Quantity Surveying is a profession that dates back to the 18th century in the United Kingdom, when construction projects were measured and valued after they were designed and built. The “measurers” would quantify and assign a value to the work after the building was constructed and then negotiate with the client and architect on behalf of the tradesmen.
By the early 19th century, a new contractor system resulted in price competition before construction. Quantity Surveyors developed the skill of pre-measuring quantities from drawings and assembling them in “bills of quantities” before construction began.
The quantity surveying profession today has greatly evolved. Today’s Quantity Surveyors are a key part of the construction and financial management process, including cost estimating and forecasting, cost management, construction techniques and management, procurement processes and contractual matters.
With the uncertainty of today’s market conditions, the movement towards “green” buildings, and the use of non-traditional procurement methods, the quantity surveyors role continues to evolve.