Applied Quantity Surveying/Material Take-offs

Applied Quantity Surveying/Material Take-offs

BC Housing: 15 CPD Points


4 days, 08:00 AM PDT - 11:00 AM PDT


  • BC Housing CPD Points: 15
Session information


Session 1
08:00 PDT - 11:00 PDT
3 hours
Session 2
08:00 PDT - 11:00 PDT
3 hours
Session 3
08:00 PDT - 11:00 PDT
3 hours
Session 4
08:00 PDT - 11:00 PDT
3 hours
Presented by Ralph Lembcke, P.GSC
  • Member Rate $949.00 excl. GST
  • $1,199.00 excl. GST


Quantity surveying starts with determining the construction materials required to meet the job requirements by performing a materials take-off, which is a skill set in and of itself. This course will teach you how to apply the processes and procedures required to complete accurate and consistent material take-offs for pricing or even ordering purposes. 

Using the example of a small commercial structure, attendees will complete a detailed and comprehensive quantity survey/material takeoff for items of work including earthwork, substructure, and superstructure. This isn’t a course where attendees sit back and listen – you’ll be expected to actively participate, and ‘learn by doing' under the guidance of your course instructor. Your instructor will provide direction and examples of the various material take-offs, and then you’ll get to practice!

Equipping learners with takeaway reference material, including practice files and a reference workbook to use beyond the classroom.

Course content will also cover:

  • What is a quantity surveyor and what does he or she do

  • Proper practices and procedures of quantity surveying

  • General rules and methods of measurement of construction works

  • How quantity surveys are organized and structured

  • How the MasterFormat® system is used by quantity surveyors

  • How items of construction are identified for quantity surveying

  • Applied quantification of items of earthwork

  • Applied quantification of items of concrete

  • Applied quantification of items of formwork

  • Applied quantification of items of concrete masonry units

 *Please note that this course focuses on the basic principles of quantity surveying and not about how to use excel/software to perform takeoffs. Attendees will be provided with an excel spreadsheet to use in completing exercises, which they can also choose to print and complete manually on paper. 

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Identify the origin of the items for quantification in a general contractor environment.

  • Describe the various standard practices and procedures used in the quantity surveying discipline

  • Identify 10 steps to a successful takeoff.

  • Explain the mathematical principles behind basic quantity surveying processes.

  • Complete a detailed and comprehensive quantity survey for items of work including earthwork, substructure, and superstructure for a small commercial structure.

  • Understand how the quantity survey dovetails with the eventual estimate. 


What is a quantity surveyor and what do they do? 

In North America, the terms ‘quantity surveying,’ or ‘quantity surveyors,’ are synonymous with construction estimating or construction estimators. On the Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyor’s (CIQS) website, a quantity surveyor is described as: 

“Construction cost consultants/cost estimators [who] work for either the client or the contractor and can be based in an office or on-site. They make sure the costs of large construction and infrastructure projects are accurately estimated based on initial requirements and project specs.” 

A quantity surveyor’s responsibility is to calculate the quantity of material needed to complete a project by surveying the construction documents and doing what we call a material ‘take off.’ However, the duties of a quantity surveyor are greatly expanded as they become experts in costing, cost analysis, estimating, and project financing. In the CIQS’s introduction video, a quantity surveyor is depicted as: Part Architect, Part Engineer, Part Contractor, Part Lawyer, and Part Accountant.


Delivery Method: Virtual Session – Zoom Meeting             

Course Fee Includes:  Access to the course, course materials, and a digital certificate upon completion.


This course is delivered in partnership with local and provincial construction associations across Canada. You will be participating with a group of industry peers from multiple regions.

Sharing a single registration between two or more individuals is not permitted. Please register each person that will be in attendance.


Blueprint Reading: You should have a working knowledge of blueprint reading before taking this course.

Math: Students will be provided with a sample set of blueprints, and you should be comfortable with/prepared to calculate areas and volumes based on information you locate in the blueprints.

Who Should Attend

New construction estimators, staff who assist with take-offs, field engineering staff or supervisors required to order materials as part of their responsibilities, industry professionals who want to learn how a quantity survey is completed, or those considering a career as a quantity surveyor will all benefit from this course. 

Technical Requirements

  1. Computer or laptop

    • This course will involve on-screen interaction with your instructor and classmates, reading/viewing on-screen content (slides or videos), and interacting via typing with questions or responses. For this reason, cellphones may not be adequate

    • Windows 10 or Mac iOS. 

  1. Webcam (Mandatory)– in order to engage and collaborate, participants will be expected to have their webcams on for the duration of the class

  2. Microphone (Mandatory)

  3. Internet connection- For best results, you will want to ensure you have an internet connection with an upload/download speed of 3-5 Mbps. You can test your internet speed here. The minimum recommended speed is 1.5 Mbps, but anything below 3 Mbps may result in loss of quality or buffering. Ideally hardwired connection versus wireless for stability - connect your computer directly to your router using an ethernet cable, rather than using your home wi-fi.

  4. A quiet space with minimal distractions –The microphone will be engaged for interactive sessions. Please plan to be fully engaged in the class and clear your work schedule just as you would for the in-class program.

  5. Comfortable chair