Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Details

Conference presentation - Guest speaker

Best, R. (2015). Quantity surveyors without borders - providing cost advice in a global construction market. Paper presented at the HKIS and AIQS Joint Conference: 'How QS will succeed in tomorrow's world'. 14 November 2015. Hong Kong.

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Copyright © The Author, 2015


Providing sound advice on construction costs across national boundaries requires special care. It is seldom sufficient to look up a suitable cost/m2 rate in a price book and then apply the current exchange rate. There are three main issues here: one relates to the reliability of the price data, another to differences in design in different places and the third to the method used to bring costs in different currencies to a common base. Different sources of cost data can suggest very different rates and money market exchange rates provide nothing more than a snapshot of relative prices at one point in time. Using different base costs and fluctuating exchange rates can produce very different results depending on the source of cost data and what is happening on global money markets. In this presentation some of the problems associated with providing international construction cost advice are explored, some pitfalls identified, and some suggestions put forward to increase understanding of the complexities of international cost comparisons.



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