- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 09 Aug 2018
Bill of quantities breakdown structures BQBS
A bill of quantities (sometimes referred to as a 'BoQ' or 'BQ') is a document, typically prepared by a cost consultant (often a quantity surveyor) that provides measured quantities of the items of work identified by the drawings and specifications in the tender documentation for a project. It is issued to tenderers for them to prepare a price for carrying out the works.
According to NRM2, RICS new rules of measurement, Detailed measurement for building work, there are three main breakdown structures for bill of quantities (BQBS), each with advantages and disadvantages. If preparation of the bill of quantities is digitised according to a standard codification, it may be possible to re-order it from one structure to another.
Measurement and description is undertaken by group elements, with each group element forming a separate section of the bill of quantities, irrespective of the order of work sections in NRM 2. Group elements are sub-divided through the use of elements, which are further sub-divided by sub-elements, as defined by NRM 1: Order of cost estimating and cost planning for capital building works.
For more information see: Elemental bill of quantities.
This structure may be preferred by contractors, as similar products and components are grouped together, rather than being spread across a number of different elements as they are in an elemental breakdown. This can make pricing easier for contractors.
For more information see: Work section bill of quantities.
Measurement and description is divided into employer, quantity surveyor or contractor defined work packages (based either on a specific-trade, or a single package comprising a number of different trades). This structure may be preferred by contractors for procuring from their supply chain.
For more information see: Work package bill of quantities.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Advantages of a bill of quantities.
- Approximate bill of quantities.
- Bill of quantities.
- Bill of quantities software.
- Common Arrangement of Work Sections (CAWS).
- Common mistakes in bill of quantities.
- Comparison of SMM7 with NRM2.
- Elemental bill of quantities.
- Firm bill of quantities.
- How to take off construction works.
- New Rules of Measurement.
- Standard Method of Measurement (SMM7).
- Taking off.
- Tender documentation.
- Tender pricing document.
- Types of bill of quantities.
- Work package bill of quantities.
- Work section bill of quantities.
Featured articles and news
Rebuilding could take 20 to 40 years.
RSHP’s high-rise residential towers win a tall buildings award for excellence.
BSRIA study reveals strong growth in 2018.
Dame Judith Hackitt confirmed as keynote speaker – one year on from the Hackitt Report.
Save £100 on tickets.
Modern slavery in the construction sector.
What to bear in mind when claiming damages in construction.
How do we achieve sustainable clean-water infrastructure for all?
What you should know when appointing an architect.
A brief history plus some new developments.
How computational fluid dynamics (CFD) helps building design.
The Hong Kong Harbour Area Treatment Scheme (HATS).
'Expressions of interest' for construction contracts.