The challenges of measuring and accounting for construction

Rick Best, Jim Meikle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

[Extract]
Measuring construction used to be a straightforward exercise. Work was physically measured on completion and those who did the work were paid based on
the quantities of work measured. People who carried out the measurement or
‘surveying’ work became known as quantity surveyors.
Gradually the practice of measuring and estimating the cost of construction
before the start of the work, usually from some sort of drawing(s), replaced the
measurement of work after it was completed. A handwritten estimate for the
building of a cottage in Wales prepared in 1809 (see Lethbridge 2008) included
the following items:
• For digging stones for building 294 yds @ 8d = £ 9.16.0
• For building the house 294 yds @ 14d = £ 17.3.0
• 220 feet of timber @ 4/6 per foot = £49.10.0
• All sorts of nails = £ 3. 0.0
• Hinges, latchets and smyth’s work = £ 0.15.0
The entire estimate comprised just 14 items. In Commonwealth countries at
least, such measurement and estimation developed into the detailed measurement and pricing of building works, with measurement based on precise rules
compiled and published by professional bodies such as the Royal Institution of
Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAccounting for Construction: Frameworks, Productivity, Cost and Performance
EditorsRick Best, Jim Meikle
Place of PublicationAbingdon
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter1
Pages1-13
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-315-23178-5
ISBN (Print)9781138293977
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2019

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  • Related Research Outputs

    • 3 Chapter
    • 1 Scholarly edition

    Accounting for Construction: Frameworks, Productivity, Cost and Performance

    Best, R. (ed.) & Meikle, J. (ed.), 11 Apr 2019, Abingdon: Routledge. 242 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportScholarly editionResearchpeer-review

  • A proposed framework for measuring future construction industry performance

    Chandler, D., Hardie, M., Perera, S. & Langston, C. A., 11 Apr 2019, Accounting for construction: Frameworks, productivity, cost and performance. Best, R. & Meikle, J. (eds.). Abingdon: Routledge, p. 215-234 20 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

  • A review of the 2011 construction survey and results from the World Bank International Comparison Program

    Meikle, J., 11 Apr 2019, Accounting for Construction: Frameworks, Productivity, Cost and Performance. Best, R. & Meikle, J. (eds.). Abingdon: Routledge, p. 155-180 25 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

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  • Cite this

    Best, R., & Meikle, J. (2019). The challenges of measuring and accounting for construction. In R. Best, & J. Meikle (Eds.), Accounting for Construction: Frameworks, Productivity, Cost and Performance (pp. 1-13). Routledge.