What's The Difference Between Building Surveying and Quantity Surveying?

When you are working on a major construction project,  chances are that you will need to recruit both a quantity surveyor and a building surveyor. You could choose to hire a full-time industry professional depending on the likely duration of the project or you may prefer to use a temporary consultant if the project is not anticipated to last more than a few months.

But what is the difference between these two key roles, and do you need one of each or are they interchangeable? Read on for a helpful explanation.

Quantity surveyors

The quantity surveyor on your project works mainly with calculating the cost of the whole project. A quantity surveyor will work out a budget for the overall project, taking into account the materials and labour required. They will also provide estimates for the overall cost of the construction work.

Project costs are arrived at through the detailed and accurate measurements of all work required and the expert knowledge of the cost of plant hire, materials required, labour etc. It is also very important that the quantity surveyor has a good understanding of design decisions made at project inception and through the early stages of development. This understanding will enable the quantity surveyor to ensure that the best value for money is obtained for their client.

A quantity surveyor will spend the majority of their time working in their own or their client's offices with minimal time spent visiting construction sites.

Building surveyors

A building surveyor works on a variety of roles involved in the construction of the building like initial surveys, design processes, structural surveys, legal issues including leases, running contracts and supervising workers on-site.

A very important skill of the building surveyor is the ability to measure quantities from information derived from specifications and technical drawings that are prepared by engineers, architects, and designers.

The building surveyor's role sees them spending most of their time on-site with minimal hours required in their own or their client's offices. From this information, the building surveyor will prepare tender or contract documentation. These documents will then be passed to the quantity surveyor so that he/she can use the information contained therein to prepare bills of quantities.

In conclusion

You can see from the comparison above that every major construction project will require both a quantity surveyor and a building surveyor as both roles have a completely different remit within the industry.

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