How technology is shaping the future of Quantity Surveying

How technology is shaping the future of Quantity Surveying

How technology is shaping the future of the Quantity Surveying

Since its emergence, digital technology has affected a great number of industries across the globe. While it’s more visible in certain areas, such as agriculture, manufacturing, and retail, the construction industry is taking the biggest advantage of it now.


It is said that the majority of construction firms still operate the same way they did decades ago. Even though new technologies have been emerging at a breakneck pace, contractors are quite adamant to change. But a shift from the physical to the digital world is extremely beneficial and the construction industry seems to be coming round to this realisation and embracing the digital change.

Mobile technology and software

Today, it’s possible for Quantity Surveyors and Project Managers to monitor the work progress from their office without having to travel to remote construction sites. This solution is extremely time-efficient. Employees can use their smartphones to contact each other and update on the progress, as well as send digital pictures for verification and inspection.

Special apps can also help schedule work, manage and report back to the main office. It improves productivity significantly. Most of this software is cloud-based enabling everyone to access real-time data. It is estimated that this solution can save hundreds of hours every year. This has huge potential for Quantity Surveyors as it can also make the building site your potential office, too - with instant Internet access, surveyors can update Cost Plans remotely from their clients’ offices, and create BOQs whilst on-site. Not only will this make for a faster costing process, but it will also make for a more accurate final model.

The Quantity Surveyor as advisor

Another benefit of the increasing influence of IT in the role of the Quantity Surveyor means that surveyors are able to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently than ever before. Hours spent hand-drawing designs and calculating costs can now be done at the touch of a button, thus leaving more time free to concentrate on other areas, like advising on procurement measures or suggesting the best building materials, including sustainable options to use.

As with BIM, Quantity Surveyors are now being called upon to act as advisors in a growing number of areas, including risk and value management, project financing, sustainability and even legal services. Given that an increasing number of businesses are acting as business advisors as well as Quantity Surveyors to their clients, it seems clear that the increase of data, and smarter technology, is going to make for a much more involved role in the future.

A greener vision

New technologies have brought with them massive leaps forward in the area of sustainable development. Whilst the cost of ‘greener’ constructions were estimated to be around 60% more than traditional models in the past, new inventions like smart appliances, coupled with processes like renewable energies and 3-D printing mean it’s now cheaper than ever before to create a custom, cheap ‘green’ building using a relatively low budget. Furthermore, given the vastly-improved technologies used to design and model a building, it’s much easier for Quantity Surveyors to choose suitable, durable and more eco-friendly materials to build with, which in turn chimes with the increasing need to develop sustainable building practices.

Getting a Quantity Surveyor involved early on in the project can offer many benefits to the client and development team.

Gleave QS