What is a Cost Manager?

A Cost Manager, also referred to as a Quantity Surveyor, is an integral part of a construction team. In this dynamic and multifaceted role, Cost Managers are involved all aspects of construction. Beginning with the capital expenditure phase of a building or facility, which includes the feasibility, design and construction phases, and can also be involved with the extension, refurbishment, maintenance and demolition of a facility.

The construction industry is global and extends across all real estate and infrastructure markets. Cost Managers work in all sectors of the construction industry worldwide. In real estate, this covers residential, commercial, industrial, leisure, agricultural and retail facilities. In infrastructure, it covers roads, railways, water ways, airports, seaports, coastal defences, power generation and utilities. Cost Managers may also work in process engineering, such as chemical engineering plants or oil rigs.

Cost Managers must understand all aspects of construction over the whole life of a building or facility. They use this knowledge to manage cost effectively, equating quality and value with individual client needs.

Cost Manager work varied roles such as a consultant in private practice, for a developer or in the development arm of a major organization (e.g. retailer, manufacturer, utility company or airport), for a public-sector body or for a loss adjuster. On the contracting side, you could be working for a major national or international contractor, a local or regional general contractor, for a specialist contractor or sub-contractor, or for a management style contractor.

Explore what Cost Managers do

  • Preparing feasibility studies or development appraisals
  • Assessing capital and revenue expenditure over the whole life of a facility
  • Advising clients on ways of procuring the project
  • Advising on the setting of budgets
  • Monitoring design development against planned expenditure
  • Conducting value management and engineering exercises
  • Managing and analyzing risk
  • Managing the procurement and tendering process
  • Preparing contractual documentation
  • Controlling cost during the construction process
  • Managing the commercial success of a project for a contractor
  • Valuing construction work for interim payments, valuing change, assessing or compiling claims for loss and expense and agreeing final accounts
  • Negotiating with interested parties
  • Giving advice on the avoidance and settlement of disputes.

Learning Objectives

A Cost Manager should be able to:

Construction technology and environmental services for domestic and more complex buildings

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the principles of design and construction relating to your chosen field of practice.
  • Apply your knowledge to the design and construction process to enhance the service you provide as a Quantity Surveyor
  • Advise on the selection and application of processes as a Quantity Surveyor.
  • Evaluate the impact of different building regulations and standards have on the construction process in terms of cost and schedule

Procurement and tendering

  • Define the relationship between the way a project is structured and delivered in terms of risk allocation and contractual relationships
  • Explain how tendering processes are used to establish contract price
  • Compare the different types of procurement and tendering commonly used in construction
  • Assess the advantages and disadvantages of the different type of types of procurement and tendering processes
  • Chose the appropriate type of procurement and tendering process based on the project type

Design economics and cost planning

  • Define a cost plan
  • Explain how cost plans are developed and their overall importance to the construction project.
  • Describe the contents of a cost plan
  • Relate various estimating stages and with stages of the design process
  • Examine the factors that affect cost planning, building costs and costs over the lifespan of a building
  • Describe how costs in a cost plan are grouped (CSI trade codes)
  • Knowledge of how cost data is collected and processed
  • Understanding of whole life costing, sustainability and the classification of costs

Quantification and costing of construction works

  • Describe the principles of how projects are quantified and costed
  • Identify of the various pricing schedules and when they are used and utilized
  • Determine what is included in a pricing schedule
  • Identify how measurements are obtained and how drawings are ‘taken off’
  • Identify standard methods of measurement and how standardisation is used - ICMS, NRM.
  • Preparing and issue pricing documentations.
  • Create a bid form and capture project specifics
  • Define how construction works are valued during the course of a project

Construction law and standard forms of contract

  • Identify various forms of contract used in the construction industry and specifically the North American market
  • Describe the obligations, roles and responsibilities and duties imposed on parties under contracts
  • Identify how the procurement/tender route impacts the selection of the appropriate form of contract and vice versa.
  • Identify the principles of contact law and how contracts are agreed / executed.
  • Describe contract procedures deal with time, quality and value and their link to procurement and tendering.
  • Describe of how contracts deal with dispute resolution and termination
  • Define common contractual terms, clauses and mechanisms including bonds, insurances and damages.
  • Define letters of intent – when and why they are used and how they stand in contract law.
  • Identify contract documents are and how they sit in the contract.

Project financial control and reporting

  • Apply construction cost control methods and procedures
  • Identify what a project cost report looks like, what it includes and what it shows
  • Describe how contingency is managed and reported against.
  • Define change order management and how change orders are valued, reviewed, recorded and agreed
  • Describe how cost controls are implemented to manage cost, risk and schedule
  • Identify cash flow forecasts and how and why they are used
  • Define cost/value analysis
  • Define final accounts and post project cost reporting

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Annabel Drew

3rd January

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