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Bill of Quantities Software

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Efficient bills of quantities make tendering more uniform and pricing more precise for contractors. They also provide valuable records for future maintenance, repairs and expansions.

Standard Method of Measurement (SMM7)

Standard methods of measurement (SMMs) are a set of rules and classification tables that help prepare bills of quantities. These documents are issued to tenderers and contain measured quantities for items of work identified by drawings and specifications in tender documentation. These measurements are used to price the work and to compare bids. The SMMs are designed to ensure consistency in preparing bill of quantities by providing a common arrangement of work sections. This enables contractors to quote accurately, which benefits the client.

The SMMs also provide an accurate and reliable basis for determining the cost of construction works. In addition, they can be easily understood by the construction industry, which makes them an invaluable tool for estimating and contracting building projects. These guidelines are used by quantity surveyors to prepare bills of quantities, a document that lists the costs and quantities of all items of work on a construction project. This document is an essential part of a contract and must be accurate and clear in order to avoid disputes later on.

One of the motivations for introducing a standard method of measurement is to reduce disputes on construction sites, which can cause significant delays. The use of a standard measurement method will eliminate miscalculations, misunderstandings and legal disputes, and allow the contractor to concentrate on production. It will also improve the quality of the work, which will save time and money.

New Rules of Measurement (NRM)

The New Rules of Measurement (NRM) is a set of detailed measurement rules that apply to the preparation of standard and bespoke bills of quantities, quantified schedules of works, and other quantity-based pricing documents. It provides essential guidance for those involved in the preparation of such documents, as well as those wishing to adopt more rigorous cost control procedures.

The standardized methodology in NRM 2 eliminates disparities in measurement and enables quantity surveyors to prepare more accurate bills of quantities, reducing the risk of disputes and unforeseen costs. It also allows for more detailed work to be incorporated into the bill of quantities.

Using NRM 2 for complex commercial construction projects streamlines cost estimation and enables the project team to make more informed decisions. This process saves time, improves coordination, and reduces the likelihood of costly mistakes.

NRM 2 also facilitates the use of Building Information Modelling, which helps to ensure accuracy and consistency in the preparation of bills of quantities and other cost-related documents. Moreover, NRM 2 has adopted the MasterFormat referencing system, which allows for consistent use of items in NRM and SMM formats.

NRM 2 is also compatible with existing unit measurement systems such as SMM7 and Uniformat, which have adopted the Common Arrangement of Work Sections (CAWS). It also includes libraries and resource rates that are updated annually. These libraries allow users to quickly and accurately price jobs using a range of Laxton’s build ups, default resource rates, or subcontractor’s rates.

Sub-division of work sections

A well-prepared bill of quantities is essential to the success of construction projects. It provides a clear financial scope for construction work, and helps managers monitor costs, schedules, and budgets. It also facilitates thorough tender analyses by quantity surveyors, ensuring that contractors’ bids are accurate and compliant with project specifications.

It is important to ensure that the bill of quantities is accurate, as even small errors can multiply and result in inflated cost estimates. This requires extensive collaboration, careful itemisation and precise quantifications. The result is a document that is used by architects, engineers, quantity surveyors and contractors throughout the building process.

The most important component of a bill of quantities is the Work Sections list. It identifies the items of work to be carried out on a construction project, including materials, labour hours and equipment. It also includes the method of measurement and unit costs. The Work Sections list is divided into various categories, such as trade, location, or a combination of both. It also contains a numbering system and a brief description for each item.

Innovative construction estimating software offers advanced features for creating bills of quantities. Its easy-to-use interface and intuitive tools make it quick and simple to create a professional and dynamic document. Its powerful takeoff tools are married with detailed production, presentation, electronic export, and tender cost import functions to deliver a single integrated solution.


The creation of a Bill of Quantities (BOQ) is one of the most important tasks for quantity surveyors, architects and many other members of the construction industry. The document serves multiple purposes, from enabling standardised and equitable tendering to providing comprehensive project cost details.

The preparation of a bill of quantities is a time-consuming and labour-intensive task that requires the use of specialised software tools. While there are free templates available online, these may not be suitable for large and complex projects. They also have a narrower materials-only scope as compared to the more comprehensive project cost details encompassed in a BOQ.

There are a number of different formats used for bills of quantities, and the selection is usually made on a case-by-case basis depending on the size of the project. Typically, the work is divided into different sections based on the work packages that are likely to be sub-contracted to different suppliers. This helps in reducing the amount of re-work that is required during tendering and post-tender analysis.

Modern commercial estimating software provides a variety of formatting options, including a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) interface, on-screen editing for descriptions and dimensions and point and click to resequence rogue description entries. It can also support more than one method of measurement and utilise price libraries for a consistent and documented rate build-up.