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New Rules of Measurement for Maintenance

31 March 2014 | Updated 01 January 1970
This week the RICS New Rules of Measurement for Building Maintenance – or NRM3 for short – was launched in London.

The eagerly awaited document, as well as being significant in it’s own right, is another key piece of the jigsaw to a more defined and joined up approach to maintenance management  within the built environment. Following on from the launch of BS 8544 last year, NRM3 provides a defined approach to maintenance measurement for cost estimating and planning.

NRM3, covers building maintenance and provides standardised methodology and guidance for producing an order of estimates, cost plans, bills of quantities and reports throughout a building’s life cycle.

NRM3 was launched with speakers from high profile users including Heathrow Airport, University College London and the Ministry of Justice’s Custodial Estate outlining the advantages they had gained from using the standard.


The original New Rules of Measurement

The original New Rules of Measurement are a suite of documents developed by RICS to provide clients with greater certainty and consistency in the construction process. The aim is to provide a standard set of measurement rules that are understandable to all those involved in a construction project. The rules take a cradle-to-grave approach to the procurement of construction projects and include cost estimating, works procurement and post-construction procurement.

Previously an NRM1 edition covered cost planning, assists with project selection and forming a robust business case; while NRM2 covered detailed measurement, streamlining the supply chain’s implementation and delivery.


What was said

Andy Green Director of Faithful+Gould and technical author of the NRM3 stated: “NRM3 will provide accepted cost management for overcoming the capital and revenue divide along with having a massive impact on how buildings can be handed over to be operated and maintained. The new rules of measurement will help future construction projects to be more robustly lifecycle costed, -  as well as becoming the industry accepted method of setting up the maintenance and renewal programmes of work throughout the in use phases of a building’s life.”

Alan Muse, RICS Director of Built Environment said:  “The Government will not be able to achieve the 33 per cent savings it aspires to in ‘The Industrial Strategy – Construction 2025’ by doing the same things better or by squeezing the supply chain harder. These savings will only be achieved by working in new, smarter, leaner more sustainable ways of working that look at long term targets. We believe our NRM suite will form the basis of an efficient, cost effective industry and therefore help business and the government to achieve these targets.

“NRM recommends optimising existing assets - new build is not always the best solution. NRM3 enables you to maintain, renew, extend, refurbish and, where possible, rationalise existing property efficiently.”


Seminars at launch

The seminar sessions at the launch were chaired by David Bucknall OBE Chairman of RICS Quantity Surveying & Construction Professional Group Board and began with lead author Andy Green providing the background, history and overview of the new document and alignment to PAS 1192-3 and soon to be published updated CIBSE Guide M.

Bruce Kirton, Chief Executive of B&ES publications, then took the audience through the links to SFG 20 Maintenance Specification and it’s flexibility to suit customer and contractor requirements and how this has been directly alignment with NRM3’s maintenance asset data structure.

Further sessions from Paul Burrows (BCIS cost benchmarks) and Kathryn Bourke (BSI Representative) brought focus to the importance of accurately gathering effective data and links to whole life cycle costing including BS 8544. Matthew Saunders of RICS gave a compelling proposal of how NRM3 will benefit the QS in practice.

Later sessions included engaging specific case studies, practical applications, links to other guidance and the particularly interesting wider asset management and replacement programme by Tim Houghton (Heathrow). Derek Hillman from Ministry of Justice (Prison Service) explained how using BS 8544 and NRM3 thinking had enabled them to transform the maintenance management of the custodial estate. Geoff Prudence (CIBSE FM & BIM4FM) delivered in his usual style, a pragmatic and positive view of NRM3 and the significant opportunity the industry currently has together with BS 8544, SFG 20 and the forthcoming updated CIBSE Guide M to really focus on best practice, input to emerging BIM thinking and design practice to make buildings work effectively.



NRM’s rationale includes providing central governments, local governments and other public sector bodies with a value-for-money framework. More accurate cost estimation should also give reassurance to banks lending for construction projects.

RICS supports the need to develop standard methods of measurement and reporting for sustainability across the property, land and construction sectors through the use of the NRM. Although the NRM suite is based on UK practice, the basic principles should be applicable globally.

Article written by Brian Shillibeer | Published 31 March 2014


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