Derek Gough
Derek Gough

PQS Services

Expert Chartered Quantity Surveyors


The elemental cost plan is a detailed cost plan which is broken down into a series of elements. Initially, the elemental cost plan will simply be the total construction cost for the project divided into elements on a percentage basis. As the design becomes more detailed, the elemental cost plan will be 'measured', based on the actual quantities of work and materials that will be required to construct the project.

The elemental cost plan will be prepared in a spreadsheet format that is easy to interrogate and import into costing software and should adopt a standard approach such as that defined by the new rules of measurement (NRM).

The elemental cost plan will set out any assumptions that have been made, and identify any exclusions. It might also include a list of abnormal or non-standard items, to help inform any value management exercises.

The elemental cost plan will be monitored by DGA throughout the design process. There are generally 2 updates to the Cost Plan. The initial cost plan is developed at RIBA Stage 2 (Concept Design) and the second at RIBA Stage 3 (Developed Design).


DGA will attend design team meetings which are typically coordinated by the lead designer, if one has been appointed, and may include all, or part of the design team. Sub meetings may also be organised to deal with specific aspects of the design, such as the structurebuilding services and so on.

DGA attend these meetings to provide input on the cost implications of specific designs that are being proposed by the principle designers.

The information gathered in these meetings will be fed into the cost plans.


pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) sets out a series of questions for potential tenderers to answer regarding their level of experience, capacity and financial standing. The answers to these questions enable the client to produce a short list of suppliers that are likely to be most appropriate for their particular project. Short-listed suppliers may then be invited to tender for the contract.

DGA have a comprehensive due diligence and pre qualification procedure to provide our clients with complete satisfaction that the proposed contractors are suitable to tender for the works.


The bill of quantities (sometimes referred to as 'BoQ' or 'BQ') is a document prepared by DGA LTD that provides project specific measured quantities of the items of work identified by the drawings and specifications in the tender documentation.

The quantities may be measured in number, length, areavolume, weight or time. Preparing a bill of quantities requires that the design is complete and a specification has been prepared. (RIBA STAGE 4 – Technical Design).

The bill of quantities is issued to tenderers for them to prepare a price for carrying out the works. The bill of quantities assists tenderers in the calculation of construction costs for their tender, and, as it means all tendering contractors will be pricing the same quantities (rather than taking off quantities from the drawings and specifications themselves), it also provides a fair and accurate system for tendering.

The contractor tenders against the bill of quantities, stating their price for each item. This priced bill of quantities constitutes the tenderer's offer. As the offer is built up of prescribed items, it is possible to compare both the overall price and individual items directly with other tenderers' offers, allowing a detailed assessment of which aspects of a tender may offer good or poor value.


The purpose of preliminaries is to describe the works as a whole, and to specify general conditions and requirements for their execution, including such things as subcontracting, approvals, testing and completion. NBS defines this in detail for all the commonly used forms of contract,

In short, Preliminaries relate to the cost-significant items required by the method and particular circumstances under which the work is to be carried out, and those costs concerned with the whole of the works rather than just Work Sections. These costs may either be ‘one-off’ fixed costs, such as the cost of bringing to site and erecting site accommodation (and subsequent removal) or time-related, such as the heating, lighting and maintenance cost for that accommodation.


pre-tender estimate (PTE) is the final estimate of the likely cost of the works described by the completed tender documents. It provides a final comparison with the budget, and along with the cash flow estimate enables the client to confirm that sufficient funds are available before committing to seeking tenders.


DGA will collate all tender documentation. This is generally design information, together with pre-construction information, the pricing document and preliminaries, planning permissions, building control approvals, specifications and specialist requirements.

The tender package will be issued to the tendering contractors and DGA will manage the tender period.

Depending on the scheme, mid tender interviews may be required and DGA will manage all tender queries submitted by the tendering contractors during the tender period.


Once tenders have been received, a careful process of assessment will be undertaken to identify the preferred tenderer. This is known as tender analysis. At this time DGA will carry out the normalisation process, this will present a post tender estimate.

DGA LTD will align all tenders and carry out a detailed analysis to ensure compliance. DGA will identify any particular errors or inconsistencies in the submission.

Upon analysis, if there are any particular rates or costs that seem extremely out of place or unduly high or low then the tenderer’s attention should be drawn to the item and they will be given a chance to confirm or explain the apparent disparity. No useful purpose is served in spotting a potential error in pricing or rates and keeping this from the tenderer. The idea of the tender analysis process is to ensure that the right price is being paid for the proposed project. There is therefore a duty to make tenderers aware of anything that seems to be an error.

Post Tender queries will be raised in order to clarify any areas identified by DGA.

DGA will then provide a comprehensive report for the client of findings.


Post-tender interviews will take place once the initial queries and equalisation process has taken place, as these analyses help to inform the tender interview process.

The post-tender interviews are a chance to properly understand the tenderer’s proposals and raise any in- depth queries that could not be practically answered by correspondence. This might include discussing construction detailing, programme logic, method statements, understanding of costs and so on. It is also a chance to properly meet the proposed team for the project.


DGA will produce a final recommendation after all processes have been completed as to which contractor we recommend to proceed with.


DGA would have advised at the earlier stages as to what form of contract is best suited to your scheme.

DGA will draft with your solicitors the contract and provide advice on contract particulars.

DGA will organise signing and all relevant appendices to the contract prior to construction commencing.