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Construction Contract Administration and Project Management (CON4371)

Chapter 1
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Chapter 1
Introduction of Standard Method of Measurement for
Civil Engineering Works
1. Standard Method of Measurement for Civil Engineering works
The Importance of CESMM
1) No uniformity in measurement
- Prior to the introduction of SMM, there was no uniformity of practice in
the measurement of civil engineering.
- Quantity surveyors and engineers responsible for the preparation of
civil engineering bills of quantities largely worked up their own system.

2) Difficulty in Pricing
- This lack of uniformity in the preparation of the bills made the task of
contractor pricing them to be difficult.
- It is important when bills of quantities are prepared for the contractor
to price in competition, that the information is presented in a form and
detail, which is generally understood and accepted within the industry.

3) Comparison of tender
- When there is uniformity in measurement and it is of a standard that is
accepted by all representatives in the industry namely, client,
consultant and contractors, the quantities measured will facilitate the
contractors pricing and enable tenders to be assessed for comparison
purpose.
- To resolve all these, there must be a set of rules that can be used as a
common basis and must be unambiguous. The set of rules that is
applicable in civil engineering work in Hong Kong is set out in the SMM
for civil engineering works, 12th Edition (Hong Kong Government).
- Therefore, the objective of the CESMM is to set forth the procedure
according to which the Bill of Quantities shall be prepared and priced,
and the quantities of work expressed and measured.

Construction Contract Administration and Project Management (CON4371)
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2. Definitions as in Part 1 of CESMM
(Please refer to the CESMM)
A number of important definitions are contained in Part 1 of the CESMM
and the more important are now stated and explained.

Clause 1 (a) Bill of Quantities means a list of items giving brief identifying
descriptions and estimated quantities of the works to be performed.
(Bill of Quantities is a document used in the tender process in order to
obtain the price from the Contractor)
The Functions of the Bill of Quantities are
- To provide such information of the quantities of work as to enable
tenders to be prepared efficiently and accurately as the Contractors can
price the quantities and provide a tender sum to the Clients.
- To provide for use of the priced Bill of Quantities in the valuation of
work executed in a signed contract as interim payment to the
contractor.
- It provides a basis for the valuation of variations of any changes in the
work done which occurs during the progress of work.

The Nature of the Bill of Quantities in a Civil Engineering Work:-
- A civil engineering bill is not intended to describe fully the nature and
extent of the work in a contract, and in this respect differs
fundamentally from a bill for a building work.
- The descriptions of civil engineering billed items merely identify the
work and the estimator pricing the bill will need to obtain most of the
information he requires for estimating from the Drawing and
Specifications.
- The Estimator will use the Bills of Quantities as a source of information
on estimated quantities and as a mean for submitting prices to the
Employer.
- The main vehicles for expressing a design and instruction to the
Contractor on what to build remain the Drawings and Specification.

Construction Contract Administration and Project Management (CON4371)
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2. Definitions as in Part 1 of CESMM (contd)
(Please refer to the CESMM)
Clause 1 (b) Daywork means the method of valuing work on the basis of
the time spent by the workmen, the materials used and the plant
employed.

An allowance shall be allowed to cover on costs and profit.

It is necessary to make provision for daywork evaluation of work which
cannot be assessed at bill rates.

Clause 1 (c) Provisional item means an item describing work, the
requirement for which is uncertain at the time the tender documents are
issued and which can only be carried out on an instruction of the Engineer.

Example: The design for reinforcement is not completed yet so the
drawings are incomplete and the quantities cannot be measured.

This item for reinforcement in the Bills of Quantities shall be listed as
provisional and once the drawings are completed, the Engineer shall issue
instruction for this work and exact quantities can then be measured.

Clause 1 (d) Preliminary Item means an item in respect of works and/or
general obligations and risks antecedent to or involved in the execution of
the Contract.

These items are set out either in a Preliminaries section of the bills of
Quantities and relating to the works as a whole.

Matters relating to Preliminaries can be referred to in Section 1 of CESMM
for examples:

Temporary Accommodation for the Engineer, Hoarding, Signboards, Site
photographs, Insurance, etc.

Construction Contract Administration and Project Management (CON4371)
Chapter 1
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2. Definitions as in Part 1 of CESMM (contd)
(Please refer to the CESMM)
Clause 1(e) Existing ground surface means the surface before any work
under the Contract has been carried out.

See Figure 1 for definitions of other relevant levels from which and to
which work such as excavation is measured.



Clause 1(f) Artificial hard material means brickwork, concrete, reinforced
concrete, masonry, bituminous paving and any other artificial material of a
similar nature and which necessitates the use of pneumatic tools or other
similar methods for its removal.

Clause 1(g) Rock is naturally occurring hard material whose geological
nature is to be regarded as such and which necessitates the use of blasting
or pneumatic tools or other similar quarrying methods for its removal.

Clause 1(h) Soft spot is a volume of earthwork material, which not stated in
the Contract to be excavated but which in the opinion of the Engineer has
inadequate strength, durability or stability.


Construction Contract Administration and Project Management (CON4371)
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Part III
3. Rules for Preparing Bills of Quantities
The rules prescribed in this Part III apply for the preparation of the Bills of
Quantities and a number of important clauses shall be explained here.

General
Clause 1 prescribes a standard format for civil engineering bills of
quantities to ensure uniformity of presentation.

The Bills of Quantities shall comprise the following:
-General and Particular Preambles
-Bill No.1 : Preliminaries
-Bill No.2 : Measured Works
-Bill No. :
-Bill No. :
-Bill No. : Daywork
-Bill No. : Provisional and Prime Cost Sums
-Grand Summary
(Refer to examples of bill pages)

Units of Measurement
Clause 2 lists the units of measurement used in civil engineering bills of
quantities with their standard abbreviations. Square metres are
abbreviated to m2 and cubic metres to m3. Number is represented by nr
and not 'no'. The term 'sum' is used where there is no quantity entered
against an item.

Quantities
Clause 3 -The quantities shall be computed net from the Drawings, unless
directed otherwise by a measurement rule in the Method of Measurement
or by the Contract, and no allowance shall be made for bulking, shrinkage
or waste.

The billed quantities will be the lengths, areas, volumes of the finished
work which the contractor is required to produce.
Construction Contract Administration and Project Management (CON4371)
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3. Rules for Preparing Bills of Quantities (contd)

Prime Cost Sums
Clause 7 states that where Prime Cost Sums are included in the Bills of
Quantities for the execution of work to be carried out by a Nominated
Sub-contractor, separate items are to be provided for:
(i) General Attendance provided by the Contractor in connection
therewith in the form of a lump sum
(ii) Special Attendance provided by the Contractor (if required) in the
form of a lump sum;
(iii) the Contractors profit and overheads in the form of a percentage

General attendance includes site services provided by the Main Contractor
for the use of the Nominated Sub-contractor such as scaffolding, sanitary
accommodation, disposal of rubbish, storage, light, water etc.

Any special attendance facilities additional to that which would otherwise
be required the NSC such as extra-powered generator etc. should include in
the item description and allowed as a lump sum.

The Contractors profit and overheads is for the coordination and
management role carried out by the Main Contractor.

Provisional Sum
Provisional sums are used where the exact nature or extent of parts of
work cannot be ascertained before the construction begins, although such
work can be reasonably foreseen as necessary. Such work is normally
carried out by the Main Contractor.

Contingency Sum
Clause 8 - a sum to meet or offset costs of works or expenses that cannot
be foreseen before construction begins and which may not arise at all.

A contingency sum has no real relation to the contract work at all and in
practice serves to reduce the total nett cost of any extra or expensive work
than that originally envisaged.
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3. Rules for Preparing Bills of Quantities (contd)

Adjustment item
Clause 9
The object is to provide a convenient place at the end of the bill where the
Tenderer can make adjustment without altering rates and amounts within
the works.

This is often made necessary by the arrival of revised quotations from
supplier or sub-contractors at the end of the tender period.

If a lower quotation is received for earthworks, there is no time to adjust
the affected rates and recalculate the amount for the tender.
.
The other reason for last minute adjustment is the final tender adjudication
carried out by the Tenderer.

This is a review of the detail of the prices in the tender in order to assess
the risk of not winning the job and the risk of losing money if it is won.

If after review, the level of price differs than the original estimate, the total
of the bill needs to be adjusted. Again, there may not be time to do so by
altering prices, a single adjustment is needed.

The adjustment item shall be given in the Grand Summary following the
total of the amounts brought forward from the summaries and the
Contingency Sum.

Amendments to the Method of Measurement
Clause 10
Any methods of measurement which have been adopted in the preparation
of the bills of Quantities and which are not in accordance with or included
in the Method of Measurement shall be stated in a Particular Preamble to
the Bills of Quantities.

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Part IV
4. Preambles to the Bills of Quantities
General preambles are clauses containing descriptions /information of
which the contractor should be aware in pricing. The full requirement of
SMM is frequently not given in descriptions and the remaining information
is contained in preambles, thus reducing the length of billed item
description.
(See General Preambles of CESMM.)

Particular Preambles
Sometimes special methods of measurement are adopted in the
measurement of the contract work and these non -standard rules are
defined in the Particular Preambles.

a) There should be a practical reason when a departure from the SMM is
required. For example, in cases when it is difficult to measure the
quantities of excavation in different type of soil for example in rock, the
measurement can be simplified to state that the quantities shall cover the
excavation for all type of soil but the Contractor shall bear the risk of
pricing in case he encountered rock in his excavation works.

The Preamble should set any non-standard rules of measurement in this
case.

b) The Preamble may also be used to bring into the Contractor precise
definition of the tasks, which are intended to be covered by items.
For example: If the water table level of the site is high, the Preamble may
state that the Contractor shall include the Pumping of Ground water in his
excavation rates.