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TU223: This literature review provides the grounds of research that will allow the reader to assess the information compiled: MSc. Quantity Surveying Dissertation, TUD, Ireland

University Technological University Dublin (TUD)
Subject TU223: MSc. Quantity Surveying

This literature review provides the grounds of research that will allow the reader to assess the information compiled from a variety of external sources related to the study, such as articles, journals, books, studies, Government publications, reports, published news, and previous dissertations. Naoum describes the literature review as the integration of what has been discovered and said by others, critiquing previous scholarly works, connecting related topic areas, and identifying problems in a field.

He also explains that the material review can be descriptive and analytical, to describe previous research carried out and also to critique information, something which in this instance is crucial as the information relates to an area of study where many publications present differing opinions.

The successful execution of construction projects and keeping them within the schedule and cost as planned from the start is essential for effective cost performance. Despite the importance of gaining it, most construction projects suffer from cost overruns due to a multiplicity of factors.

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Cost overruns are the cost increase on the project, an unexpected cost, due to an underestimation; identified when the total spent exceeds the project budget. Quantity Surveyor (QS) is responsible for managing the client’s finance to control the costs preventing cost overruns.

The construction budget calculation process is complex, and the QS has to assume all possible risks. The delivery method has a lot to do with the budget definition as it determines the information the QS has while preparing the budget. In Ireland, most of the building projects are ‘traditional’ procurement, but many contractors work with ‘Design & Build’ procurement.

For example, in a traditional procurement, the QS figures the project costs and builds them based on the architect’s designs. In this way, the client usually focuses on the scope, the architect on the design, and the contractor on the construction. However, many architects do not know the crew productivity factors for each contractor and subcontractor or the various costs of materials depending on the supplier and location, increasing the possibility of overruns.

The budget calculation is quite different in a Design & Build project. This method includes the QS much earlier in the process – the contractor works with the owner and architect during the design phase to inform the design process. Having the contractor involved in the design process means the QS keeps up to speed on design and scope changes, enabling a better decision for the estimation and cost control of the project.

The best way the QS can deal with budget overruns in construction is by preventing them from ever occurring. The QS can do it not just by planning for the predictable risks but also for the unforeseen ones.

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