Last edited 12 Nov 2020

International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS)

The International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS) is an international standard which aims to provide greater global consistency in construction costing.

It is not a detailed method of measuring construction works, but ‘a high level benchmarking and reporting framework for international cost classification, reporting and comparison.’

It was established by the International Construction Measurement Standards Coalition (ICMSC), which is a group of more than 40 professional and not-for-profit organisations. The Coalition was launched at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington D.C. in 2015.

The Coalition points to the fact that the reporting and costing methods used in the construction industry have significant variance according to the market. This means that comparing projects around the world difficult, investment risk is increased, and transparency is impeded.

They argue that this causes ‘huge problems for cost consultants, quantity surveyors, construction economists and cost engineers around the world’. Creating a common standard, they suggest, will improve transparency, investor confidence and public trust.

Other benefits they identify include:

The Coalition anticipates that ICMS will be implemented globally through proactive engagement by the Coalition members with relevant stakeholders. It will be used alongside existing standards initially, with the expectation that it will become established over time in construction markets and then used as the primary standard for reporting on construction costs locally and globally.

In September 2019, ICMS was extended to cover life cycle costs and further civil engineering entities.

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