Bill Of Quantities [BOQ] | Purpose | parts

What is Bill of Quantities (BOQ) in Construction?

The survival of any business depends largely on the success of business management. When it comes to business management in the construction industry, Bill of Quantities (BOQ) is the term that attracts the attention of all construction professionals and stakeholders. 

It is one of the communication tools that connects the parties [consultant and contractor] of the construction project. 

BOQ is a program that classifies, details and quantifies the materials and other cost elements that will be used in the construction project. 

It is important to know that direct and indirect costs must be considered for the full cost of the project that are covered in different parts of the BOQ. 

BOQ is usually in tabular form and contains the description, unit, quantity, rate, and quantity in different columns.

Example of Bill of Quantities Tabular

Example of Bill of Quantities Tabular 

The Purpose of BOQ 

BOQ will be used in each phase (pre-contract and post-contract) of the project, but the need for BOQ differs according to different contractual agreements and projects. 

The main uses are listed below. 
  • Provide a basic idea of ​​the project by giving the quantities to the bidders. 
  • Defines the extent of the job. (But it also needs to be identified according to the drawings and specifications.) 
  • Give the estimated or anticipated contract amount. (very important to the client) 
  • Provides a basis for valuation of variance. (The variation will be discussed in detail). 

The main parts of BOQ 

BOQ parts can be varied based on project size and practices. It generally has measured works, Preliminaries and Provisional works. The sum of the contract would be the sum of these three elements. 


In the construction industry, the preliminaries are known as the indirect cost of project execution, but these are the costs that are very vital for construction activitiess. 

The reason for these costs mentioned separately is that it is very difficult to distribute these costs among the measured works. 

Examples of preliminaries listed below.

  • Performance Bond, Advance Payment Guarantee, and Workers' Compensation Charges 
  • Clean site maintenance 
  • Requirement of site office, site stores and staff accommodation. 
  • Cost for project management personnel (QS, Project Manager, engineering professionals) 
  • Drawing and security charges 

From the examples mentioned above, it can be understood that these costs cannot be distributed to the work item, but without these expenses there will be no project. 

Measured works 

It is the actual or estimated work that will be done to complete the project. The works have been measured in different unit. 

They are linear meter, square meter, cubic meter, number, item, etc. The value of the measured works will be calculated by multiplying quantities and rate. 

Provisional sums 

It is the sum that is assigned to the undersigned works at the time of the tender. It will be balanced after the execution of the project

In short, BOQ is very important for business management purposes. Every construction professional must understand that he must deliver a quality and expected product to the client. In other words, provide good value for money.
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