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History of Quantity Surveying

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Gallery of History of Quantity Surveying

 History of Quantity Surveying Timeline

- Egypt Pyramids 2700 BC - Throughout the construction of the pyramids and temples of ancient Egypt the quantity surveyor was called the “measurer of royal works” (Bowles & Le Roux, 1992: 4).

- Biblical Times, Luke, Chapter 14:28 - For which of you, intending to build a tower, sits not down first and counts the cost to see whether he will have sufficient to finish it?”


- 1666 - According to Kirkham (2015), the Quantity Surveying profession can date its roots back to the rebuilding of London after the great fire in 1666.


- 1688 -The origins of the modern quantity surveying profession may be said to have developed from the 'Sworn Measurer' appointment of John Ogstoun on 25 April 1688 by the Town Council of Edinburgh, Scotland as the “good town's ordinary measurer.

- 1750 -The earliest mention of surveying as a profession in Ireland was in 1750. An Irish clergyman and architectural writer, John Payne, vicar of Castlerickard in County Meath, put his name to a “True Bill of Materials required for the Improvement at the Barrack of Horse at Trim” as “a full bill made by me John Payne, Clerk and Surveyor of Quantities”.


-1785 -The first firm of Henry Cooper and Sons of Reading was established as early as 1785, Buys (2004: 2)


- 1802-Scottish quantity surveyors met in 1802 and produced the first method of measurement


-1836- In 1836 it emerged as a new age profession when the new Houses of Parliament of Great Britain, designed by Sir Charles Barry, turned into the first public contract to be completely measured and tendered utilizing Bills of Quantities (BoQ’s) of amounts for money-related.


-1859- The term “quantity surveyor” was first recorded in 1859 (Kiran, 2009).


-1868- RICS was founded in London, England, as the Institution of Surveyors after a meeting of 49 surveyors at the Westminster Palace Hotel on 15 June 1868.


-1881-The RICS received a Royal charter as The Surveyors' Institution on 26 August 1881.


-19th Century- In the late 19th century, there emerged a system for using the main contractor for executing the works. This involved several bidders submitting bids to the employer for evaluation in order to select a suitable contractor for the execution of the works.

-1922-The Standard Method of Measurement was first published.

1950’s-Seeley (1996) also argues increasingly complex, with. Stricter cost planning were needed due to increasingly complex projects.

-1957- Pronto, first commercial computer-aided machining (CAM) software


-1963-Sketchpad, CAD with graphical user interface


-1982- 2D CAD Software


-1988- The RICS (with the CIOB, CIBSE, IstructE, and RIBA) was a founder member of the Building Industry Council, today the Construction Industry Council, in 1988.

- 1990’s- Start of Green Construction Movement.


-1993- CAS Berlin developed an interactive 3D Time


-1994 - Agreed Rules of Measurement and was published in Ireland.


-2000- Revit


-2017- Making BIM business as usual.


-2018- There are RICS-qualified professionals in nearly 150 countries. RICS accredits 125,000 qualified and trainee professionals worldwide.

Current Day -With the uncertainty of today’s market conditions, the movement towards “green” buildings, and the use of non-traditional procurement methods, the quantity surveyor’s role continues to evolve.

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