Thursday, July 8, 2010

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.

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