How a BQ benefits the Client

5th April 2017

As the client it is important for you to achieve cost certainty on your project. To do this, you need to be in control from the outset. Preparing a BQ prior to tender helps achieve this.

When a BQ is prepared by you, the Client, prior to tender, all contractors wishing to tender for the works will be able to submit their bid based on identical information. This facilitates consistent pricing, ensures like for like costings, easy financial evaluation of tenders and provides a clear statement of the required works.  This ensures that the tenders you receive are competitive.

The overall tender period can be shorter as the Contractor will not be needing to prepare their own BQ.

As an aside, having a BQ can be advantageous in that it prompts you and your Design Team to finalise most of the project particulars in order for the bill to be prepared, ideally with full production drawings and project specification. This means an earlier start on site can be achieved following tender award as the design aspects are virtually complete.

Furthermore, you will also know what you should expect to pay to your appointed contractor at the different stages of the project. Being in possession of a comprehensive BQ will allow you to identify ways to incentivise your contractor – this can be a useful tool to help you achieve greater value for money.

Being able to provide potential contractors with a comprehensive BQ may improve the likelihood of your preferred bidders taking the time to submit a tender. This is because you have already saved them the time and cost of preparing a BQ for a speculative purpose. In addition, you will have the confidence and peace of mind that all tenders are based on the same BQ.

Types of BQ

Firm BQs

A firm BQ is designed to provide clients with a lump sum contract figure for the delivery of a fully designed construction project.

Approximate BQs

These may also be referred to as Notional BQs. This method would generally be used to produce cost estimates where there is insufficient information available to develop a firm BQ. In most cases it would be the client’s decision that a firm BQ is not necessary.

In these BQs, instead of providing for a lump-sum price, the tender price totals are provided. These are obtained by use of a quantified schedule of rates.

It is not unusual in these instances, for the contract to later be subject to greater cost variation. This is due to the fact that full measurements will be calculated after completion. Clearly time consuming and costly, but can allow for a much faster start on site.

Whilst Evolution5 does provide both types of Bills, we would generally recommend the use of a firm BQ to ensure greater cost certainty, if the stage of design allows. In addition, this would generally be considered the more cost effective option as there is no need for re-measurement.

What can you expect in a Bill of Quantities?

Typically a BQ would comprise:

  • Summary
  • Preliminaries information and requirements
  • Preliminaries pricing schedule
  • Measured works
  • Risks identified
  • Provisional sums allowed
  • Provisional dayworks sums
  • Annexes as applicable

For more information or to discuss your requirements email or call Sam on 02380 405073