Last edited 26 Oct 2020

Elemental method

The New Rules of Measurement (NRM) are published by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). They provide a standard set of measurement rules for estimating, cost planning, procurement and whole-life costing for construction projects.

According to NRM1: Order of cost estimating and cost planning for capital building work, the term ‘elemental method’ refers to:

‘… a budget setting technique which considers the major elements of a building and provides an order of cost estimate based on an elemental breakdown of a building project. The elemental method can also be used to develop an initial cost model as a prerequisite to developing an elemental cost plan. The method involves the use of element unit quantities (EUQ) and element unit rates (EUR).’

The building works estimate provides an alternative method for determining the total estimated cost of building works. That is:

'…the sum of the cost targets for group elements 1 to 8 (i.e. Substructure; Superstructure; Internal finishes; Fittings, furnishings and equipment; Services; Prefabricated buildings and building units; Work to existing buildings; and External works). It excludes facilitating works estimate, as well as those relating to main contractor’s preliminaries, main contractor’s overheads, profit/design team fees estimate, other development/project costs estimate and risk allowances.’

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