Comparison of SMM7 with NRM2
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:
- NRM1 – Rules for order of cost estimating and elemental cost planning
- NRM2 – Rules for works procurement
- NRM3 – Rules for maintenance and operation cost planning and procurement
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.
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.
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.
- Appendix A: Guidance on the preparation of bill of quantities
- Appendix B: Template for preliminaries (main contract) pricing schedule (condensed)
- Appendix C: Template for preliminaries (main contract) pricing schedule (expanded)
- Appendix D: Template for pricing summary for elemental bill of quantities (condensed)
- Appendix E: Template for pricing summary for elemental bill of quantities (expanded)
- Appendix F: Templates for provisional sums, risks and credits
- Appendix G: Example of a work package breakdown structure
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.
 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
 Table 1: Comparison of contents
Additional Rules – work to existing buildings
 Table 2: Comparison of the Part 3 rules
|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|
|Very similar however formwork and reinforcement is now deemed included|
|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.|
|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||22.214.171.124||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.|
|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||126.96.36.199||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.|
|Measurement principles have not changed.|
|Bedding and pointing frames is no longer measured.|
|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.|
Lead light glazing
|measured glass in m2.||188.8.131.52||Glass now needs to have the panes numbered with the size 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||184.108.40.206.1||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.|
|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.|
|This was ironmongery not supplied with windows or doors.||22.22||Now measured under section 22, principles not changed.|
|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.|
|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|
|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|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Bills of quantities.
- Common Arrangement of Work Sections (CAWS).
 External references
- SMM7 is available from RICS
- RICS: RICS has released new guidance for quantity surveyors and other members working in the construction sector.
- RICS: NRM 1 and NRM 2 are available.
- nbs video: The New Rules of Measurement.
- RICS new rules of measurement (NRM) 2013.
- RICS QS and construction standards (the Black Book).
- nbs: Coordinating Common Arrangment, Uniclass, NBS and Rules of Measurement.
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