16 SURVEYING 2016
SURVEYING 2016 17
Construction focus Whether you are interested in designing and managing buildings, delivering development projects or cost and commercial management there are plenty of opportunities in the construction sector.
In an increasingly virtual economy, surveying is one of the few remaining tangible, ‘hands on’ professions.
A key area in the construction industry is quantity surveying. If you’re looking for a career that combines a good commercial awareness and first class management skills then welcome to the world of a chartered quantity surveyor. As cost consultants and project procurement specialists, the QS’s working life covers everything from cost and contract management to advising on procurement and financial implications of a project. QS’s are involved from the project design to the completed project and settle financial and contractual disputes. Quantity surveyors understand the economics of construction market trends and the influences of the sector on a local and global scale. Wherever construction work is taking place there will be a need for financial control. Quantity surveyors meet this need. ‘New technologies, such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), are changing surveying and bringing new exciting opportunities to the profession’ says Alan Muse FRICS, RICS Global Director of Built Environment Professional Groups.
Building surveyors work on the design and development of buildings as well as the restoration and maintenance of existing ones. This is a diverse field and can include providing advice on various aspects of buildings at different stages. Building surveyors could work on the design of large, multimillion-pound structures to modest adaptations and repairs, and occasionally work on buildings of architectural or historic importance. They also may be called upon to give evidence in court in cases where building regulations have been breached and as expert witnesses on building defects and dilapidations.
Engaged by clients to link the supply chain together which often includes engaging surveyors from other disciplines. After all, it’s the project managers who effectively control projects in the land, property and construction industries. They co-ordinate the whole development process to maximise efficiency, economy and communication and ensure that with their guidance the project is successfully completed. Project management is a demanding discipline that requires a broad range of knowledge, which extends from technical expertise to the vitally important soft skills of leadership, negotiating, team building and communication.
Building control Now more than ever, building control is acknowledged as a vital part of the construction team, the chartered building control surveyor being a well-respected figure within the industry. These days building control is a common global feature. In virtually all parts of the world there are building codes to which the construction industry must adhere. Specialist situations, such as licensing and safety at sports grounds, are an additional consideration.
Built Infrastructure Project and cost management of infrastructure schemes require specialist, global skills to ensure delivery within budget and on programme. From analysing the brief, stakeholder engagement and understanding project finance, through cost planning, procurement, project controls and asset management, the built infrastructure surveyor manages the whole project life cycle. As well as optimising the business case, these surveyors implement management controls to accommodate financial and time change.
Richard Owen MRICS Chartered Quantity Surveyor Fox Lloyd Jones Ltd I came to surveying via a slightly different path to most. Having finished a Business Management degree, I soon embarked on a RICS-accredited conversion course; a Quantity Surveying Master's degree. As well as studying for my Quantity Surveying qualification, I also took a graduate position at a London-based surveying firm. Having become fully chartered with RICS, I’m now employed by Fox Lloyd Jones Ltd. Drawing on the skills I’ve honed over the past few years, I act as a consultant on the costing and budgeting for new building projects. I support clients in helping them understand how much a planned project will cost, as well as advising on the professional team members and connections needed to deliver the project. Surveying is the type of career that gives you a huge range of transferable skills. For instance, my role involves me using my procurement, financial and project management skills in order to paint a clear picture for my clients. What’s more the softer skills, such as communication and team work, are required in abundance if a planned project is to be taken from the page and physically built.
The opportunities in this industry are endless and are there for those people who want to work hard to achieve them.
My advice to anyone looking to join the industry would be to work hard, but also be as proactive as you possibly can. We all had to start somewhere and the only way to get an idea of the breadth of the surveying industry is to ask those people that are already working in it.
Why I love my career
60 s ec o n ds
Our annual careers guide aimed at those interested in learning more about careers in land, property and construction.