QS Plus or QS+ is cost estimating software for Quantity Surveyors and Consulting Construction Estimators. This advanced software is for professional estimators and it allows you to prepare detailed Bills of Quantities, Cost Plans (Estimates), Valuations and the Final Account.
With this software, you will be able to enter take-off quantities in a convenient and logical manner that allows you to work faster and increase your productivity.
QS Plus has four modules that a Quantity Surveyor will need in carrying out office paperwork as well as accounting for progressive work done on site. The four modules in the program can be seen as stages in the financial management of a construction project. Every building project starts with cost estimating and ends with a final account. The modules in QS+ represent the phases of a project as follows:
- Cost Planning/ Estimating
- Bill Production
- Final Account
Produce Cost Plans/Estimates
QS Plus has a module to measure and determine the cost of an architect’s preliminary sketch designs. This is called a cost plan or cost estimate. The program uses a format based on the Elemental method of estimating to find out the estimated cost of a proposed construction project.
An Elemental estimate is composed of the main elements of a building which are broken down into elemental items at the detail level. Thus when you open the estimating program, you should find a sample building project in elemental format. This is a basic template that you have to use to create a new project based on the architect’s specifications.
Depending on the measurement guide or rules that are recommended by the Association of Quantity Surveyors in your region, the software comes with three measurement guides that you can choose from. You can choose between the ASAQS, RICS and CSI Uniformat guides to Elemental Cost Estimating.
So what are the main features of the QS+ cost plan?
The following are some of the main features of the Cost Plan that you will appreciate as you become familiar with the program:
Ability to Edit Elemental Item Description
QS+ has a ready to use estimating template that you can modify according to your needs and project specifications. Each Elemental item in the cost analysis has component details that you can edit to put the correct descriptions and data. For example, you can edit the material specifications – type of finishes, windows, doors, sizes of concrete footings, columns and bases etc to reflect information from current drawings.
Ability to Edit Elemental Build Up Rates
Every building project has its own specifications. The types of materials used, item dimensions and construction technology will differ, so you have to click through to access the build up rates for each elemental item. An elemental item is a composite item consisting of different components, for example, when measuring Unreinforced Concrete Footings, the component items will include excavations, compaction, concrete footings, risk of collapse and backfilling.
Note that these components are actually Bill of Quantity items, and therefore they have their own individual rates. An estimator has to input these rates in the Elemental Rate Build up. For each new project, you have to edit the rates and put appropriate rates that are relevant to the project specifications.
Ability to Link Elemental Rates to BOQ items
As explained above, the elemental rates can be linked to Bill of Quantity (BOQ) items. Linking is a reliable method of pricing a cost estimate because the rates are based on a BOQ which relies on building material supplier quotes. Alternatively, if you have no time for editing and updating the Elemental Rate Build Up, you can insert rates directly in the Unit Rate column, but remember that it should be a composite rate, not a straight rate from the Bill of Quantities.
Ability to Convert Elemental Cost Estimate to Bills of Quantities
Due to the inbuilt linking feature that links an Elemental Cost Plan item to a Bill of Quantities, you can convert the cost estimate to a Bill of Quantities in an instant. This is the fastest way of producing a provisional Bill of Quantities but a few adjustments to quantities will need to be made to fix the discrepancies caused by the different methods of measurements. Descriptions will also need to be updated to show detail as required by the system of measurement.
Ability to Take off Quantities with DimensionX
QSPlus allows you to enter take-off quantities into a dimension sheet which automatically links and updates the item quantities, resulting in an updated project cost. The take-off program is powered by DimensionX. Dimension sheets are built into all modules of QS+, including the Cost Plan estimating module.
Produce Bills of Quantities
The QSPlus Bill Production module allows you to prepare a detailed Bill of Quantities during the pre-tender stage when working drawings are completed by the architect. At this stage, the Quantity Surveyor has to prepare a BOQ for tendering. There are two ways in which this can be done – i) Converting an elemental estimate to a Bill or ii) Measuring quantities from scratch – this involves taking off quantities from a architectural plan and entering them in the BOQ dimension sheet.
QS Plus has the following features to assist you in preparing a BOQ:
- A function to convert your Elemental Estimate to Bill of Quantity items. Conversion is instant but you have to adjust the quantities and update the descriptions. You can track Bill items to the cost plan and vice versa.
- A take-off interface/dimension sheet based on DimensionX to enter measurements.
- Group measurements: You can create groups based on an elemental unit of measurement, and then link associated items to that group. For example, when measuring a window, you have to link window cills, lintels, painting, as well as adjustments for openings (brickwalls and wall finish). A BOQ based on group measurements is much faster to produce than a regular Bill because you only need to measure the group element.
- Create Bills based on Locations, Sections or Work Groups.
- Customize Bill layout (Columns, Paging etc)
- Import Bills and Bill Items from another project ( including dimensions and rates)
- Insert Bill Items from Library
- Link Bill Items to Cost Plan/Elemental Estimate
- Ability to view the Bill as an Elemental Cost Plan showing the items in cost per square metre.
- Preview bills prior to printing.
- Dimension sheet preview and printing.
- Multiple bill formats based on 5 systems of measurements – the ASAQS, SMM7, POMI, CSI Masterformat and CPWD DSR methods of measurement.
- Convert Bills to Excel format for contractor tendering purposes.
- Convert QS Priced Bills to PDF for client and architect updating.
- AutoCAD take-off with DimensionX
- Revit Drawings take-off with DimensionX
During the contract stage, an Estimator will find QSPlus useful in preparing progress payments and valuations. The QSPlus Valuation Module is capable of preparing valuations based on the percentage of work done, available budget and individual items (which can themselves be valued by percentage, quantity or amount to date).
- You can freeze BOQ data, pay for initial items in the Bill, and modify the contract. The Estimator will have access to all historical amounts as he or she prepares valuations.
- There is room for delayed/late work to be valued completely.
- The program allows forwarding of data between successive valuations. As you work on each valuation certificate, you can see figures from the last certificate. If there are any changes, you have to input them.
- You can prepare certificates and recover money from advance payments.
- Allows processing of subcontractor data.
Prepare Final Account
The Final Account is prepared at the end of the contract. The QS+ Final Account module can help you finalize the contract amount.
- You will be able to enter measurements and re-measurements as required including item prices.
- The Final Account is linked to the BOQ, so you can track figures between the documents. You can easily omit items by selection, and add new items to the Final Account.
- The Final Account can be viewed in Elemental Estimate format.
- Like in the BOQ module, you can take-off quantities and enter them via the DimensionX interface.
- When the Final Account is done, you can print the document as a Bill of Remeasurements or Schedule of Additions and Omissions.
Makers of QSPlus Estimating Software
QSPlus is made by New Dimension Technology Pty Ltd, South Africa. The company, which specializes in software applications for the construction industry also makes related products such as Builder Plus and AutoSpec.
New Dimension Technology has offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Cape Town Tel: +27 21 447 5752
Johannesburg Tel: +27 11 804 6442
QSPlus Free Trial Version