International Construction Measurement Standards, 2nd edition


General notes

a. Accepted alternative terms are separated with a vertical slash ( | ). Bullet points under Cost Sub-Groups serve to illustrate the scope but without limitation

b. In the case of projects where there are sub-projects, allocate costs to their most relevant Sub-Project, Cost Group and Cost Sub-Group as far as possible without omissions or duplications. Add a separate Sub-Project called 'Common' to capture costs that are common to all or most Sub-Projects and which should better be shown separately to permit reallocation in the appropriate way when the specific need arises.

c. Add a Cost Sub-Group 'All Other Costs' within the relevant Cost Group to take account of the costs of those Cost Sub-Groups whose value is insufficient to warrant a separate Cost Sub-Group (typically whose value is less than 5% of the relevant Cost Group). The Cost Code should end with '.999'.

d. All costs should represent those payable by the Client and include the payees' overheads and profits where applicable.

e. Include design fees payable by the Constructor under Construction | Renewal | Maintenance Costs.

f. Group costs of preparatory or enabling work with the principal items they are serving.

g. Group costs of ancillary items, such as temporary lateral supports/temporary drainage/dewatering/slope treatment and protection for earthwork, falsework/formwork/reinforcement for concrete work, ironmongery/hardware, fixing accessories, inline fittings for pipes/drains/conduits/cables, painting/coating, etc. with their principal items unless otherwise shown as a Cost Sub-Group. Group costs of testing and commissioning with the relevant services.

h. Round off costs suitably and commensurate with the accuracy of the amounts.

i. State 'Excluded' if the cost exists but is not reported. State 'N/A' (not applicable) if the cost does not exist.

j. Apportion the costs of cost code [2 | 3 | 5].08-[2 | 3 | 5].10 into cost code [2 | 3 | 5].01-[2 | 3 | 5].07 in case of simplified presentation.

k. As the Project develops, the Risk Allowances under cost code [2 | 3 | 5].09 may be gradually expended and the expended costs would be reflected in the costs of other items. The allowances may be explicitly shown in the Constructor's contract sum build-up or reserved in the Client's own budget not known to the Constructor. For cost reports on actual costs after construction, any surplus allowances should not be included.

l. The 'Design development allowance' under cost code [2 | 3 | 5].09 is an allowance in a pre-construction forecast estimate or cost plan for unforeseen extra costs due to the development of the design as it evolves. Once the design is complete, this allowance should become zero.

m. The 'Construction contingencies' under cost code [2 | 3 | 5].09 is an allowance for unforeseen extra costs during construction. Typically, it is to cover unforeseen events after awarding a construction contract. After the completion of the final account for the construction contract, this allowance should become zero.

n. Typically, a pre-construction cost estimate may be prepared based on the price level at a certain date, which may be current at the time of preparing the estimate or at an earlier base date, with or without allowance for the possible increases or decreases due to inflation or deflation during construction. A construction contract may be priced based on the price levels at a certain Base Date around the time of tendering and permit adjustments for rises or falls in the costs during construction. A provisional allowance should be made inside or outside the contract for the possible increase or decrease and should gradually be replaced with the actual outcome. The 'Price Level Adjustments under cost code [2 | 3 | 5].09 are to allow for the aforesaid possible change until the time of tendering, and further change during construction.

Appendix A - Acquisition Cost Sub-Groups

Appendix A

Appendix B - Construction | Renewal | Maintenance Cost Sub-Groups: Buildings



Appendix C - Construction| Renewal | Maintenance Cost Sub-Groups: Civil Engineering Works


Note: A bullet indicates that the Cost Sub-Group is likely to apply. Cost Sub-Groups without a bullet can also be included if applicable.




Appendix D - Operation Cost Sub-Groups


Appendix E - End of Life Cost Sub-Groups


Appendix F - Process Flow Charts

The process flow charts in this appendix provide the steps needed to present life cycle costs for a project, programme or portfolio.




Appendix G - Reporting Templates

Specific notes for Appendix G

  • Project Attributes and Project Values are not shown in this example but should be provided in the actual cost report.
  • '$M' = $ million.

Mixed project - Grand Summary

    • All costs are brought to the Common Date, which is assumed to be not earlier than the completion of construction.
    • Whether the payments at the time of payment are based on Real Costs or Nominal Costs should be stated. The discounting factors should take that into account.


A Building project - Construction Costs only

  • Columns for the unit cost calculated using additional project quantities may be added if required.

A project - Total Capital Cost

A project - Life Cycle Costs



Comparison between two design schemes

  • Additional columns may be added as appropriate.

Project with Sub-Projects

  • Additional columns for other Sub-Projects may be added as appropriate.
  • A set of columns for 'Common' may be added before the 'Total' to show the costs that may be spread across all or most Sub-Projects. These costs may be shown separately to permit reallocation in the appropriate way when the need arises.

A project - Construction Costs only, involving two currencies

  • Additional column may be added to show the conversion date.

A project - Construction Costs only, involving many currencies

  • Additional column may be added to show the conversion date.



Appendix H - ICMS Coding Structure

Level 1: Projects and Sub-Projects

Level 2: Cost Categories

Level 3: Cost Groups (under Cost Category Acquisition Costs)

Level 3: Cost Groups (under Cost Categories Construction Costs, Renewal Costs, and Maintenance Costs)

Level 3: Cost Groups (under Cost Category Operation Costs)

Level 3: Cost Groups (End of Life Costs)

Level 4 Cost Sub Groups are discretionary and no formal codes are assigned.


Appendix I - Interface with International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS)

Measurement of Floor Areas for Buildings for ICMS Cost Reports

The various cost analysis standards worldwide require the measurement of a gross floor area (either external (GEFA) or internal (GIFA)) or similar variations thereof to permit the representation of overall costs in terms of currency per floor area. However, even though the use of these terms is commonly understood, the definitions and interpretations of these terms are also subject to considerable regional variations. Measurement guidelines and definitions vary considerably between countries. Linking ICMS with IPMS provides a valuable tool for overcoming these inconsistencies. ICMS require a cost report to include both GEFA (IPMS 1) and GIFA (IPMS 2) measured in accordance with the rules set out in IPMS. IPMS are evolving on a building-sector basis (offices, residential, retail, etc.). These rules are summarised below, but reference to the specific Standards, for the building type, is recommended.

© International Property Measurement Standards Coalition

Appendix J - Revision Notes for the second edition

  1. Expanded to incorporate the full scope of Life Cycle Costs of Constructed Assets, adding Renewal Costs, Operation Costs, Maintenance Costs and End of Life Costs.
  2. Extended to include Dams and reservoirs, and Mines and quarries as Project types.
  3. 'Site Acquisition and Client's Other Costs' changed to 'Acquisition Costs'.
  4. Definition of 'Base Date' revised to match the General Notes in the Appendices.
  5. 'Capital Construction Costs' changed to 'Construction Costs'.
  6. Associated Capital Costs merged as Cost Groups under Construction Costs.
  7. Cost code assigned for Projects and Sub-Projects and re-numbered for Cost Categories.
  8. 'major refurbishment' as a nature of Works changed to 'major adaptation'
  9. A note added to Part 3 (formerly Schedule 1) to clarify that some attributes are multi-valued requiring the entry of sets of sub-attributes and values.
  10. Project Attribute 'Ground conditions' qualified with 'predominant'.
  11. Project Attribute 'Seismic zones' added under Common Attributes.
  12. Life Cycle Cost Related Project Attributes added under Common Attributes.
  13. Project Attribute 'Hotel grade' added for Buildings.
  14. Project Attribute 'shape (vertical section)' added for Buildings.
  15. Hardstandings included in the scope of Roads, runways and motorways.
  16. Project Attribute 'spans' for Bridges deleted.
  17. Project Attribute 'number each of abutments/piers/towers with foundations not in water' added for Bridges.
  18. Project Attribute 'number of shafts' added for Tunnels.
  19. Project Attribute 'number and diameter of each pipe' changed to 'length of each diameter of pipes' with corresponding change of Project Quantity for Pipelines.
  20. Project Attribute 'Length of pipes (sum of number x each length)' changed to 'Total length of pipes' for Pipelines.
  21. Project Attribute 'number of wellheads' changed to 'number of wells/boreholes' for Wells and boreholes.
  22. Project Attribute 'number of each diameter of drilled/bored holes' deleted from Wells and boreholes.
  23. Project Attribute 'vertical length drilled/bored (sum of number x each depth)' changed to 'length of each diameter of vertical drilled/bored wells/boreholes' with corresponding change of Project Quantity for Wells and boreholes.
  24. Project Attribute 'inclined or horizontal length drilled/bored (sum of number x each depth)' changed to 'length of each diameter of inclined or horizontal drilled/bored wells/boreholes' with corresponding change of Project Quantity for Wells and boreholes.
  25. Project Attribute 'Length of drilled/bored depth' changed to 'Total length drilled/bored' for Wells and boreholes.
  26. Note added that more than one pre-set option may be selected for Project Attribute 'principal processes' for Chemical plants.
  27. Order of Appendices adjusted.
  28. Appendices A to D expanded to Appendices A to E with subsequent Appendices re-numbered.
  29. Cost Sub-Group 'Site survey and investigation' changed to 'Site survey and ground investigation' to include ground investigation.
  30. Cost Sub-Group 'Sampling for construction, geophysical, geological or similar purposes' renamed as 'Sampling of hazardous or useful materials or conditions'.
  31. Cost Sub-Group 'Erosion control' added under 'Demolition, site preparation and formation'.
  32. Appendix H has been added to explicitly define the coding structure of ICMS, 2nd.
  33. Item 'hoisting beams, lift pit separation screens' changed to 'hoisting beams, lift pit separation screens, lift shaft separator beams' under Builder's work in connection with services.
  34. Item 'communications' changed to 'information and communications technology system' under Extra Low Voltage Electrical Services.
  35. Cost Sub-Group 'Supply of sanitary fittings' changed to 'Supply of sanitary fittings and fixtures' with explanatory note added.
  36. Item 'portable hand-operated appliances' changed to 'portable hand-operated appliances and sundries' under Fire services.
  37. Cost Sub-Group 'Audio/visual entertainment system' added under Services and equipment Cost Category.
  38. Reporting Templates showing life cycle costs and currency conversion added.
  39. Interface with IPMS updated and tabulated.
  40. Bibliography updated.
  41. Colouring of tables revised.

Appendix K - Bibliography


International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS):

International Standard Industrial Classification of all Economic Activities (ISIC Rev,.4): regcst.asp?Cl=27

Prices and purchasing power parities:

ISO 12006-2: 2015, Building construction - Organization of information about construction works. Part 2: Framework for classification

ISO 3166-2: 2013, Codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions - Part 2: Country subdivision code - ISO 4217: 2015, Codes for the representation of currencies

ISO 6707-1: 2014, Buildings and civil engineering works - Vocabulary - Part 1: General terms

ISO 15686-5:2017, Buildings and constructed assets - Service life planning - Part 5: Life-cycle costing.