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Last edited 23 Feb 2021
Abstraction of quantities
During the estimation process in construction, estimators will carry undertake a process referred to as ‘taking off’. This refers to the process of identifying elements of construction works that can be measured and priced, and it is necessary to produce bills of quantities. Bills of quantities are issued to tenderers for them to prepare a price for carrying out the works described.
Quantities of the same items are captured on dimension/abstraction sheets. For example, to capture of all quantities for facing brickwork, the estimator will start to measure the brickwork on drawings. They will generally measure the area of the wall and also capture the areas for windows and doors or any other features that will impact on the quantity of the facing brickwork area. As part of the abstraction, they will also round up figures. The estimator will then have a final quantity for all the facing brickwork that will be used in the bill of quantities.
The estimator will generally follow the ‘New rules of measurement’ as set out by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to capture quantities for the abstraction. Depending on the project they will use one of the following standards:
- NRM1: Order of cost estimating and cost planning for capital building works.
- NRM2: Detailed measurement for building works.
- NRM3 - Order of cost estimating and cost planning for building maintenance works.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Advantages of a bill of quantities.
- Approximate bill of quantities.
- Approximate quantities.
- Bill of quantities breakdown structures BQBS
- Bill of quantities software.
- Bill of quantities v Schedule of rates.
- Common mistakes in bill of quantities.
- How to take off construction works.
- New Rules of Measurement.
- Priced bill of quantities.
- Standard Method of Measurement SMM7.
- Taking off construction works.
- Types of bill of quantities.
- Unpriced bill.
- Without quantities.
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