The short answer is 'because a good QS will save you money'. Architects have a great deal on their plate designing the building and overseeing its construction to exacting standards. Ever evolving statutory regulations and building technology means that the architect's role is perhaps more complex and demanding than ever before. To expect the architect to also control the budget, value the works, challenge the builder on varied costs, is often a step too far.
The QS's expertise is in accurately predicting build cost, in setting up the buildling contract, in valuing variations or 'altered works' as they happen - in short we are here to ensure that you get value for money throughout your project.
That includes challenging the design early on: Predicting the project is over budget enables informed decisions to be taken early to avoid disasters mid way through the project.
The role includes challenging the costs throughout: 'This subcontractor's price looks out of line with estimated costs or industry norms - let's renegotiate or retender this package of works'.
Having a professional focus on cost can deliver better value. A recent example on site - Measuring up a basement construction we benchmarked the cost against other recent basements. It was coming out very expensive by comparison. Further investigation showed that an unusual profile of steel reinforcement had been specified. Conversation with the engineer led to a design tweak, which pulled over 10k out of the cost in the ground.
Quantity Surveying - We offer a comprehensive QS service, managing all elements of cost from feasibility study to final accounting. The Brindley Partnership uses electronic measurement systems including CATO (the industry standard) to maximise accuracy and efficiency. We benchmark our projects internally and keep in regular contact with suppliers, and a wide reaching professional network to ensure that our pricing and practice are up to date. Our aim is simple: To identify and eliminate unecessary costs; specifically those that do not contribite to the design. Throughout the build process we check and assess all varied works, valuing them fairly, delivering value to the client. We have various works currently on site, and others at early budget stage.
Contract Administration - For several longstanding clients, we head up the professional team and run the building contract. This involves managing on site progress and engaging with the Main Contractor, Buidling Control, SAPS assessors, planning authority, CDM Coordinators and all other professional parties in a one-stop package. Currently we have two jobs on site on this basis - including a large new build house, and an office refurbishment in Hampshire.
Construction Management - Splitting the works into subcontractor packages, and overseeing those packages to ensure cohesion and tight financial control - including on site presence from experienced foremen. Most recently we have constructed 3 new office buildings in Petersfield on this basis.
Employers Agent - Acting on behalf of the developer under the Design and Build Contract. Currently in the final pre tender stages of a large mixed residential and commercial development in North Hampshire.
Insurance Valuations - We carry out standard Fire Insurance Valuations for various landlords and commercial clients. We have also carry out international rebuild valuations on behalf of engineering security specialists for terrorism insurance cover
Builders Estimating - One of the best practices to keep up to date on build costs is to work directly for builders in putting together their tender submissions. This means contacting subcontractors, builders merchants and checking on up to date costs. We work for two or three local builders in this capacity.
What is a QS and why do I need one?
"The Brindley Partnership, Jo and Mike, have been a vital part of the team that enabled us renovate and extend our home. Working with them from tender to completion, they have been a constant source of advice and guidance, and their professionalism and fantastic attention to detail has been invaluable to us in managing the budget and verifying the stage payments to the contractor. They have been most helpful in suggesting cost-effective solutions when we have encountered problems, and quickly reponded to any queries so that we have been able to make fully informed decisions both before, and during, the project. Their integrity has won the trust of our contractor too, which has enabled us to maintain a good relationship with the contractor during cost discussions, and our confidence that the costs are being managed in great detail by Jo and Mike has taken away a huge potential anxiety from ourselves, and enabled us to focus more on the creative aspects of the project.
This is our largest project to date, and the first time we have used a QS, but I do now believe the maxim that by astute cost management a good QS will cover his or her own fees, and we would be delighted to recommend the Brindley Partnership to others, and very much hope to use them again ourselves on future projects."
Sarah Jenner, Client