would like to discuss the production of a Bill of Quantities for your next project, whether you are a client or a contractor, please do contact us through our Contact us page.

What are the benefits of a feasibility study for my next construction project?

A feasibility study is an early-stage assessment into the viability of a construction project to meet the end needs of a developer. Cost Consultants are often involved in feasibility studies to provide expert cost advice on a range of matters related to the project.

A construction feasibility study offers several benefits in evaluating the viability of a construction project. Some of the key benefits include:

Early Problem Identification: A feasibility study helps identify potential challenges and problems that may arise during the construction project. By conducting a thorough analysis, stakeholders can spot issues early on and develop mitigation strategies to address them.

Risk Assessment: Feasibility studies assess the potential risks associated with the construction project, such as technical, environmental, regulatory, and financial risks. This allows stakeholders to understand the risks involved and make informed decisions to minimise and manage them effectively.

Cost Estimation and Budget Planning: Feasibility studies help estimate the costs involved in the construction project and determine its financial feasibility. By conducting a detailed analysis of the project scope and requirements, stakeholders can develop an accurate budget plan and allocate resources effectively.

Market Analysis: Feasibility studies include market analysis, evaluating factors such as demand, competition, and market trends. This analysis provides insights into the market conditions and helps determine the potential success and profitability of the project.

Decision-Making Tool: Feasibility studies provide stakeholders with valuable information to make informed decisions regarding the project. This includes evaluating the benefits, disadvantages, and constraints, helping decision-makers determine whether to proceed with the project or explore alternative options.

Stakeholder Alignment: Conducting a feasibility study allows for effective communication and alignment among stakeholders. It provides a platform to discuss and evaluate different aspects of the construction project, leading to a shared understanding and consensus among stakeholders.

It is important to note that the specific benefits of a construction feasibility study may vary depending on the project and its unique circumstances. However, overall, a feasibility study serves as a crucial tool in assessing the viability and potential success of a construction project.

If you have a construction project in the pipeline and would like to discuss a feasibility study, Modus would be more than happy to assist. Fill out a form on our Contact Us page and tell us a few details about your project.

Modus shortlisted in Kent Invicta Chamber Business Awards

Exciting news! Modus are finalists in the ‘Business of the Year’ category of the 2023 Kent Invicta Chamber Business Awards!

The Annual Business Awards bring together the business community in Kent, showcasing the amazing achievements of a range of businesses and talented individuals.

This year, the Business of the Year category is sponsored by Canterbury Christ Church University, and is judged on a number of aspects of business operation including commercial success, plans for growth, commitment to staff, local communities, environment and customers, and innovation and leadership.

Good luck to the other finalists and fingers crossed for the awards ceremony at the end of November!

Modus attend G4C Kent Launch

As committee members, Modus were delighted to have been part of the successful launch of G4C Kent last week at the F51 Skatepark in Folkestone. Marketing & BD Manager, Natasha, and Surveyors Tom and Fin, attended the event which consisted of networking, an inspiring talk from change innovator, Dr Bola Abisogun and a tour around the skatepark (kudos to Jenner Contractors; what an amazing building!).

G4C (Generation for Change) is a change network for those with less than 10 years in the construction industry and will challenge and shape the construction network for future generations.

The aims of G4C:

  • Engage with students, apprentice and graduates, and young professionals across the Built Environment sectors
  • Promote the Built Environment industry and its connections to the wider context
  • Become a driving force to develop best practice and challenge the ideologies across the Built Environment
  • Keep up to date with the latest industry trends and adaptations (changes with legislation, technology innovations, climate crisis, etc.)
  • Recognise and appreciate talent within the industry
  • Benefits to young professionals:
  • Expand their professional network across a variety of companies and individuals across the industry
  • Fulfil professional body requirements through CPD sessions – access to low cost, high quality professional training
  • Develop industry awareness through engagement with like-minded individuals who are active across disciplines and management levels
  • Assist in building your professional identity by developing key skills
  • Opportunity to enhance and promote commercial objectives for their organisations

It was brilliant to see so many new, young faces at the launch from a range of specialisms including surveying, design, engineering and construction.

With the event being the first networking event that many had ever attended, we can’t wait for the second event on 7th March to see further connections being formed between our future construction leaders. See you there!

Visit the G4C Kent LinkedIn page.

Modus named in Top 150 Consultants for 2023

We are delighted to announce that Modus have been named in Building Magazine‘s Top 15o Consultants for 2023!

Having filled out a survey earlier in the year, we found out late last week that we had been successful in making it onto the prestigious list. The survey covered details such as numbers of chartered and non-chartered staff, numbers of offices, fee income, staff recruitment, wage patterns, margins, areas of work, and work expectations.

This achievement comes at a really exciting time for us as we continue growing our presence across the South East and become successful in securing some of our largest projects to date.

Here’s to a successful 2024!

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