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QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION

ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE

FINAL ASSESSMENT 2017

PRACTICE PROBLEMS

DAY 1

Tuesday, 19th September, 2017


THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – DAY 1 – 19TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

NOTES TO CANDIDATES

1 Headings to questions are for ease of identification only and do not form
part of the questions.

2 The number of main questions is as follows:

(a) First day – Questions with varying marks but the aggregate mark is 50
marks
(b) Second day – Questions with varying marks but the aggregate mark is
50 marks

DAY 1

Question No. 1 Cost Estimate 12 marks


Question No. 2 Value Engineering 16 marks
Question No. 3 Tender Price Index 10 marks
Question No. 4 Contract Procurement 12 marks
---------------
50 marks
---------------

3 All Main Questions and Sub-Questions are compulsory.

4 The total mark of each day’s paper is 50. The passing mark of each day’s
paper is 55% of the total mark of that paper. Candidates who have
passed both days’ papers will be considered as having passed the APC
Practice Problems.

5 Refer also to INSTRUCTIONS TO CANDIDATES, which were issued to you


in advance.

Page 2
THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – DAY 1 – 19TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

FIVE COMMON CRITERIA

Candidates are expected to demonstrate a reasonable level of professional


competence against five common criteria outlined below, sufficient for the
Assessors to answer the question “Would I employ the Candidate to work as a
qualified Quantity Surveyor with the ability to resolve problems in a
professional manner?” However, it should be recognized that not all these criteria
apply to every problem, nor do they carry equal weight.

(a) Perception: A full understanding of the problem posed, evidenced by a


response to each item in the question. Candidates should also show
foresight by anticipating additional problems not specifically mentioned.

(b) Imagination: The assumption of essential supplementary information so as


to provide a full response; also the use of imaginary telephone inquiries,
quotations, notes, etc.

(c) Technical skills: The correct use of measurement principles, prices,


discount factors, etc. The use of appropriate short cuts, rounding off of
figures, etc. to suit the scale of the problem. The provision of analysis to a
depth appropriate to the stage reached by Candidates and the time
constraints imposed on Candidates.

(d) Judgement: The provision of sound professional advice indicative of


professional knowledge and experience gained by Candidates. The advice
should be firm and unhesitating, except where suitable caveats are essential.

(e) Communication: Free of ambiguity, with clear expression and an absence


of irrelevant or inappropriate technical details, particularly when provided to
a lay Employer. Correct syntax and good professional style in letters and
reports are important. Candidates should clearly convey their interpretations
and proposals.

Page 3
THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – DAY 1 – 19TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Abbreviations

The following abbreviations used in the Notes to Assessors mean:

SFBC 2005 Agreement & Schedule of Conditions of Building Contract for


use in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Private
Edition - With Quantities 2005 Edition

SFBC 2006 Agreement & Schedule of Conditions of Building Contract for


use in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Private
Edition - Without Quantities 2006 Edition

GCC 1999 General Conditions of Contract for Building Works 1999 Edition
published by the Government of the Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region.

Candidates should clearly state the standard form of contract upon which their
answers are based.

Page 4
THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – DAY 1 – 19TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

DAY 1

19th SEPTEMBER 2017

Page 5
THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – DAY 1 – 19TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Question No. 1 – Cost Estimate

Your Company is the Consultant QS to ABC Development Limited for two


residential development projects, Project Greenland and Project Hillside. Project
Greenland is a newly proposed project at 18 Green Road. Project Hillside is under
construction.

The development parameters of Project Greenland are as follows:

Existing building: A 6-storey high residential building (building fully occupies the Site
Area)

Site area: Approximately 1,200m2 (30m x 40m) on levelled ground; one shorter
side adjacent to service lane; remaining sides facing roads.

Description of the A twenty-three-storey high residential development comprising:


proposed
building: Ground floor to 2nd floor - Clubhouse and above ground
multi-storey Carpark

3rd floor to 22nd floor - Residential flats

Construction Residential: 9,500m2*


Floor Areas of the Club House: 350m2
proposed Carpark: 2,250m2#
building:
Notes: -
rd nd
(1) * 3 to 22 floor + 100m2 G/F entrance lobby + 200m2 roof plant rooms
#
(2) inclusive of Plant rooms
(3) Residential tower footprint = 460m2
(4) Podium footprint = 900m2

Your Director asked you to prepare a cost plan of Project Greenland for the
Employer’s review. He reminded you that the following information/documents are
available for your cost estimation:

(i) Design matters discussed during Project Design Meeting No. 2 (Appendix A);

(ii) Project details of Project Hillside (Appendix B); and

(iii) Tender Price Index (Appendix C).

He said that the exercise should be simple without the need to do a lot of
measurement, and that apart from working out the cost figures, it is more important
for you to write down the considerations and further enquiries that you have made
in arriving at the cost figures so that he may easily understand and accept without
the need to do an independent check again.
[12 marks]

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THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – DAY 1 – 19TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Appendix A to Question 1

Redevelopment of Residential Building at 18 Green Road (Project Greenland)


Minutes of Project Design Meeting No. 2

Date: 7 September 2017


Time: 9:00 a.m.
Place Head Office of ABC Development Limited, ABC Development Tower
Present: The Project Division of the Employer (EProject)
The Property Division of the Employer (EProperty)
The Architect (Arch)
The Structural Engineer (SE)
The M&E Engineer (MEE)
The Quantity Surveyor (QS)

Item Action
1.0 Amendments to Minutes of Last Meeting

Nil. -

2.0 Typical Floor Plan for Residential Units

2.1 Arch tabled the residential typical floor plan for Project All parties
Greenland, the layout is similar to the design of Project to note
Hillside (SK-1, as shown on Attachment 1).

2.2 Façade Design


(a) EProject considered that ceramic tile for external wall Arch to
finishes is acceptable. Based on their experience in note
Project Hillside, the cost of curtain wall is very
expensive. Eproject requested Arch to propose
alternative façade design: adopting windows instead of
curtain walling.

(b) Arch reminded that curtain wall design would gain some All parties
exempted GFA. EProject took note of that. to note
Nevertheless, QS shall sort out the cost saving of
adopting windows for reporting to the top management.

(c) Arch proposed alternative façade design as below: All parties


a) change curtain walling at bedrooms to windows to note
of 1.5m high
b) change curtain walling at balcony of living rooms
(2.5m wide) to glazed screen with sliding door

Page 7
THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – DAY 1 – 19TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Appendix A to Question 1 (Cont’d)

Item Action
(d) EProject requested QS to estimate the cost saving of QS
adopting windows as an optional value engineering item.
The changes of CFA due to omission of curtain walling
could be ignored at this stage.

3.0 Structural and Geotechnical Matters

3.1 SE advised that the Demolition Plan and Hoarding Plan All parties
had just been approved by BD and demolition works to note
could proceed shortly. Covered walkway shall be
provided to boundary facing roads, remaining shall be
with hoarding.

3.2 Piling and Pile Caps

(a) SE stated that the foundations design would be All parties


commenced soon, they would require information about to note
the ground conditions, and suggested that the ground
investigation be carried out. Minimum provisions:
• 6 nos. boreholes 35m deep
• At least 4 trial pits

(b) For foundations and substructure design: All parties


to note
• 130 nos. pre-bored socketed H-piles,
305x305x223kg/m; average depth 30m.

• 2.5m thick pile cap under the footprint of the


residential block. Lateral support system: steel
sheet piling type FSPII.

3.3 EProject confirmed that the pile cap works would be All parties
included in the Foundation Contract. to note

3.4 SE advised that the structural framing system for Project All parties
Greenland would be similar to Project Hillside, that is, to note
reinforced concrete beam and slab with loadbearing
columns and walls of conventional construction.

Page 8
THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – DAY 1 – 19TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Appendix A to Question 1 (Cont’d)

4.0 Architectural Matters

4.1 EProject stated that they would adopt such standard of All parties
architectural provisions similar to Project Hillside. to note

5.0 Building Services Installation Matters

5.1 EProject stated that they would adopt such standard of All parties
building services installation provisions similar to Project to note
Hillside.

6.0 Cost Matters

6.1 EProject requested QS to prepare a preliminary QS


estimate (together with an optional VE item of adopting
windows instead of curtain walling) based on the design
information discussed for reporting to their top
management.

Next Meeting
Date, Time and Place to be confirmed

Page 9
THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – DAY 1 – 19TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Attachment 1 to Appendix A

Residential Typical Floor Plan of Project Greenland

denotes the extent of curtain wall to bedrooms and living rooms

Drawing SK-1

Page 10
THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – DAY 1 – 19TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Appendix B to Question 1

Project details of Project Hillside are as follows:

Site area: 1,500m2 adjacent to hill slopes

Description of A twenty-seven-storey high residential development comprising:


the building:
• Ground floor to 2nd floor – Clubhouse and above ground
multi-storey Carpark
• 3rd floor to 26th floor – Residential flats

Item Contract Name Construction


Cost
HK$’M
1. Ground Investigation Contract 2.70
• Comprising drilling of boreholes within site
boundary and adjacent hill slopes.
• Contract awarded in October 2013.

2. Site Formation and Foundations Contract 85.00


• Comprising site formation, foundations,
pile caps and substantial rock stabilization
works on adjacent hill slopes.
• Contract awarded in December 2014.

3. Main Contract 423.00


• Comprising substructure (ground slab and
beam, substructure columns), structural
frame, architectural works, building
services installation, external works and
landscaping.
• Contract awarded in December 2016.
HK$’M
(a) Residential (11,820m2 @$30,000/m2 CFA) 354.60
(b) Clubhouse (440m2 @$45,000/m2 CFA) 19.80
(c) Carpark (2,800m2 @$12,000/m2 CFA) 33.60
(d) External Works and Landscaping 15.00
Sub-total 3(a) to 3(d): 423.00

TOTAL (1) to (3): 510.70

Page 11
THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – DAY 1 – 19TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Appendix C to Question 1

Tender Price Indices (“TPI”)

Year 1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter

Year 2017 1790 1800 1818


(provisional)

Year 2016 1775 1776 1783 1783

Year 2015 1732 1761 1777 1775

Year 2014 1621 1648 1679 1703

Year 2013 1516 1532 1559 1590

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THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – DAY 1 – 19TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Question No. 2 – Value Engineering

Your client is going to build a 12-storey multi-functional building on a vacant site.


The total Construction Floor Area (CFA) is 30,000m2 with typical floor CFA of
2,400m2. The new building comprises mainly lecture rooms, multi-purpose rooms,
offices, a western restaurant, store rooms, etc.

You as the Consultant QS has just completed a Scheme Design construction cost
estimate at HK$800M, which is 5% over the budget. Your client then requested
the consultant team to give value engineering (VE) ideas to alleviate the cost
overrun.

Your assistant attended the first VE meeting on your behalf with the client and the
design consultants yesterday. The client requested your firm to firstly estimate the
indicative cost saving of 5 VE ideas. Your assistant has finished the estimate and
summarized as follows. His backup calculations are shown in Appendix A to this
question.

VE Item / Location Proposed Changes by Design Consultants Estimated


No. Saving HK$
1 Structural reinforced Change from round columns (800mm dia.) to (-)1,680,000
concrete columns square columns (800x800mm) (total 35 no. per
floor as shown on drawings)

2 Atrium glass skylight Change flat glass skylight to green roof matching (-)970,000
the roof surrounding the skylight

3 Western restaurant on Total dining area is 500m2. Relocate 300m2 from (-)3,000,000
G/F indoor to outdoor area.

4 Back-of-house (BOH) Omit metal ceiling at BOH e.g. store rooms, (-)20,000
false ceiling maintenance office, associated corridors, etc.
(approx. 300m2)

5 Transformers Reduce the spare capacity of the electrical load, (-)300,000


reduce number of transformers from 4 to 3.

You are required to review your assistant’s backup calculations and revise the cost
estimate if appropriate. More importantly, you should prepare estimating notes,
assumptions or record of queries made so that you can be more certain about the
scope of changes. For the avoidance of doubt, you are NOT required to comment
on the aesthetical, functional or statutory aspects of the VE ideas or propose any
new VE ideas in your answer. It would be acceptable to directly mark on the
question paper.

[16 marks]

Page 13
THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – DAY 1 – 19TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Appendix A to Question 2

VE No. 1 – Structural reinforced concrete columns

Quantity Unit Rate Amount HK$

Omit formwork to round columns of (-)4,200 m2 1,000 (-)4,200,000


800mm diameter x 35 no. per floor 4m
high) (total area of formwork = approx.
4,200m2)

Add formwork to square columns 4,200 m2 600 2,520,000

Estimated saving (rounded to nearest Total (-)1,680,000


10,000)

VE No. 2 – Atrium glass skylight

Quantity Unit Rate Amount HK$

Omit glass skylight (8m x 8m on plan) Item (-)1,000,000

Add green roof 64 m2 500 32,000

Estimated saving (rounded to nearest Total (-)970,000


10,000)

VE No. 3 – Western restaurant on G/F

Quantity Unit Rate Amount HK$

Omit dining area 300 m2 10,000 (-)3,000,000

Estimated saving (rounded to nearest Total (-)3,000,000


10,000)

Page 14
THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – DAY 1 – 19TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Appendix A to Question 2 (Cont’d)

VE No. 4 – Back-of-house (BOH) false ceiling

Quantity Unit Rate Amount HK$

Omit metal false ceiling 300 m2 800 (-)24,000

Estimated saving (rounded to nearest Total (-)20,000


10,000)

VE No. 5 – Transformers

Quantity Unit Rate Amount HK$

Omit supply and installation of one (-)300,000


transformer
Estimated saving (rounded to nearest Total (-)300,000
10,000)

Page 15
THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – DAY 1 – 19TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Question No. 3 – Tender Price Index

Your consultant QS firm publishes Tender Price Index (TPI) quarterly in its
publication. The Project Manager of one of your developer clients has observed
that the percentage increase in the unit construction cost per Construction Floor
Area (CFA) of residential developments is significantly higher than the
corresponding percentage increase in your company’s TPI in the past decade,
which casts doubt on the accuracy of your company’s TPI.

Please draft a letter to the Project Manager explaining:

(a) the purposes and limitations of the TPI; and

(b) why there is a deviation between the percentage changes in the residential
unit construction cost and the TPI.

[10 marks]

Page 16
THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – DAY 1 – 19TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Question No. 4 – Contract Procurement

You are the project quantity surveyor of a consultant QS firm and are responsible
for a proposed residential development in Wanchai (“the Project”). The Project is
being procured using a traditional contractual arrangement under two separate
contracts, namely, Foundations Contract and Superstructure Contract. The
Foundations Contract has been tendered for, while the detailed design of the
Superstructure Works is underway.

Part A

The tenderer submitting the lowest tender for the Foundations Contract has
advised your Client that the overall construction cost and time can be reduced if
the foundations and superstructure works are combined under one single contract
and awarded to him.

You have been requested to address the following:

1. Benefits and drawbacks of combining the foundations and superstructure


works into one contract at this juncture; and

2. Issues to be resolved if the combined approach is to be adopted.

Please respond with a letter to the Client.


[6 marks]
Part B

The Client eventually awarded the Foundations Contract only. It is now three
months before the completion of the foundation works. The tender drawings for
the superstructure works (including M&E services and lifts) have been completed
and your firm is preparing the Bills of Quantities for tendering in a single package
within one month followed by two months’ tendering, analysis and award.

The Client has just decided to change the use of the development from residential
to serviced apartment. The Engineer has advised that there would be no change
to the foundation works. The Employer would want to commence the
superstructure works immediately after the foundation works, and apply to the
relevant Government departments for the change from residential to serviced
apartment while the structure is being constructed. The structure will not be
changed significantly. The lifts will also not be changed. The Employer is
prepared to take the risk of the statutory approval process. The Employer would
like you to advise him by a letter how to implement his idea in the imminent
tendering exercise and the Tender Documents to ensure cost certainty, noting that
there would not be sufficient time to revise all the detailed architectural and M&E
drawings by the due day for issuing the Tender Documents but the general plans
for the serviced apartment should be ready by then.
[6 marks]

-- END --

Page 17
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION

ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE

FINAL ASSESSMENT 2017

PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Day 2

Wednesday, 20th September, 2017


THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – Day 2 – 20TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

NOTES TO CANDIDATES

1 Headings to questions are for ease of identification only and do not form
part of the questions.

2 The number of main questions is as follows:

(a) First day – Questions with varying marks but the aggregate mark is 50
marks
(b) Second day – Questions with varying marks but the aggregate mark is
50 marks

DAY 2

Question No. 1 Valuation of Variations 12 marks


Question No. 2 Determination by Employer 10 marks
Question No. 3 EOT and Time for Completion 15 marks
Question No. 4 Programme of Works 13 marks
---------------
50 marks
---------------

3 All Main Questions and Sub-Questions are compulsory.

4 The total mark of each day’s paper is 50. The passing mark of each day’s
paper is 55% of the total mark of that paper. Candidates who have
passed both days’ papers will be considered as having passed the APC
Practice Problems.

5 Refer also to INSTRUCTIONS TO CANDIDATES, which were issued to you


in advance.

Page 2
THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – Day 2 – 20TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

FIVE COMMON CRITERIA

Candidates are expected to demonstrate a reasonable level of professional


competence against five common criteria outlined below, sufficient for the
Assessors to answer the question “Would I employ the Candidate to work as a
qualified Quantity Surveyor with the ability to resolve problems in a
professional manner?” However, it should be recognized that not all these criteria
apply to every problem, nor do they carry equal weight.

(a) Perception: A full understanding of the problem posed, evidenced by a


response to each item in the question. Candidates should also show
foresight by anticipating additional problems not specifically mentioned.

(b) Imagination: The assumption of essential supplementary information so as


to provide a full response; also the use of imaginary telephone inquiries,
quotations, notes, etc.

(c) Technical skills: The correct use of measurement principles, prices,


discount factors, etc. The use of appropriate short cuts, rounding off of
figures, etc. to suit the scale of the problem. The provision of analysis to a
depth appropriate to the stage reached by Candidates and the time
constraints imposed on Candidates.

(d) Judgement: The provision of sound professional advice indicative of


professional knowledge and experience gained by Candidates. The advice
should be firm and unhesitating, except where suitable caveats are essential.

(e) Communication: Free of ambiguity, with clear expression and an absence


of irrelevant or inappropriate technical details, particularly when provided to
a lay Employer. Correct syntax and good professional style in letters and
reports are important. Candidates should clearly convey their interpretations
and proposals.

Page 3
THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – Day 2 – 20TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Abbreviations

The following abbreviations used in the Notes to Assessors mean:

SFBC 2005 Agreement & Schedule of Conditions of Building Contract for


use in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Private
Edition - With Quantities 2005 Edition

SFBC 2006 Agreement & Schedule of Conditions of Building Contract for


use in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Private
Edition - Without Quantities 2006 Edition

GCC 1999 General Conditions of Contract for Building Works 1999 Edition
published by the Government of the Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region.

Candidates should clearly state the standard form of contract upon which their
answers are based.

Page 4
THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – Day 2 – 20TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

DAY 2

20th SEPTEMBER 2017

Page 5
THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – Day 2 – 20TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Question No. 1 – Valuation of Variations

You are a Project Team Leader of a Consultant QS firm. Your assistant Peter, the
Project Quantity Surveyor for a residential project (“the Project”), disapproved of
the Contractor’s practice which applied a mark-up of 25% on every item of work
involving a variation indiscriminately. The mark-up comprises 15% for profit &
overheads and 10% for site preliminaries.

The type of contract for the Project is a lump sum contract with Bills of Quantities.
Peter considers that no mark-up as such shall be applied in accordance with the
valuation rules for variations stipulated in the Contract.

The Contractor disagreed with Peter and argued that every piece of work ordered
by variation instructions (or orders), regardless of whether it is valued by applying
the rates in the Bills of Quantities or valued at fair rates, would necessitate extra
expenses in respect of additional head office resources and site preliminaries
provisions. The Contractor cited certain practical happenings like, overtime for site
QS to prepare the quotations for the variations, more supervision workload for
superintendents, more frequent visits by project director. The Contractor, however,
did not argue for delays and disruptions due to the variations.

The matter has been escalated to you for advice. Please express your views in a
memorandum to Peter to advise him and quote the relevant contract clause
numbers whether you endorse his view or otherwise and the proper course of
actions to be taken.

[12 marks]

Page 6
THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – Day 2 – 20TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Question No. 2 – Determination of Contractor’s Employment

You are the Project Consultant QS for a residential project. During a monthly
progress meeting, the Architect expressed his concerns about the progress of
works as the prevailing programme revealed a 4 weeks’ delay. The Architect
urged the Contractor to expedite the Works and asked the minutes taker to put it
on record that if there is no sign of improvement within 14 days, he will formally
recommend to the Employer to determine the Contractor’s employment.

14 days after the progress meeting, the Architect was still unsatisfied with the
Contractor’s progress of works. He then wrote a letter to the Employer
recommending determination of the Contractor’s employment and engagement of
others to complete the remaining works.

The Employer is inclined to accept the Architect’s recommendation and asked for
your view before deciding on any further action.

You are requested to write a letter to the Employer to advise him and quote the
relevant contract clause numbers on the procedures to invoke determination and
whether the 4 weeks’ programme delay is sufficient to do so.

[10 marks]

Page 7
THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – Day 2 – 20TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Question No. 3 – EOT & Time for Completion

You are the Project Consultant QS for a 30-month construction contract for a
Sports Stadium in Kowloon East (“the Contract”). The Works were commenced on
1 June 2015 and the date for completion is 30 November 2017. The Sports
Stadium has been designed to have a seating capacity of 50,000 to host
international sports events such as important soccer and rugby matches as well as
entertainment events like concerts and carnivals. The Sports Stadium is to be a
modern and quality type and equipped with advanced stadium facilities such as
retractable roof, 3-dimensional video wall, heating and cooling systems, etc.

Part A

Under the Contract, the retractable roof is to be designed by the Contractor in


accordance with the requirements set out in Particular Specification Section 10
(Appendix A). On 1 October 2016 when the construction of the retractable roof
was about to start on the site in 3 months, the Contractor submitted a detailed
design in which the following major elements were proposed:

“Roof structure: Structural steel complying with BS EN 10210;


4-hr FRP

Retractable arm: Electricity-operated hydraulic retractable arm

Roof panel: UV-reflective polycarbonate panel providing a


Sun Protection Factor of 10 (SPF10) [Remarks:
Plexiglass can only provide SPF5 maximum]”

On 31 October 2016, the Architect rejected the Contractor’s submission with the
following comments:

“Polycarbonate panels are prone to yellowing under prolonged


sunlight and not ideal for stadium roof. Please re-submit by using
Plexiglass despite it can only provide SPF5.”

During the Site Progress Meeting on 7 November 2016, the Contractor pointed out
that the re-design and the material ordering of Plexiglass panels would take 3
months, thereby causing an overall delay of 1 month to the completion of the
Works.

The Architect confirmed to proceed with Plexiglass panels registering the mutual
disagreement to be resolved later.

The Architect has now asked for your opinion on whether the Contractor may have
grounds for the claim for the delay. Please draft a memo to the Architect to advise
him and quote the relevant contract clause numbers.
[8 marks]

Page 8
THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – Day 2 – 20TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Question No. 3 – EOT & Time for Completion (Cont’d)

Part B

It is early August 2017 now. The outstanding works are signalling, floodlighting,
cooling and heating systems etc. which are to be carried out in the next few
months. The date for completion has now been extended to 30 December 2017.

During the Project Management Meeting yesterday, the Employer expressed his
desire to take occupation of the stadium by the original date for completion, i.e. 30
November 2017, for the Asian Cup scheduled to be held in January 2018. In this
respect, measures have to be taken to recover the delay for which an extension of
time of 30 days has been granted previously.

The Architect enquired the Contractor if more workers could be deployed to


accelerate the Works. The Contractor responded that he could only maintain the
same number of workers but might arrange overtime working. He then submitted a
delay recovery proposal as attached in Appendix B. The Architect has asked you
to quickly check and email to advise him whether the proposal has any
fundamental errors in the calculation principle. Please give him 5 points. Detailed
adjustment of the proposal would not be necessary.

[7 marks]

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THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – Day 2 – 20TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Appendix A to Question 3

Particular Specification
Section 10 – Retractable Roof

Design Responsibility 10.1 The Contractor shall be responsible for the


of Contractor design, supply, delivery and installation of
retractable roof in accordance with the
requirements set out in this Particular
Specification Section 10.

10.2 The Contractor shall warrant that all


reasonable skill, care and diligence have
been and will be exercised in connection
with the design of retractable roof.

10.3 The Contractor shall not be obliged to


ensure that the design of retractable roof
is fit for the purpose for which it is
intended.

Roof Structure 10.4 The roof structure shall be structural steel


in compliance with BS EN 10210 with 4-
hour fire-resistant rating.

.
.

Retractable Arm 10.7 Retractable arm shall be electricity-


operated hydraulic arm
.
.

Roof Panel 10.9 Roof panel shall be UV-reflective and


provide a Sun Protection Factor of 10;
preferably Plexiglass.

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THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – Day 2 – 20TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Appendix B to Question 3

Fast Speed Construction Co. 20 August 2017


Sports Stadium in Kowloon East
Delay Recovery Proposal

Item Description Qty Unit Rate ($) Amount ($)


Floodlighting; 40m high
1 Light mast erector; 0800-1800 30 MD 1,400 42,000
2 Ditto; 1800-2200 30 MD 2,100 63,000
3 300 ton mobile crane; 0800-1800 10 Day 18,000 180,000
4 Ditto; 1800-2200 10 Day 27,000 270,000

Signalling
5 Signal technician; 0800-1800 40 MD 1,200 48,000
6 Ditto; 1800-2200 60 MD 1,800 108,000
7 Signal cable 1,500 M 200 300,000

Turfing
8 Turf installer; 0800-1800 150 MD 900 135,000
9 Ditto; 1800-2000 150 MD 1,350 202,500
10 Air-freight charge Sum 150,000

3-D video wall + Builder’s work


11 Concretor; 0800-1800 20 MD 2,200 44,000
12 Ditto; 1800-2200 20 MD 3,300 66,000
13 Ditto; 2200-0200 20 MD 4,400 88,000
14 Steel fixer; 0800-1800 20 MD 2,400 48,000
15 Ditto; 1800-2200 20 MD 3,600 72,000
16 Electrician; 0800-1800 10 MD 1,200 12,000
17 Ditto; 1800-2200 10 MD 1,800 18,000

C/F 1,846,500

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THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – Day 2 – 20TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Appendix B to Question 3 (Cont’d)

Item Description Qty Unit Rate ($) Amount ($)


B/F 1,846,500
Structural steel advertisement
panel
18 Structural steel erector; 0800- 25 MD 1,600 40,000
1800
19 Ditto; 1800-2200 25 MD 2,400 60,000
20 Structural steel 8 Ton 12,000 96,000

Task light
21 Task light 50 No 2,000 100,000

Supervision
22 Project Manager 75 MD 2,500 187,500
23 E&M Manager 75 MD 2,000 150,000
24 E&M Engineer 75 MD 1,500 112,500
25 Foreman 150 MD 1,500 225,000

Security
26 Security guard; 0800-1800 180 MD 600 108,000
27 Security guard; 1800-2200 180 MD 900 162,000

General cleaning
28 Labourer; 0800-1800 360 MD 800 288,000
29 Ditto; 1800-2200 360 MD 1,200 432,000

Profits & Overheads


30 Profits & Overheads (15%) 571,125

Total 4,378,625

Terms & Conditions

1. This Delay Recovery Proposal is to cover the period from 1 September 2017 to 30 November
2017.
2. The quoted price is on a lump sum basis and shall not be subject to remeasurement.

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THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – Day 2 – 20TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Question No. 4 – Programme of Works

Part A

You are the Consultant Project QS for a project with a contract period of 36 months.
In the 33rd month after the commencement of the Works, the Contractor submitted
an EOT claim. After consideration, the Architect notified in writing to the Contractor
of his decision that no EOT is to be granted. The Contractor subsequently
submitted a programme with the anticipated completion date falling behind the
currently extended time for completion. While the Architect verbally reminded the
Contractor that the anticipated completion date should fall within the currently
extended time for completion, the Contractor insisted on the date as shown on his
programme. While the Architect is preparing his comments on the programme, the
Employer would like to have a letter from you giving your view on:

(a) whether the Contractor is justified to show on the programme anticipated


completion beyond the extended date;

(b) what may be the reasons for the Contractor not complying with the
Architect’s request;

(c) why some contractors never update programmes; and

(d) whether the Employer’s right will be diminished due to the above.

Part B

After the Architect’s written notification to the Contractor of his decision that no
EOT should be granted against the claimed EOT and with reference to the
Contractor’s submitted programme, the Architect verbally reminded the Contractor
at site meeting No. 66 to expedite the progress of the Works in order to ensure that
the Works are completed on time. It was recorded in the Minutes of Meeting
promptly issued within 2 days as follows:

Progress of Works:

1.1 The Architect requested the Contractor to expedite the progress of the
Works to complete before the currently extended time for completion.

1.2 The Architect requested the Contractor to re-sequence part of the Works so
as to expedite.

Page 13
THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF SURVEYORS
QUANTITY SURVEYING DIVISION
ASSESSMENT OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
FINAL ASSESSMENT – Day 2 – 20TH SEPTEMBER 2017
PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Question No. 4 – Programme of Works (Cont’d)

Part B (Cont’d)

One week later, the Contractor submitted a notice of claim for additional payment
stating that:

“(a) An instruction has been given by the Architect as recorded under item 1.1 of
the Minutes of Meeting No. 66 to accelerate the progress of works on Site,
hence the Contractor is entitled to compensation for the costs of
acceleration.

“(b) Furthermore, an instruction has been given by the Architect as recorded


under item 1.2 of the Minutes of Meeting. This constitutes a variation which
should be measured and valued accordingly.”

You are requested to draft a letter to advise the Employer on the validity of the
claim.

[13 marks]

-- END --

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