The Role of the Quantity Surveyor

A Quantity Surveyor is an individual who oversees many parts of the construction operation. Traditionally this role has been performed by a highly trained person with extensive knowledge in the operational procedures involved with construction or project management. This position often acts as an independent contractor and is a trusted and respected source for professional consultation. The roles of the Quantity Surveyor are diverse and vital to the project life cycle.

Project life cycle
Quantity surveyors are a key member of the construction team; frequently involved from the initial planning stages to the end of construction and beyond. Fiscal, legal and engineering aspects are all managed by this position

During the planning procedures this individual plays a key role in assessing whether the project is feasible from an economic standpoint. The Quantity Surveyor may act in consulting role to engineers and architects, advising them on cost effective methodologies and procedures. Professionally trained in building code and by-laws, the surveyor will ensure that the project adheres to local and national regulations. Feasibility, both from an engineering and economical standpoint, is a key factor in the planning procedure.

While the project is underway and all the teams of engineers and construction personnel are in operation, the Quantity Surveyor plays a pivotal role in making sure the process runs smoothly and within budget limits. Dispute conflict can arise during these times and the Quantity Surveyor, if need be, can step in to act as a liaison between conflicted members of the construction process. Good interpersonal relationships between all members of the construction team keep the project moving forward. Close attention is also kept to monitoring the costs and economics involved during the construction process. Keeping the project running without conflict and economically sound are valuable services provided by this role.

After the project has been completed, the responsibilities and function shift. This objective now is to monitor the building and make sure that operational costs are kept inside the budget. During this time, the responsibilities are to make sure the project adheres to local and national tax laws. Insurance is another aspect of the project. Insurance claims and cost of replacement are dealt with by the Quantity Surveyor. Valuable and accurate estimates of damages and costs of destroyed or damaged goods are also provided.

Other Roles/Responsibilities
This role is not limited to overseeing the financial and engineering aspects of the project. Contractors benefit from the estimates of cost-effective purchasing plans. Organizing tenders and compiling purchase reports are crucial in optimizing spending during a project. During purchasing research, this individual may also provide alternative purchasing plans. The balance between cost and quality is important for any construction process.

Contract drafting and interpretation is a valuable role that this position can provide. With a professional knowledge of legal documents, consultation to companies, contractors, or any involved in the construction process can be provided.

The diverse and essential roles provided by the Quantity Surveyor allow for any aspect of the construction or development process to run smoothly. By keeping the project within legal, economical, and structural limits, this position is crucial for any project.