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Faculty Of Engineering

What Is BQ
BQ? Preparation

BQ Format,
BQ in
Traditional Method (Building Works)

 Traditional General Contracting (TGC)

 Client engages architect or engineer to
prepare design.
 Upon completion of design, the QS
prepares a Bill of Quantities based on
drawings and specification.
 Contractors are invited to price the bill.
 Contractor submitting the lowest tender
usually will be awarded the contract.

Client engages Architect

and Engineers to design

QS prepares BQ & Compiles Tender Document

Design Contractor constructs



Tender Exercise
What Is A Tender ?

A tender or a bid is an offer made by a

contractor to do certain work for a price,
stated in the form of tender and given
in detail in a priced Bill of Quantities.
What Is Tender Exercise ?
Tender exercise is a process of sending out
drawings and other tender documents to contractors
for them to prepare a tender price in competition
with each other and to be submitted at a fixed date.

Tenders submitted are later opened on a set date

and evaluated before the contract can be awarded
to the most suitable contractor.
What Is BQ?
What is Bill of Quantities (BQ) ?

A document produced by Quantity Surveyors (QS).

Who is a Quantity Surveyor?

A person who calculates the quantity of

materials needed for constructing
buildings, etc. and how much they will cost.
Bill of Quantities (BQ)

Quantity Quality

Translate drawings, schedules and specification

by Architect and Engineers into a document
fully describing and accurately representing
the quantity and quality of the works.
Why produce Bills of Quantities?
BQ enables all Contractors tendering
for a contract to price exactly
on the same information
Provides a basis for valuation of
variations or changes to the works
Can be used by the Contractor to assist
in ordering of building materials and
for assessing his labour requirements

Provides good basis for cost analysis for use

on future contracts in Cost Planning Works,
e.g. approximate estimating and setting
cost targets for budgeting purposes.
BQ Preparation
4 Stages Of BQ Preparation (Traditional)

Taking Off / Squaring / Abstracting / Billing

Taking Off
Taking off is a process of transferring the dimension scaled or
read from the drawings to a specially ruled paper called the
dimension paper.

Squaring is a process of getting the total quantity whether in
number, length, area or volume for each set of measurement in
the dimension paper.
4 Stages Of BQ Preparation (Traditional)

Taking Off / Squaring / Abstracting / Billing

Abstracting is a process of transferring the squared dimensions
to the abstract where they are written in a recognised order
under the appropriate work section headings and subsequently
totaled and converted to the required units or billing as stated in
the Standard Method of Measurement.

Billing is a process of re-writing all the items including their
quantities taken from the abstract for the whole project, into the
billing papers in a recognised format of a Bill of Quantities.
BQ Preparation - Development

Process is very
Taking Off Abstracting lengthy and tedious

Working Up

Various ways of simplifying the process have been developed

“Bill direct” i.e. by transferring the items directly from the dimension
sheet to the bill, eliminating the need for an abstract.

Further methods: “cut and shuffle” and computers systems were developed.
BQ Preparation - Development

Measurement of quantities


Taking Off Direct

BQ Format, Descriptions,
BQ Format
Measured work needs to be arranged in a sequence
that is recognised by the industry and can be easily
understood and priced by the contractor

Elemental Bills Trade Bills

Annotated Bills

Most Common Operational Bills

Activity Bills
BQ Format

Elemental Bills
 Widely used in Malaysia in private consultancy firm and
government departments.

 BQ can be abstracted easily and quickly, as measurement

is already grouped in the elemental format.

 Under each element, the order of works generally follows

trade or construction sequence.

 Terms of element used as per standard classifications

published by Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (ISM).
Elemental Bills
1. Piling works
2. Work below lowest floor
3. Frame
4. Upper Floors
5. Roof
6. Staircases
7. External Walls
8. Windows and External Doors
8. Internal Walls and Partitions
9. Internal Doors
10. Internal Wall Finishes
11. Internal Floor Finishes
12. Internal Ceiling Finishes
13. External Finishes
14. Fittings and Furnishings
15. Sanitary Appliances
16. Plumbing Installation
Elemental Bills
17. Refuse Disposal
18. Air Conditioning and Ventilation System
19. Electrical Installation
20. Fire Protection Installation
21. Lift and Conveyor Installation
22. Communication Installation
23. Specialised Installation
24. Profit and Attendance on Services
25. Builder’s Work in Connection with Services
26. Site Work
27. Drainage
28. External Services
29. Ancillary Buildings
30. Recreational Facilities
BQ Format

Trade Bills
 Works measured in trade formats not popular as
subsequent preparation of bills of quantities is difficult if the
format is not in trade formats.

 Under each type of trade, the works is broken down into

various items.
Trade Bills
1. Excavator
2. Concretor
3. Bricklayer
4. Drainlayer
5. Asphalter
6. Pavior
7. Mason
8. Roofer
9. Carpenter
10. Joiner
11. Steel and Ironworker
12. Plasterer
13. Plumber
14. Heating and Ventilating Engineer
15. Electrician
16. Glazier
17. Painter
BQ Descriptions
A good and concise description is essential for proper pricing.

The essential ingredients of a good description are as follows:

 Must include all information which estimator will require to

build up a realistic price;
 First few words should indicate clearly nature of works.
 Order of stating dimensions shall be consistent and
generally in sequence of length, width and height.
 Where sequence is not appropriate or where ambiguity
could arise, dimensions shall be specifically identified.
 If an item of work cannot be accurately or fully described,
proper reference shall be made to drawn information or
product details for construction, manufacture or
assembly of work.
 Description must be concise and not too lengthy, can be
shortened by references to specification.
BQ Content
Bill of quantities must contain the basic information presented
in format that is easily understood

Explains type and scope of works, client’s needs, temporary site
facilities and other items affecting the implementation of the works.
IItems involved need not be measured but need to be described in
details and the contractor will have to price the items that will affect
the cost of the works in a lump sum figure. Items in this section will
not be incorporated into the works but are essential for the
completion of the works.

Describe the quality of materials and workmanship of the works,
usually not practical to be presented in the drawings; including other
information necessary for the contractor to price the BQ.
BQ Content
Measured Quantities
Measured quantities are produced from the measurement of all the
works measurable based on the approved Standard Method of
Measurement document. These quantities shall be measured as
accurately as possible so that no parties will make a loss during the
implementation of works.

Provisional Quantities
Provisional quantities are produced similarly as above but it is for
works which cannot be accurately measured at the time of
preparation of bill of quantities. This situation happens due to
incomplete information of work or in cases whereby the extent of
work cannot be fully determined until the work is completed. Such
work will be subjected to remeasurement after the works has been
carried out.
BQ Content
Prime Cost Sum
Prime cost sum is included for work or services to be executed by a
nominated sub-contractor, a government or a statutory authority or
for material or goods to be supplied by a nominated supplier. Such
sum excludes the profit and attendance of the main contractor, of
which provision are made in the document for such inclusion by the

Provisional Sum
Provisional sum is included for work or for costs that cannot be
entirely defined or detailed at the time the bill of quantities are

Contingency Sum
Contingency sum is a sum allocated for any unforeseen work that
cannot be determined at the time of bill of quantities preparation. It
will be a saving to the client if such contingency sum is not expended
due to no unforeseen work.
BQ In Engineering
Standard Method Of Measurement

 Provides a uniform basis for measurement

 Act as a standardise reference

 Embodies the essentials of a good practice

SMM 2 = SMM for Building Works

CESMM = SMM for Civil Engineering Works
Malaysian Standard Method Of Measurement

Non-specific SMM 2
reference CESMM
Uniform basis,
Ad-hoc, random standardise references,
uncontrolled practices embodies good practices

Unnecessary disputes

Loss of productivity

BQ In Engineering
 Rare for a civil engineering project to be
fully designed and detailed during the pre-
tender stage due to its nature.

 The most common type of contract used is

a remeasurement type.

 BQ has a different role in civil engineering:

(a) Basis for comparison of tenders;

(b) Provide schedule of rates for
(c) Tool for continued cost monitoring and
financial control.
BQ In Engineering

Main Differences Between CESMM And SMM2


 Method Related Charges

 Work Classifications