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The Association of South African Quantity Surveyors

All of us count!

Quantity Surveyors, project managers, cost engineers or anybody interested in the construction industry and built environment should find really useful information on this large web site dedicated to the quantity surveying profession in South Africa. Our Events Calendar lists seminars and events for quantity surveyors, cost engineers, project managers and other role players in the construction industry. Visit our online store to purchase contracts, documents, apparel and software or take time out to catch up on the latest "News". Browse around... we hope you enjoy your stay! Welcome. We're glad you're here.


The unintended consequences of discounting in the built environment

Opinion by Meggyn Marot, principal broker: professional risks at Aon South Africa

John Ruskin once said, “It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money - that's all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.”

The unintended consequences of applying a free market economy principle to an emerging market landscape with high infrastructure demands, is that we begin to feed the wrong beast. Instead of encouraging quality builds that can stand the test of time and building a future, we fail to think long-term, and we encourage the cheapest and fastest options because we want results now, and we fail to plan. The irony is that it costs us more in the long run, not just in monetary terms, but the benefits of those projects that are lost to our country and our people.

Please click here to read the rest of this article that recently appeared in Leading Architecture & Design

A Critical Review of Cost Benefit Analysis
(In Use for both Public and Private Projects)

 2015 PAQS Congress Proceedings, Yokohama, Japan

Cost benefit analysis (CBA) is conventionally known as a method to assess the relative desirability of competing alternatives in terms of their economic worth to society.

In simple words, CBA is a technique used to determine whether a planned action will turn out to be good or bad. It concerns efficient use of resources by estimating and totaling up the equivalent money value of the benefits and costs of a project to establish whether the project is worthwhile.

With the focus on economic objectives, the industry has become more demanding in this modern era where global policies and environmental issues are dominating the minds of the decision-makers. Not only public clients and corporate clients, private clients today also pay attention to cost-benefit analysis in their development in meeting stringent rules and complying with regulatory measures in respect of cost accountability. In analyzing the literature relating to cost benefit analysis, this paper attempts to address the economic perspective of cost-benefit analysis and its
unique significance of social costs for the human well-being.

Please click here for access to the paper

Launch of public consultation for ICMS which will improve confidence and save money


Against a backdrop of tightening public purse strings and growing investment demand, construction industry leaders have joined together to set out a radical new approach to calculate costs for the world’s building and civil engineering projects.

Today, the International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS) Coalition, a group of over 40 professional bodies established at the IMF in Washington D.C. in 2015, is calling for professionals to support the collaboration and help embed common standards at the heart of construction investment.

To tackle this problem, the ICMS Coalition is leading the creation of a universal system measuring the cost of construction projects which will allow comparisons to be made on a like-for-like basis between countries.

The ICMS Coalition, of which the ASAQS is a member, is a rapidly growing partnership of leading organisations from around the world, committed to producing and supporting consistent shared standards for construction costs

THE ASAQS invites you to comment on the draft standard by visiting:

Should you have any queries, please contact Professor Tinus Maritz who is the ASAQS representative at the ICMS Coalition meetings on (012) 420 4972 or

The Latest EduTech Q&A Updates

We are busy adding new Q&A's to the EduTech Q&A section in the Members Only CUG. This means that all our members have access to what has essentially become a substitution for the old practice notes we used to publish.

This week we added EduTech's responses to these questions:

How should formwork to columns projecting beyond the perimeter of the building be measured? 


Should one separate paintwork from the rest of alterations when doing fees (appropriate percentage of 160% in lieu of 125% for a contract with bills of quantities)?

Click here to visit the EduTech Q&A

The benefits of “Green” building

Taking a look at the value a Quantity Surveyor brings to a “green” building project

Climate change is no longer a speculation but a reality in our lives. “The construction and operation of modern buildings, those in which we will live and work, are responsible for the consumption of many of our natural resources, and the generation of carbon and other gases that cause global warming,” says Larry Feinberg, Executive Director at the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS).

In the Unites States, to which South Africa’s major cities can draw a parallel, buildings account for 39% of total energy use, 68% of total electricity consumption, 30% of landfill waste, 38% of carbon dioxide emissions and 12% of total water consumption.

As populations grow bigger and urbanization grows cities at an unprecedented rate, with local authorities building upwards and not outwards, this concentration of people and the conveniences of life impact our natural environment – aggravating climate change even further.

Click here to read on

Software frees quantity surveyors to add (yet more) value

Larry Feinberg, Executive Director, Association for South African Quantity Surveyors says : "Software has disrupted many industry sectors, from travel to insurance, and from retail to real estate. In each case, we were informed excitedly that the new technology would side-line humans. And yet estate agents, insurance brokers and even brick-and-mortar retail stores all still continue to grow. More accurately, those that have embraced the new technology have gone on to flourish."

Click here to read further

Quote of the week

Good, better, best. Never let it rest. 'Til your good is better and your better is best.

St. Jerome

Google Tips & Tricks

Over the next few weeks we will be telling you about some nifty tools built into your favourite search engine and also some other stand-alone tools provided by Google...

Convert Time Zones

Wish to call or Skype someone in Paris and you are not sure what time zone they’re
in? Not a problem, once again Google is at the rescue. The easiest way to do this is to just type, "What
time is it in Paris"

A quicker way to check the right remote meeting time is to ask Google to do the conversion for you
by typing (without quotes) — "convert 5:30am to Paris".

The tips and tricks from past weeks can be found here.

UCT Students blog their thoughts on the Research Conference

Students from UCT put together a blog to thank the ASAQS WC Chapter for sponsoring them to attend the recent SACQSP Conference in Port Elizabeth and we wish to share the insights they gained at the conference with you.

Please click here to access the blog and read the views of other students.

Rain is a blessing but not through the roof of my new house!

Generally contracts for the sale of property will contain a voetstoots clause which allows a seller to be freed from the liability for both patent (obvious) and latent (hidden) defects of which a purchaser becomes aware after taking occupation of the property. But does it allow the seller to hide serious defects from the buyer?

Please read the rest of this article provided courtesy of PSN Incorporated

NMMU Quantity Surveying students did it again!

To find out what the students did click here

New Book: Quantity Surveying - Pre-contract Administration
Worked Examples: Estimates, Feasibility Studies, Bills of Quantities

Following on the book ‘Measuring Building Work - Worked Examples’ of which more than 10 000 copies have already being sold, this book was compiled to further assist quantity surveying and construction management students and practitioners in understanding the measurement of quantities for building work for a three-storey building, in accordance with the Standard System of Measuring Building Work (7th Edition), published by the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS).

Furthermore, this 178-page book also includes the compilation of two methods of estimating: the Square-Metre method of estimating and the Elemental method of estimating.

The book contains drawings, estimating examples with component rate build-ups and also includes a comprehensive Feasibility Study.

More information can be obtained by clicking here.

Author: Prof Fanie Buys PhD PrQS PMAQS MRICS

To order:
R180-00 + postage

Invitation to participate in research surveys

We currently have two students who require assistance from you with their masters degrees. All you have to do is click on the links below and do the online surveys. You are rewarded with half and hour of CPD in category 2 for each survey you complete.

Research project 1

Kudakwashe Hanga is a QS stationed in the DRC who is busy with an MSc in Quantity Surveying M&E degree at the University of Salford, Greater Manchester UK.

His research investigates the Ethical Perceptions and Behaviours of Quantity Surveyors in South Africa and the questionnaire can be answered by clicking here.

Research project  2

The next research project, conducted by Olawale B. Idebi, is entitled “EVALUATING QUALITY MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN PROFESSIONAL QUANTITY SURVEYING FIRMS IN SOUTH AFRICA”.and is in  part fulfilment of a Magister Technologiae (MTech) in Quantity Surveying programme in the Department of Construction Management and Quantity Surveying, University of Johannesburg. Your sincere response through the questionnaire will afford professional quantity surveying firms in South Africa the opportunity to identify and improve on their quality management practices, hence ensuring consistent quality service, customer satisfaction and overall business success.

Have you missed something? Browse to the News section!

Think you may have missed something browse to our news section, it might still be there.

New courses added to GoLearning

In order to assist you we have added numerous new courses to GoLearning and will continue to add new courseware during the year.

Efficient - available 24/7 - do CPD when it suits you
Affordable - at a fraction of the cost of a seminar
Targeted - do courses according to your needs

Eat into your CPD requirements with GoLearning by clicking here.

  Weekend Property & Construction News


In order to assist members to plan their diaries this year in terms of forthcoming congresses and conferences they may wish to attend, we publish the preliminary dates of some of these congresses for your attention:

WCPDF Conference 207


What you get: :Banner adverts on the ASAQS website (over 1,000,000 hits/month on average!) A Mini-ad on the ASAQS website and on the Weekend Property and Construction News (over 5,300 subscribers) Preferential exposure of your products and services Targeted marketing at only R484.50 (inclusive) per month
Don't wait, we only have a limited number of slots left.

Contact Bert van den Heever the ASAQS Webmaster


While the ASAQS aims to ensure that its publications represent best practice, the ASAQS does not accept or assume any liability or responsibility for any events or consequences thereof that derive from the use of documents or any other materials, software or resources as they are only intended to provide general guidance to those who wish to make use of it. Such publications, software or resources are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied including but without limitation to warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement.