Quantity Surveyors in India

Prospect of Quantity Surveyors in India, particularly in Kolkata


In India, it has been observed that Civil Engineers are doing all works from Preparation of Drawings, Designs, and Making Estimates, Work allocation through Tender, Execution of Works, and Contract Dispute Resolution etc.

There was no competition in the above stated works. Clients were ready to invest money as per direction of Civil Engineers. Civil Engineer's decision was final. Cost assessment was and even now done with the help of schedule of different works for different rates. No other professionals were involved in these process of works except Draftsman, Estimator and Junior Engineer.

Presently, it has been observed that day by day this scenery changes.

Now, we see that the various professionals are coming to this Construction Profession, such as Architects, Structural Engineers, Quantity Surveyors/ Q.S., Highway Engineer, Transportation Engineer, Geo Technical Engineer, Construction Managers, Valuers, Real Estate Managers, Lender Engineers and Many more.

However, such qualified professionals (qualified professionals means professionally qualified from Government recognized Institution/Universities) are doing jobs independently. Of course some of them are Government Officials.

As such, it is accepted that sceneries are gradually changing. Hope this scenario will rapidly change.

To explain the function of different professionals, as discussed above, I have taken the common engineering term “Economical Design” of a structure. Probably this term may not have been heard by Civil Engineers and Architects. The people have the concept that economical design is that design, which Mild Steel (MS) reinforcement are minimal use in the structure considering all safety rules.

However, as a Quantity Surveyor, it is well known and internationally accepted that definition of “Economical Design” means: -

  1. Utility
  2. Appearance and
  3. Durability related with cost of the structure.

Now we come to the functions and duties of different professionals in this Respect:

  1. “Utility”:- Utility of a structure is how it will be utilised. It may be utilised for Commercial Purposes, Residential Purposes, Office Purposes, Shopping Mall purposes, Educational Purposes and such others.
  2. In every utilisation of structure there is some demand in the market. Such market survey should be carried out at first instance. If there is no such demand in the market such proposal should be dropped. Otherwise such proposal should be set aside.

    This function to be carried out by “Valuers”.

  3. “Appearance”:- Highest market demand depends on appearance of the structure. If the appearance is very good, its demand will be high and it fetches high value in comparison to its construction cost.
  4. This function rests on “Architects”.

  5. “Durability”:- It is an important function. Durability of the structure means a structure whose safety is high without any major repair so that annual income from that property will continue in perpetuity in order to realize highest annual income from that structure and less expenditure for its maintenance i.e. less outgoings.
  6. This function is to be done by “Structural Engineer”.

  7. “Cost of the Structure”:- Detailed working out is required following I.S. 1200 (Standard method of measurement for Civil Engineering works) to arrive at total cost of structure. While design process it may require any change of specification, change of structure, deviation according to need. Expert “Quantity Surveyor” shall work on this, as required, on “Omit and Add” process in order to control the cost as far as possible expenditure initially forecasted.
  8. It is the function of “Quantity Surveyors”.

Quantity Surveyors means at least degree holders in Quantity Surveying recognized by Government of India. They are considered as expert professionals.

They use taking off quantities on the basis of “Group System” instead of “Trade System”. This process is very much advantageous in order to add and omit the works at any time when required.

In fact IS 1200 is designed only for the Quantity Surveyors for all works related to Civil Engineering works.

So, if all the professionals, as stated above works together without interfering other professionals and given equal importance to each professionals, the working environment will be far better and thereby economic condition will certainly change provided one professional shall not encroach in other profession.

Ultimately, this will decrease the cost of construction which may upto 15% than existing system and increase in market transaction value resulting about 50% fair value as per demand and prevailing market condition. Some Technical skills are required as a Quantity Surveyor which will be discuss our next Article.

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