NIQS joins coalition to unify construction measurement standards
Spurred by the need to enhance professional practice, Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) has joined a coalition of more than 80 professional bodies from around the world, including Royal Institution Chartered Surveyors (RICS), which seeks to create international standards in construction measurement.
The International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS) Coalition was established by non-profit organisations representing professionals in more than 140 countries. Collectively, the group aims to create overarching international standards that will harmonise cost, classification and measurement definitions in order to enhance comparability, consistency and benchmarking of capital projects.
In an industry projected to be worth a staggering $15 trillion by 2025, according to Global Construction Perspectives, inconsistency in something as fundamental as construction measurement and reporting can create huge uncertainty, misunderstanding, and risk.
Speaking at a one-day NIQS Lagos chapter and RICS Seminar on International Standards as well as breakfast meeting with Nigerian professionals in the built environment in Lagos, the Chair of International Ethics Standards Coalition and Global Property Standard Director, RICS, Peter Bolton King , disclosed that an independent standards committee, comprising 27 international experts is writing ICMS. A public consultation is due in November 2016 for a three month period while the coalition is targeting 2017 for the publication of the standard.
He urged Nigerian professionals and other industries to get involved in a number of on-going projects aimed at producing global standards for the real estate sector, adding that up to 70per cent of the world’s wealth bound up in land and real estate sector, hence the need for professionals to promote economic development, support stable, sustainable investment and growth around the globe.
According to him, ethics is at the heart of everything and an International Ethical Standard for those in the built environment would promote better returns. He pointed out that the cost of not being ethical include; fewer clients, reputation damage, fall in share prices, fines paid to government and regulators adding that the adoption of the global ethical code like those in Medicine, Law and Accountancy would promote best practices in the built industry.
King revealed that at the moment, there is no agreed way in the world, of how property could be physically measured despite, the existence of about five or six ways recognized for measuring practice noting that if there are agreed ways, then multi-national companies and global investors would be able to properly compare one type of property with the same property elsewhere, regardless of where it is, in the world.
He explained to them how a coalition has produced an International Property Measurement Standard (IPMS) for the first time, the problems in the construction sector around the world, especially as regard lack of agreed way on what was included in the construction cost and the need for an over-arching ethical codes and high-level principles that has been worked on and that would benefit the whole of the built environment.
“We recognised that we have local markets and all these principles are high-level sets of principles, what needs to happen is for the local market for instance; in Nigeria to say; ok, we have gotten these principles, how do we operate all the high principle within our local market. There will therefore be a need for a guide, to educate local professionals on how to operate those rules within the local environment.”
“We have met with a number of organisations and companies who are interested in knowing more about the standards. We have met members of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors and we had very brilliant discussions about all these standards, the ethical issues faced on daily basis. NIQS was the first to sign up in West Africa to join the coalition and we have also been to Ghana with increasing numbers of associations who wants to be part of this,” he stated.
The RICS director disclosed that the organisation was involving its members in over 200 types of work and by the end of the current decade; 2020, more qualified members would have been enlisted from outside and inside the United Kingdom, for the first time.
Responding to questions on instabilities in prices of real estate properties around the world, he observed that local demands and supply would certainly increase the value of property.
Country Manager, West Africa (RICS), Benjamin Manu, in an interview with the Guardian, believed that the introduction of international standard and adoption of proceedings of the meeting would promote investor’s confidence especially those coming to the West Africa market having known that the professionals align with International Property Measurements standard, regulations and ethics.
“When these standards are supported by the professionals it would help them in their reporting and investment decisions. It would promote standard in evaluation and costing, and land measurement. It would promote alignment of local standards with the international standards.”
RICS has since 2010 being in driving change for mass urbanisation, shifting economic power, correcting the worldwide middle class divide by demanding a better built environment and addressing the skills gap as well as projecting the real estate sector as an investment class amongst others areas of interventions.