Developing a quantity surveying tool for automatically taking off quantities from AUTOCARD into EXCEL
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Quantity take-off is a serious and crucial task on every construction projects as it forms a basis for other estimations such as time estimates, cost estimates, etc. and as a result, any delays in this activity affects the delivery of the project. On the other hand, accuracy and consistency of the measurements is another critical factor that cannot under looked when it comes to construction works but this is difficult to archive with traditional approaches of obtaining quantities. With the introduction of BIM (Building Information Modelling) into the construction industry, a number of Computer Aided Design tools (software) have been developed to simplify QTO and ensure timely delivery and accuracy of construction works (Reddy, 2012), (Azhar, 2008). However, this has not been taken up by most individual Quantity Surveyors due to a number of constraints such as inability to afford the softwares, lack of expertise to run them, etc. which has hindered the process automation in the quantity surveying field. As a result of the above constraints, most Quantity surveyors have resorted to the use of AutoCAD to obtain measurements from the individual drawings in case soft copies are provided or reading dimensions off 2D printed drawings (plans, elevations, sections) and recording the data obtained manually in the takeoff/dimension sheets then input into Microsoft Excel for further computations such as abtracting and preparing of bills of quantities. Therefore the research aimed at making use of the design software i.e. autocad and Excel (normally used to compute numerical data) to develop a customised option that could help reduce on the above the constraints in the field of quantity surveying. This was done using object and client applications which were linked together through programming using VBA as a programming language to come with a tool to aid in quantity take off. The tools is capable of extracting quantities from autocad to excel inform of length, areas and volumes but more can be archieved with depending on the users's creativity and flexibility. Automation should be encouraged in the field of quantity surveying on construction projects to facilitate technological advancement in the field of quantity surveying.