Monday, July 19, 2010

How To Tender


A business tender is an offer to do work or supply goods at a fixed price. The tender or bid process is designed to ensure that the work to be done is given out in a fair way. There are a number of policies (known as 'procurement policies') which are used as guides on how to make decisions on which tender to accept. Although price is very important in the decision on which tender or bid to accept, it is not the only factor taken into account.

Once the client entity accepts a tender, it is binding on both parties. This means that the person or company that won this business opportunity has to provide the goods or services in the manner agreed to and at the price offered, and the client entity must pay the agreed price at the agreed time. In other words, once accepted, a tender is a binding business contract.

Even if you don't win the work this time, writing a tender can clarify your aims, strengths and weaknesses and you can learn for next time by asking for feedback on your bid. It raises your profile with the client and helps you learn about the clients needs.

Tenders in South Africa are a lucrative source of income for small business, but can be challenging to negotiate, particularly since legislation has changed, and requirements differ between organisations and government sectors. Getting the process right not only saves time and effort but has the potential to set up lucrative income streams.


You can identify public-sector contracts by:
Following up contract notices published in newspapers and trade magazines;
Getting the government tender bulletin;
Searching department websites;

Or alternatively, one can access the Online Tenders website at a nominal monthly subscription cost to get the latest tenders and business leads in SA.

Online Tenders is a tender notification service that researches business tenders in South Africa and business leads throughout the country, classifies and matches the tender that is relevant to your exact business requirement. These tenders are then emailed to you on a daily basis or you can simply access the Online Tenders website for further tender information.


Preparing business tenders can help you to win big orders, but it can also be time-consuming, cost money and takes up valuable resources. If you don't get the contract, the money and time spent is usually lost, so you need to weigh up whether or not a tender is worth bidding for.

Key points to consider:
Get hold of the bid documents and analyse them.
Make sure you can match the technical, skill and experience requirements.
How much will it cost to prepare your bid?
Would the work fit in with your strategy and positioning of your business?
Estimate the costs of fulfilling the contract and whether or not you'd make enough money to justify it.
Assess how the contract would affect your other work, staffing and ability to take on other new business opportunities.

You also need to consider how important the client is to your business contracts. Is this a good potential client or one you don't want to offend by not tendering? Try to understand things from the client's point of view.


Check the tender advert and phone the contact person. Clarify issues on how the tender document can be collected. Most of the time, this is stated on the tender advert.


Many potential clients will talk things through on an informal basis before you decide to bid. Ask for a face to face meeting or a telephone chat. You should always raise questions by phone or email if business tender documents are unclear - on anything from deadlines to how you will get paid.

Make sure the client is serious and that you're not there to make up the numbers or to test the market. Sometimes customers may just be fishing for ideas they'll then use for themselves. But don't forget many clients genuinely want you to make a creative contribution and provide relevant ideas.

Site inspections are another way in which clients disseminate information on the project. Some site meetings are compulsory and not attending the meeting will automatically disqualify you from tendering.

Therefore, check the tender advert as soon as it is released to clarify the site inspections by telephoning the client and requesting confirmation of the site inspection. This is one of the reasons for subscribing to a South African business tender notification service; you can now have your tender adverts delivered to your office desk daily.


So, we have collected the document and we have decided that we want to tender. What do we put in our tender submission?

Focus on the client - talk about their needs and how you can solve their problems. When you write about yourself, it's to prove you have the skills, experience and the organization to fulfill the client's requirements.

Help the client by coming up with ideas - from alternative ways of doing things to how to tackle possible worries about future maintenance and staffing implications.

If the client has provided a qualification document, make sure that you cover everything in the document.

Value for money decides most bids, not simply the cost. Bring something to the work that can't be done by the client. Emphasise business benefits, service improvements, risk reduction, low maintenance, quality, reliability, previous satisfied customers plus lifetime costs and so on.

Analyze all the cost and pricing factors of the contract. Don't ignore fixed costs such as wages for staff who could be working on something else.

Contract management - show you have the resources to do the work in a cost-effective way to meet the client's needs, hit deadlines and respond flexibly to changing situations.

Show you've thought about and can manage potential financial, commercial, and legal risks that could cause contract failure.

Give details of your team. Emphasize strengths - CVs should highlight successes with similar projects as well as qualifications and experience.


Now that we know what to put in the document, we must compile our submission. Each tender indicates a closing date. This is a very firm deadline and no late business tenders can be accepted.

Bids or business tenders in South Africa have to be in writing. Each tender has a number of associated forms, which must accompany the tender you submit. The specific forms you require for your tender should be listed in the tender documentation. You should consider very carefully how you fill in these forms. Get advice if you are unsure of anything.

The forms usually required for national and provincial business tenders in South Africa are the following:
1 The Bid
In this document you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of the tender or bid.
2 Tax Clearance Requirement
Your taxes must be in order to be successful with your tender or bid. This document has an 'Application for tax clearance certificate' form attached to it. You have to complete this form and hand it in at your nearest South African Revenue Services (SARS) office, to get a tax clearance certificate. You must then attach the original tax clearance certificate that you get from SARS, to the tender or bid documents. This certificate serves as proof that you are not in arrears with your tax payments.
3 Price and motivation
Which of these documents you complete depends on the subject of the tender. In this form, you motivate your price, by describing the product you will supply or the experience of the person who will perform the service. This form is often amended for the particular tender, so carefully check which one you need to complete.
4 Declaration of Interest
This is the document in which you declare whether or not you have a relationship (friend, family, business leads) with anyone who works for government. This is so that those people are not involved in awarding the tender in any way, to avoid corruption.
5 Preference certificate
You must fill in the form for tenders even if you are not claiming any of the preference points.
6 Contract form
This is the contract that binds the parties should the tender be successful. There are different forms for different contracts.

There may be other forms to fill in for a specific tender or bid. These should be included with the tender or bid documents that you receive.


Make sure that you match the bid specification and answer all questions. Summarise your bid and explain why it answers the client's needs. Write this last, yet include it at the beginning of your tender.

Clients will also expect you to:
State the purpose and origin of the bid
Summarise your work as a contractor, past experience and credentials for this job
Say how you'll carry out the work, and how and when the client's aims will be achieved
Explain the benefits and value for money of your bid
Detail when and how goods and services are to be delivered, and provide a timetable
Demonstrate your team's skills, experience of similar work and their responsibilities if you win the contract
Explain how you will manage the project
Give details of your pricing and any aftercare arrangements within the price
Be practical and identify potential problems without promising what's clearly impossible for you to deliver

Include a covering letter that responds to the bid invitation, summarises your main message. Additionally, explain how the documents are organised.


Once you have all the forms completed and signed, place your tender in an envelope with the tender number on it and deliver it before the closing time. You should deliver it to the place specified when the tender was advertised.

At the delivery point, tenders are opened and respondents are allowed to join the tender opening process. All business tenders in South Africa are opened in public where the name of the company is announced with the tender prices and associated costs.


After tender submission, it is always nice to follow-up the submission by phoning the client and querying the status of the adjudication process. It helps to be nice to the person on the other end and to indicate that should they need any further clarity to please contact you. This also shows to them your commitment and eagerness to win this tender.

You maybe requested to perform a presentation to the client. Therefore your acceptance is vital. Prepare yourself well, know your response in and out and speak confidently @ the presentation. You need to prove to your client that you have the skills and capacity to deliver the project as per your tender response.

Also the client may require further clarity @ this meeting, so there may be questions asked. Prepare well and answer questions to the best of your ability.


After the adjudication process, the client will award the project to either a single company or a consortium of enterprises or may even not award the tender. If you are awarded the tender, you need to respond to the client by confirming your letter of appointment. Part of this process will entail setting up a kick-off meeting with the client. Be proactive, take charge and show your client that you know what you are doing and you are committed to deliver a quality project on time and within budget.

If you are not awarded the project, you can query the reasons why you were not selected. This always helps for future tenders. It is important to remember that you will not win every tender that you respond to, as experts in the field of submitting business tenders in South Africa indicate that for every twenty tenders submitted you may only win a single tender.


The following are common mistakes made when tendering:
Always provide all of the information requested by in the tender application. Do not forget things like your tax clearance certificate and shareholding certificates. Note: out-dated tax clearance certificates are also not allowed.
It is important that the calculations of tender prices is correct. Check and DOUBLE-CHECK this!
Often, those working on a business tender in South Africa misinterpret the scope of the work. If you are unsure of anything in the tender, be sure to ask.
Always sign your bid document. Unsigned documents are unresponsive and will therefore be disqualified.
If you are an HDI, remember to claim your points. Points unclaimed are points lost!
Make sure that you drop the tender into the right box, before the closing time. By law, no late bids will be accepted, not even 1 second past the closing time.
If samples are requested, sufficient amounts must be supplied to enable the item to be evaluated under the appropriate technical or clinical conditions. Ensure that any requirements related to compliance with SABS specifications are met.

Tips from the procurement officials:
Always read through the bid documents carefully.
Complete the document in full.
Do a proper cost analysis when calculating your bid prices. Bids calculated too high or too low are considered unresponsive.
Enquire about the bid and obtain all the relevant information before completing the tender document.
Feel free to ask why you were unsuccessful so that you may learn from mistakes made.
Make sure that you are able to meet all the requirements within the specified time and are able to honor your offer in the event that your bid is successful.
Do not make any misrepresentations or false statements in your bid documentation. It is a legal document and therefore enforceable by law.
Quality services and products will improve your track record and good standing with the department. Poor delivery creates a negative impression not only for your business contacts but for all small businesses in general.

Tender for a contract


Submitting a tender is common practice for businesses supplying goods or services to other businesses or the public sector.

At a basic level you expect to quote for a job or write a letter saying why you should be given the business.

More formal tenders often apply to bigger jobs or for supply contracts spread over time. Public sector work in particular - ranging from your local council or hospital to a central government department - has specific tendering processes.

Even if you don't win the work this time, writing a tender can clarify your aims, strengths and weaknesses and you can learn for next time by asking for feedback on your bid. It raises your profile with the customer and helps you learn about customers' needs.

This guide explains how to identify potential contracts, what to include in your tender and how to write it for the best chance of success.

Prepare a price for a tender

If you provide goods or services to other businesses or the public sector, you may have to compete for contracts by submitting a tender. Although value for money can be an important component of many tenders, the way you price your bid can also make the difference between winning or losing business.

Although price is important, there are many other factors that your potential customer may be looking for, from your ability to meet their operational needs to your environmental credentials. The more you can find out in advance about their requirements, the better you can tailor your tender accordingly.

As with quotations, you're committed to the price you submit in a tender if it is accepted.

Before you price a tender, check the instructions in your client's bid specification. These will usually detail how the costs should be displayed so that bids are easier to compare.

You may be asked to provide:
a breakdown of component costs at each stage of the project (eg weekly or monthly)
staff time and costs
management time and costs
administration time and costs
estimates of reimbursable expenses

Even if a detailed breakdown isn't asked for, it's in your interest to provide one. It can help you to win contracts by showing your client you're offering good value. For more advice on how to price contracts, read the page in this guide on how to win contracts at the right price.

In your tender document, your overall price should be set out in both words and figures. It should be clear which currency you are dealing in and whether your price includes VAT.

You should also state how long your prices will be valid for. It can sometimes take a long time for tender decisions to be made - by which time your costs may have increased.

It is a good idea to add a contingency for any unexpected costs or additional work that may arise. Explain where and why you have included this in your bid.

How to Make a Good Tender Price As a Contractor in Concrete Works

By Andrew Karundu

The contractor is employed to do work by a developer and has to give a tender price of the works. He must allow for all costs incurred during the entire contract period. This is done by ensuring that every item in the contract bills of quantities is understood. Also note what the works in question are and the various options available for doing the tasks. Its important to know that costs arrived at includes everything to give a finished product.

Prices for plain or reinforced concrete in a tender should include mixing, hoisting, depositing, compacting curing and protecting during the whole construction period. This also includes hacking to receive finishes and forming into beams, columns or slabs. The cost of reinforcements should include cutting, cranking, bending into shapes spacers,hoisting tying wire and supports. Costs for wrought form work includes for fair face finish by rubbing down.

When making a tender price for precast concrete include all moulds, finishes, handling, reinforcements hoisting and fixing. Costs for hollow concrete suspended floors should include in-situ ribs, hollow blocks or tiles, concrete topping and filling to open ends of blocks. If expansion joints are required prices should be for cutting t size and all necessary supports. Also include joint fillers,and temporary battens or fillets to form the expected grooves.

In making a good tender price please note that tests to concrete should be included. This means samples, cube tests for which is included as a preliminary item in the bills of quantities. Costs should generally be arrived at for different materials using the various examples given above. This shall all be added together for all works to give a fair contract sum. After which the developer may use to award the works to the contractor who has priced fairly.

Andrew Karundu Is A Building Economist Providing Home Based Solutions To Fixing, Repairing, Remodeling, Redesigning Your Homes Using Simple Tried And Tested Methods To Improve Your Lifestyles. This Site Should Provide Adequate Information On Most HOME IMPROVEMENT SOLUTIONS.

Article Source:

Quantity Surveying in the 21st Century

By Neo Sekhantso

Quantity Surveying is a very obscure and largely misunderstood profession within the built environment. Many people are not aware of our function and often potential clients and indeed other professionals within the built environment believe that there is little if any need for our services.

Quantity Surveyors (QS’s) are cost engineers or the ‘accountants’ within the industry. We provide services including amongst many Feasibility/Viability Studies; Cost Estimates; Project Financial Planning and Control; Preparing and managing contracts etc.

QSs can work for their own practices, for firms, for construction companies, for banks and other financial institutions’ property divisions, or for property developers etc. Some QSs become consultants specializing in Civil Works (e.g. roads, harbors, airports etc.); for casino or hotel developers or government.

My name is Neo Sekhantso and I work for MLC Quantity Surveyors, Cape Town. I’m also the chairperson of the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors Western Cape Chapter Junior Organization (ASAQS WP JO).

An average week in a Quantity Surveyor’s professional life involves different aspects depending on whether you work on the client side or on site (for a contractor). The difference between the two would be business suits and heels for the former or safety shoes and jeans for the latter.

I work on the client side and am currently involved in two hotel projects ; my week typically involves preparing documents for budgeting, cost control and contract purposes on behalf of the client; meetings with the design team (consisting of architects, interior designers, engineers etc); working with subcontractors on my projects and other administrative tasks.

I was also involved, for a brief period, with Cape Town Stadium. In a project such as that a team of QSs, in this case the Cape Town QS Association, would be tasked with Feasibility/Viability Studies to establish if the project was feasible and viable financially. Cost Estimates, to set assist the client in making budgets for the project. Project Financial Planning and Control which entail preparing cash flow projections, cost reports on a regular basis etc.

Cost reports are tools used to ensure that the project stays within budget, by highlighting any variations to the budget established with cost estimates and by making the client aware of any design or contract variations that affect the contract value established during the tenders process. QSs would prepare and assist in the management of contracts. They would do this by drafting tender documents, managing the tender process and advising the principal agent about who should be appointed for the works involved. These are but a few of the services QSs provide.

There is a great need to not only educate ‘outsiders’ about what we do as QSs but also to educate students and young candidate QSs about what the profession entails and the many career opportunities available to them. I am very passionate about this kind of education hence my involvement with ASAQS WP JO. The Junior Organisation (JO) is a relatively new body it was dormant for a few years until last year when I was asked by my former lecturer to help revive it.

The JO aims to cater to the educational and networking needs of young quantity surveyors within the Western Cape Province. We host lectures, networking and socials functions for young QSs. We will also be engaging with other professional bodies or organizations such as SAWomEng to ensure that our members network with other professions as well. This is necessary to bridge the gaps between the different professions that work together in the Built Environment.

Organizations such as SAWomEng are vital in the education of young QSs because Quantity surveying, like many professions within the Built Environment, is a male dominated arena. In any meeting or construction site one is often one of two or three female professionals. However this trend is slowly changing, as more and more females are made aware of professions within the built environment. Many women are entering and excelling in the field. There are more and more Quantity Surveying Practices and construction related companies run and owned by women. There are also a few other organization state or private that are encouraging and supporting women in the built environment. Examples such as South African Women in Construction (SAWIC), Women’s Property Network (WPN), Khuthaza etc. are making efforts to provide role models, networking and education opportunities for women.
As women within the profession, we owe it to ourselves and other young aspiring would-be professionals in the industry to showcase our brilliance, talent and intellect!

Background to the Author

Neo Sekhantso is a 23 year old FEMALE candidate Quantity Surveyor. She graduated from the University of Cape (UCT) with a BSc Construction studies (with Distinction, 2007) and a BSc Honours in Quantity Surveying (2008). While at the University she received numerous scholarships from UCT’s Construction Economics and Management Department. She was on the Dean’s Merit List on two occasions ( in 2005 and 2006) and became a Golden Key Society member. She was also the Local Committee President of AIESEC’s UCT Chapter. She currently serves on the South African Quantity Surveyors Western Cape Chapter Junior Organisation (ASQS WP JO).

Alternative Dispute Resolution - Contractual Claims

Arbicon’s Alternative Dispute Resolution - Contractual Claims

It is not uncommon in construction contracts for circumstances to change, varying what was originally agreed between the parties to a contract. When circumstances change it can carry a cost implication, which the parties can agree.

However, in some circumstances, changes can be very significant and end up in a dispute. The disputed change may or may not be the fault of one of the parties or as is often the case, due to a third or multiple parties. Examples of such cases are delays and the consequences of delays, shortfalls in design or defective work. Add to that an Employer, Consultants, Main Contractor, Sub-Contractor and Sub-Sub-Contractor, it is easy to see how complex disagreements can potentially take place.

Where a party refuses to acknowledge responsibility for causing a problem and the other wishes to rectify their position of loss as a result, a contractual claim is required, which must be prepared to “adjudication standard”, so that if the matter remains unresolved it can be immediately adjudicated.

In order to achieve “adjudication standard” the contract and evidence relating to the dispute needs to be analysed so that the claim can be compiled with the correct contractual assertions and best arguments to achieve success. This requires a legally qualified Chartered Quantity Surveyor with experience of adjudication and with construction law expertise. This distinction provided by Arbicon is not provided by many claims consultancies.

Where issues leading to claims or potential claims arise, it is very important that the issues are managed properly so as to provide contemporaneous evidence. This would include good accurate records, prompt and accurate correspondence, meeting minutes and the preservation of evidence. The evidence can then be used to prosecute or defend a claim effectively, if required. It is important for the risk manager to understand what constitutes valid evidence and how to compile it. Arbicon provide seminars on this important subject area.

We set out below, not exhaustively, typical example areas of claim and how Arbicon are essential in the management of those claims.

Extension of Time and Loss and/or Expense Claims
When a project suffers delay and does not complete on time, the stakes can be high. If the Employer blames the Main Contractor, he may wish to levy damages for non-completion. The Main Contractor may take the opposite view and blame the Employer for the delays and charge loss and expense. It is easy to see that it is often the case that disputes relating to time can involve a big financial difference between contracting parties.

Unlike normal variation claims, the evaluation of additional time and how the valuation of the losses associated is a very complex process. It requires special expertise including advanced legal input and an appropriate delay analysis in order to succeed. If a time and expense claim is not prepared properly it is easy to defeat, thus advice from Arbicon is essential.

Extension of Time Claims
If the completion date is not met and there is a Liquidated and Ascertained Damages (LAD’s) clause in the contract, the Employer is likely to be entitled to Liquidated Damages with service of the appropriate notice. The onus is on the Contractor to demonstrate why more time was necessary.

The primary reason for an extension of time claim is therefore to negate the imposition of LAD’s by the Employer.

The value of LAD’s, if correctly incorporated into a contract do not require evidential proof, where the liability for time is established, LAD’s are difficult to defend. However, there are some instances when a valid legal defence can be made resisting the deduction of LAD’s. For example, where time is at large, if the LAD’s are a penalty or it is a condition precedent to deduction that a valid non-completion notice is served. Arbicon can advise on the validity of LAD’s and the entitlement to deduct them.
The onus being on the Contractor to prove, means it is therefore essential for a Contractor or Sub-Contractor to keep good records in time slices of what happened on site and why, plus serve timely any delay notices required by the contract. Using a circulated weekly programme and progress report are examples of such records. Records should show the causes of delay, concurrent delays and neutral events, showing the position and effect on the critical path. Records should also be kept showing what steps are or have been taken to mitigate or reduce delays and what additional resources have been engaged.

Arbicon can advise on:
Entitlement to extension of time
Critical path and delay analysis
Service of valid delay and claims notices (potential condition precedent)
Service of valid completion or non-completion notices
Compilation of contemporaneous evidence (Progress reports, emails, correspondence, meetings, etc)
Rights and Remedies (Contractual and common law rights)
Programmes (legal status, acceptance of, contract document, float, etc.)
Imposing or defending claims for Liquidated Damages and Un-liquidated Damages
Loss and/or Expense Claims
Most standard forms of building contract contain loss and/or expense clauses, which provide a contractual equitable remedy for breaches of contract by the Employer, without giving such breaches that label. There is often a reluctance to pay such costs and the standard of proof is higher, as actual costs linked to the offending event must be proved. Where there is no such clause the claim can be made using common law as a remedy for damages for breach of contract.

Loss and expense claims are often associated with delays but can be for any event where the Contractor incurs loss due to the failure of the Employer. It is essential that if there are contract terms relating to loss and expense, especially amended terms, that these are understood fully. The claim can fail for example, due to defective notices and any stipulated condition precedent. Arbicon can advise on such matters.

Familiar causes, by example of loss and expense are delays, variations, suspension of work on site, prevention, default or act of the Employer and/or his consultants. Such causes can lead to the Contractor incurring acceleration costs, disruption costs, head office costs, loss of profit, finance charges and additional site labour, plant and overhead costs.

The burden of proof is on the Claimant, thus again it is essential that good records of actual costs are kept and their link to an offending event such as a delay. For example, recording labour and plant time and costs wasted, specifically identifying the offending event on a daywork type sheet and submitting the same to the Employer, is good evidence. If a submission made in the form of a daywork payment application is ignored by the Employer the evidential burden of proof shifts to the Employer, thus highlighting the importance of such contemporaneous evidence.

Arbicon can advise on:
Analysis and reporting on entitlement to loss and/or expense (establish the case merits and contractual or common law rights and remedies)
Loss recovery from delays, disruption and acceleration
Service of valid claims notices (form, communication of and any condition precedent)
Compilation of contemporaneous evidence (Record keeping, burden of proof)
Mitigation of loss and “Global” claims
Linking cause and effect and calculation of Quantum
Submitting or defending a claim to ADR proceedings, if required
Defects Claims
When a construction project reaches completion and the final account and final payment must be considered, it is not uncommon for the paying party to withhold sums against what they consider to be defective works. Most standard forms of contract contain mechanisms for dealing with defects, normally in the form of a procedure which includes a notice that practical completion has been reached, a defects liability period and a notice of making good of defects. It is important that the contractual procedure is understood so that any rights to claim are not lost.

The types of issue that arise under the heading of defects, relate to withholding payment on the grounds of defective work, pursuit of due retention or pursuit of damages for defective work including latent defects. It is also not unusual for one party to consider an item a defect and the other a variation, the latter of which does not have to be carried out after practical completion. It is easy to see that this could lead to a set off argument if others are employed to carry out the work. Sewn into the financial remedies pursued will also be arguments in respect of what constitutes practical completion, valid service of notices and failures to carry out timely defects inspections. If not defined in the contract, there is no hard and fast rule as to what constitutes practical completion. This can lead to issues regarding LAD’s and defects. It is not unusual for paying parties to accuse the Contractor or Sub-contractor of non-completion for minor outstanding works, whilst taking possession of the building, which in the absence of a definition is likely to constitute practical completion.

Pursuit of the final account and final payment including retention can be difficult when set off and defects are argued, Arbicon’s team understand the law and rights of parties in respect of these matters and the best commercial way of tackling such issues. Arbicon are experts in resolving problem final accounts and collecting outstanding retentions.

Insolvency Claims
Unfortunately, when insolvency occurs to either the Employer, Contractor or Sub-contractor, the remaining parties in the contractual chain can be exposed to losses.

It is important to understand what happens if insolvency occurs contractually and how to protect one’s self from losses that can happen. For example, the Employer may be relentlessly pursued for final payment by the Contractor’s administrator, the Employer needs to know what his rights to set off are, his rights to assign the contract to a new Contractor and how to manage the insolvent contract. If the Employer becomes insolvent and if the Contractor suffers a shortfall in payment, it is important to know how to deal with the costs not covered and what rights there are to assets on site. The Sub-Contractor likewise needs to know what materials he can take back from site and what payment is due to him, it is possible to lose the right to all of this if it says so in the contract.

Prudent contractual preparation and effective management of an insolvent site are all within the expertise of Arbicon’s experienced team.

Claims against Consultants
It is not uncommon for consultants to be blamed for design problems, late production of information causing delay, disruption and costs. There are many cases where consultants have had a supervisory role and have failed in this role. Issues in construction contracts are generated by unforeseen circumstances and human failures, thus consultants such as Architects, Project Managers and Engineers do take a share of such failures.

Where a consultant produces the design, which is defective, there is a higher duty of care than that of the builder who merely constructs what is asked of him. It is however not that straightforward, as a competent builder may by implication, take responsibility for not recognising or pointing out a fault. There are also considerations to take account of if the Employer was notified or insisted on a particular product that fails in design.

Each case, as all cases have to be, taken on their merits. There is much law on this area of conflict, which Arbicon’s team are experienced in dealing with.

Arbicon ADR Limited, St George's House, George Street, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE29 3GH
T: 01480 426560 F: 01480 426561 E:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Quantity Surveying Basics of Taking Off Video

Quantity Surveying Basics of Taking Off

This short video introduces you to the basics of taking-off and shows how to use dimension paper and do basic dimensioning.

Quantity surveyor: If you can calculate the cost of a new building, this is the job for you

By Caitlin Davies
Thursday, 19 July 2007

Could there be anyone more useful in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics than someone who can calculate the cost of putting up a new building? Enter the quantity surveyor, whose job is to work out the expense of constructing anything from a stadium to a hospital, and to ensure it meets budget.

Quantity surveyors work for clients or building contractors on new developments, renovation and conservation. They study plans drawn up by architects or engineers, work out the materials needed and the cost of time and labour, and advise on legal and contractual issues. They also monitor the progress of a job once it has begun, to make sure it is on schedule and to the right standard.

The usual route to becoming a chartered quantity surveyor is to take a degree accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). But if you can't afford a degree, you could follow in the footsteps of Elsie North, 18.

Originally, North wanted to go into the fashion industry, but did A-levels to give her more opportunities. Her father is a carpenter, but she'd never thought about working in construction until she went to a school careers event. There she saw a stand run by the Chartered Surveyors Training Trust (CSTT) offering what it calls an advanced apprenticeship. This is a work-based learning programme that involves one day a week at college and four days a week with an employer. "It meant I would get my education, but I could do something practical too," says North.

She applied, the Trust created her CV, and she got a job at Faithful & Gould, a firm of property and cost management consultants. She's now training to be a quantity surveyor. First she needs a National Certificate in Construction, which takes two years, then a Higher National Certificate. She also needs to do an National Vocational Qualification in surveying support, then a RICS-accredited degree and finally a year doing an Assessment of Professional Competence. The next eight years of her life are planned out. "I like that," she laughs. "I like structure and I like challenges." Under the programme she doesn't pay any fees.

According to the CSTT, North is one of an increasingly number of young people looking for a route into quantity surveying. "We are getting more and more inquiries because of top-up fees," says Jane Rutherford, CSTT marketing manager. "People feel they have been priced out of a degree and there is a dearth of young people coming into the profession, so firms are looking to train new blood." The CSTT receives 300 applications a year, although only 40 trainees make the grade.

North started work at Euston Tower in a project manager team. Now she's at Canary Wharf in a quantity surveyor team. Her on- going project-managing role is with a pharmaceutical company, while her quantity surveying is with an oil company.

Demand for quantity surveyors is high, although the precise level depends on the property market. The recession of the early 1990s, for example, led to a drop in people joining the profession. Jobs exist in local authority or government departments, private practice, building contractors, property companies or commercial organisations. Starting salaries range from £17,000-£27,000, rising to £55,000 at senior levels.

"There has never been a better time to consider a career in construction," says Edward Tooth, an RICS marketing executive. "Demand for chartered surveyors continues to outstrip supply. They can work on multimillion-pound projects, like Wembley and the Olympics, and these are far from dull."

North's dream project would be the Olympics. "It would be great to say I was involved with that. Already it's nice walking round London and being able to say, 'I did the cost management for that'."

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS): 0870 333 1600,
Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB): 01344 630700,
Chartered Surveyors Training Trust (CSTT): 020-7785 3850,

Quantity Surveyor

So, you want to be a quantity surveyor? Can you:
Think logically
Communicate well with a wide range of people
Apply math to complex problems
Work to deadlines
What do quantity surveyors do?

Quantity surveyors work with architects, building contractors, developers, engineers and project managers. They can work as individual consultants or as part of a small or medium sized firm. Some work as academics in universities. Some may find employment in government agencies. Those in the building industry usually work on larger scale projects such as office complexes, high density residential projects, hotels, factories and hospitals. With experience, progress to managerial positions in the construction industry is possible. Job prospects can fluctuate depending on the level of building activity. Quantity surveyors have been in high demand in Australia for some time.

How do I become a quantity surveyor?

To become a quantity surveyor you usually have to study a quantity surveying or construction management degree at university. To get into these courses you usually need to pass your QCE. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English and mathematics A, B or C are normally required. The various universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.

What next?

Graduates may be eligible for membership of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors or for probationary membership of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. It is also possible to become a student member of both institutes while studying. Qualifications are recognised worldwide and many graduates choose to take the opportunity of living and working in different countries around the world.

Get A Career In Quantity Surveying

Quantity surveyor jobs were hard to get hold of during the recession, but now jobs are being offered and they need to be filled. A quantity surveyor manages all costs relating to building projects, they are an important component in ensuring a construction project sticks to its budgeted costs and doesn't exceed them.

They are involved in every stage, from the early calculations to the finalised figure when a project is complete. Quantity surveyors work to reduce the costs of a project and increase value for money, at the same time maintaining the required standards and quality.

Negotiating with their client's representative on payments and the final settlement, is also a part of their responsibilities. They will have a range of points of contact and depending on the project, they may be working for the client or the contractor. They can also be based in different places, most commonly in the office or on site.

Quantity surveyors can also be known as construction, cost consultant or commercial managers. A quantity surveyor will also be expected to provide a costs analysis for repair and maintenance project work, provide advice on procurement, carry out early stage budgets and detailed cost plans, undertake feasibility studies for the client and ensure risk and value management and cost control.

Those who want to become a quantity surveyor can do so by achieving a BTEC or HND/HNC, they will need to have 4 GCSE's between A-C. Though there are no specific requirements to begin the actual training to become a quantity surveyor, just if you want to be a qualified one with more opportunities.

Training to be a surveyor can be done so either through the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) or the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). To join the CIOB, you will need to hold an honours degree plus have two years relevant experience or pass the CIOB examination.

Graduate quantity surveyors can start on £14,0000, a chartered surveyor will earn around £24,000 and an associate will earn approximately £35,000. Different areas will provide different rates of pay.

A Job Description of a Quantity Surveyor

By Charles Pearson, eHow Contributing Writer

Construction projects can be incredibly expensive and construction managers and clients often want to keep costs as low as possible. Using as few materials as possible keeps construction costs down. This is often accomplished by hiring a quantity surveyor, a specialist who oversees the quantity of materials and workers found at the construction site, with the effort of minimizing the amount of materials used.

Quantity surveyors are individuals who work specifically in the construction industry. Surveyors are responsible for making sure that the construction company stays within budget. They purchase all of the needed materials for construction and they also are responsible for hiring. They must accurately measure the amount of materials needed and they must also be aware of how much manpower is needed to finish the construction job within the allotted time. Quantity surveyors are also the workers who scope out land to determine whether it should be purchased by a construction company. The quantity surveyor must come up with cost plans, cost strategies, value engineering, life cycle costing and sustainability costing and present them to the client. She must also negotiate with contractors in order to get clients the best possible deals.

Quantity surveyors can be found both in offices---which are usually clean and well lit---and construction sites. Several trips often need to be made to the construction site in order to make decisions. Quantity surveyors who are responsible for several construction projects at once often have to travel extensively. Some quantity surveyors have to manage construction projects overseas, which might require them to live in an international setting. They usually work 40 hours a week, though during project deadlines, quantity surveyors might have to work longer hours.

Quantity surveyors usually need a bachelor's degree in quantity surveying, construction or civil engineering. They must have the ability to understand construction plans. Quantity surveyors must have excellent communication skills in order to communicate both with the workers, contractors and with clients. They must also be able to use cost estimation software. Surveyors must have the ability to listen and fully understand the expectations of the clients. They must also have planning, time management, prioritization, multi-tasking and documentation skills.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 551,000 construction managers held jobs in 2008. Between 2008 and 2018, the need for construction managers was expected to increase 17 percent. Quantity surveyors are a subsection of construction managers. The BLS did not present specific information on how much quantity surveying is expected to grow.

According to the BLS, the median earnings for construction workers was $79,860 in 2008. The highest 10 percent earned $145,920 and the lowest 10 percent earned $47,000.

Quantity Surveying Courses in Canada

By Karen Cotton, eHow Contributing Writer

Quantity surveying requires a college degree.

Quantity surveyors are responsible for controlling costs and ensuring best value within a construction setting. Training courses, delivered at degree and professional levels, provide the skills necessary to deliver accurate estimates of the labor, plant and materials involved in any given project. Quantity surveyors in Canada are represented by the Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (CIQS).

Diploma in Architectural and Building Engineering Technology
Students are encouraged to gain industry experience during the summer months.
Architectural and Building Engineering Technology is a two-year diploma course offered by the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). Blending theoretical and practical learning, the first year's course curriculum delivers a foundation in construction engineering and facilities management. In the second year, students may elect to focus solely on the economics side of construction, including quantity surveying. The course covers subjects including: estimating techniques, creation and interpretation of construction drawings and the use of quantity surveying software.

British Columbia Institute of Technology
3700 Willingdon Avenue
Burnaby, British Columbia V5G 3H2

Bachelor of Architectural Science
Large-scale construction projects are examined in this course.
The Bachelor of Architectural Science degree is a four-year course offered by Ryerson University. While the first three years of the course present a more generalized study of construction and architectural methods and practice, the fourth year module in project management looks at the economics and management of construction. During this final year, students focus on increasing their understanding of how large scale construction projects are planned, organized and controlled. This knowledge lays the foundations for anyone considering a career as a quantity surveyor. Upon completion of the fourth year, project management students can seek professional accreditation from the Ontario Institute of Quantity Surveyors.

Department of Architectural Science
Ryerson University
350 Victoria Street, Toronto, Ontario M5B 2K3

Measurement of Construction Work I
A knowledge of algebra is required.
This course, offered by the Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, is an introduction to quantity surveying. Students learn how to read basic construction drawings and are given a primer in measuring and estimating. Calculations play a big part of a quantity surveyor's role, so algebra 11 is recommended as a prerequisite. This quantity surveying course is the first of a series of courses offered by CIQS that has been awarded with Gold Seal Certification by the Canadian Construction Association. This is a national, voluntary accreditation scheme.

Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors
90 Nolan Court, Unit 19
Markham, ON L3R 4L9

Business Ideas for Quantity Surveying Firms

By Laura Acevedo, eHow Contributing Writer

Bright ideas can help increase your quantity surveying business success.

Successful quantity surveying companies are able to manage contracts and minimize the cost of building projects for their clients in the financing and construction industries. From analyzing capital costs for funding requests to assessing ongoing operational costs, quantity surveyors are a critical link between contractors, financiers and construction companies. The best business ideas for quantity surveying increase your rate of pay and help maintain a steady workload that keeps your profits high.

Offer your quantity surveying services to banks that routinely finance construction projects. Banks are able to take larger risks when there have an intermediary agent monitoring the financial situation of construction projects. Construction companies will appreciate gaining access to additional funds that they may not be able to obtain without your services. The cost of your services can be built into the loan costs. Have the banks require construction companies to sign a legal agreement allowing you full access to financial records, construction sites and employees in order to ensure you can fulfill your oversight duties. Provide routine reports to the bank and to the construction company. When you provide outstanding service, the bank will use your services on more construction loans.

Trade Publications
Become a routine contributor to local trade publications that cater to the construction industry. Write informative articles on cost control techniques, monitoring services and hot topics in construction management. Provide useful information that is relevant and actionable. These articles will give you credibility and will increase your company profile. Consider offering your services for free to the trade publication in exchange for including your company contact information and an advertising blurb at the end of every article you submit. You will gain powerful exposure and the trade publication will gain content that will draw readers.

Training Class
Conduct training sessions for construction management employees. The extensive skills and education needed to be a quantity surveyor has taken you years of education and experience to acquire. Construction companies would love to have some of the skills you possess within their own company. Create one or two day classes that provide in-depth knowledge on specific quantity surveying topics. You can earn a good profit from these classes and as your students advance within the construction companies, they may call on you for future services.

Quantity Surveyor, Steven Hambrook

I had one previous job as a trainee Surveyor before I joined Barratts as an assistant, my managers previous and current, have mentored me and helped me progress. It’s a friendly environment and everyone gets on, also the trust that my managers have given me over the last 18 months to show my real potential has helped me get to where I am today.

I see evidence of building futures together within the schemes that are in place currently that look at the areas where I am doing well and the areas that may need a bit of development, to improve me as a Surveyor.

My main role is cost based, key performance indicators and target margin improvements have been brought in to shed light on any areas where we can increase our value for money.

The qualities you need to become a Surveyor at Barratts would be to be ambitious, hard working, you need to be good with numbers because you are dealing with budgets day in and day out, good communications skills as you’re working with the construction and sales department.

I see my short term future at Barratts in a management role, managing other Surveyors and the long term target is to become a Commercial Director.

Introduction to Barratt Developments PLC

We built our first home in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1958. Since then, we have built over 300,000 more, becoming one of Britain’s largest and best known homebuilders in the process.

Today, we are stronger than ever and include some of the sector’s most successful brands: Barratt Homes, David Wilson Homes, Ward Homes and Wilson Bowden Developments. In 2009, we were the first volume home builder to be awarded 4 star builder status by the Home Builders Federation.

Every year, these businesses build and sell thousands of new homes and commercial and mixed use property, ranging from starter and family homes, through to exclusive luxury apartments, and offices to retail parks. We also provide affordable homes for rent and shared ownership, helping meet Britain’s growing housing need in towns and rural areas across the country. All this means we’re a big business, employing in excess of 4,000 people in locations across the United Kingdom.

Quantity Surveyor – Ruth Smart

If you think you are more skilled with figures than floor plans then you might think about becoming a quantity surveyor the so called economist of the construction industry. As a student quantity surveyor Ruth Smart worked on McAlpine Stadium in Huddersfield calculating the construction costs.

The major one of this stadium was all of these they are called banana trusses because they are shaped like bananas. The steel work that went into this stadium was very expensive. There is a lot concrete in this building as you can see all the seats. The whole structure is concrete. The seats are put on top of concrete.

Steps, huge, huge money. The nicer bits are thing like you know the actual pitch, and the lights all these extras that you don’t think of which need to be priced. The line markings, everything we have to take into account everything, signage, big project.
I studied quantity surveying at Leeds and years 1 and 2 was spent in the college learning, year 3 was spent on site at McAlpine Stadium and year 4 was my final year again spent in College. It wasn’t just text book stuff it was things like learning to build a brick wall. What construction was about the actual physical building of buildings.

Surveyors who have been educated in Britain are viewed very well overseas

And two months after I graduated I started work out in Johannesburg, South Africa. Which was fantastic lots of exposure. Thrown in at the deep end which was great running my own jobs.

I became chartered June 2000. It’s good in the fact that if you wanted to set up your own practice you have to be chartered to do it for your professional indemnity insurance. It’s good also because being chartered means you are more qualified and you get a bigger salary. And also if you take a break from your career when you are chartered it’s easier to get back into your career.

Team work in this sort of industry is very important because there are lots of different parties you have to communicate with and that you have to work with.

The design team being architect, quantity surveyor, engineer, contractor must all work together must all communicate because without each other we couldn’t get the job done.

I was attracted to the construction industry because I had never met a woman who worked within construction and it was a challenge to me. I would say to a woman who was a little bit nervous about joining the industry to go for it because I think it’s worthwhile and she’d love it like I do.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mengapa Terminal LCCT baru sampai RM 1bilion?

Saya telah mendapat email dari kawan saya. Di dalamnya beliau memberi “scan copy” artikel dari The Edge bertarikh 5 Julai 2010. Artikel tersebut bertajuk RM1 Billion LCCT On The Cards for Bina Puri.

Antara bahagian artikel yang menarik perhatian saya adalah:

The JV beats the likes of heavyweights MRCB and Sunway Construction Sdn Bhd. According to a report by OSK Research, Sunway had submitted the lowest bid of about RM750 million to RM850 -million for the LCCT building on a design-and-build basis.

TERJEMAHAN BEBAS: JV tersebut Berjaya mengalahkan MRCB and Sunway Contructions (pemain2 besar dalam industri ini). Mengikut OSK Research, Sunway telah menawarkan tender dengan harga paling murah, yakni RM750 juta ke RM850 juta bagi pembinaan Terminal Syarikat Penerbangan Kos Rendah (LCCT) berdasarkan kaedah cipta dan bina

Mengikut artikel yang sama, projek pembinaan Terminal Kos Rendah di KLIA ini telah diberikan kepada syarikat kerjasama antara Bina Puri Holdings Berhad dan UEM Group Berhad. UEM Group adalah syarikat milik UMNO yang sekarang ini dimiliki sepenuhnya oleh Khazanah Nasional selepas UEM hamper bankrap pada tahun 1997-98.

Pemberian projek ini diberikan oleh Malaysian Airports Sdn Bhd yang mana MASB ini dimiliki oleh Khazanah Nasional. Khazanah Nasional pula dimiliki sepenuhnya oleh Kementrian Kewangan di mana Pengerusi Khazanah Nasional adalah Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak, Menteri Kewangan merangkap Perdana Menteri Malaysia.

Keputusan memberikan projek kepada Bina Puri-UEM dibuat oleh MAB yang berada di bawah kawalan dan kuasa Menteri Kewangan, Dato Najib Tun Razak?


Baru hari tu sahaja Idris Jala menyatakan bahawa Malaysia sedang menuju kebankrapan kalau subsidi tidak dipotong.

Yang menghairankan, apabila subsidi kepada rakyat disarankan untuk dipotong, Dato Najib boleh memberikan kontrak RM150juta-RM250juta lebih tinggi.

Harus diingat, RM150-RM250 juta ini adalah DUIT RAKYAT dan bukan duit UMNO.
Juga, mana mungkin Sunway Constructions menawar harga RM750 –RM850 juta tanpa membuat keuntungan? Dengan kata lain, dengan tawaran RM 750-RM850 juta pun, Sunway Contructions mampu membuat keuntungan. Dari maklumat yang saya dapat, keuntungan yang bakal didapati oleh Sunwar Constructions adalah dalam jumlah RM100-200 juta.

Dengan kata lain, “untung atas angin” yang bakal dibuat oleh JV Bina Puri-UEM ini adalah dalam julat RM300-RM400 juta.

Ertinya RM300-RM400 juta bakal melayang dengan begitu sahaja kepada kroni dan UMNOPUTRA.

Pada waktu yang sama, Idris Jala suruh buang subsidi pada rakyat.
Kelak, apabila subsidi kepada rakyat dibuang, Malaysia akan jadi macam Indonesia. Makan tengahari di gerai tepi jalan pun kena keluar duit RM10-15 sekali makan. Saya tahu perkara ni sebab saya sendiri sedang alaminya.

Dalam rakyat menderita kenaikan harga barang, Dato Najib boleh pula beri kontrak RM150-RM250 juta lebih tinggi dari harga sebenar kepada syarikat kroni UMNO.
Kalau macam ni, tak payah tunggu 2019, lagi 5 tahun Malaysia akan bankrap macam Indonesia.

Itulah falsafah pembangunan UMNO: Apabila untung kroni sapu. Bila rugi rakyat tanggung.

Biar pape asal gaye, yop. Macam FELDA buat bangunan di Segitiga Emas dalam keadaan berlaku kelebihan ruang pejabat untuk disewa di Kuala Lumpur. Sememangnya sungguh FELDA nak bangkrap angkara UMNO.

Tawaran Sunway Constructions adalah “design and build”. Dengan kata lain, Sunway bukan sahaja akan membina terminal LCCT tersebut, mereka juga akan mereka-cipta rupa bentuk terminal LCCT yang baru ini.

Cara ini adalah cara yang paling mahal bagi mana-mana syarikat pembinaan kerana mereka bentuk bangunan akan memakan kos yang sangat tinggi dan kerap kali ianya akan berubah mengikut cita rasa pelanggan. Pun begitu, tawaran Sunway tidak melebihi RM850 juta.

Tidak sabar menunggu alasan yang akan diberikan oleh Menteri Kewangan member kontrak LCCT kepada syarikat yang member tawaran yang mahal dan menolak yang tawaran yang murah.

Ulasan: Sistem reka-bina sudah terbukti di Malaysia tidak menguntungkan rakyat kerana kosnya tinggi dan lewat siap. Tapi sistem reka-bina sangat digemari oleh kroni orang besar-besar. Lagi dan lagi, wang rakyat dibazirkan tanpa perlu. Rakyat boleh mengubahkan keadaan ini dengan tidak lagi mengundi kerajaan yang gemarkan RASUAH.