11 October 2023

The Evolving Role of A Quantity Surveyor in Green Future

By Jeremy Lu

Terms like “green building,” “sustainability,” “Industry 4.0,” and “smart construction” are familiar concepts within the field of quantity surveying. Furthermore, many countries have embarked on ambitious initiatives to curb carbon emissions. 

The Evolving Role of A Quantity Surveyor in Green Future

For instance, as of September 2020, China’s President pledged to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060, and the Malaysian government has similarly committed to attaining net-zero emissions by 2050.

Government Initiatives Driving Sustainability Shift in Construction

These resolute government objectives have sparked a change in thinking in the construction industry. it has compelled professionals to re-evaluate construction methodologies, all with an eye toward sustainability and environmental responsibility.
In environmental sustainability, the construction sector’s substantial carbon dioxide emissions are no hidden fact. While progress towards achieving carbon neutrality has been seen in various sectors the construction industry grapples with various hurdles on its journey to net-zero emissions. Key stakeholders, including architects, engineers, and developers, all play pivotal roles. Yet, Quantity Surveyor emerges as a critical lynchpin in paving the way for a sustainable future. 

Quantity surveyors are poised to be more than just repositories of cost data. They are evolving into vital sources of expertise in material selection and design considerations. All are aimed at minimising carbon emissions. As we move towards a cleaner and greener future, top-notch quantity surveyors are becoming indispensable decision-makers. They offer valuable insights that transcend traditional cost estimations. 

An Evolving Role Towards Environmental Responsibility

With their specialized training and professional expertise, Quantity Surveyors hold a pivotal role in the construction industry. They possess the unique ability to meticulously calculate the carbon footprint of construction projects and existing structures, offering invaluable insights to clients and designers regarding the financial implications of employing environmentally friendly materials. Moreover, they leverage innovative digital tools to conduct precise energy audits, further enhancing their capacity to champion sustainability. The keen understanding of green products and materials stands as a cornerstone of a quantity surveyor’s toolkit, ensuring their enduring relevance and sustainability within the profession. 

In today’s world of significant projects, costs extend far beyond monetary figures. It is increasingly evident that carbon footprints will soon constitute a distinct and significant cost category.

Therefore, cost professionals must remain agile, continuously evolving their skills, knowledge, and methodologies to stay coordinated with the evolving demands of climate change mitigation and adaptation. The landscape of cost assessment is expanding to encompass environmental impact, and adaptability is the key to meeting the challenges of this shifting paradigm.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus.  Jeremy Lu is the Discipline Leader – Built Environment. He is contactable at jlu@swinburne.edu.my