PURPOSE : Bills of quantities for underground development works
(UDW) are presently prepared with no uniformity of practice, leading
to troublesome misinterpretations and inconsistent pricing by
contractors. This article describes the results of research to determine
if there is a requirement from the underground development
industry to develop a separate standard system of measurement.
METHODOLOGY : Firstly, an empirical study was conducted, with existing
bills of quantities reviewed by way of methodological analysis
and, secondly, market opinion was tested through purposive
sampling to obtain responses from a relatively small population
of experienced underground development professionals.
FINDINGS : The results showed that UDW bills of quantities are
not standardised and that there is a need to develop a bespoke
standard system of measurement. UDW differs from civil works,
and therefore the nature of the work, the circumstances under
which it will be executed (site conditions) and the materials to
be used have to be described in the bills of quantities in order to
make tender comparisons easier.
LIMITATIONS : Only underground development unit operations
(drilling, blasting, supporting, loading and hauling activities) were
studied, with brief references to auxiliary operations. The influence
of contractual strategies and contract types was excluded.
VALUE : Motivation is provided for developing a commonly accepted
standard system of measurement (and associated model
bills of quantities) to suit the needs of the UDW industry. Such a
modified method of measurement should work in harmony with
existing building, civil or other recognised measurement systems.