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CESMM4 Civil Engineering Price book

The Civil Engineering Standard Method of Measurement (CESMM), has been well established for over 20 years as the standard method of measurement for the preparation of bills of quantities in civil engineering work.

10 Things you need to know about CESMM4

Following the recent publication of CESMM4 Revised: Civil Engineering Standard Method of Measurement and CESMM4 Revised: Handbook, Mike Attridge, experienced chartered quantity surveyor and commercial manager, answers 10 of the most frequently asked questions about the Civil Engineering Standard Method of Measurement.

Updated: 30 October 2019
Author by Mike Attridge, Trebes Consulting Limited
1. Who wrote CESMM4 Revised: Civil Engineering Standard Method of Measurement?
The Institution of Civil Engineers.
2. What does CESMM stand for?
The Civil Engineering Standard Method of Measurement.
3. Why was CESMM4 Revised: Handbook written?
This was written to accompany the recently published CESMM4 Revised, and has as its main purpose, to explain in greater detail the various measurement rules and the principal objectives for a Bill of Quantities prepared in accordance with CESMM4 Revised.
4. What is a bill of quantities?
A Bill of Quantities is a document prepared in accordance with published detailed rules of measurement. It comprises a list of items that provide descriptions and quantities of the proposed construction works, and it is used for the purpose of obtaining tenders for a construction project.
5. What does CESMM cover/what types of projects is it used for?
In short, CESMM is intended to be used for works of civil engineering when the design has been substantially completed by the clients designer, enabling a bill of quantities to be prepared in accordance with the detailed rules of measurement set out in CESMM.
6. Do you have any advice on how to make the best use of the CESMM4 Revised: Handbook?
I believe that the CESMM4 Revised: Handbook is an essential read for anyone embarking on the preparation of a Bill of Quantities for anything other than a simple, low-value civil engineering project. It explains the philosophy behind a CESMM-based Bill of Quantities and explains in greater detail than CESMM4 the reasons work is measured the way it is.
7. How is CESMM used during tendering?
A bill of quantities effectively is a model in words (item descriptions) and numbers (quantities) of the work included in a contract which is used to seek prices from tenderers. Having been prepared independently of the tenderers (typically by a civil engineer or quantity surveyor engaged by the client) it ensures that tenders are obtained on the same basis i.e. based on the same model. The alternative is to let tenderers prepare their own quantities which can lead to the tenderer who made the most mistakes being awarded the contract.
8. How is CESMM used to value variations?
The rates against the items in the Bill of Quantities can be used as a starting point for the evaluation of changes/variations.
9. How can CESMM help with Risk Management?
The act of preparing a Bill of Quantities before a tender yields a major benefit to the client. This is because the process and discipline involved in preparing a Bill of Quantities in accordance with the detailed rules of the CESMM requires an extremely thorough interrogation of the drawings and specifications prepared by the designer. Experienced bill compilers will know that the preparation of a bill is the next best thing to actually constructing the works in determining the completeness of the design, and very often it is not only the completeness of the design that can be verified, but also aspects of its adequacy.
This benefit of the Bill of Quantities (i.e. enabling the early identification and rectification of design shortcomings) can save the designer a little embarrassment but more importantly, and it can also save the client a great deal of money. When inadequate and incomplete design information is only discovered further down the line by the contractor it will often delay or disrupt the progress of the works with more serious financial consequences for the client.
A second role that the Bill of Quantities fulfils in the management of risk is that it ensures that tenders are obtained based on the same understanding of the work and quantities involved. That is, tenderers will always want to restrict their expenditure on the speculative exercise of competitive tendering. If they have to prepare their own quantities of the work to a tight tender deadline they can be tempted to cut corners. This can lead to errors and many a contract has been awarded to a contractor who under-estimated the full nature and extent of the proposed work based on its own inaccurate assessment of the quantities.
10. What is the history of CESMM4?
The first edition of the CESMM was published in 1976. I believe that this was the first time that a standardised method for drafting bills of quantities for civil engineering works had been produced. Prior to this, the order and nature of bill items, the units of measurement, and even the method of tabulating this information into columns, varied considerably. This would have made the task of pricing the bill of quantities much more difficult than it is today. Martin Barnes played an important role throughout the development of CESMM which is now in its fourth version. The latest version of the method, CESMM4 Revised, the revised fourth edition of the Civil Engineering Method of Measurement, was published in June 2019. This brings the method into line with the most recent developments in the railway industry.

The CESMM4 books include:

CESMM4 Revised Civil Engineering Standard Method of Measurement
CESMM4 Carbon and Price Book 2013
CESMM4 Revised Handbook
CESMM4 Revised Examples
CESMM4 Revised set of 3 books (due September 2020)
10 of 10 Items
  • CESMM4 Revised: Complete Book Bundle

    ICE Publishing

    CESMM4 Revised: Complete Book Bundle

    AUTHOR(S): Institution of Civil Engineers ISBN: 9780727765680 PUBLICATION DATE: 28 September 2020 FORMAT:Hardback PUBLISHER:ICE Publishing NUMBER OF PAGES:464 CESMM4 Revised: Complete Book Bundle is an indispensable...

    MRP: £170.00
  • CESMM4 Carbon and Price Book 2013

    ICE Publishing

    CESMM4 Carbon and Price Book 2013

    Authors: ICE, Mott MacDonald and BRE Publisher: ICE Publishing ISBN: 9780727758125 Format: Paperback Pagination: 634 pages Pub Date: 26/06/2013 Efficient, accurate costs from across industry CESMM4 Carbon and Price Book has been compiled using the very...

    MRP: £213.00
  • Structural Engineer's Pocket Book: Eurocodes

    Taylor & Francis

    Structural Engineer's Pocket Book: Eurocodes

    By: Fiona Cobb, Edition: 3rd Rev ed Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd Imprint: CIMA Publishing ISBN: 9780080971216 Format: Paperback Pagination: 395 pages, Illustrated Pub Date: 15/06/2014 Now in its third edition, the Structural Engineer's Pocket Book...

    MRP: £32.99
  • CESMM4 Handbook

    ICE Publishing

    CESMM4 Handbook

    Author: Institution of Civil Engineers Publisher: ICE Publishing ISBN: 9780727757616 Format: Paperback Pagination: 256 pages Pub Date: 05/08/2019 CESMM4 Handbook is an ICE guide to the financial control of contracts using the fourth edition of the Civil...

    MRP: £72.50
  • Structural Engineer's Pocket Book

    Taylor & Francis

    Structural Engineer's Pocket Book

    By: Fiona Cobb, Edition: 2nd Rev ed Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd Imprint: CRC Press ISBN: 9781138086852 Format: Paperback Pagination: 400 pages, Illustrated Pub Date: 20/07/2017 The Structural Engineer's Pocket Book British Standards Edition is...

    MRP: £43.99
  • CESMM4 Examples 1

    ICE Publishing

    CESMM4 Examples 1

    ISBN: 9780727765109 Format: Paperbound Author: Mike Attridge Publish Date: 28/08/2020 Publisher: ICE Publishing Number of Pages: 96 This book provides a comprehensive range of examples of diagrams and bills of quantities based on Section 8, works...

    MRP: £55.00
  • Estimator's Pocket Book

    Taylor & Francis

    Estimator's Pocket Book

    Author: Duncan Cartlidge Edition: 2nd Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd Imprint: Routledge ISBN: 9781138366701 Format: Paperback Pagination: 282 pages Pub Date: 30/04/2019 The Estimator's Pocket Book, Second Edition is a concise and practical reference...

    MRP: £24.99
10 of 10 Items