Lesson 1 – Introduction and the standard method of measurement

The standard sets out structure and rules to measure construction work.

Learning the rules and using the standards as reference when measuring construction work is the first step to take off quantities for a bill of quantities.

There are currently two methods of measurement in the UK. SMM7 and NRM (new rules of measurement) The standards are produced by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

The first standard SMM1 was published in 1922, and the latest publication was SMM7 in 1988. The standard was due to be updated in 2006; however, the RICS and other construction bodies decided to develop a new standard NRM due to changes within the construction sector. The NRM standard was first published in 2012 and is readily available for quantity surveyors and estimators.

Watch the video

There is more information within the video than on this web page. I advise you to watch the video as well as reading the content on this page.

Buying a copy SMM7

You can buy a copy of SMM7 from amazon. The link below will send you to the page. The price is about £30

NRM 2021 publications (Free Download)

For the first time, all three volumes of the New Rules of Measurement (NRM) suite have been published at the same time. The updated suite consists of three separate volumes:

These new editions of NRM were effective from 1 December 2021

Users are free to make use of these templates as they wish and to customise them for their own particular requirements, but users should ensure that they carefully check that any logic sequences and embedded formulae are correct and reflect what is required to be calculated. RICS makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to these templates. RICS accept no responsibility for the misuse of these template documents or for any loss of damage caused to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material included in these templates. Use of these templates is subject always to the RICS Terms and Conditions of Use

Buy a copy of SPONS architect and builders price book

You can buy a copy of SPONS from amazon. The link below will send you to the page. The price is about £168

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between SSM7 and NRM2?

The RICS, who are responsible for publishing the standard method of measurement, decided a new method of measurement was required to cover the contract types that are now popular, for example, cost plus, open book, design, and build contracts.

The new rules also reduce the number of claims from contractors as they include new rules.

The measurement rules are much the same, but the number of categories has changed. You see a direct comparison on page 191 in the SPONS price book.

Can you still use SMM7?

Yes, you can still use the SMM7 rules, as the new rules are much the same. As time passes, people will refer to the new rules.
The RICS allow free downloads of the new rules to encourage their use.

Are their other price books you can buy apart from SPONS

Yes, there are other price books: the Laxton building price book is £180, and the BCIS comprehensive building price book 2024 is £175.

I prefer SPONS but only because I am used to it.

More estimating lessons

A very simple set of estimating lessons to get you started. Everything you need to know to take off quantities, then pricing them. The lessons are short and to the point. I hope you find them useful.

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