Quantity surveyors have been around a lot longer than you might think, with quantity surveyors being employed during the restoration of London after the Great Fire in the 17th century. Over hundreds of years, the role of a QS has changed dramatically, but it has also undergone plenty of changes in the last couple of decades.
With modern technology has come plenty of new opportunities and challenges, with QSs evolving as the role requirements have altered. But what does the future hold for quantity surveying and how will changes affect the construction industry as a whole?
Challenges in construction
New trends, regulations and challenges in the construction industry affect all parts of a project, including the role of a QS. Tighter budgets and increased costs are affecting projects across the UK, while issues like labour and material shortages mean quantity surveyors have more challenges to deal with than ever before.
The result is that there is a growing expectation of added value during construction projects to get the best results possible for the end client and avoid potential problems. With a QS already having a multi-pronged role, clients will likely turn to them more frequently for more in-depth advice and to provide a greater understanding of potential construction issues.
The result is that quantity surveyors will likely be expected to be more in-depth advisors throughout the overall construction process, taking on the role of construction cost consultant rather than just a QS. It is becoming common for a QS to advise on risk and value management, sustainability, project financing and legal services, all of which will lead to more involved roles in the future.
Technology is improving at a faster rate than ever before, which both supports the role of a QS and also alters it.
While older technologies, such as printed drawings and Excel, are still in use and old school standards of work are still relevant, newer and faster options are also becoming more commonplace. This means that the challenge for a QS is in the identification of the right tools and technologies for their role to deliver great quality at speed.
Technology is allowing the quantity surveyor sector to automate more, become increasingly efficient and reduce costs for their clients, delivering great value for money while also being able to focus on the important details.
Cloud technology also means that everyone who needs it can have access to real-time data and make changes wherever they are. This can help to speed up costing processes and make final models more accurate.
While having tools available anywhere is beneficial, it can also mean that quantity surveyors are expected to be on call for a greater amount of time in a day. This coupled with the role involving a more advisory capacity will mean that it’s more important than ever for a QS to manage client expectations in terms of time being used on a project and overall availability.
Push for sustainability
As well as new technologies, new materials and regulations are pushing for more sustainable construction.
With the UK heading toward net-zero carbon emissions, building standards in the UK are changing this year in a bid to reduce emissions drastically across all building types. End users are also calling for more sustainable buildings when it comes to new homes and workplaces, further driving greener development.
This means that quantity surveyors are being called on now more than ever to advise on eco-friendly and durable materials for construction projects that still work with final budgets. This call for sustainability is only going to grow, meaning that all QSs need to stay on top of the latest advancements while still factoring in issues like material shortages and inflation, which can make budgeting for eco-friendly construction more of a challenge.
Delivering expert quantity surveying services
Here at Multiproject, we have already adopted future ways of working when it comes to quantity surveying. This is why we offer construction cost consulting as well as quantity surveying services.
We aim to support you throughout the entirety of your project to ensure it runs smoothly, is prepared for potential problems, doesn’t hit any delays and comes in on budget. We use the latest technologies along with tried and tested methodologies to help you manage the costs of your construction project.
This coupled with decades of experience in the construction sector and an understanding of future trends ensures that we can offer in-depth and expert advice every step of the way.