Q&A with Peter Sell and Steve Pittard, Authors of "BIM and Quantity Surveying"

Peter Sell and Steve Pittard, authors of BIM and Quantity Surveying, discuss their new book and some of the misconceptions of BIM.

Why did BIM and Quantity Surveying need to be written?

Recognition that although there had been much written on the subject, there was very little to guide either students or practitioners on the practical implications of BIM to address the more obvious and relevant question of “How does BIM affect me?”. The books raison D’etre is to provide much needed context for BIM relative to the role and function of Quantity Surveying.


How is it different from other books in the field?

Unlike books previously available, this book looks specifically at the impact and use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in terms of the role of the professional Quantity Surveyor (QS). Through a series of case studies themed around the range of services typically provided by the QS, this book provides a valuable reference and practical guide to the use of BIM.

The book is unique in reviewing the use and implications of BIM as it relates specifically to the role of the professional Quantity Surveyor. Featuring real case study examples covering the broad range of QS services including cost planning, contract administration, procurement, FM and dispute resolution. With the emphasis on practical application, the book is ideally suited to students and practitioners alike looking to gain an understanding of how BIM impacts the role of the professional QS and should serve as a valuable core reference for any undergraduate and post graduate courses for Quantity Surveyors.


What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

An understanding of what BIM really means and how it relates to the role and function of Quantity Surveying.

Are there any key messages you’d like to highlight?

BIM is much more than the technology. It requires a fundamental shift in mind-set, culture and attitude. BIM offers a catalyst for change – assuming always that the industry is ready, willing and able to embrace this change! Along with some of the challenges, the book also offers the benefits of BIM, not only in terms of the traditional services already offered by Quantity Surveyors, but also to guide and realise the opportunity value of BIM through new services and particularly in leveraging the value of the information.

What are some of the misconceptions of BIM?

That BIM is all about the technology, and all too often described as 3D CAD. It isn’t! Whilst technology may provide the enabler, BIM is more about the “I” – the Information – and the process(es) required to support the delivery and ongoing operation of the built environment. Getting this fundamental message across is a key challenge and one which should not be underestimated in an industry historically resistant to embrace the necessary changes in culture and attitude.

What findings in writing/researching the book surprised you?

That despite the many claims to the contrary, the lack of collateral to support more case study evidence of Level 2 BIM compliance on projects was surprising – although perhaps not entirely unexpected. The editors began this project with the aim of engaging real case study examples for the majority of QS services featured. However, it soon became evident that for the majority of the services featured it was more aspirational than actual experience.

  • BIM and Quantity Surveying

    Edited by Steve Pittard, Peter Sell

    The sudden arrival of Building Information Modelling (BIM) as a key part of the building industry is redefining the roles and working practices of its stakeholders. Many clients, designers, contractors, quantity surveyors, and building managers are still finding their feet in an industry where BIM…

    Paperback – 2015-12-08
    Routledge