Customisation and Desirable Characteristics of a Standard Method of Measurement for Building Works in Ghana

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Gabriel Nani
Peter Edwards
Theophilus Adjei-Kumi
Edward Badu
Peter Amoah


This paper reports a study that identified andcategorised the modifications to the 5thEdition of the British Standard Method ofMeasurement (SMM5) of building works inGhana. Typical modifications involved ‘costinsignificant items’, ‘minor labour items’,‘custom units of measurement’, ‘methodrelated items’, ‘combinable items’,‘subordinate items’, and ‘items of minorinformative impact’. It was also observed thatthe desirable characteristics/ qualities ofstandard methods of measurement (SMM) ofbuilding work were noteworthy, since theyprovide insight into the nature of a SMMrequired for the construction industry inGhana.The research reviewed available literature,various SMMs and bills of quantities (BQs).The relevance of the modifications andSMM characteristics identified wasconfirmed by a survey of the opinions ofprofessional quantity surveyors conductedthrough a carefully designed questionnaire.Inferences from the opinion survey formedthe basis for grouping both SMMmodifications found and the desired qualitiesof a SMM for Ghana.Survey respondents confirmed all theidentified modifications to the British SMM,except for the elimination of items of minorinformative impact. It was held that allinformation was relevant in measurement.Desirable characteristics of a SMM were ratedin decreasing order of relevance as: easylocation of items; cost significance; simplicity;thoroughness; ease of cost analysis; goodpractice; conciseness; adoptability; precision;industry practice; stakeholders’ opinion;custom classification; regional relevance; andinclusion of jargon. It was noted that therelevance of these characteristics may varyform one region to the other as a result oftechnological, cultural and legal differences.However, the desired SMM characteristicswere recommended as fundamental indeveloping an appropriate SMM for Ghana.

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How to Cite
Nani, G., Edwards, P., Adjei-Kumi, T., Badu, E., & Amoah, P. (2012). Customisation and Desirable Characteristics of a Standard Method of Measurement for Building Works in Ghana. Construction Economics and Building, 8(2), 30-40.
Articles (Peer reviewed)
Author Biography

Gabriel Nani, KNUST

Senior Lecturer