A monthly exploration into the world of sustainability in the built environment with commentary and input from UCEM’s Vice Chancellor and academics.
In focus: Our Measurement and Quantification of Construction Work module
Posted on: 26 November, 2020
We asked our BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying Programme Leader, Amanda Milambo, to select a module which gives a flavour of what her programme is all about. Amanda selected the Measurement and Quantification of Construction Work module which is led by Michelle Eze. Here, Michelle provides an outline of the module and its significance to quantity surveying…
I have run the module now for two semesters, so just over a year. Students take the module in their second year of the programme. I’m the main contact for students but they can also call upon assistance from Ghizlane Boubout who is the academic support tutor on the module.
The students learn how to measure and quantify construction works. It involves understanding construction technology, the process of how buildings are put together and the language of a quantity surveyor.
The way a quantity surveyor surveys, measures and presents dimensions is a unique language that can only be interpreted by quantity surveyors and that is something to be proud of.
The module goes through the fundamentals of being a quantity surveyor.
It is a very challenging module. The students enjoy the challenge which comes with it. Initially, there may be a struggle understanding construction technology which is different from location to location. Once the students familiarise themselves with construction technology, it becomes second nature. There is a very good success rate on the module.
How it relates to practice
The module is fundamental to the quantity surveying profession. One of the roles of a quantity surveyor is to forecast the cost of construction, especially for a client-facing quantity surveyor. When a quantity surveyor prepares a bill of quantities to invite for competitive tender, it has to be done based on uniform information.
This module explores the SMM [standard method of measurement] and the NRM2 [new rules of measurement]. These documents provide a uniform set of rules for measurement and quantification. This ensures that every estimator or contractor is pricing on a fair and uniform basis.
With the advent of e-measurement, it’s important the quantity surveyor is able to query the computer programme.
A quantity surveyor should be able to interpret the information available. If you don’t understand the dimensions and quantities, you will not be able to make sense of what the programme is measuring. This module teaches you to understand this process. It offers a window into the diversity of quantity surveying and how you apply your acquired knowledge into practice.
One of the recent enhancements to the module is the model answers, which are more informative than they were previously. The students are better able to appreciate what is expected from them for an assignment. We are always assessing ways in which to make the module even better.
The discussion forums, in particular, tend to be a great way for students to develop their ideas on the module and share their insights.
There is also a study skills development resource which has been created to enable the students develop lifelong measurement skills which they can refer to throughout the programme and even in practice.
Developing analytical and interpretative skills
When you think of measurement, you’d probably think that mathematical skills would be central to the module, however, Excel calculates a lot for you. Instead, what this module helps you to develop is your analytical and interpretative skills when related to quantities of items.
This module enables you to visualize building elements, and translate this to quantities to produce the total cost for a proposed project.