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The Importance of Quantity Surveyors in Infrastructure Projects: Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Construction Market is dominated with large Infrastructure projects, and this has generated a strong job market  for construction professionals looking for a new challenge. One of the key issues encountered by construction companies working on these mega size infrastructure developments is ensuring successful project delivery: both on time and within budget. With this in mind it is important to understand what role Quantity Surveyors can play in ensuring the project is commercially successful.

How important are Quantity Surveyors in Infrastructure projects and what role do they play?
The cost significant activities in Engineering/Infrastructure projects are different than that of a Building project and are such that the importance of the Quantity Surveying function becomes even more vital within these sorts of projects. Cost overrun is not an uncommon phenomenon in construction projects and in particular with Civil Engineering and Infrastructure projects, this has been highlighted recently with large delays in high profile MTR projects in Hong Kong. Recent surveys suggest that cost overrun for transport infrastructure projects was mostly in the range of 40-60% for rail projects, 20-40% for fixed link projects and 0-20% for road projects. With long delays common place in these projects the Commercial Management function becomes even more important to construction companies to ensure they are profitable. So yes Quantity Surveyors play a very important role in Infrastructure projects and are vital in ensuring company profitability.

In comparison to Build projects, Civil Engineering projects are often classed as more unpredictable in terms of the potential problems that may be encountered during the course of construction. There are certain characteristics of engineering projects which make the Quantity Surveyor’s role vitally important. These include:
• They are often more susceptible to the unpredictable forces of the nature due the often large area footprint covered which will have varying landscape characteristics.
• They often require a more flexible approach as well as an increase in contingency allowances for unexpected costs.
• Require a high level of technical management expertise.
• Require a high level of initial investment by the contractor.
• The projects often require large/plant intensive operations which can be costly.

So with a large number of Infrastructure projects happening in Hong Kong the role of Quantity Surveyor is particularly important to construction companies here, and opportunities for experienced Commercial staff are excellent: with lots of opportunities to work on the latest Civil Engineering projects such as the recent wave of MTR extensions including the high value Shatin to Central Link contracts, which have contract values of up to HK$6 Billion.

Commercial and Quantity Surveying Opportunities
With the Hong Kong construction market heavily biased towards Civil Engineering projects now could be the perfect time to grab a new exciting role working on one of the latest mega value infrastructure projects. Even if your background is in building projects this could be the ideal chance to develop your skill set further within the civil engineering discipline. If you would like to know more about the current opportunities available please get in contact and one of our experienced specialist recruitment consultants will be in touch to discuss your next career move!

Tim Cole
Recruitment Consultant
Hong Kong & Asia Region

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