News in 2015

Initial Meeting on International Con-struction Measurement Standard (ICMS)

 16 – 17 June 2015, Washington DC, US

Chair of FIG Commission 10 See Lian Ong signs ICMS Coalition Declaration

Chair of FIG Commission 10 See Lian Ong signs ICMS Coalition Declaration

See Lian On, Chair of FIG Commission 10, is FIG nominee for the Standard Setting Committee of ICMS. ICMS focuses on the lack of global standards in construction measurement and reporting. The meeting also included discussion on the administration of ICMS and protocols for moving forward with the effort, such as the governance model, standard-setting process, implementation, and communications.

On behalf of FIG, Chair of FIG Commission 10, See Lian Ong, attended the ICMS meeting. Organisations in attendance included:  AACE, ACostE, ASAQS, CECA, CEEC, CIQS, FIG, GHIS, AAQS, HKIS, ICEC, IET, NIQS, PAQS, PICQS, RICS, SCSI, and UNTEC. Other organisations (such as ICE, RISM, CASLE, etc) could not attend, but sent letters expressing interest and support. The meeting was hosted by the IMF. The majority of the meeting focused on reviewing six discussion ‘papers’. 

The papers outlined the issues and the lack of global standards in construction measurement & reporting; the remainder of the papers focused on the administration of ICMS and protocols for moving forward with the effort, such as the governance model, standard-setting process, implementation, and communications.

The discussion about Paper 1, ICMS objectives, was particularly interesting. Some of what was mentioned on the first day focused on raising awareness of our profession, gaining government support and endorsement of our profession. We discussed the challenges of monitoring construction projects, providing assurance, and improving stakeholder decision-making. This led to potential questions to be answered by ICMS, such as how to create standard definitions of terminology in quantity surveying, cost engineering and construction economics, and create a universal understanding of what is included in reported costs of construction (such as installed materials and the labor to install them, project management & consulting fees, and land). It was accepted by the group that there needs to be consistency for the purposes of construction cost benchmarking and statistics, and that ICMS could play a significant role in achieving this.

Paper 2 deals with Governance issues and the most important thing to note is that ICMS is the property of the Coalition members and not of any individual organisation. There was agreement that in order for the coalition and the project to have full legitimacy, only not-for-profit and standards organisations should be able to join the coalition. Extending this to commercial firms or governments would cause issues around conflict of interest and could limit the wider appeal of ICMS in some cases.

Paper 3 deals with the Standard Setting Process.  In this respect the Coalition will establish the Standard Setting Committee which is totally independent and will have the full authority to develop and finalise the standard.

Paper 4 discuss the Coalition Declaration.  A number of members reviewed the draft declaration circulated earlier and felt the need to ensure that the Declaration consist of the objectives of ICMS.  A number of amendments was suggested and this was reflected in the Final Declaration, a copy of which is attached in this Report.

On day two, some members of the coalition pulled the discussion more towards standardization of SMM, and the creation by ICMS as an overarching standard that may impact members’ SMM and government standards, or even create the need for dual reporting. However the meeting clarified that ICMS is not about SMM or standards of measurement of construction activities such as elemental cost planning or bills of quantities.

Paper 4 on Implementation was discussed.  It was also noted that the market needs to be behind implementation. Implementation should be driven by end users of professional services and so it is essential that we engage these stakeholders in a coordinated way. It was proposed that we define how we target and approach end users in the marketplace. One option is to use the online community to capture a list of the stakeholders (e.g. architects, engineers, contractors, developers, investors etc) and to identify which organisation will be responsible for contacting them with details of the ICMS initiative. This could be done on a region-by-region basis or where relationships already exist.

Paper 5 on Communication was the final discussion paper.  Coalition communications were seen as a way of promoting the initiative and driving forward engagement. In the first instance the Coalition should focus on recruiting further organisations, especially those in other fields within the construction sector such as architects and engineers.  It was agreed that a generic invitation letter which could be used by organisations to recruit other coalition members should be developed and circulated.  A communique on the establishment of ICMS will also be developed and circulated to build momentum and interest on ICMS. Signing of Coalition of Declaration: At the end of the meeting 17 institutions/organisations signed the final coalition declaration and became trustees on 17 June 2015. These institutions include: AACE, ACostE, ASAQS, CECA, CEEC, CIQS, FIG, GHIS, AAQS, ICEC, IET, NIQS, PAQS, PICQS, RICS, SCSI, and UNTEC. See Lian Ong signed the Declaration on behalf of FIG. Other organisations can still join the coalition.

FIG Council has decided that the President, Chryssy Potsiou is the nominee for FIG as Trustee in the ICMS Coalition and that Mr See Lian Ong, Chair of FIG Commission 10 will be FIG nominee for the Standard Setting Committee of ICMS.

Members of ICMS

Group of the participatnts at the IMF HQ


See Lian Ong
FIG Commission 10 Chair
23 June 2015


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