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The New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors has signed up to an international standard that provides consistency in classifying, defining, measuring, analysing and presenting construction industry costs.

The International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS) provides a global framework for measuring, costing and reporting so that governments and investors can compare construction costs like with like.

Previously there was no universal standard and, internationally, the construction industry used different methods of measurements; nor was there any commonality in terms of costs and construction reporting.

The ICMS coalition was formed to address these issues, and the New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NZIQS) joined as a trustee member 18 months ago.

The president of NZIQS, Barry Calvert, says New Zealand is pleased that ICMS is very similar to the standard already in place here. He says NZIQS now has training in place for their members to become familiar with the ICMS format and we will be encouraging QS’s to use it for both public and private sector projects going forward.”

 “With ICMS in place, construction agencies and their clients will be able to compare the cost of a building in New Zealand to any other country in the world and know that the costs and the standards of the building will be equal.”

According to ICMS, the standard allows:

·        the cause of differences in costs between projects to be identified

·        construction costs to be consistent

·        more informed decision-making about the design and location of construction projects

·        data to be used with confidence for construction financing and investment, decision-making, and related purposes.

Registered valuer at North Harbour Valuers, John Darroch, is a member of the Property Institute of New Zealand, who is also a member of the coalition, and says the ICMS will mean the public will have more confidence in costs that are quoted to them.

“ICMS will standardise how construction costs are reported. This will assist in evaluating properties and the public will know they are receiving accurate information.”

The ICMS coalition is a group of not-for-profit organisations and professionals who research, develop, publicise and implement the ICMS.

Coalition organisations in the ICMS have each signed a declaration of commitment and support for the standard and the high quality of maintenance and creativity it involves. They also encourage world markets to embrace and implement the new standard.

Exactal is company that was established in Brisbane, Australia, and develops estimating software for the construction industry internationally. They are also the first ‘Platinum Partner’ of NZIQS. They joined the ICMS coalition in mid-august.

CEO of Exactal, Murray Freeman, says that as a partner, they will be able to ensure their product range is well prepared for ICMS, which will be a great benefit to their global customer base.

“Exactal will play an important role in ensuring any standards developed enhances the user experience of our clients.

“An international measurement standard will ensure that it’s easier to benchmark, measure and report on construction project costs, and see how they compare in various countries around the world.”

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