Quantity Surveying is not a new profession but a profession
that has been with the human race since time immemorial. Although it was not
formally developed in the pre-historic days, human find a way of making
necessary estimates of cost of materials and the whole Endeavour in
constructing their buildings. (Nortey, 2015). However, a more formalized way of
the profession was developed by the British in 17th century which provided a
scientific and grandeur to the profession (Ofori, 2012).
It is also evident that we live in a dynamic world characterized
by incessant technology change, the explosive growth of information and
communication technology (ICT) otherwise shortened as information technology
(IT) has had a deepening impact on business systems and processes (Rivardet
al., 2004). The advancement in ICT has made possible fundamental changes in
the method of practice in all businesses and industries although at different
levels including the construction industry (Li, 2000). The construction
industry with the aim of levelling their colleagues in other industries have
embraced the use of ICT such as internet, computing, telephoning, satellite
communication, electronic mailing, and AutoCAD applications to perform most, if
not all of their activities (Ibidapo, 2000). The quantity Surveyors’ ability to
avail themselves of these emerging opportunities provided by the advent of ICT
depends on the sof ICT application in the industry with some noted ones like
the expert systems (ES), artificial intelligence, knowledge-base systems (KBS),
artificial neural networking (ANN), robotics and computer aided design (Arif
and Karam, 2001). Rivardet al. (2004) opined that the evolution of ICT
will have a profound impact on how organizations in the architectural,
construction industry operate in the way other industries
such as manufacturing and banking have adopted and benefited from long ago.
Honey (1998), noted that this is already the case in many of the developed
countries around the world. In lieu of this, he reported that the turn of the
last century has seen a reduction in paper-based operation in quantity
surveying (QS) offices in UK while electronic led-processes are leading to less
dependence on taking-off sheets and other ancillary stationery. The QS
profession in Africa has also experienced significant changes over the past
decade (Oladapo, 2006) and these changes have occurred primarily in response to
changing industry/client demands, IT developments, increased levels of
competition for services and the vital role of the Quantity Surveyor in
achieving improved and efficient service delivery. Hence, there is no doubt
that the construction industry has to improve its information flow and project
delivery mechanism as opined by Wager, 1998. Thus, as information flow
increasingly become electronic, QS computing facilities, software and databases
will need to develop in a compatible manner. Nigeriaian quantity Surveyors will
need to adapt to changes in work patterns to improve their efficiency and
develop new markets to maintain competitive advantage and enhance profitability
through the adoption of IT.
1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT
From the background information presented, it is evident
that, the importance and emerging roles of Information Communication Technology
(ICT) to the Quantity Surveyor (QS) in the construction industry cannot be
ignored. However, one of the obvious contests of the Nigeriaian Quantity
Surveyor today is that, majority of the surveying processes continue to rely
heavily on traditional means of documentation and communications such as
face-to-face meetings and exchange of paper documents such as Bills of
Quantity, drawings, specifications and site instructions (Mohamed and Stewart,
Anumba and Ruikar (2002) recounted certain flows within the
construction industry which also applies to the Quantity surveying industry.
They stated that the traditional information and communication are mostly
characterized by manual and slow processes and hence,
numerous paper copies of documents and drawings.
of a loose document is often time-consuming and tedious.
archives of documents need to be maintained to effectively access data as and
• The reliance
on third parties, such as courier services, can lead to delays and losses.
added expense incurred in the delivery of project documents to project members
who are geographically distributed
Yet, the traditional construction sector all over the world
including that of the Nigeriaian Quantity Surveying industry are required to
move towards innovation of their services to achieve more efficient processing
systems and service delivery methods.
For this reason, the vast benefits offered by ICT in the
construction industry though seems recognized, its adoption and use as normal
part of the Quantity Surveying management and process is still low; and
contractors among the major players, have often been cited as those who use ICT
least of all (Peansupap and Walker, 2004).
While this situation could probably be true within the
Quantity Surveying industry, specific details regarding the extent of
application and problems facing the use of ICT among the Nigeriaian Quantity
Surveying industry still remain unclear. This study seeks to assess the
situation in Quantity Surveying industry in Nigeria.
1.3 AIM OF THESIS:
The aim of the
study is to identify effects of Information Communication Technology in the
field of Quantity Surveying delivery in the Nigeriaian Construction Industry.
achieving the aim of the study, the following objectives were outlined.
• To identify
the ICT products / software used by QS in Nigeria,
• To identify
the effect of the use of ICT in Quantity Surveying delivery in Nigeria and
• To identify
the factors hindering the use of ICT by QS in Nigeria.
1.5 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
A Survey was used to provide answers to the issues earlier
raised in the review. This involves sampling registered Quantity Surveyors and
obtaining their views on the existing trend in the industry and also on their
practice, through the use of well-structured questionnaires. The sample
population for this research work includes members of the Nigeria Institute of
Surveyors (GhIS) who are registered and eligible to practice as Quantity
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study was based on existing quantity
surveying consultancy firms and consortiums operating within Greater Accra
region of Nigeria. This was due to the fact that most of bigger consultancy
firms operating in Nigeria have their head offices based in Accra. The research
also focused on selected QS in construction companies in Accra. The
characteristics of the QS were those who have been operating within the last 10
1.7 ORGANISATION OF THE RESEARCH
The dissertation was organized in five chapters. Chapter one
introduced the whole thesis, highlighting the main subject and problem
statement; the aims and objective, scope, methodology adopted and research
Chapter two focused on the literature review and touched on
information and communication needs confronting quantity surveying service
delivery, and the quest for improvements through the use of information and
communication technology (ICT) on the part of the Quantity Surveyor as a key
Construction Management Professional.
The chapter also explained various factors, roles and
barriers to ICT implementation in the construction sector. It further explored
current drivers for use of ICT and various ICT tools and applications of the
Chapter three was devoted to the development of the theoretical
framework of the research, it explained the research methodology employed and
also the statistical methods used in analyzing the results.
Chapter four presented the analysis of data obtained,
discussions and interpretation of the findings of the survey.
Chapter five summarized the conclusions of the study and
recommendations based on the findings of the study.