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Bill of quantities

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Title: Bill of quantities  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Operational bill, Construction, BOQ, Procurement, Quantity surveyor
Collection: Construction, Procurement, Project Management
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Bill of quantities

A bill of quantities (BOQ) is a document used in tendering in the construction industry in which materials, parts, and labor (and their costs) are itemized. It also (ideally) details the terms and conditions of the construction or repair contract and itemizes all work to enable a contractor to price the work for which he or she is bidding.


Bills of quantities are prepared by quantity surveyors and building estimators, and "Indeed the bill of quantities was the reason to be for the development of quantity surveying as a separate profession." COBRA The international operations or trades used in construction. As the rates for materials and labour change due to inflation, these books are frequently republished.

The practice historically of estimating building costs in this way arose from non-contractual measurements, taken off drawings to assist tenderers in quoting lump sum prices.

There are different styles of bills of quantities, mainly the Elemental BOQ and Trade Bills.

Contingency sum

A Contingency sum is an item found within a Bill of quantities (BoQ).

The item refers to unforeseeable cost likely to be incurred during the contract.

There are two types of contingency sum. The first refers to a specific item, e.g., 'additional alterations to services when installing said shower unit', where an item for alterations to existing services is not contained within the BoQ but some work is envisaged.

The second type of sum is where money can be allocated to any item, within the BoQ, in the same way as the above example or used as 'additional work to be undertaken by the contractor, at the request of the contract administrator'.

The first is usually approximated by the client’s PQS and the second by the contractors QS (or commercial manager).

Additional requirements is referred as Bill of materials (BOM).

See also

A Bill of Quantities does in fact consider all costs and is transparent in relations to all costs. Where information is missing at the time, sums based on ad hoc schedules or known rates will be entered, but this will of course depend on the contract being used. Traditional routes, where time is not so much an issue add better cost certainty. From inception to completion and beyond Bills of Quantities cover all aspect of work and this includes all work, materials and any cost related aspects supplied by the contractor. This is done in the preliminary stages of the Bill and it

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