Quantity surveying is an essential component of the construction industry in the UK, responsible for ensuring that projects are delivered on time and within budget. As construction projects grow in complexity and scale, the role of a quantity surveyor (QS) becomes even more pivotal. This article provides an up-to-date overview of quantity surveying in the UK for 2022-23, detailing its significance, emerging trends, and the challenges faced by professionals in the field.
Role and Responsibilities:
At the core of a QS’s role is cost management. This includes:
- Budgeting & Cost Planning: Estimating the cost of a project from its inception.
- Procurement Advice: Suggesting the most cost-effective methods and contracts.
- Contract Administration: Ensuring that contractual terms are adhered to.
- Valuation of Work: Assessing the value of completed work for payments.
- Final Account Settlement: Determining the final costs of projects.
The Evolving Landscape:
Over the years, the UK construction sector has undergone numerous changes, and the responsibilities of QS have evolved accordingly:
- Digital Transformation: The integration of Building Information Modelling (BIM) has allowed QSs to provide more accurate estimates and efficiently manage costs.
- Sustainability: With the UK’s commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, sustainable construction methods and materials have become a priority. QSs now play a role in advising on sustainable, yet cost-effective solutions.
- Brexit Implications: The exit of the UK from the EU has led to changes in labour availability and the cost of materials, affecting project estimates and outcomes.
Challenges in 2022-23:
- Supply Chain Disruptions: Global supply chain challenges, exacerbated by the pandemic and geopolitical tensions, have made predicting costs difficult.
- Skill Shortage: The QS profession is facing a shortage of skilled professionals, with many nearing retirement and fewer younger individuals entering the field.
The Future of Quantity Surveying:
The next few years promise further evolution in the domain of quantity surveying:
- Continued Digital Integration: The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning could further enhance cost predictions and risk analysis.
- Focus on Resilience: With the increasing impacts of climate change, projects will need to be resilient to extreme weather events. QSs will play a role in factoring these considerations into costings.
- Global Collaboration: As the world becomes more interconnected, QSs in the UK will increasingly collaborate with international counterparts on large-scale projects.
Quantity surveying remains an indispensable part of the UK’s construction industry, ensuring financial feasibility and sustainable practices in building projects. As the sector grapples with external challenges and internal evolutions, the role of a QS will continue to adapt. It is an exciting time to be in the field, with technology and global challenges offering opportunities for innovation and growth.
For those considering a career in quantity surveying or businesses seeking to understand its value, the importance of this profession cannot be understated. It provides the backbone of financial and sustainability considerations, ensuring the UK’s built environment is not just functional but also future-ready.