Last edited 29 Jun 2016

Standard Method of Measurement SMM7

For a comparison of the Standard Method of Measurement and the New Rules of Measurement see: Comparison of SMM7 with NRM2.


[edit] Introduction

The Standard Method of Measurement (SMM) is published by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). It was first published in 1922, superseding a Scottish Standard Method of Measurement which was published in 1915. It is now in its seventh edition (SMM7), which was first published in 1988 and revised in 1998.

SMM7 provies detailed information, classification tables and rules for measuring building works. It is important that there is a uniform basis for measuring building works in order to facilitate industry wide consistency and benchmarking, to encourage the adoption of best practice and to help avoid disputes.

SMM7 is typically used in the preparation of bills of quantities, documents that provide measured quantities of the items of work identified by the drawings and specifications in tender documentation. Bills of quantities are issued to tenderers for them to prepare a price for carrying out works.

SMM7 is accompanied by the Code of Procedure for the Measurement of Building Works (the SMM7 Measurement Code). Whilst SMM7 can have a contractual status on a project (for example in the JCT Standard form of Building Contract), the Measurement Code is non-mandatory.

Work sections within SMM7 are classified according to the Common Arrangement of Work Sections (CAWS). CAWS creates a consistent arrangement of work sections for specifications and bills of quantities. It was first published in 1987 and was updated by the Construction Project Information Committee (CPIC) in 1998 to align it with the Unified Classification for the Construction Industry (Uniclass).

[edit] Phasing out

SMM7 has been replaced by the New Rules of Measurement volume 2 (NRM2) which was published in April 2012 by the RICS Quantity Surveying and Construction Professional Group and became operative on 1 January 2013. SMM7 should not be adopted on projects after July 2013.

NRM2 is accompanied by two additional volumes:

It is suggested by the RICS that together, the new suite of documents will better reflect the way the industry now works:

  • Better meeting the needs of clients.
  • Providing for more up-front detail.
  • Allowing better consideration of the full costs of a construction project (for example marketing costs, fees and charges, the cost of acquiring land, planning costs, relocation costs, the cost of finance and so on).
  • Providing a better method for quantifying risk.

The RICS also suggest that it will facilitate “...greater cross industry working (and) the introduction of Building Information Modelling” ref RICS.

NRM has moved away from the Common Arrangement of Work Sections (CAWS) to adopt its own system of indexing.

Contracts that refer to SMM7 will have to be revised when NRM is adopted on new projects.

For a detailed comparison of NRM2 and SMM7 see Comparison of SMM7 with NRM2.

NB The New Rules of Measurement are accompanied by the 'Black Book', the QS and construction standards. Together they provide a suite of tools to help the construction industry work more collaboratively and consistently.

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