Cover page

Table of Contents

Title page

Copyright page




List of Tables and Diagrams

Glossary of Terms

1: Introduction

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Standard Methods of Measurement

1.3 Pricing

2: A Practical Introduction to Measurement

2.1 A Practical Introduction to Measurement

2.2 Measurement Procedure

3: Code of Measuring Practice

3.1 Introduction

3.2 The Purpose of the Code

3.3 Measurement

3.4 Good Practice

3.5 Practical Application: Gifa London Road

4: How to Use the New Rules of Measurement 1

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Framework

4.3 Estimates

4.4 Cost Plans

4.5 Information

4.6 Practical Application: Included and Excluded

5: NRM 1 Estimates

5.1 Practice and Procedure

5.2 Method of Measurement

5.3 Practical Application: Estimate London Road Basement

6: NRM 1 Cost Plans

6.1 Practice and Procedure

6.2 Elements

6.3 Method of Measurement for Cost Plans

6.4 Cost Plans

6.5 Practical Application: Cost Plan London Road Basement

7: Information

7.1 Introduction

7.2 Information Requirements for Estimates

7.3 Information Required for the Cost Plans

7.4 Progressive Provision of Information

8: Preliminaries, Risk, Overheads and Profit

8.1 Introduction

8.2 Preliminaries

8.3 Risk

8.4 Overheads and Profit

8.5 Practical Example: Site Based Preliminaries

9: Unit Rates

9.1 Introduction

9.2 Labour Rates

9.3 Labour Constants

9.4 Materials

9.5 Plant

9.6 Practical Application: For Concrete, Brickwork, Partitioning, Roofing, Windows

10: Cost Analyses

10.1 Introduction

10.2 Types of Indices

10.3 Requirements of Indices

10.4 Problems with Indices

10.5 Using Indices to Adjust Estimates



Market Conditions

Types of Contract

10.6 Practical Application: Cost Adjustment for Customer Service Centre

Appendix 1

London Road Drawing: No. SDCO/1/01 Site Layout, Size A1

Appendix 2

London Road Drawing: No. SDcO/1/02 Plan, Elevation and Section. Size A1

These and further appendices are available on the website



The book’s companion website is at

You will find here freely downloadable support material

The author’s website is at

Title page


Good textbooks on explaining the principles and practice of building measurement are few and far between. Checking the catalogues of publishers will also reveal that only a few have longevity. A great many students have difficulty in developing the required skills so that they are able to properly and correctly apply them to new situations, a competence that is essential in the workplace. For some students the problem relates to a lack or poor understanding of construction technology. In the past I have often asked students whether they understand the principles of how buildings are constructed. Their replies are often encouraging but it is not long before I realise that their knowledge is pitifully inadequate. Without this knowledge no one will be able to adequately measure building works. For other students it is often due to a lack of study or an understanding of the rules of measurement. Others find it difficult to visualise construction in three dimensions and this inhibits their progress. These skills are very much in demand in practice and no amount of information technology has yet been able to replace them.

This is a new textbook that has been written with the above in mind by an author who I have worked with in delivering lectures on the New Rules of Measurement (NRM volume 1) on behalf of the RICS. I therefore know that he has a clear understanding of just what is required through many years of practice and teaching. He has recognised that the subject is difficult for students to understand and that insufficient time is allocated to its study in colleges and universities, as the demand for space in the curriculum exceeds the amount of time that is available. In order to help students overcome these difficulties he has therefore written this book interactively. This has never before been attempted to help facilitate an easier and better understanding of the way in which building works are measured. This will allow students to gain both a quicker and better grasp and understanding of the subject and the skills that are required to be able to apply the subject in practice whether working in a private office or with a contractor.

Furthermore the author has taken the trouble to try and understand how students acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills required for building measurement. He has given this much thought through a doctoral programme and has used his findings when writing this book. Once a student has properly acquired them, he or she will then have little difficulty in using them on other types of projects such as civil engineering or process plant engineering.

Professor Allan Ashworth

York, 2012


‘Estimating and Cost Planning Using the New Rules of Measurement’ is intended to provide some guidance on all the technical competencies concerned with estimating throughout the precontract period and this volume provides comprehensive and detailed examples of the work that is undertaken. The text and examples have been drawn from my professional and academic practice as a chartered quantity surveyor and lecturer.

The publication by the RICS of the suite of New Rules of Measurement (NRM) provides a prescriptive approach to the measurement of quantities throughout the construction process. The first of these, NRM 1, provides new methods of measurement for estimates and cost plans. As is often the case with innovations, some guidance can be useful and a commentary with examples and exercises on how to use NRM 1 is therefore appropriate. This textbook includes examples on how to measure estimates and cost plans in accordance with NRM 1.

The publication of the RICS Black Book guidance notes on acceleration and damages for delay to completion provides best practice to the quantity surveying profession and could, perhaps, indicate further developments in standard methods of measurement in an area very much in need of an accurate and consistent approach.

For both students and practitioners, the acquisition of technical competencies is by practice. A textbook can only provide an introduction. For this reason each chapter has a step-by-step worked example that can be followed and an opportunity to practise with an exercise on each topic. Cognitive development can be monitored by using the self-assessment marking sheets that are also provided.

A work like this will contain errors and they are entirely my own responsibility. I would be grateful for your assistance if you would be kind enough to please point out these errors and I will correct them at the first opportunity. I am also aware that some of the opinions in this volume will not be shared by all. I welcome your opinions which I will carefully consider.

Sean D.C. Ostrowski

Spring 2012


The author and the publisher would like to thank the following individuals and organisations for their kind permission to use the following materials: Professor Allan Ashworth for allowing me to use the material in Chapter 20 of Cost Studies of Buildings 5th edn, Prentice Hall Pearson to form Tables 8.8 and 8.9; G. Godwin/Builder Group/United business media for the use of W. Atton Estimating Applied to Building, 3rd edn, for the use of brickwork labour constants; CEM for the use of the drawings of the office building; the RICS and BCIS for allowing me to reproduce tables included in NRM 1, the code of measuring practice and elemental analyses and key performance indicators from Elemental Standard Form of Cost Analysis for the use of their table concerning floor areas; Standard Form of Cost Analysis; Taylor and Francis/Spon for the use of the brickwork pricing example in Chapter 9; and Turner and Townsend for the use of their diagrams concerning floor areas in Chapter 3.

Many people have read and commented on parts of the manuscript and they have my sincere thanks and gratitude. In particular, I wish to thank: my wife, Sally, for her assistance with proof reading; David Benge of Gleeds for our useful initial discussions on NRM 1; Keith Tweedy for his careful appraisal and discussions on the NRMs; Professor Allan Ashworth for his encouragement and tolerance; David Hockley, RIBA, and Matthew Boughton who despite busy workloads prepared many of the drawings and helped to convert them into the manuscript; Ian Pegg and Cosmos Kamasho of the BCIS; Professor David Jenkins and David Quarmby of Glamorgan University.

I also wish to thank the students of several institutions who diligently, and sometimes gleefully but always in good humour, pointed out everything that they could find that was wrong or inconsistent; also Madeleine Metcalfe, other members of staff and the technical assessors at Wiley Blackwell for their encouragement and comments for which I am profoundly grateful.

List of Tables and Diagrams

Table 2.1 Measurement protocols.
Table 2.2 Compound items for estimates: Floor finishes.
Table 2.3 Measured items for cost plans: Floor finishes.
Table 2.4 Compound items for estimates: Basement slab.
Table 2.5 Compound items for cost plan: Basement slab.
Table 3.1 Types of measurement and their application for different uses.
Table 3.2 Tolerances of accuracy.
Table 3.3 Schedule of Areas.
Table 3.4 Net useable areas (NUA) and net internal areas (NIA).
Table 3.5 Area schedule.
Table 3.6 Developer's area schedule.
Table 3.7 London Road, GIFA.
Table 3.8 London Road query sheet.
Table 4.1 Planning stages in NRM.
Table 4.2 Constituents of an estimate.
Table 4.3 Estimate: building works.
Table 4.4 Levels of elements for estimates.
Table 4.5 Substructure estimates.
Table 4.6 Levels of elements for cost planning.
Table 4.7 The NRM and levels.
Table 4.8 Element levels for steel frame.
Table 4.9 Basement method of measurement.
Table 4.10 Included and excluded: openings.
Table 4.11 Included and excluded: designed joints.
Table 4.12 Typical estimate.
Table 5.1 Work stages for estimates.
Table 5.2 Constituents of an estimate.
Table 5.3 Elements for the building works part of an estimate.
Table 5.4 Substructure method of measurement for basements.
Table 5.5 Compound item: conversion of cubic to superficial measurement.
Table 5.6 Superstructure estimates.
Table 5.7 Upper floors estimates.
Table 5.8 Space heating estimates.
Table 5.9 London Road estimate, basement floor areas.
Table 5.10 Compound item for estimate of substructure basement.
Table 6.1 Work stages for cost plans.
Table 6.2 Work stages for post-contract work.
Table 6.3 Elements for cost plans.
Table 6.4 Five levels of elements for cost plans for wall finishes.
Table 6.5 Five levels of measurement in cost plans for internal finishes.
Table 6.6 Methods of measurement for cost plans for piling and basement.
Table 6.7 Basement.
Table 6.8 Reinforced concrete frames.
Table 6.9 Upper floors in reinforced concrete.
Table 6.10 Floor finishes.
Table 6.11 Air conditioning.
Table 6.12 Cost Plan 1.
Table 6.13 Cost Plan 2.
Table 6.14 Cost Plan 3.
Table 6.15 London Road, priced substructure cost plan.
Table 7.1 Availability of information from the employer.
Table 7.2 Availability of information from the architect.
Table 7.3 Availability of information from the services engineer.
Table 7.4 Availability of information from the structural engineer.
Table 7.5 Information requirements from the employer for CP1.
Table 7.6 Availability of information.
Table 7.7 Employer's information for cost plans.
Table 7.8 Information requirements from the architect for CP1.
Table 7.9 Availability of information.
Table 7.10 Information required from the services engineer.
Table 7.11 Information required from the structural engineer.
Table 7.12 Progressive employer's information requirements.
Table 7.13 Progressive architect's information requirements.
Table 7.14 Progressive services information.
Table 7.15 Progressive structural information.
Table 8.1 Sample spreadsheet layout for measuring preliminaries.
Table 8.2 Preliminaries example.
Table 8.3 Calculation of preliminaries and temporary works.
Table 8.4 Calculation of preliminaries and temporary works.
Table 8.5 Calculation of preliminaries and temporary works.
Table 8.6 Design development risk.
Table 8.7 Construction risks.
Table 8.8 Employer's risk change criteria.
Table 8.9 Employer's other risks.
Table 8.10 Semi-quantitative risk analysis.
Table 8.11 Probability and impact tables.
Table 8.12 Risk calculation.
Table 8.13 Site preliminaries.
Table 9.1 Hourly rate build up using RICS prime cost of dayworks.
Table 9.2 Labour constants.
Table 9.3 Brickwork labour rates.
Table 9.4 Materials constants.
Table 9.5 Changes in plant hire 1993–2003.
Table 9.6 Comparison of machine and hand excavation rates.
Table 9.7 Concrete unit rate calculation.
Table 9.8 Brickwork unit rate.
Table 9.9 Hardwood window unit rate.
Table 9.10 Partitions unit rate.
Table 9.11 Calculation for number of roof tiles per square metre.
Table 9.12 Roofing tiles unit rate.
Table 9.13 Reinforcement rate build up.
Table 10.1 BCIS location factors.
Table 10.2 BCIS inflation factors: Tender Price Index.
Table 10.3 BCIS Building Cost Index.
Table 10.4 BCIS Market Condition Index.
Table 10.5 BCIS Selection of Contractor Index.
Table 10.6 BCIS tender analysis of customer service centre.
Table 10.7 BCIS elemental analysis of customer service centre.
Table 10.8 BCIS Price Fluctuations Index.
Table 10.9 BCIS Location Factor Index.
Table 10.10 Cost plan adjustments for Ripon.
Table 10.11 BCIS tender analysis of educational building.
Table 10.12 BCIS elemental analysis of educational building.
Table 10.13 BCIS price fluctuations index.
Table 10.14 BCIS location factor index for self-assessment exercise.
Diagram 3.1 Columns.
Diagram 3.2 Common walls and attached columns.
Diagram 3.3 Loading bays.
Diagram 3.4 Canopies.
Diagram 3.5 Atria.
Diagram 3.6 Winter gardens.
Diagram 3.7 Floor area variables.
Diagram 9.1 Roof tiling.

Glossary of Terms

APC Assessment of Professional Competence
BCIS Building Cost Information Services
BMS building management system
BQs Bills of Quantities
BREEAM Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method
BS British Standard
BWIC builders' work in connection
CAT category
CCTV closed circuit television
CITB Construction Industry Training Board
CP Cost Plan
DS district surveyor
DDA Disability Discrimination Act
DPC damp proof course
F/M foreman
GA ground area
GEA Gross External Area
GEFA Gross External Floor Area
GIA Gross Internal Area
GIFA Gross Internal Floor Area
h/c hardcore
IT information technology
JCT Joint Contracts Tribunal
Lab labourer
M & E mechanical and electrical
NEDO National Economic Development Office
NIA Net Internal Area
NIFA Net Internal Floor Area
NRM New Rules of Measurement
NUA net useable area
O/H & P overheads and profits
OGC Office of Government Commerce
PAFI price adjustment formulae indices
PFI price fluctuation index
PPP public–private partnership
RIBA Royal Institute of British Architects
RICS Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
SMM standard method of measurement
ssw sawn softwood
T & C test and commission
TPI Tender Price Index
VAT Value Added Tax



1.1 Introduction
  • Contents
  • RICS competence levels
  • Practical examples and self-assessment exercises
  • Companion websites
1.2 Standard methods of measurement
  • Elemental measurement
  • Trade measurement
  • Compatibility
1.3 Pricing
  • Accurate prices