Areas of work, specialisms and alternatives

Construction economics/quantity surveying

22 Jun 2023, 13:20

Manages all aspects of the contractual and financial side of construction projects. Likely projects in Ireland include the development and construction of major projects, such as residential and retail development, office buildings, schools, hospitals, bridges, roads and sewerage.

Two construction workers in safety vests and hard hats with surveying equipment in the background.

Quantity surveyors and construction economists, sometimes known as construction cost consultants, work for either the client or contractor and can be based in an office or on site. Their role is to manage all costs relating to construction projects from initial design calculations to the final account, seeking to minimise costs and enhance value for money, while achieving the required standards and quality.

These roles are fundamental to the success of any construction related project, all the way through from project initiation to completion of the job. All aspects of the project need to be correctly costed and financially sustainable. If the costings are too restrictive, the project’s overall quality could suffer, if they are too generous, funds could be exhausted before the project is completed, so it’s a question of balance and being realistic about what can be achieved by analysing the timeframe in which it is expected that the project be completed and the available funding for the project.

Typical tasks for a quantity surveyor or construction economist include:

  • Researching and preparing construction budgets for a range of construction and construction related projects
  • Planning the costs of each phase of the project to ensure value for money and also sustainability in terms of the overall project
  • Advising both contractors and state agencies on costing related matters for various construction projects
  • Advising on choosing contractors and procurement processes
  • Administering the costs during the project for both contractor and other related parties, such as the client
  • Negotiation and dispute resolution
  • Taxation and funding advice

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