Last edited 15 May 2018

Functional unit of buildings

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, a functional unit is:

‘…a unit of measurement used to represent the prime use of a building or part of a building (e.g. per bed space, per house and per m2 of retail area). It also includes all associated circulation space.'

NRM1 defines the functional unit method as:

‘…a rough budget-setting technique which consists of selecting a suitable standard functional unit of use for the project, and multiplying the projected number of units by an appropriate cost per functional unit.’

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