- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
- Specialist wikis
Last edited 19 Feb 2021
Taking off construction works
The term ‘taking off’ refers to the process of identifying elements of construction works that can be measured and priced. This is necessary to produce bills of quantities and requires that the design is complete and a specification has been prepared.
These elements can then be measured in number, length, area, volume, weight or time then collated and structured to produce an unpriced bill of quantities. This process is sometimes referred to as ‘working up’.
The bill of quantities is issued to tenderers for them to prepare a price for carrying out the works. The bill of quantities assists tenderers in the calculation of construction costs for their tender, and, as it means all tendering contractors will be pricing the same quantities (rather than taking off quantities from the drawings and specifications themselves), it also provides a fair and accurate system for tendering.
Best practice for the preparation of bills of quantities is set out in the New Rules of Measurement (NRM) published by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and replacing Standard Method of Measurement, seventh edition (SMM7). Adopting the New Rules of Measurement means that all projects are taken off in the same way and in the same order following consistent rules.
Increasingly, software packages are available to assist in the preparation of preparation of bills of quantities, and building information modelling systems can be used to produce bills of quantities from information already contained within the model.
Bills of quantities are normally only prepared on larger projects. On smaller projects, or for alteration work, the contractor can be expected to measure their own quantities from drawings and schedules of work. Schedules of work are 'without quantities' instructional lists that allow the contractor to identify significant work and materials that will be needed to complete the works and to calculate the quantities that will be required.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Approximate bill of quantities.
- Approximate quantities cost plan.
- Bill of quantities.
- Common Arrangement of Work Sections (CAWS).
- Common mistakes in bill of quantities.
- Comparison of SMM7 with NRM2.
- Computers in tendering.
- Construction work packaging.
- Contract documents
- Cost plans.
- Elemental cost plan.
- Extra over (EO).
- How to take off construction works.
- Measured quantity.
- New Rules of Measurement.
- Spot items.
- Standard Method of Measurement (SMM7).
- Tender documentation.
- Tender pricing document.
- Working up construction works.
Featured articles and news
BG 50 & VDI 2035 – your questions answered.
Will the way we heat homes change when winter comes ?
Can XR technology be leveraged in design & construction?
Or are you capping.
Digital gaming competition for UK students aged 16 to 18.
Heritage protection in England vs Australia.
Three-quarters of fire doors fail inspections
The role of geoparks, biospheres and world heritage sites.
Just one month to go ! Find out more here.
A new gallery for the University of Huddersfield.
What will it take to stop it ?
To celebrate world bee day 2022 !
Not forgetting part F and the new part overheating part O.
As energy prices jump up in cost.
With people in the UK from Ukraine.
Industry leader Steve Murray takes on role.
An abundant and versatile building material.
600,000 heat pump installations targeted per year by 2028.
Helping prevent those unwanted outcomes.
How has transport changed due to Covid-19 ?
Will you need it ? after June 15 and the new Part O ?