Last edited 01 Jul 2016

Comparison of SMM7 with NRM2


[edit] Introduction

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) established a working group that has undertaken the RICS Measurement Initiative over recent years with the aim of modernising the existing measurement standards. It sought to provide a link between the measurement for cost planning or early estimates with the measurement for bills of quantities and to introduce a common standard for the cost planning and procurement of maintenance work.

The three volumes of the NRM suite are:

NRM 1 was initially published in March 2009 and has been reasonably well received and adopted by the profession. It has since been amended and the second edition was launched by the RICS in 2012 to coincide with the launch of NRM2. The second edition became operative on 1 January 2013.

NRM2 was published in April 2012. It became operative on 1 January 2013 and replaced the Standard Method of Measurement, seventh edition (SMM7) on 1 July 2013. SMM7 should no longer be adopted after July 2013. NRM2 has been developed as a set of detailed measurement rules for the preparation of either bills of quantities or Schedules of Rates for either capital or maintenance projects. It does however deal with the quantification of non-measurable work items, contractor designed works and risks. Guidance is also provided on the content, structure and format of bills of quantities, as well as the benefits and uses of bills of quantities.

NRM3 has yet to be published.

NRM2 is a comprehensive document available as a free download to RICS members or can be purchased from RICS Books Ltd.

The purpose of this article is not to give detailed instruction on how to use the NRM2, much of the document is very self explanatory however it was felt appropriate to identify where there are differences between NRM2 and the SMM7 document currently used as the UK industry standard method of measurement.

[edit] Structure of NRM2

NRM2 is divided into three parts with supporting appendices:

Part 1: General - places the measurement for works procurement in context with the RIBA Plan Of Work and the OGC Gateway Process; and explains the symbols, abbreviations and definitions used in the rules.

Part 2: Rules for detailed measurement of building works - outlines the benefits of detailed measurement, describes the purpose and uses of NRM2; explains the function of bill of quantities, provides work breakdown structures for bill of quantities, defines the information required to enable preparation of bill of quantities, describes the key constituents of bill of quantities, explains how to prepare bill of quantities. Considerable space is given over to the codification of bills of quantities and the use of the bills for cost management.

Part 3: Tabulated rules of measurement for building works - comprises the majority of NRM2 being the tabulated rules for the measurement and description of building works for the purpose of works procurement.


As can be seen from this brief list of contents there is considerably more information given relating to the preparation of the Bills of Quantities. In the past each quantity surveying practice produced their bills following their own preferences and historical development. This is the first time that the RICS has given guidance on coding and work breakdown structures in an attempt to align the bills with the cost plans produced using NRM1.

Coding and work breakdown structures will not be covered here, reference should be made to the detail contained in Part 2 of NRM2.

[edit] Comparison of SMM7 with NRM2

The following tables have been prepared by reviewing the sections in SMM7 in order and identifying where the measurement rules are located and may have changed in NRM2. This is not a detailed comparison on a line by line basis but has looked at the general measurement principles.

The framing of descriptions is also not as simple following these new rules and care should be taken to ensure that each description adequately reflects the work to be priced.

One major change is in the layout of the document. There is now no reference to Co-ordinated Project Information and the lettering used previously has now been replaced with a numbering system. The comparison of the contents of each document appears in Table 1 and a comparison of the Part 3 rules in Table 2

[edit] Table 1: Comparison of contents


General Rules

Additional Rules – work to existing buildings


Alphabetical Index


[edit] Table 2: Comparison of the Part 3 rules

Ref: SMM7 Ref: NRM2
A Preliminaries Similar provision, expanded and greater detail added to give clear direction. Divided in 2 sections, Part 1 for the main contract and Part 2 for works packages if used.
1 Main Contract Preliminaries
Part A Information and requirements Part B Pricing Schedule
1 Preliminaries (Works Package Contract) Part A Information and requirements Part B Pricing Schedule
Similar provision as SMM7 but expanded and greater detail added to give clear direction
B Complete Buildings 2 Offsite manufactured materials, components or buildings
There were no details provided in SMM7, now rules included for prefabricated structures, units (eg Bathroom pods) in proprietary packages.
C Demolitions and Alterations 3 Demolitions
Rules remain very similar, however recycling provisions have been added.
4 Alterations, repairs and conservation
Rules covering conservation have been increased and decontamination has been expanded, however spot items have been removed.
D Groundwork 5 Excavation and filling
Generally no change in principles
D20.1 Site Prep Increased detail on site preparation items if used, eg: boreholes, trial pits etc.
Removing trees 5.2 Removing trees - the band widths have been varied.
D20.2 Excavating 5.6 Rules now simplified into either bulk excavation or foundation excavation with depth ranges now only in 2 m stages.
5.7 Earthwork support has been simplified in that it is now only measured where specifically called for in the contract documents (specification)
There is no requirement to measure working space or compacting of surfaces.
5.11 Filling is now either less than 500mm or final thickness stated where over 500mm thick
5.20 Cutting off the tops of piles has been included here instead of in the piling section.
6 Ground remediation and soil stabilisation
New section added
7 Piling - no real change although simplified by removing separation of different types of piles and cutting off tops has been moved to excavation.
8 Underpinning - Greatly simplified. Preliminary trenches and excavation measure no longer required.
9 Diaphragm walls - simplified, no excavation measured here, detail description stating thickness of wall.
E In-situ concrete/large precast 11 In-situ concrete
Separated out precast from in-situ concrete and radical change in the way concrete is measured
New sections are:
Mass concrete - m3 any thickness
Horizontal work - m3 > or < 300mm thick
sloping - m3 > or < 300mm thick
vertical - m3 > or < 300mm thick
Sundry - m2 or m3 > or < 300mm thick
Sprayed -m2 thickness stated
E20 Formwork 11.13 Formwork - some minor changes. If less than 500mm wide then measured by metre run.
Mortices and holes have been removed from this section
Forming door openings has changed and these are now numbered.
E30 Reinforcement 11.33 Reinforcement - minor changes
Spacers and chairs are now deemed included. Pre tensioned members have now been added.
E40 Designed joints 11.38 Remains the same
E41 Worked finishes and cutting has been removed as a separate section
E42 Accessories 11.41 Accessories - no real change
E05.16 Grouting 11.42 Grouting and filling- new section added, measurement now chasing is by metre and grouting stanchion bases or filling holes by number
E50/ E60 Precast concrete frames 12 Precast/ Composite concrete
Now a section for composite precast units, measured m2 for walls and floors
13 Precast Concrete
Very similar however formwork and reinforcement is now deemed included
F Masonry 14 Masonry
The natural and artificial stone rules are now all put under one section. All walls measured along centreline and assumed vertical unless stated.
Skins of hollow walls added
Separate facework items have now been removed
G Structural Metalwork 15 Structural metalwork
Major changes - weight classification now
Less than 25Kg, 25 - 50 kgs, 50 - 100 kgs or over 100kgs. Short lengths now also included
Permanent formwork changed to profiled metal decking
0G20 Carpentry/Timber framing/First fix 16 Carpentry
Separated primary structural members (wall plates) from engineered or prefabricated members (roof trusses)
All boarding, flooring and sheeting is now measured here, either < 600 or > 600mm wide
G30 Metal profiled sheet decking 17 Sheet roof coverings
Now covers, bituminous felt, plastic sheets, sheet metals and rigid boards.
Some major changes in items deemed included in boundary work
G31 Prefabricated timber decking Removed
H Cladding and covering This has been split into numerous sections
H10/12 /13 Patent glazing, structural glass

(In SMM7 sections K11-21 are included together under H20)

H10, 12, 13 Patent glazing/plastics/ structural glass 21 The range of claddings have all been included under section 21
H11 Curtain Walling Basic measurement principles remain the same.
H20, 21, 92, K11, 12, 13, 14 and 15, H30,31,32,33,41,43 Sheet claddings and profiled sheet claddings and other claddings The categories have been reduced for example there is no need to differentiate multi -tier roofs. However widths under 600mm wide now need to be measured lineally.
21.1 Other chambers 21.8 Doors and openings are still measured as extra over the work in which they occur.
H10.4 and 5 Raking curved cutting 21.9 Boundary work - includes all cutting and trims to form the edge/intersection.
21.1 Opening perimeters
Edges of openings are measured here rather than boundary work.
K20.1.1 Rigid sheet cladding 21.1 The narrow widths and isolated areas for other claddings are now no longer required to be measured.
H14 Concrete roof lights Precast concrete roof lights are now measured with other precast concrete works. There is no change to measurement rules.
K20/21 Timber board flooring 16.4 Carpentry
Boarding is measured in metres if not exceeding 600mm wide and in m2 where over 600mm wide.
H51, 52 Natural Stone cladding /cast stone cladding 14.1 Masonry, Natural stone walling and dressings /cast stone walling and dressings
Only measured in m2 except for isolated features such as piers/columns or arches etc
Perimeters and abutments are now measured as extra over and more work is deemed included.
H51.5 Floors This is not in the walling section and should now be referred to the finishes section 28.2
H51.6-10 Staircase works Refer to new section 25.1 where staircases are now numbered.
H60 Plain roof tiling 18 Tile and slate roof and wall coverings
Basic principles have not changed
H60.11 41.27 Holes are now not measured with the roof but deemed included.
H70 - H76 Metal sheet coverings etc 17 Sheet Roof Coverings
17.1 Now introduced width classification< 500mm wide - measured lineally and > 500mm wide measured m2.
The allowances used in SMM7 when calculating areas have been removed. Now the information provided should identify all labours and dressings.
Other principles remain the same.
J Waterproofing 19 Waterproofing
J40 There is no separation of the item for tanking from coverings. Discretion is given to those drafting the description to include sufficient information to enable pricing.
J20.5 Skirtings 19.3 The width classifications have been reduced to now only ,500mm wide or >500mm wide. Skirtings are no longer in band widths but each measured in m stating the net girth on face
J20.12 Internal angle fillets Not measurable - deemed included
J41, 42, 43 Built up felt roofing 17 Sheet roof coverings
Principles are similar except width classification now <500mm wide and > 500mm wide
Girths at abutments are no longer applicable
K Linings, sheathing dry partitioning 20 Proprietary linings and partitions
K10.1.1 Proprietary partitions measured in 300mm stages, measured in metres Metal framed systems measured in m2 in 1m height stages, total length stated
K32 Panel cubicles 22.16 Cubicle partitions - no change to measurement
K40 Demountable suspended ceilings 30.1 General principles remain the same. Fire barriers have now been introduced.
K41 Raised Access floors 28.3 Measurement principles remain the same. Fire barriers within the void need now to be measured.
L Windows, doors and stairs
L10 Windows 23 Windows in section 23, Doors in section 24
Bedding and pointing frames is no longer measured.
23.8 Glazing supplied with windows and doors is now separated and no longer measured in m2, panes are numbered with size given.
L20 Doors 24 Doors
Measurement principles have not changed.
Bedding and pointing frames is no longer measured.
P21 Ironmongery 24.16 Ironmongery
Measurement principles have not changed.
L30 / Q41 Stairs and balustrades 25 Staircases
No change to measurement principles, except the extra over items for ramps, wreaths etc which are now deemed included.


General Glazing

Lead light glazing

27 Glazing


measured glass in m2. Glass now needs to have the panes numbered with the size stated.

The category of special glass has been removed but the type of glass needs to be stated.

L40.7-10 Engraving etching etc was measured in m2 or design work numbered 27.4 All additional features are now measured extra over and are numbered.
L40.13 Hacking out existing glass was measured in metres of the rebate length. 27.8 Removal of glass has changed to be measured by nr. stating the size of panes.
L42 Infill panels 22.18 No change
M Surface finishes 28 Floor, wall, ceiling and roof finishes
M10, 12,13,20,23 and J10 Applied in situ finishes 28.1 The width category has changed from <300mm to <600mm
M10.16 Rounded angles and intersections These are now deemed included.
M10.24 Accessories 28.25-35 The measurement principles remain the same however reinforcement, quilts are separated out from accessories. All accessories are now numbered.

There is the opportunity to measure reinforcement either in m2 or by the m. No width categories are provided.

M10.26 Temporary supports Deemed included no longer measurable.
M21 Insulation with rendered finish 28.32 Insulation is measured separately from any rendered finish.
M22 Sprayed coatings No specific rules separating this are included.
M30 Metal mesh lathing 28.30, 31 No specific section for this, it is measured either as m or m2, depending on measurers choice.
M31 Fibrous plaster No separate rules for this.
M40/42/41/50/51 Tiling, parquet flooring, carpeting 28 No separation from in situ finishes. Width category is now general at <600 or >600.
Description of carpeting should now include the underlay and edge grippers. Stair rods should still be measured and numbered as an accessory.
M52 Decorative papers 29.9 The areas that are measured have changed to being<1.00m2 or >1.00m2. Corners are now deemed included.
M60 Painting and decorating 29 Decoration
General principles remain the same. The isolated surfaces have increased form -.5m2 to 1.00 m2.
Note M4 Work to ceilings over 3.5 ne 5m sand thereafter in 3m stages and not 1.5m
M60.10 Coloured bands 38.16.6 These have been moved to the services section.
M61 Intumescent paint fire protection 31.5 Now measured only in m2.
N Furniture and equipment 32 Furniture, fittings and equipment
Principles have not changed however the marking of positions, commissioning and connecting is deemed included as opposed to being measured in accordance with section Y of SMM7.
P Building Fabric Sundries
P10 Insulation, proofing and fire protection 31 Insulation, fire stopping and fire protection.
31.1 Added ability to measure by m as well as m2 but no width categories given.

Now includes for fire stops by the metre and fire sleeves, numbered

P11 Cavity insulation 31.6 No change
P20 Unframed items 22 General joinery
General principles of measurement unchanged, however all ends, angles etc are deemed included.
P20.8 Extra over hardwood All the items are now deemed included.
P21 Ironmongery 22 General joinery
This was ironmongery not supplied with windows or doors. 22.22 Now measured under section 22, principles not changed.
P22 Sealant joints 22.19/


Rules remain the same, however there is now a separate item for raking out existing joints.
P30 Trenches/pipe ways /Pits for buried services 41.13 The external services have been separated from the internal ones
P30.1 Excavating trenches 41.13 Service runs are now measured in 500mm depth stages instead of 250mm.
There is no need to measure the bed and surround separately it is now included in the description of the service run.
P30.9 Other chambers 41.17 - 22 The detailed measurement of the component parts of chambers has been removed and these are now all numbered stating the depth and giving a detailed description
41.27 A specific item has now been included for testing and commissioning of external services with provision for attendance and additional equipment.
P31 Holes/chases/covers /supports for services 41 BWIC with M,E and transportation
P31.19 Cutting or forming holes 41.1 For electrical work there is a removal of need to measure cutting and chasing by points. This is now one item per installation type.
For other installations there is no need to measure holes by their Number - they are deemed included under the general builders work item for the service.
P31.24 and 25 Ends of Supports 41.6 These have been simplified and the types of supports have been broadened to include Pylons, poles, wall brackets, soffit hangers, stays and proprietary supports
P31.32 Work to existing structures 41.8 & 9 There is still a need to cut holes, chases and mortices in existing structures and lifting floor boards and chequer plates.
Q Paving and Fencing 35 Site Works
The principle of deducting for voids has increased from 0.5m2 to <1.00m2.
Q10 Kerbs and edgings 35.1 No major change, accessories are now measured as extra over and are only numbered.
Q21 Insitu paving 35.6 No real change – measured in accordance with new section 11.


Coated macadam

Gravel etc

35.12, 35.13 Addition of band widths, now <300 wide or >300
Q24, Q25 Blok and slab paving 35.14 Addition of band widths, now <300 wide or >300
Q26 Special surfacings 35.18-24 No change however the description for line marking has been broadened.


Seeding and turfing,


37 Soft landscaping - No change
Q40 Fencing 36 Fencing - No change
R Disposal Systems
R10/11 Above ground drainage 33 Above ground drainage
The principles for the measurement have not changed.
R10.3, 4 and 5 Sockets tappings and bosses 33.2 Ancillaries now include these items
R10.7 Supports These have been moved to BWIC. See above
R10.15 Temporary operation This has been removed from the measurement rules
R12/13 Below ground drainage 34 Below ground drainage
The rules for drainage have changed considerably, the excavation and beds and surrounds are not measured separately but included in the drain run length.
R12.1-6 Excavation and beds and surrounds have all been removed 34.1 Drain runs are now measured in average depth for the whole run in 500mm depth stages.
R12.11-15 Chambers 34.6-11 All chambers are numbered stating the depth with a detailed description
34.13 / 34.14 Sundries such as step irons and covers are still measured separately.
R12.19 O & M manuals These are now covered under the Preliminaries section
X Transport systems 40 Transportation
X1-12 Different systems 40.1 Greater detail has now been included for each system with the addition of separate items to be included for the following Offload and position equipment, assembly of component parts, free issue items, interface and connection to other systems.
X13 marking holes 41.2 Moved to BWIC section
X14 identification 40.3 This is now an item rather than numbered.
Y M & E Services 38 Mechanical
Y10/ Y11 Pipelines and ancillaries 38.3 Pipework - there has been considerable change to the rules here.
Y10.1 Pipes 38.3 Generally the pipe length is to include for all fittings and the like. The measure of the pipe now needs to identify the location of the installation.
Y10.2.3 Fittings 38.4 There are two alternative rules which can be applied. The metre measure for the pipe can be deemed to include all fittings or they can be separated and enumerated. The description of the fitting is to be precise and the one end, two end approach has been dropped.
Y10.9 Pipe supports Removed and included in pipe measure or if special can be under BWIC
Y11 Pipe sleeves 38.5 These are now included under ancillaries and again in the BWIC section.
Y20/ Y40 Equipment 38.1 Primary equipment
Greater detail has now been included for each piece of equipment with the addition of separate items to be included for the following Offload and position equipment and assembly of component parts.
38.2 Terminal equipment and fittings - separated out to identify equipment at the ends of pipe or duct runs.
Y20.6 Supports These are now under the BWIC - where not included as part of the equipment.
Y30 Air ductlines/ ancillaries 38.6 This is by metre length, generally the length is to include for all fittings and the like. The measure of the duct now needs to identify the location of the installation.
There is an alternative of measuring the fittings separately.
Y30.7 Ducting sleeves This has been removed and the hole required is measured under BWIC.
Y50 Thermal insulation 38.9 Insulation and fire protection
Generally the principles have not changed. There is again the need to provide the location of the service.
There is also the alternative here to include the insulation to fittings and the like within the measured length or separately.
39 Electrical
Y60/ Y63 Conduit and cable trunking 39.3 Generally containment is measured by length including all fittings and ancillaries
Y60.1 -12 39.4 The rules have been greatly simplified however there is an alternative whereby the fittings can be enumerated separately.
Forming holes or supports are covered under BWIC section.
Y61/ Y62/ Y80 HV/ LV cables, busbar trunking, earthing and bonding 39.5 Cables are still measured by length but the locations of the cables have been redefined.
Terminations and glands are still enumerated but supports and holes are now measured with the BWIC section.
Y62.7 Busbar trunking 39.9 Busbar
This is by metre length, generally the length is to include for all fittings and the like. The measure of the busbar now needs to identify the location of the installation.
39.10 There is an alternative of measuring the fittings separately.
Y80.13 Tapes 39.11 Tapes
The length now includes all joints and test clamps, there is no alternative.
Electrodes and terminations are enumerated
Y61.19 Cables in final circuits 39.7 Final circuits
These remain as numbered circuits identifying the location of each circuit and the number and type of points.
39.8 Modular wiring systems has been added. This is enumerated.
Y70/ Y71 HV switchgear, LV switchgear and distribution boards 39.1 Primary equipment
Enumerated by system stating location and with the addition of separate items to be included for the offload and position of equipment and assembly of component parts.
Supports if not provided with the equipment are measured under BWIC.
Y73/ Y74 Luminaires and lamps / accessories 39.2 Terminal equipment has been included and covers all the items in this section. They are again enumerated.
Y81 Testing and commissioning 39.15 & 16 Testing has been separated from commissioning and further items have been added for system validation training and maintenance.
Additional rules for work to existing buildings The work to existing buildings has now been absorbed into the various work sections.

This article was created by --The College of Estate Management 15 March 2013

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