Embarking on a construction project can be daunting, with numerous factors to consider and potential challenges to overcome. In such situations, having a building quantity surveyor by your side can make all the difference. These professionals can help guide the construction process, offering invaluable assistance and expertise at every stage. From helping you set realistic budgets to ensuring compliance with regulations and overseeing financial aspects, a building quantity surveyor is an essential partner in the construction journey.

Determining Budget in the Preliminary Design Stage

Determining the budget in the preliminary design stage is crucial for managing cash flow and ensuring the smooth progression of construction projects. Various factors, including contractor availability, interest rate fluctuations, adverse weather conditions, and material price fluctuations, can impact project timelines and budgets. To mitigate these risks, accurate construction cost reports are essential. Engaging a qualified building quantity surveyor helps to navigate the complexities of construction projects, minimising the risk of budget overruns and delays.

These professionals prepare comprehensive cost reports before project commencement, providing ongoing updates as necessary. By inspecting development plans and consulting industry standards like the Australian Cost Management Manuals, quantity surveyors calculate development costs accurately. They consider factors such as main elemental costs (e.g., superstructure, substructure) and sub-elemental costs (e.g., windows, air conditioning), providing detailed insights into project expenses. Through this process, stakeholders gain a clear understanding of expenditure distribution, enabling them to manage finances effectively throughout the project lifecycle.

DA & Section 94 Reports

If you’re a developer gearing up for a project with an estimated cost of $500,000 or more, local council regulations may require you to provide Section 94 contributions. These payments facilitate the provision of new services and public amenities to accommodate the needs of the community impacted by your development. Section 94 reports, also known as cost summary reports, play a crucial role in ensuring compliance with council levies under Section 94 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. These reports meticulously detail all construction project costs, ensuring accurate calculation of required contributions. Working with experienced quantity surveyors is essential to navigate this process efficiently and accurately.

A building quantity surveyor acts as a neutral, independent party, ensuring adherence to council standards and minimising the risk of undervaluing or overpaying contributions.

Financial Planning

Before proceeding with your development project, securing finance is a crucial step, and obtaining a bank prefunding report is essential for this process. These reports provide banks with a comprehensive overview of your project’s costs, potential return on investment, and your ability to repay the loan. Working with experienced quantity surveyors ensures that these reports are thorough and accurate, meeting the stringent requirements of major Australian lenders such as Westpac, CBA, and NAB.

Bank prefunding reports involve detailed assessments of your chosen builder, comparisons with benchmarked data, and the presentation of fixed-price building contracts. Additionally, for larger developments, evidence of pre-sales may be necessary. Following finance approval, lenders may request ongoing updates on project progress, including progress drawdown reports and cash flow statements. Engaging reputable quantity surveyors mitigates risks associated with unreliable builders, ensuring a smooth project execution. These professionals consider various factors such as site size, zoning regulations, concept drawings, builder’s track record, material and labour costs, project feasibility, timelines, and overall project viability to provide comprehensive reports that meet all financing requirements.

Construction Phase

During the construction phase, progress drawdown reports are vital documents in the payment process for projects. These reports provide project financiers with the assurance that milestones have been achieved, facilitating the release of funds for ongoing work. Conducted with thorough attention to detail, these reports involve comprehensive site inspections to verify milestone completion and compliance with relevant regulations and standards. By closely monitoring project progress and identifying any deviations from budget or design, drawdown reports help ensure projects remain on track and financially viable.

A qualified building quantity surveyor can ensure all aspects of the project are appropriately documented. The process typically includes evaluating progress claims, confirming design compliance, checking insurance coverage, and validating other necessary certifications and permits. Such detailed reports not only provide transparency but also contribute to the successful management and execution of construction projects.

Why choose a building quantity surveyor?

In the world of construction, making the right choice when selecting a contractor can make all the difference in the success of your project. Engaging a building quantity surveyor from Section 94 ensures that your project has an experienced professional on your side throughout the entire construction process.

With over a decade of industry experience, our qualified building quantity surveyors are AIQS certified with a fast turnaround time and clear communication. Give us a call today at 0413 953 869 or email us at info@section94.com.au to discuss our quality budget services for residential and commercial builds.

As expert building quantity surveyors, we recognise that the construction industry has always valued remaining at the forefront of technology. Could blockchain be the next step in streamlined construction? We’ve outlined three ways cryptocurrency and blockchain could benefit your next build, and why this digital transaction tool may begin to be integrated into the construction industry.

What is blockchain and how does it work?

To understand blockchain you need to have a basic knowledge of cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses encryption to securely verify transactions. Crypto does not rely on banks to process transactions but is secure and impossible to forfeit. Blockchain technology is a new tool for recording and processing transactions made in cryptocurrency and other values like the service or product. Blockchain securely creates a clear, linear record of cryptocurrency transaction history by forming a “chain”. This can automate contractual processes by creating a clear ledger of services provided and tracking all the multiple transactions involved in one project. This efficient and transparent form of payment processing and recording streamlines project management, which could have many benefits for the construction industry. 

1.     Fast payment processing

Using blockchain and cryptocurrency could result in payments being processed faster for contractors. Blockchain does not require payments to be processed and verified by banks, incurring fewer process payment fees and time delays across banks.

The instant processing of blockchain and cryptocurrency would allow faster material purchases and work turnaround, plus it would be appreciated by construction workers and contractors. If combined with smart contracts, this instant payment system could be automated to occur as each stage of construction is achieved. 

2.     Record keeping for future maintenance needs

While blockchain has many benefits as a payment processing system, this tool could also function as secure information management with no limit to scalability. The encryption stores data in a code that is verified by all the prior transactions, so no aspect can be changed without being noticed in the digital ledger. This information also isn’t limited to a central server, which allows blockchain to scale as needed for small to very large construction projects and for the information to be readily available by any party 24/7.

As the records of the blockchain are unchangeable, using blockchain could also function as storage of all warranties, certifications and material information for every aspect of the project. This virtual storage would be of great benefit to the building owner if any asset of the building needs to be replaced or repaired over the years. This data is not only stored but also verified by the blockchain and the tool’s transaction history records, allowing an ongoing ledger of build costs. This system could even encourage further automation to replace or maintain assets routinely using the extensive information stored in the blockchain.

3.     Smart contracts

Smart contracts can also streamline construction processes and payment approvals. Blockchain-enabled smart contracts streamline the supply chain and the management of materials by automatically triggering the next order process or phase. This will reduce the amount of paper, communication, verification and organisation needed to confirm the current works and access documentation about products, pricing and quantities, all while being accessible to every contractor and party involved. Smart contracts allow easy collaboration between contractors while adding a layer of transparency for any scope or schedule modifications.

Need an expert building quantity surveyor?

The integration of blockchain technology with the construction industry will take a while to be widespread, no doubt due to the appreciation of relationships and trusted partnerships between contractors. Blockchain’s automation will also still require professional oversight to ensure every stage of the build meets the standards and project scope. For expert insight into every aspect of the build, the team of building quantity surveyors at Section 94 are here to help!

With a wealth of experience in preparing accurate prefunding reports, construction cost estimates and progress claims, our dedicated team will ensure your residential or commercial build progresses without the hurdles of inaccurate or exceeded budgets. Our estimators will ensure that your construction loan is paid as scheduled with our reliable progress drawdown reports, keeping your project on track and your builders and contractors satisfied.

With over a decade of industry experience, our qualified building quantity surveyors are AIQS certified with a fast turnaround time and clear communication. Give us a call today on 0413 953 869 or email us at info@section94.com.au to discuss our quality budget services for residential and commercial builds.