What is the difference between NRM and SMM7?

The New Rules of Measurement 2 (NRM2) was published in April 2012 and became operative on January 1, 2013 replacing the Standard Method of Measurement seventh edition (SMM7) on July 1, 2013.

It outlines detailed measurement rules for the preparation of bills of quantities (BOQ) or schedule of rates for either capital or maintenance projects. It also deals with the quantification of non-measurable work items, contractor designed works and risks. It also contains guidance on the content, structure and format of bills of quantities as well as the benefits and uses of bills of quantities.

The NRM replaces Standard Method of Measurement which was first published by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in 1922 with it seventh edition being published in 1988 and revised in 1998. Many believe that SMM7 was outdated and it was proposed that a new set of measurement rules should be adopted to reflect the way in which the industry now works.

The New Rules of Measurement contain three volumes:

  • NRM1 – Order for cost estimating and cost planning for capital building works. Initially published in March 2009 it was amended and the second edition published in 2012 to coincide with the launch of the NRM2.
  • NRM2 – Order for works procurement, first published in April 2012.
  • NRM3 – Order for cost estimating and cost planning for building maintenance works, first published in March 2014.

The New Rules of Measurement 2 (NRM2) can be separated into three parts:

  • Part 1 – Places measurement for works procurement in context with the RIBA Plan of Work and explains the symbols, abbreviations and definitions used in the rules.
  • Part 2 – Outlines rules for measurement of buildings, outlines purposes and uses of NRM2, explains function of BOQ, outlines structures for BOQ, outlines information required to produce BOQ, outlines constituents of a BOQ and explains how to prepare a BOQ.
  • Part 3 – Tabulated rules of measurement and description of building works for the purposes of works procurement.

The RICS New Rules of Measurement – Detailed Measurement for Building Works (NRM2) has been published and the Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) has issued an update with amendments for JCT main contracts and sub-contracts.


  • Appendix A: Guidance on the preparation of bill of quantities
  • Appendix B: Template for preliminaries (main contract) pricing schedule (condensed)
  • Appendix C: Template for preliminaries (main contract) pricing schedule (expanded)
  • Appendix D: Template for pricing summary for elemental bill of quantities (condensed)
  • Appendix E: Template for pricing summary for elemental bill of quantities (expanded)
  • Appendix F: Templates for provisional sums, risks and credits
  • Appendix G: Example of a work package breakdown structure

Under the NRM more information has been given in connection with the production of BOQ, the measurement rules have changed and the RICS has given more guidance in connection with coding and work breakdown structures in an attempt to align the bills with the cost plans produced using the NRM1.

Reference to the coordinated project information has also been omitted and the lettering previously used to indicate work sections (A to Y) has now been replaced with a numbering system (sections 1 to 41 complete with appendices).

This answer is a guide only. Jones Melling has a team of specialists who can advise you on the best course of action regarding your property.

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