When is the best time to engage a Quantity Surveyor?

AuthorYves Du Bois

The spring 2017 edition of the UDIA’s Establish magazine features an article by Yves Du Bois, Director at MBM, titled “When is the best time to engage a QS?". The article highlights the role and need for early engagement of a quantity surveyor (QS) to ensure the financial success of a project with reference to MBM’s role in award-winning 180 Brisbane project - http://en.calameo.com/read/000373495a2b0f8528ad7

The role of a Quantity Surveyor is to ensure the financial success of a development project; from a house to a commercial office tower to a large infrastructure initiative. This means being involved from the initial feasibility stages of a project, all the way through to delivery and completion.
There has been a tendency in the Australian market to engage Quantity Surveyor’s on a “step in step out” basis at milestone stages of a project, rather than as a project partner.
Where a QS is not actively involved throughout the early stages, projects experience financial stress towards the pre-tender phase – where the original budget is exceeded and the only option is to value manage - generally at the cost of quality and/or scope. 

An example of where we have been able to provide on-going value management to a project is with 180 Brisbane, a $250m office development in Brisbane CBD (pictured above). As Project Quantity Surveyors, we were the first consultant engaged by the owner and provided essential advice during the early stages that shaped the outcome of the development.
During the design phase, we were in constant communication with the client and the whole team of consultants to ensure that any design changes were costed and their impact measured on a rolling basis. Prior to the contract being let, we had prepared more than twenty cost estimates and 35 option analyses for various design solutions across a range of building elements, including their impact on the whole of life costs for the property. The majority of our hours spent on the project were spent in this early stage. The cost of which was more than outweighed by achieving the Client’s aspirations within the limits of the project budget. The result was an awesome building, delivered on time and within the initial budget.

Engaging a consultant whose primary functions are to ensure the financial success of a project and ensure true value is achieved is a must for all projects.

Yves Du Bois