Quantity Surveyor in the News Nov 2021



[1] Woman in Auckland awarded $25,000 after boss calls her 'f***ing hopeless'. [NZ]

The Employment Relations Authority has ruled in favour of Flora Liu, who worked as a quantity surveyor at mechanical building services company Chillex Services Ltd in South Auckland, between January and June last year. During that time, Liu says she faced unjustified disadvantage and was unjustifiably dismissed due to a number of events that led to her feeling anxious and hurt due to workplace bullying from a senior member of staff.

In a decision released by the ERA, emails from company director Cam Crawford show he did not agree with the way Liu had prepared her reports and asked that they be submitted in a different format - to which Liu responded that there was nothing wrong with them. The director emailed back: "Absolutely f***ing hopeless Flora. Are you not listening mate?? Are your ears painted on??" He went on to describe another employee as "that useless lump" before demanding that she "GET THEM ON NOW".

The email copied in a number of managers and a colleague of Liu's. An email from Crawford the next day subsequently became one of two events that eventually led to Liu offering a letter of resignation. [NZBE Link]


[2] Christchurch Case Study Delivers Insights On Low Carbon Building. [NZ]

“Calculations show that using wood in place of concrete and steel to build this five-storey building is removing over a million kilograms of carbon dioxide from the environment,” says Barry Lynch, director of Logic Group, and Eoin McLoughlin, senior quantity surveyor for the Clearwater project.

Mr Lynch says carbon calculations for the Clearwater building show its timber construction saved 87,400kg of carbon dioxide (CO2), compared with a CO2 release of 952,600kg if it had been built of concrete, and 794,600kg if built of steel and concrete. The $3.37m price to design, develop and construct the apartment block would have been $3.89m for concrete construction or $3.59m for steel and concrete.

The calculations include financial impacts of construction time and cover the structure, foundations and any aspects that vary based on material choice such as fire and acoustic measures. “As well as the obvious environmental benefits, the use of offsite manufactured mass timber components is making the Clearwater building quicker and less costly to construct,” says Mr Lynch. [NZBE Link]


[3] Universal method to report carbon in buildings and infrastructure launched.

An international coalition of construction experts has today (29 November 2021) published the world’s first universal standard for reporting carbon dioxide emissions used in the building and lifecycle of structures – also known as ‘embodied and operational carbon’ within the industry. The International Cost Management Standard – or ICMS3 – sets out a methodology for construction professionals and developers to account the amount of embodied carbon their projects will create. The ICMS is supported by a coalition of (50) international organisations, ostensible Carbon Quantity Surveying organisations. See list, [NZBE Link]


[4] Goodbye to The Godfather: Steve Pycroft interview. [UK]

As Mace chairman Steve Pycroft prepares to bow out, he will be remembered above all else as the man who delivered the Shard – and delivered it in style.

He graduated as a quantity surveyor from Trent Polytechnic in the early 1980s, joining Gardiner & Theobald. He stayed there for 18 months before deciding that he didn’t like it anymore. “Bovis came along and said, ‘we’ll employ you as a QS, but you will have the chance to become a project manager’.”

“The world has changed. There’s corporate governance, it is more strict on accounting since Carillion went bust. “Accountants have got a lot more paranoid about everything and anything. The whole fun of running a business has slowly dwindled away. [Decisions are] more driven by corporates and group decisions, not by single individuals who are willing to put their head above the parapet. There’s too much scrutiny, criticism, question marks.” [NZBE Link]


[5] ‘Not going to do it’. [Ireland]

Barry Kearney, a quantity surveyor in Letterkenny, said the redress scheme (for homes damaged by defective mica blocks) “will probably be sufficient” to rebuild homes of less than 2,500 sq ft.

For larger homes the sq ft rates in the scheme were “not going to do it” and could leave homeowners footing bills of up to €30,000 to €50,000.

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said an independent review of the scheme’s rates would be carried out by Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) in February. [NZBE Link]



Somewhere around the world a Quantity Surveyor is in the News. Good QS news or Bad, we will bring you regular links to their stories. Join the NZBE Blog

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By Matthew Ensoll

FNZIQS. Reg.QS.

Editor New Zealand Building Economist.


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