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Standardised reporting to boost transparency in construction sector.

Construction professionals need to speak the same language to boost productivity and raise transparency within the sector.

Robert Jackson, director for the Middle East at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), made this statement at a seminar that RICS recently organised in Dubai.

Delivering the welcome remarks at the event, he cited a report published by McKinsey, saying that it detailed how poorly and slowly the construction sector as a whole has grown, in terms of productivity, over the years compared to other industries.

Jackson, noting that the report identified several areas that the construction industry needed to work on, continued: "We need to reshape regulation and raise transparency. We need to be talking the same language.

Read: ICMS adoption will benefit GCC dispute resolution


"[The report] refers to ICMS (International Construction Measurement Standards), and how ICMS will drive consistency and transparency, and [help investors] make informed decisions.

"[ICMs] in my opinion is not something that is nice to have - it is an absolute need to have. It's just a matter of how quickly we can get this into the market and [have] a wide range of stakeholders adopting it," he added.

Launched this July , ICMS is a benchmarking and reporting framework for international cost classification, reporting, and comparison, and was developed by more than 40 global standards bodies, also known as the ICMS Coalition.

Other than founding member, RICS, the coalition includes the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors, the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering, the Association of Cost Engineers, the Chartered Institute of Building, and FAaAaAeA@dAaAaAeA@ration Internatio des GAaAaAeA@omAaAaAeA?t

Giving a presentation during the seminar, Alan Muse, global director of built environment standards at RICS, said: "ICMS will allow us to compare construction costs on a consistent basis between markets and present [them] in a globally consistent way.

"And [that] will help alleviate the problem of not knowing the cost of a project down the road before we embark on it."

Since its launch, ICMS has acquired a number of partners, including the Government of Ajman.

Jackson told Construction Week : "The government of Ajman, through its real estate regulatory authority, has committed to supporting and, ultimately, adopting a suite of international standards that drive transparency. That would include the International Valuation Standards, the International Ethical Standards, the International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS), and ICMS.

"Of course, the next step now [would be figuring out how to] move that support to implementation, and that's where we continue to work with ARRA (Ajman Real Estate Regulatory Agency)."

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Following Muse's presentation was a session moderated by Jackson. It featured a panel that consisted of Muse, as well as Mohamad Al Dah, technical affairs director at Dubai Land Department (DLD); Moath Maqbol, GIS Manager at Aldar Properties; and Luay Azzam, deputy CEO for operations at NEA & Partners.

Speaking with Construction Week on the sidelines of the event, Al Dah said that the adoption or implementation of standards like ICMS should not hinge on government endorsement.

"I don't think the construction industry needs to wait for the government to tell it to go with ICMS. If there's a value and if there's a need, I think the industry should and will use it," said Al Dah, clarifying that he is addressing the issue from the perspective of a civil engineer who has a private practice.

In addition to his role with DLD, Al Dah is director and partner at consultancy firm, Webb Yates Engineers, and serves as the UAE regional group chairman of The Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE).


"Our role here today is to raise the profile of ICMS, because I'm sure a lot of developers and clients don't know about it, so we will target the clients rather than the government."

He acknowledged, however, that while ICMS adoption should not be dependent on government regulation, its implementation could benefit governments worldwide, since they are also clients of the construction industry.

"The whole point of ICMS is to standardise the reporting, so clients can see, for each type of construction, what the cost would be," Al Dah explained. "The aim is not to change the way cost consultants do their job, but to give them an extra level of guidance."

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Publication:Construction Week
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Nov 18, 2017
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