In this day and age, the necessity for the utilization of a bill of quantity before commencement of a building or construction project cannot be stressed enough. This is because the bill accounts for the cost of each material to the cent so as to ensure that funds for construction are not embezzled or misused.
In order to draft a bill of quantities, particular documents are required to account for the costs of materials and expenses for a project. These include drawings, specifications and contract documents. Out of the documents, drawings are the most vital aspect required to draft a bill.
To this cause, there are laid out standards and procedures that are followed in order to obtain quantities from drawings. This involves use of standard methods of measurement for taking off quantities for structures within a particular region. In Australia, these standards are contained in a document known as Australian Standard method of measurement(ASMM). I used this document as a reference to take off building measurements systematically and meticulously as required through the use of the take off sheet which outlined each activity to be carried out and its corresponding reference from the ASMM.
The measurements are then inputted in measurements sheets and mathematical calculations are incorporated to derive the required quantities with respect to the required unit of measurement of each material as stipulated in the ASMM. During take off, some information on the drawings was not clear and therefore relevant assumptions had to be made to derive required quantities. Through the query sheet, I addressed the issues of concern and indicated the assumptions I had made for each task to derive required quantities. I then transferred the calculated quantities to the bill of quantities along with the corresponding units of measurement and description of each item.
From this exercise, I was able to comprehend how relevant on-screen measurement software derive algorithms for taking off quantities from a building. Technological advancement in the construction industry is rapidly growing in various sectors of the industry attributed by emergence of various software in Civil Engineering, Architecture, Survey and Management. The relevance of these software has been crucial to effective completion of projects around the globe.
In the Quantity Survey field, measurement software like CostX and Candy are increasing being used. After taking off measurements manually, I understood why the use of measurement software is on the rise. To begin with, manual take off is time consuming and thus slows down the execution time of projects. Measurement software eliminate that through efficiency of producing measurements and costs for a project within a very short period of time.
Secondly, measurement software reduce the chance for calculation errors because they are accurate. Manual take offs are prone to human errors of omission and commission which may lead to significant variations rendering a project over budget. Thirdly, measurement software enhances project management through specified cost allocation. This is achieved through a comprehensive breakdown of costs for material, labour and specialist services.
On completion of this task, I believe that manual take off be largely disposed in this technological era due to the numerous advantages of quantity survey which ensure total cost accountability in projects which builds transparent results on completion of a project.
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