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Last edited 31 Aug 2020
New Rules of Measurement
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.
NRM 1 was first published in February 2009 (as NRM Order of cost estimating and elemental cost planning). Now in its second edition, it provides guidance on the quantification of building works in order to prepare order of cost estimates and cost plans, as well as approximate estimates. It also includes guidance about quantifying wider costs such as preliminaries, overheads and profit, risk allowances, and inflation.
The second edition has been renamed to better distinguish between capital building works and building maintenance works, and the arrangement of elements has been revised. It became operative on 1 January 2013.
NRM2 establishes detailed measurement rules allowing the preparation of bills of quantities, quantified schedules of works and schedules of rates in order to obtain tender prices. Guidance is also provided on the content, structure and format of bills of quantities.
 NRM3 - Order of cost estimating and cost planning for building maintenance works.
NRM3 was published in March 2014. It allows the quantification and description of maintenance works. It can be used for initial order of cost estimates, general cost plans and asset-specific cost plans. It also provides guidance on procurement and cost control.
 Reasons for the changes
- Better meeting the needs of clients.
- Providing for more up-front detail.
- Allowing better consideration of the full costs of a construction project (for example, marketing costs, fees and charges, the cost of acquiring land, planning costs, relocation costs, the cost of finance and so on).
- Providing a better method for quantifying risk.
The RICS also suggest that it will facilitate “...greater cross-industry working, the introduction of Building Information Modelling and effectively analysing the costs of construction projects” ref RICS.
As well as a set of rules for how to quantify building work, NRM is intended to provide a toolkit for cost management that will be central to controlling costs as a project develops. It provides guidance on how measurement changes as design progresses, how cost centres can be included in a single project cost plan, how to assess the cost of risk, how to assess fees, what information is required to make key decisions and so on.
- Contracts that refer to SMM7 will have to be revised when it is superceded by NRM. Many of the publishing bodies are now preparing amendments (for example JCT).
- NRM has moved away from the Common Arrangement of Work Sections (CAWS) to adopt its own system of indexing.
- For a detailed comparison of NRM2 with SMM7, see Comparison of SMM7 with NRM2.
- The New Rules of Measurement are accompanied by the 'Black Book', the QS and construction standards. Together they provide a suite of tools to help the construction industry work more collaboratively and consistently.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- All-in rates.
- Approximate quantities.
- BCIS elements.
- Bill of quantities.
- Black book.
- Building People.
- Classification, an introduction.
- Code of measuring practice.
- Common Arrangement of Work Sections (CAWS).
- Comparison of SMM7 with NRM2.
- Conversion of material volumes.
- Cost plans.
- Elemental cost plan.
- Order of cost estimate.
- RICS Property Measurement.
- Schedule of work.
- Spon's Price Book.
- Standard Method of Measurement (SMM7).
- Tender documentation.
 External references
- RICS: RICS has released new guidance for quantity surveyors and other members working in the construction sector.
- RICS: NRM 1 and NRM 2 are available.
- nbs video: The New Rules of Measurement.
- RICS QS and construction standards (the Black Book).
- nbs: Coordinating Common Arrangment, Uniclass, NBS and Rules of Measurement.
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