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Sustainability - The Impact on the Quantity Surveyors' World by Dylan Lee

Updated: Nov 29, 2019

Sustainability currently seems to be the global buzzword within the building and construction industry due to climate change and increasing of population through urbanisation.

With the increase in devastating global warming events, the construction professionals (Architects, Engineers, Quantity Surveyors, Planners and Environmentalists) rethink the way buildings are designed and constructed. This is often referred to “Sustainable Construction” and “Green Building” by changes in design, procurement, and management processes in order to integrate the principles of sustainability into buildings/developments. Yoma Land being the leading property developer in the country has no exception and attained Environmental Compliance Certificate “ECC” from The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation in May 2019 for Yoma Central Development.


For a Quantity Surveyors is a critical role in ensuring that new and upcoming developments are brought in with the most cost effective sustainable strategies associated with well-placed value management and engineering contributions to not only bring down the green capital cost, but also looking into optimising life-cycle economic performance, enhance energy performance, green rating strategies and so on.


The Traditional Role of Quantity Surveyors

Generally, the traditional roles of a Quantity Surveyors are to perform financial control, cost and contractual administration of a project at every stage, from inception to completion. The responsibility of a traditional Quantity Surveyor can be described as follows (Pre-Contract stage and post contract stage): -

The Expanded Role of Quantity Surveyors

The role of a Quantity Surveyors is evolving to keep up with the sustainable needs, so, how has the role of the Quantity Surveyors changed over the years?

The Developer now engaging with the Quantity Surveyors at the very early stage of a development and way before any construction has taken place to utilise their expertise in the feasibility, design and planning stage to achieve the best value in regard to the extra over costs for achieving the different levels of green building rating certification.

The Quantity Surveyors should have the sound knowledge on the environmentally friendly technologies and innovations and keep up to date of the new and emerging building materials that allow him to advice on the cost of developments and inform the design team on the parameters of efficiencies, design factors and concepts. The Quantity Surveyors often support in avoiding over-specification, minimise energy use through recommending new technologies, reduce waste by avoiding the intensive use of materials etc.

Overall, a competent Quantity Surveyors in order to play his expanded role in sustainability shall:

1. Understand what is required for green buildings

2. Understanding the green building rating tools and criteria such as:

a. EDGE Certification

b. LEED (Platinum, Gold, Silver and Certified)

c. BREEAM (Outstanding, Excellent, Very Good, Good and Pass)

d. Green Mark (Platinum, Gold+, Gold and Certified)

3. Understanding the sustainable designs and integration (including knowledge of sustainable materials, latest green products and technologies)

4. Green Costing (value management, cost models)

5. Life-cycle costing and assessment


About Dylan Lee

Dylan Lee was appointed as the Cost and Contracts Director of Yoma Land in 2017 and has been with the company from 2015. He has over 18 years of construction experience in cost consultancy prior to Yoma Land with a track record of delivering high-rise residential, mixed-use developments, high-end hotels, commercial and residential projects. His experience in all aspects of quantity surveying through the feasibility, cost planning, contract documentation, procurement and post contract administration, and contribute to the successful implementation of the overall cost and contracts management for Yoma Land’s projects.

Dylan is a chartered member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia. He also holds a Master Degree in Construction and Property Management from the Robert Gordon University, Scotland.

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