A comparison between CESMM3 and MCHW as methods of measurement for civil engineering work

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The paper compares the two most popular methods of measurement (MOM) for civil engineering work for the first time. Using structured interviews and a LimeSurvey questionnaire it determines that Civil Engineering Standard Method of Measurement 3 (CESMM3) was the most widely usedMOM for civil engineering work and the preferred option. Four MOMs were identified as being used for civil engineering work: CESMM3, Manual of Contract Documents for Highway Work (MCHW), Standard Method of Measurement 7 (SMM7) and National Roads Authority (NRA). The use of SMM7 for civil engineering work could point to a deficiency in CESMM3 class Z for minor building work. The research highlighted for the first time that CESMM3 is considered more user friendly than MCHW. MCHW is mainly used on government road projects with CESMM3 containing provision within the document for a wider scope of civil engineering works. MCHW was considered more cost effective but the wider use and scope of CESMM3 has resulted in greater working knowledge. The study demonstrates a desire for a single MOM for civil engineering work but practitioners were divided on which one. This paper highlights the necessity for provision of bespoke MCHW training.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-543
JournalInternational Journal of Procurement Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 27 Jun 2013

Bibliographical note

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  • Manual of Contract Documents for Highway Works
  • MCHW
  • Civil Engineering Standard Method of Measurement 3
  • CESMM3
  • method of measurement
  • MOM
  • claims
  • finance
  • pricing accuracy
  • BIM.


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