July 11, 2023

Meet our Senior Quantity Surveyor, Andrew Hawkmoon – Q+A

Andrew is vastly experienced with over 46 years of experience as a Quantity Surveyor, working on cost planning since 1988. As part of his role as Senior Quantity Surveyor/Cost Planner for Concertus, he works alongside Derbyshire County Council and the multi-disciplinary teams in the office. Andrew has worked on numerous new build schools and has undertaken large multi-million-pound schemes providing construction cost advice and quantity surveying services from inception through to completion, ensuring projects are delivered with the highest level of cost certainty and value for money possible. By working closely with the design team and the client, he proactively controls forecast costs and expenditures against budgets to completion. As projects evolve, he maintains regular communication and transparent cost advice throughout the life of a project.

We recently sat down with him to find out more about his day-to-day role.

What are the most important parts of pre-contract discussions?

There are many ways to look at it but from my point of view as a Quantity Surveyor, we must gather as much information as possible to prepare an accurate budget. This ensures the project runs as smoothly as possible where costs have been agreed upon. In the very early stages of a project, I like to spend time with the wider design team and ensure I have a full understanding of the end goal and what we are building toward. It’s also very important that our clients understand that pricing isn’t always fixed, so we must have a continuous line of communication so there are no surprises. Now, the market is incredibly volatile with certain materials rising steadily, I must make sure that people understand that what we potentially agree on today isn’t necessarily what they will be paying if there are delays in the project.

We also must consider the bills of quantities; we need accurate drawings with as much information as possible. The bills of quantities need to include a precise breakdown of all the material, labour and parts required for a successful construction project.

What do you look to get out of the feasibility stage of a project?

During the feasibility stage of a project, the goal is to identify any potential challenges or limitations that may impact the success of any given project. This includes conducting site assessments to ensure no surprises are waiting for us or the client; accurately estimating project costs to avoid any future surprises; and identifying and accounting for risks to mitigate potential issues. By asking thorough questions and gathering all relevant information, the feasibility stage helps set the project up for success for everybody who is involved in it. We want to ensure our clients have all the relevant information and that the design team know what route to take when working on projects.

How do you see the Quantity Surveyor role with the design team?

Mine and the wider team’s role is crucial in ensuring that the design team produces high-quality work, to a set budget. A QS must have a keen eye for detail and be aware of all the small details to keep the project on the correct road. Additionally, people management is an essential skill for a QS to possess to effectively communicate and collaborate with the design team. So, although we aren’t designing, a QS role is just as important as anybody’s.

How do you ensure that budget updates are communicated during design?

To ensure that budget updates are communicated during design, it’s important to establish clear channels of communication with everybody who is a stakeholder within it, this includes the internal design team, contractors, and the client themselves. It’s also helpful to be proactive in monitoring budget changes and identifying potential impacts on the design process. This can include building relationships and regularly checking in on project progress with the team. By staying informed and communicating effectively, budget updates can be seamlessly integrated into the design process.

Andrew is a valued member of the Quantity Surveying and Cost Consultancy services team based in our Matlock office. Through his knowledge and experience, he can provide our clients with the best cost information available at each stage in the delivery of a scheme. From the initial budgeting of projects at the feasibility to tender Andrew offers a client-focused approach while delivering to an exceptional professional standard.