Last edited 12 Jan 2016


CESMM3 is the Civil Engineering Standard Method of Measurement, Third Edition. It was sponsored by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and the Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors (FCEC - although FCEC dissolved in November 1996 and was superseded by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA)). CESMM3 was published in February 1991.

The first edition of CESSM was published in 1976, following the work of a committee set up by the Council of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1971 to revise the Standard Method of Measurement of Civil Engineering Quantities. The second edition was published in 1985.

The third edition was produced under the guidance of ICE's CESMM Review Panel. The purpose of the third edition was to; reflect changes in working practices and British Standards, to introduce a new class Z for simple building works incidental to civil engineering works, and to enable the use of CESMM with the ICE Conditions of Contract, 6th edition.

However, on 1 August 2011, the ICE Conditions of Contract were withdrawn in favour of the New Engineering Contract (NEC). As a result, the 4th edition, CESMM4 was published in April 2012. CESMM4 can be used across a range of contract types, including NEC, FIDIC (Fédération Internationale des Ingénieurs-Conseils) and ICC (Infrastructure Conditions of Contract).

Despite this, CESMM3 remains available.

It sets out a procedure for the preparation of a bill of quantities for civil engineering works, for pricing and for the expression and measurement of quantities of work. The bill of quantities enables tenders to be prepared efficiently and can be used to value work completed once the contract has been let.

The work classification system in CESMM3 includes 26 main classes of work commonly undertaken on civil engineering projects and defines; how work is divided into items, the method for describing items, the units to be adopted and the method of measurement.

The contents of CESMM3 are as follows:

  • Foreword.
  • Section 1. Definitions.
  • Section 2. General Principles.
  • Section 3. Application of the Work Classification.
  • Section 4. Coding and Numbering of Items.
  • Section 5. Preparation of the Bill of Quantities.
  • Section 6. Completion, Pricing and Use of the Bill of Quantities.
  • Section 7. Method-Related Charges.
  • Section 8. Work Classification.

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