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According to Willis's Practice and Procedure for the Quantity Surveyor (Ashworth & Hogg, 2007, p.1), the role of the quantity surveying has been defined by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS, 1971) as "ensuring that the resources of the construction industry are utilised to the best advantage of society by providing, inter alia, the financial management for projects and a cost consultancy service to the client and designer during the whole construction process."
According to Willis's Practice and Procedure for the Quantity Surveyor, Ashworth & Hogg (2007, p.126) stated that "the cost planning process commences with the preparation of an approximate estimate and then the setting of cost targets for each element. As the design evolves, these cost targets are checked against the developing design and details for any changes in their financial allocations." Quantity surveying profession under this aspect will require the quantity surveyor to allocate the approximate estimated costs into subdivisions, known as elements within a building. Ashworth and Hogg (2007, p.122) stated that "These elements costs can be compared against the element costs of other similar projects from the quantity surveyor's cost library records." The purpose is to provide a better value of money for client. It also keeps the designer fully informed of all the cost implications of the design. Quantity surveyor might also try to reduce the estimated costs by simplifying the details without modifying the design. Besides, contract document will also be prepared on this basic to make the preparation of cost analysis easier. Cost planning will be developed and while taking account of appearance, quality and utility, the cost is planned to be within the economic boundary (Willis, Ashworth & Willis, 1994, p.95)
It includes plans, elevations and cross section. Some other additional details will also be prepared based on the complexity of the project. This will provide information for the client to get the idea of architect's or engineer's design intentions. The contract drawings are normally provided by architect and engineer (Ashworth & Hogg, 2007, pp.243-244). However, the role of quantity surveyor is to collect the drawings and any specifications from the architect and at the same time discuss the job. There is however some more detailed questions will arise, therefore a timetable for the completion of the contract bills will be agreed, along with dates when additional detailed information and drawings can be expected (Ashworth & Hogg, 2007, p.259)
Quantity surveyor will involve in preparation of contract bills. Ashworth and Hogg (2007, p.258) stated that "The appointment of the quantity surveyor is likely to have been made at early stage when early price estimates were under consideration. This may be before any drawings are available, in order to provide some cost advice to the client." Due to this, quantity surveyor will normally be needed except for on a very small project, the demand for the profession of quantity surveyor might only to be eliminated (Ashworth and Hogg, 2007, p.258). Besides, there is a condition for contractor who wishes to submit tenders in competition to provide approximate quantities required for particular works. Therefore, quantity surveying firms are then sometimes involved in preparing approximate quantities depending upon the completeness of the drawings and other information from which it was prepared contractors (Ashworth & Hogg, 2007, p.258).
Ashworth and Hogg (2007, p.274) stated that "In public authorities, tenders will probably be addressed to the secretary or principal chief officer. With private clients they are usually forwarded to the architect or the quantity surveyor. On the due date for receipt of tenders, the envelopes received will be counted to check that they have all been received, prior to being openend." Quantity surveyor will then prepare a list of the tendered amounts after the envelopes are opened. Preliminary examination will be made after that to ascertain which tenders will be taken into consideration for acceptance. A fuller report will be made later by the quantity surveyor (Ashworth & Hogg, 2007, p.274). Besides, according to Ashworth and Hogg (2007, p.274), the architect will rely extensively on quantity surveyor for advice on these matters. A report will be made for the client, setting out clearly the arguments in favour of acceptance of one tender or another. Quantity surveyor will have to check and examine for the copy of the priced bills submitted by those tenderer who is under consideration (Ashworth & Hogg, 2007, p.275).
Ashworth and Hogg (2007, p.310) stated that "The majority of construction projects result in a final cost that is different to that agreed by the client and contractor at commencement of the construction works. The calculation and agreement of this final construction cost, the final account, is usually of the utmost important to both the employer and contractor. Therefore, parties to the contract need to ensure that the final account incorporates a fair valuation of the works carried out." In this aspect, the quantity surveyor will decide on the suitable subdivisions into terms that will be adopted into the account prior to any abstracting or bill remeasurements. As the list of variations develops, quantity surveyor will be able to decide on how to group them. For example, there may be one instruction from the architect for increasing the size of storage tanks, another for the omission of a drinking water point and a third for the addition of three lavatory basins. Each of these will be measured as a separate item, but the quantity surveyor might decide to group these together as "variations on plumbing". It is preferably to highlight the "reason for variation" in cost report to acknowledge the client on reasons of the costs changed. (Ashworth & Hogg, 2007, pp.315-316)
Financial expertise of quantity surveyors make them ideally suited to project management services. According to Ashworth and Hogg (2007, p.376), project management provides the important management function of bringing the project team together and may be defined as "The overall planning, coordination and control of a project from inception to completion, aimed at meeting a client's requirements in order to produce a functionally viable project that will be completed on time within authorized cost and to the required quality standards." (CIOB 2002) Quantity surveyor sometimes take overall control and responsibility of for coordinating the activities of the various contractors, subcontractors, processes and procedures for the full duration of the project (Ashworth & Hogg, 2007)
Ashworth and Hogg (2007) stated that "The skills of the quantity surveyor traditionally included measurement and valuation and to these were later added accounting and negotiation." As the profession evolved, quantity surveying profession were extended to forecasting, analyzing, planning, controlling, evaluating, budgeting, problem solving and modeling. The quantity surveyor knowledge has also been developed by a better understanding of the design and construction process (Ashworth & Hogg, 2007).