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News & Press: 2013 News Items

The RICS New Rules of Measurement - NRM2 What's new plus Professional Negligence issues for QS's

Monday, 14 October 2013  
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Trevor Drury, Managing Director of Estia Consulting writes:

"The RICS has produced a suite of documents called the New Rules of Measurement (NRM). These are to be found in three volumes:

NRM1 - for the quantification of building works for the purpose of preparing cost estimates and cost plans.
NRM2 - guidance on the detailed measurement and description of building works for the purpose of obtaining a tender price.
NRM3 - guidance for cost planning and cost estimating for maintenance works

The subject of this article is NRM2, which replaces the Standard Method of Measurement published by the RICS in 1922 with the latest edition, SMM7, having been published 25 years ago in 1988. The first edition of NRM2 became operative from 1 January 2013."

He continues: "The RICS is of the view that a member, conforming to the practices recommended in the guidance note should have at least a partial defence to any allegation of professional negligence if they have followed those practices. However; the RICS backtracks slightly in stating that "members have the responsibility of deciding when it is appropriate to follow the guidance". Not particularly helpful you may think? The guidance then goes on further to state that where members failed to comply with the practice recommended in the note accompanying NRM 2, they should do so only for a good reason."

"To give a flavour of what lies beneath the covers, the preliminaries section, i.e. those costs that are part of the site overhead and either fixed costs or time related, have been extended considerably and is in more detail which will hopefully help the pricing of variations where time related site overhead costs are involved. There is now even a section that deals with Works Package Contractor's preliminaries.

To bring us into the 21st century there is a section for off-site manufacture. In terms of the old measured works sections there is now a requirement to provide what is termed "mandatory information", for example site plans, ground condition information and water table depth to name a few. There is also a requirement for a "minimum" amount of information that must be provided. So the chartered quantity surveyor must ensure that this information is provided within the bills of quantities or with the tender documentation to inform the tendering contractors of the scope of works that they are to include for within their tender price. Much of this information will be drawn information or reports that the quantity surveyor will have to make sure the design consultants have produced. I can see that this area of mandatory and minimum information could be an area for contractors to exploit in the form of claims if that information is not provided at all or provided to the requisite standard. So a word of warning!"

Click here to read the full article on the Estia website.

The ASAQS has started production of a new standard system suitable for use within Africa and has given it's members the opportunity to comment and provide inputs to the drafting of the new document. What is of utmost concern that in the months since this avenue was opened only two comments have been received!

Is our current, revised, SMM6 so perfect that changing it would be a waste of time?!