5D Quantity Surveying

Cost Advice Built on Knowledge

Our 5D Quantity Surveying Service is built on fundamentals of not just knowing what things cost but, more importantly, how things are procured, delivered, and constructed. It is our quantity surveyors ability to build the project virtually within the context of our cost plans that allows us to achieve greater levels of cost certainty from early stages of design all the way through the full design and documentation process.

We ask the right questions when they need asking to deliver better cost plans. We provide our procurement knowledge and experience to your design team to ensure that decisions made deliver the cost results you or your client are looking for. At Beacon Consulting we know which decisions affect the turn out cost of a project, we know these decisions are often made early, and our experience in providing this high level early advice sets us apart from our competitors.

Cost Certainty, Every Time

Our clients have told us that what they really want is an accurate and dependable cost planning and estimating service that delivers the right answers every time, and at every stage of the design process.
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Our belief is that the best Quantity Surveyors are usually the ones with the most knowledge. Not everyone in our company can have 30 years of experience so we use time proven and robust internal knowledge systems and director level project commitments to deliver consistent results on every project. Our systems and continual research allows us to have an in depth knowledge and understanding of construction costs.

It is a core requirement of our commitment to our profession that our Quantity Surveyors know what things cost and who can deliver a trade, service, or product locally. We have developed a network of building and trade contacts which feed into our continuously evolving cost data bases used for each office. We use a standardised cost planning system across each office to deliver higher levels of accurate and consistent results. Data coming from the field or suppliers is kept current within our cost planning management system to ensure company wide cost and knowledge sharing.

5D BIM? It's our Basic Service

Is it just us or is everyone is talking about BIM these days, everyone is going to BIM seminars and user groups. BIM is good, we get it, we love BIM! In fact, we thought BIM was so good we implemented it back in 2007, and have been using it ever since as our core method of project delivery.
BIM is something we have insisted on doing as a standard part of our service wherever possible since the firm first commenced. BIM based take-off has been part of our standard take-off procedures for over seven years and we have literally measured hundreds of cost plans and bills of quantities using part-BIM and full-BIM take-off. BIM take-off has the following advantages:

  • Faster and more accurate way of controlling quantification of project materials and built form.
  • Live linked models and cost plans allow for faster revisioning and optioneering of projects.
  • The graphical and information based geometry of BIM allows for better visualisation of project scope and reduces risk.

BIM alone though doesn't solve all of our problems
or deliver accurate cost plans. Solid Quantity Surveying fundamentals like excellent cost databases and real life and practical experience are required to deliver these results. The fact is that taking off quantities is only a small part of our role as Quantity Surveyor on your project.

Cost and Quantity by Location - Next Level 5D

Quantities and locations are the linchpins to our 5D Quantity Surveying and Cost Planning take-off processes. An accurate quantity take-off is the start to both a precise construction programme and a precise estimate. So it is important to start with a comprehensive quantity take-off that analyses each piece of BIM geometry, and is exactly what you get with our 3D take-off ability.

Another direct benefit of quantities by location is the ability to breakdown BIM models by any location and level structure. No additional works are required to obtain this take-off, and the cost by location system is a direct result of our unique 3D take-off system and 5D cost and resource based cost plans.

We can not only instantly breakdown quantities and costs by building level, but can also easily draw and define zones on each building level to quickly and effectively generate breakdown of quantities and costs by locations on each floor as well.


Let us tell you, this ability is ground breaking and allows us to keep Client/Owners informed on the costs of different levels and areas of the building, and where we can tailor cost breakdowns on any part of the building on the same day. It also allows us to track productivity and monitor work to be done on each level when we integrate construction programming and production control during the construction phase.

Detailed and Structured Cost Planning and Elemental Analysis

Our cost plans utilise the model-based quantities generated by our 5D Quantity Surveyors and Cost Managers in the Take-off process and the codes contained in our Standard 5D Virtual Content, to provide highly accurate cost plans and estimates in less time.

Using an evolutionary approach our cost plans enable continuous cost feedback throughout all project phases, starting with a costing scheme at the business development phase, and gradually increasing in granularity as more specific data and accurate quantities become available from the 3D BIM model.


Our cost plans introduce an innovative tiered 3D spreadsheet; a unique graphic scheme which emphasizes the hierarchical structure of the cost estimate. Every line item can be further refined with additional components, providing flexibility, and enabling us to gradually develop our cost plans from a basic abstract level to a highly-detailed cost estimate.

In order to exploit the cost engineering knowledge-base of our company, our Cost Planning software includes a Library Manager, which allows us to use our own historical data and store a collection of standards and reusable estimating content on your projects.

Combined with our structured and systematic elemental breakdown, which is common across all projects, we are able to quickly benchmark each project against another to find opportunities to reduce cost and identify elements which may be at risk of overrun without design and cost control.

Our structured Cost Planning procedures and unique cost planning elemental structure allows us to build a 'living cost estimate', which is key to helping you make information-driven decisions that keep the budget on track.

The key to solid construction Cost Planning is bridging the gap between 2D paper-based methods, 3D BIM modelling design, and 4D and 5D model-based methods. Our Cost Plans give Client/Owners a familiar Excel look and feel, while simultaneously presenting the BIM model, dynamically linked to the cost plan for easy visualization of the cost and budget.

How we help Project Managers deliver better Projects

Our quantities and cost management information can be used by Project Managers to assist in managing time and Project Programmes.

Because our cost plans are resource driven we can provide Project Managers with breakdowns of not only cost and quantities by location but also resources, man hours and materials by location.

Cost and Time are directly linked and that's why we have invested so heavily in creating resourced driven cost plans and cost loaded cost plans. Beacons unique delivery method helps deliver better integrated BIM team processes that straddle both the 2D, 3D, 4D and 5D processes which is genuinely world leading.


We can work with Project Managers to create direct dependency and cooperation between our Cost Planning Team, the BIM Management and the Project Managers or Contractors Construction Programming/Scheduling Team.

Our Quantity Surveyors can assist Project Managers to apply another lens to examine quantities and locations and work to be performed. We ask questions like. How will the crews work through the quantities at each designated location? What is the logical sequence of works? And understand how crews "consume" materials as they work through the construction of the building on-site which helps us further refine the quantities with waste factors.

How we help Managing Contractors manage Work Package Scope

A fundamental problem that Contractors and Managing Contractors face when working with Quantity Surveyors is managing Bills of Quantities, Cost Plans into Work Packages that can be managed and tendered.

Too often Contractors will face the the following problems converting other QS's cost plans and Bills of Quantities into work packages:

  • Excessive time spent manually splitting quantities between Work Packages.
  • Excessive time spent manually splitting materials and composite materials between Work Packages.
  • Excessive time spent tracking costs between cost plans and bills of quantities and Work Packages
  • Problems of with double ups in scope items in multiple packages.
  • Problems of with unassigned scope items not included in any packages.
Beacon Consulting have in house solutions within our 5D estimating packages which allow us to breakdown our Cost Plans and Bills of Quantities into easily managable work items in the way you intend to procure them.

Our work package module is used to establish the link between work items and subcontractor pricing by mapping our pre-built cost assemblies and components to defined work packages. Basically cost plan items, costs, materials and labour can be manually assigned to Work Packages within our software creating a direct link between the Cost Plan or Bill of Quantities > The Work Package, and > The Drawings and/or BIM Model.
Creating new work packages
Assigning cost plan items at material and labour level to work packages

Our Work Package Manager allows us to not only define and manage work package scope and cost but also to manage work package bids and compare tenders against scope and cost. Our work package management gives us the ability to manage more effectively the following tasks:

  • Reviewing bid scope against scope and on drawings
  • Monitoring committed, plugged and pending work package scope.
  • Awarding work packages and managing costs of awarded and unawarded work packages.
  • Creating reports on work packages.

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