A new global initiative has been launched to create unifying international standards in construction measurement. Over 30 professional bodies from around the world met recently at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington D.C. to establish the non-profit International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS) Coalition. The Coalition aims to create comprehensive international standards that will harmonise cost, classification and measurement definitions to enhance comparability, consistency, statistics, and benchmarking of capital projects.

A key objective of this initiative is to address the inconsistencies prevailing in construction measurement and reporting, which can create huge uncertainty, misunderstanding and risk in an industry estimated to be worth a staggering $15 trillion by 2025, according to Global Construction Perspectives.

Representing professionals from more than 140 countries, the ICMS Coalition encourages industry corporations, contractors and key government stakeholders to lead the adoption of the new international framework in their capital markets.

An independent committee of construction experts will be responsible for drafting and consulting on the ICMS. The Washington meeting represented a landmark moment for construction, project management, cost engineering and quantity surveying sectors as a whole since it was the first time these professions had come together to develop unifying standards that reflect and enhance the increasingly international construction market.

AIQS Chief Executive Officer Michael Manikas explained that there was a strong need in the current global environment to establish international standards. Given that developers and contractors are employed across the globe, it is becoming even more important to enable standard and consistent benchmarking across regions on construction costs.

The organisations that have already signed the declaration to become joint members of the ICMS Coalition are: African Association of Quantity Surveyors (AAQS);  Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering (AACE);  Association of Cost Engineers (ACostE);  Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS); Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS);  Brazilian Institute of Cost Engineers (IBEC);  Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (CIQS);  Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (CICES);  China Engineering Cost Association (CECA);  The European Council of Construction Economists – Conseil Europeen des; Economists de la Construction (CEEC);  Commonwealth Association of Surveying and Land Economy (CASLE); Federation Internationale des Geometres (FIG);  Ghana Institute of Surveyors (GhIS); Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors (HKISa);  Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE);  International Cost Engineering Council (ICEC);  Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET);  Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS);  Pacific Association of Quantity Surveyors (PAQS);  Philippine Institute of Certified Quantity Surveyors (PICQS);  Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS);  Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) and  Union Nationale des Economistes de la Construction (UNTEC).

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