QUSU08043 2019 Capstone Project

General Details

Full Title
Capstone Project
Transcript Title
Capstone Project
N/A %
Subject Area
QUSU - Quantity Surveying
CENG - Civil Eng. and Construction
08 - NFQ Level 8
10 - 10 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Colin Birney, Sean McGagh
Programme Membership
SG_JQUAN_H08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Quantity Surveying SG_JQUAN_K08 201900 Level 8 Honours Degree Add-on in Quantity Surveying SG_JQNTY_K08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Quantity Surveying

This module is designed as a total problem based learning experience to develop students’ critical thinking, analytical, ethical and problem solving skills required of construction professionals working in a modern complex built environment. Quantity Surveyors will work as part of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary teams, involving Construction Project Managers, Interior Architects, Structural Engineers and Health & Safety Professionals, on a multifaceted community based projects while being facilitated by lecturers.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Demonstrate an awareness of and articulate a personal knowledge base of principles, practice and theories-in-use from cognate modules


Appreciate the requirement for the integration of construction professionals through teamwork in order to solve problems


Develop self-directed learning with respect to professional transferrable skills


Develop competence in active- and self-motivated tasks


Provide strategic and reasoned advice, including the preparation and presentation of reports with reference to cost, time, quality and buildability


Evaluate their decision making process


Synthesise in a logical and coherent manner credible solutions to complex multifaceted problems 


Defend evidenced based courses of action


Reflect critically on their practice and procedure

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Problem Based Learning

Module Assessment Strategies

Continuous Assessment

Repeat Assessments

As Marks and Standards

Indicative Syllabus


Cost management of design process from feasibility to contract signing

Issue of a Joint Brief, Joint Multi-disciplinary Meeting, appoint teams

Site visit, recording, health & safety

Set the clients brief

Indicative estimate and Budget setting (Based on Interior Architects Sketch Designs and Structural Engineers Provisional Scheme Designs)

Weekly Quantity Surveying Meetings

Weekly Design Team Meetings

Elemental Estimate (Based on Interior Architects Designs and Structural Engineers Scheme Designs)

On-going facilitation by lecturers in terms of technical content and professional transferrable skills, role-playing (setting agendas, chairing meetings, minute taking, problem solving exercises, information requests), arrange seminars on cost planning

Cost management of design process from feasibility to contract signing

Issue of a Joint Brief, Joint Multi-disciplinary Meeting, appoint teams

Site visit, recording, health & safety

Set the clients brief

Indicative estimate and Budget setting (Based on Interior Architects Sketch Designs and Structural Engineers Provisional Scheme Designs)

Weekly Quantity Surveying Meetings

Weekly Design Team Meetings

Elemental Estimate (Based on Interior Architects Designs and Structural Engineers Scheme Designs).

On-going facilitation by lecturers in terms of technical content and professional transferrable skills, role-playing (setting agendas, chairing meetings, minute taking, problem solving exercises, information requests), arrange seminars on cost planning.


Introduction giving brief details of the site, location, designs and features which will have significant cost implications.

Brief description of the form of construction of each element.

Two elemental cost plan summaries (one for each Structural Design Scheme).

Analyse estimating and cost planning functions, tender documentation, contract signing

Sound decision making based on a clear understanding of the evidence presented and consider possible courses of actions available

Integration of the subject areas of the programme to demonstrate the overall cost management of the design and construction process

Comments on accuracy and risk.

Qualifications and exclusions

Overall Discussion on trends in construction costs, market forces, current economy, influences and tendering conditions.

Comments on whole life costing (future maintenance costs, replacement of materials).

Comments on any sustainable features/technology.

Health & safety aspects influencing the costs in construction.

Appreciation the need for further research into options, methods, data and materials

A conclusion and Client recommendation.

Appendix I - A detailed estimate of the works in an Elemental Cost Plan format using Buildsoft Software.

Further Appendices – minutes of meetings (both Design Team and Quantity

Surveying), query/assumption sheets, site visit notes, photographs, marked-up

drawings, etc.


Preparation of a detailed Cost Plan using estimating software. 


Students are required to carry out a Value Management exercise with a view to reducing the Cost Plan by a target of 5% through the identification of possible savings.



Students are required to develop complex post contract variation and valuation exercises.



Attended by the client guest design-team professionals, facilitators and other teams:

Presentations will last approximately a half hour (including questions from the floor) and are to be supported by PowerPoint presentation software.

Professional dress required.

The Presentation is not the forum for discussing your learning experiences from undertaking the project or your experience of working within multidisciplinary teams.

Furthermore individual disciplines should not be discussing topics outside their area of expertise.



an account of the works they carried out

how they operated as a team member,

details of collaborating with Construction Project Management, Interior Architecture and Civil Engineering students,

Reflection in-, on- and for-practice, learning journals (records of reflection),

rationale for rejection of options not selected, adopted course of action and critical appraisal of the results

details of learning experiences which took place,

problems experienced in the process and how these problems were overcome.

Include any significant learning experiences as a result of undertaking the assignment through teamwork

recommendations on how to improve the process.

Give an account of how the assignment reflects the design team’s role in industry.

This document is to be supported by a timesheet indicating the time periods and dates that you worked on the assignment and a brief description of the work that you carried out during each time period. References of all documentation consulted in the process should be included in Harvard style referencing.

Include Appendices of any minutes, notes, or other material to support your report.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Continuous Assessment Continuous Assessment Assessment 100 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Problem Based Learning Computer Laboratory Multidisciplinary Capstone Project 1 4 Weekly 4.00
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Multidisciplinary Capstone Project 1 3 Weekly 3.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 4.00 Hours

Online Learning Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Problem Based Learning Computer Laboratory Multidisciplinary Capstone Project 1 2 Weekly 2.00
Independent Learning Not Specified Multidisciplinary Capstone Project 1 5 Weekly 5.00
Total Online Learning Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 2.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2018-09-18 Cost Studies of Buildings Routledge
ISBN 1138381969 ISBN-13 9781138381964

This practical guide to cost studies of buildings has been updated and revised throughout for the 6th edition. New developments in RICS New Rules of Measurement (NRM) are incorporated throughout the book, in addition to new material on e-business, the internet, social media, building information modelling, sustainability, building resilience and carbon estimating. This trusted and easy to use guide to the cost management role: Focuses on the importance of costs of constructing projects during the different phases of the construction process Features learning outcomes and self-assessment questions for each chapter Addresses the requirements of international readers From introductory data on the construction industry and the history of construction economics, to recommended methods for cost analysis and post-contract cost control, Cost Studies of Buildingsis an ideal companion for anyone learning about cost management.

Recommended Reading
1999-09-15 Cost Planning of Buildings Wiley-Blackwell
ISBN 0632042516 ISBN-13 9780632042517

This book, widely regarded as the leading text on the subject, reflects the broad understanding required by today's cost planners in their increasingly important role as the client's financial manager. The book has been updated and reorganised to reflect the industry's shift from work in the public sector to the private sector, and greater emphasis on refurbishment rather than new work. The contents are divided into three parts, covering the various stages of the construction process: Stage 1: The brief and the budget - establishing the budget from the standpoint of the client's needs and resources Stage 2: Designing the budget - designing the project within the client's budget Stage 3: Controlling the cost - maintaining the budget throughout the project. At each stage theoretical examples are included, together, for the first time, with some up-to-date, real life examples.

Recommended Reading
2006 Learning Journals
ISBN 0415403758 ISBN-13 9780415403757

Provides information on using journal writing in teaching and professional development.

Recommended Reading
1984-09-23 The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think In Action Basic Books
ISBN 0465068782 ISBN-13 9780465068784

A leading M.I.T. social scientist and consultant examines five professionsengineering, architecture, management, psychotherapy, and town planningto show how professionals really go about solving problems.The best professionals, Donald Schn maintains, know more than they can put into words. To meet the challenges of their work, they rely less on formulas learned in graduate school than on the kind of improvisation learned in practice. This unarticulated, largely unexamined process is the subject of Schns provocatively original book, an effort to show precisely how reflection-in-action works and how this vital creativity might be fostered in future professionals.

Recommended Reading
2006-12-11 Building Cost Planning for the Design Team Routledge
ISBN 0750680164 ISBN-13 9780750680165

"When will I get it? How much will it cost?"

For the client, these are the two most critical questions. Cost Planning answers these questions and is crucial to the team working on the design and construction of a project.

This introductory text on building economics and cost planning provides the reader with the fundamental skills and knowledge to operate as a building professional in the area of economic advice and decision making at the project level. Cost planning is not an esoteric area for specialists alone, but a core skill for the whole design team.

Starting from the environment in which cost planning and design activities take place, the book works through the cost planning process in theory and practice, discussing the issues involved from a design team and client perspective. With analysis of key concepts related to cost control such as life cycle costing, value management, cost modelling and accuracy, and integration of estimating techniques, the authors provide an unequalled introduction to a crucial aspect of professional construction management.

Recommended Reading
2006-08-30 Managing the Building Design Process Routledge
ISBN 0750667915 ISBN-13 9780750667913

Managing the Building Design Process explains the designers role in the creation of new buildings from the development of the plan through to completion. One key case study is used throughout the book so that the reader can clearly follow the process leading to the creation of a new building.

This new edition expands on the first edition including sections on CAD and sustainability; incorporating updates to legislation and adding new illustrations as well as discussion points and useful references at the end of every chapter.

Gavin Tunstall is an architect and a lecturer in the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment at Nottingham Trent University, UK.

Recommended Reading
2008-09-02 Collaborative Relationships in Construction: Developing Frameworks and Networks Wiley-Blackwell
ISBN 1405180412 ISBN-13 9781405180412

The book collects the latest research on both contractual and conceptual collaborative practices in construction. It identifies common problems faced by the industry and draws out practical implications. Construction projects are increasingly run in ways that undermine the traditional boundary of the firm and sometimes also the definition of the project coalition. This poses challenges for construction firms whose clients demand ever increasing performance improvements as well as those firms who want to improve their strategies for greater collaboration to give themselves competitive advantage. The editors identify three main themes: collaborative relationships, operating both in frameworks and within networks of contacts, e.g. relational contracting in partnering, supply chain management and other procurement-driven initiatives. The second theme is frameworks, both contractual frameworks binding parties together over a series of contracts, and conceptual frameworks used to develop future performance improvement arising from the proactive strategies of firms. The third theme is the network of relationships that supports individuals and firms within the project coalition in delivering services and adding value to improve performance. These networks define the investment and incentives supporting the inter-firm and intra-firm relationships, as well as the formal contractual conditions through which such incentives flow. Networks of information exchange define the structure of the activity and help predict organisational configurations for successful project outcomes.

Recommended Reading
2000 Added Value in Design and Construction Routledge
ISBN 0582369118 ISBN-13 9780582369115

Added Value in Design and Construction takes a holistic, student-centred approach to offering public and private sector clients the ultimate reward; doing more for less. The Latham Report was a call to action and this book provides students of construction with the theoretical and practical knowledge to deliver the recommendations of the report. It describes the principles and techniques crucial to adding value and reducing costs in design and construction in the twenty first century. This book examines in detail a wide range of strategies that can be applied during the design and construction process to add value and bring the best interests of the client sharply into focus.

Recommended Reading
2016-03-01 Building Cost Planning for the Design Team Routledge
ISBN 1138907375 ISBN-13 9781138907379

Cost management of all building projects has become increasingly important as clients in the public and private sector demand the highest quality cost planning services with accurate budgeting and cost control. All members of the design team must integrate their activities to ensure that a high quality project is delivered on time and within budget. This book considers building cost planning and cost control from the client and the design team's perspective, where all decisions whether concerned with design, cost, quality, time, value or sustainability are taken as being interrelated. The latest Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Plan of Work and the New Rules of Measurement for Early Stage Estimating and Cost Planning issued by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have been incorporated into this new text. The book follows the building design cost planning process from the crucial inception stages and then through all the design stages to the completion of the technical design, contract documentation and the tender. It provides a template for good cost planning practice. An essential addition to this third edition is the introduction of integrated design and documentation processes captured in building Information modelling (BIM), on-line cost databases and computerised methods of cost planning. The integrated approaches are explained and provide vital information and knowledge for practitioners involved in building projects. All stakeholders involved in development and design and client teams in public and private sector policy making and implementation need to understand the new approaches to design management processes and how cost planning and design approaches are adapting to using the new technology in practice. The interactive style, using in-text and review questions makes this ideal for students and practitioners alike in property, architecture, construction economics, construction management, real estate, engineering, facilities management and project management.

Recommended Reading
30/01/2019 The Wiley Handbook of Problem-Based Learning Wiley-Blackwell

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Moon, J.A. (2006) 2nd ed. Learning Journals: A Handbook for Reflective Practice and Professional Development, Routledge

Schön, D. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner, London, Temple Smith

Smith, J. & Jaggar, D. (2006) 2nd ed. Building Cost Planning for the Design Team, Butterworth-Heinemann

Tunstall, G. (2006) 2nd ed. Managing the Building Design Process, Butterworth-Heinemann


Journal Resources


URL Resources


Other Resources

Multidisciplinary Project Joint Brief, Department of Civil Engineering and Construction – revised and updated annually by Multidisciplinary Facilitators

Quantity Surveying Brief, Quantity Surveying Facilitator

Lam, T. Y. M. (2008) Teaching Strategy for Inspiring Critical Thinking Required by Construction Professionals, RICS Construction and Building Research Conference COBRA 2008, Dublin, 4 to 5 September 2008.

Lam, T. Y.M. (2008) A Group-based Multiple Assessment Strategy for Construction-related Subjects, Journal for Education in the Built Environment, Vol. 3, Issue 2, pp. 46-62 (17).

Additional Information