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Last edited 06 Jan 2021
Usually prepared by a quantity surveyor (QS), the BoQ provides project-specific, measured quantities of the items of work identified by the drawings and specifications (which form part of the tender documentation). For example, in a traditional building, the BoQ will contain measured quantities for each item that goes to make up the final construction e.g bricks, doors, ironmongery, floor tiles, roof slates, etc. This means that potential tenderers know exactly how much of a given quantity will be required for the work and so they can price for it. This creates a level playing field as all tenderers are pricing for the same measured quantities which allows the client to make easy comparisons between the bids.
Not providing measured quantities would require that the various tenderers on a project ‘take off’ the quantities themselves. With numerous tenderers with possibly different methodologies, as well as human error creeping in, the quantities taken off would vary, thus making the client’s job in comparing the tenders that much harder.
The New Rules of Measurement (NRM) are published by the Royal Institutution of Chartered Surveyors' (RICS) Quantity Surveying and Construction Professional Group. They provide a standard set of measurement rules for estimating, cost planning, procurement and whole-life costing for construction projects. Adopting a standard methodology such as NRM facilitates consistency and benchmarking and helps avoid disputes.
In some circumstances, it may be difficult to determine exact quantities, for example early in the development of a project. In this case approximate quantities may be estimated. These should be accompanied by a schedule of the assumptions made in determining the approximate quantities.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Approximate quantities.
- Taking off construction works
- Bill of quantities breakdown structures BQBS
- Types of bill of quantities
- Standard Method of Measurement SMM7
- Preliminaries in construction
- Schedule of rates for construction
- Bill of quantities software
- Tender documentation for construction projects
- Approximate bill of quantities
- How to take off construction works
- Specification for construction
- Advantages of a bill of quantities
- New Rules of Measurement
- Typical tender process for construction projects
- Priced bill of quantities
- All-in rates
- Common mistakes in bill of quantities
- Bill of quantities v Schedule of rates
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