The New Rules of Measurement (NRM) are published by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS).
They provide a standard set of measurement rules for estimating, cost planning, procurement and whole-life costing for construction projects.
Adopting a standard methodology such as NRM facilitates consistency and benchmarking and helps avoid disputes.
NRM is a suite of documents, comprising three volumes; NRM1, NRM2 and NRM3.
NRM1: Order of cost estimating and cost planning for capital building works.
NRM 1 was first published in February 2009 (as NRM Order of cost estimating and elemental cost planning). Now in its second edition, it provides guidance on the quantification of building works in order to prepare order of cost estimates and cost plans, as well as approximate estimates. It also includes guidance about quantifying wider costs such as preliminaries, overheads and profit, risk allowances, and inflation.
The second edition has been renamed to better distinguish between capital building works and building maintenance works, and the arrangement of elements has been revised. It became operative on 1 January 2013.
NRM2: Detailed measurement for building works.
NRM2 was published in April 2012. It became operative on 1 January 2013 and replaced the Standard Method of Measurement, seventh edition (SMM7) on 1 July 2013.
NRM2 establishes detailed measurement rules allowing the preparation of bills of quantities, quantified schedules of works and schedules of rates in order to obtain tender prices. Guidance is also provided on the content, structure and format of bills of quantities.
NRM3 – Order of cost estimating and cost planning for building maintenance works.
NRM3 was published in March 2014. It allows the quantification and description of maintenance works. It can be used for initial order of cost estimates, general cost plans and asset-specific cost plans. It also provides guidance on procurement and cost control.
NRM3 also offers guidance about the measurement of other items associated with maintenance works that are not included in work items.
See NRM3 for more information.
It is suggested by the RICS that together, the new suite of documents will better reflect the way the industry works, for example:
Better meeting the needs of clients.
Providing for more up-front detail.
Allowing better consideration of the full costs of a construction project (for example, marketing costs, fees and charges, the cost of acquiring land, planning costs, relocation costs, the cost of finance and so on).
Providing a better method for quantifying risk.
The RICS also suggest that it will facilitate “…greater cross-industry working, the introduction of Building Information Modelling and effectively analysing the costs of construction projects” ref RICS.
As well as a set of rules for how to quantify building work, NRM is intended to provide a toolkit for cost management that will be central to controlling costs as a project develops.
It provides guidance on how measurement changes as design progresses, how cost centres can be included in a single project cost plan, how to assess the cost of risk, how to assess fees, what information is required to make key decisions and so on.
The New Rules of Measurement (NRM) volumes were published alongside guidance on conflict avoidance and dispute resolution and retention.
These will form part of the RICS QS and construction standards (the Black Book).
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