It is important to understand how the role of the quantity surveyor could change or adapt in the future; this is because the direction of the industry is still being defined and developed in line with either UK standards level 2 principles of BIM or RICS NRM1 Standards.
Henry Riley research took the approach to develop a number of themes associated with 5D BIM:
- quantification from models, including automatic updated quantification once rules for sectors, clients and pricing methods have been established using NRM standards(where applicable) in conjunction with BIM models (noting client-specific requirements where necessary) library management:
- applying rate libraries to the quantified information; and
- creating cost databases per sector or client
- the ability to file share with design team and contractors alike; and
- improved benchmarking capability
- moving away from detailed measurement and spending more time on improving value; and
- understanding where value can be improved and understanding this earlier in the project timeline, ensuring savings can be achieved through the design development.
It appears that the future of quantity surveying in the short to medium term will be, much as it is now, with a quantity surveyor providing detailed estimates and pricing documents based on design information. There will be a dramatic shift away from detailed measurement by hand, with more focus towards electronic take-off software packages. There will also be more detailed quality assurance procedures to ensure the information is being interpreted correctly. Furthermore, the quality assurance role will become vital to the project team, as the quantity surveyor will be the first to use the information rather than calculate it and initially this will be a time-consuming role.
Finally, a bigger expectation for the quantity surveyor is to drive the value decisions within the design teams and client because, with better benchmarking and analysis, the quantity surveyor will have better data analysis to lead these conversations.