Barbados, despite being a relatively small island nation, is blessed with a mature and sophisticated construction sector, comprised of Contractors, Consultants and Suppliers capable of undertaking the entire spectrum of construction projects, from simple single family homes to complex commercial and industrial developments.The procurement processes used are historically based upon the UK model with the Architect assuming the role of design team leader. However, in recent years, the introduction of Project Managers as the interface between client and design team has been adopted successfully by many commercial clients.

Typically, commercial projects will have a full design team complement including the Project Manager, Architect, Cost Consultant/Quantity Surveyor, Structural Engineer and Services Engineer.

Market conditions in Barbados, in-line with the current global turn-down, have resulted in more favourable tender prices for clients, whom only two years ago often struggled to solicit competitive bids, such was the overheated nature of the construction sector.

Fast Facts

Year Real GDP ($M) Foreign Exchange Earnings ($M) Total Expenditure ($M) Employment Imported Building Material ($M)
2009 76.7 23.7 458.5 11,500
2010 69.4 5.7 372.2 13,500 165.7
2011 76.7 0.1 361.1 14,600
2012 71.5 0.0 336.7 13,000 157.9

Source: Barbados Economic and Social Report 2012, Central Bank

Construction costs for typical buildings are indicated below in Barbados dollars:

Ballpark Budget
Air-conditioned office building shell $250 – $350/sf
Medium income home $225 – $325/sf
High income home Upwards of $350/sf
Steel frame warehouse building $100 – $150/sf
Mid-end condominiums $280 – $400/sf
High-end condominiums $500 – $700/sf

Source: BCQS International

Web & Other Resources

BCQS International Caribbean Construction Market Trend Report 2012
Within this issue BCQS pays particular attention to trend patterns across the Caribbean as well as observe locations where the effects of the downturn are at their most prevalent. Download
Barbados Association of Quantity Surveyors
A website dedicated to the Quantity Surveying profession in Barbados and should be of interest to not only Quantity Surveyors but also Project Managers, Architects, Engineers and any other persons interested in the construction industry and building environment.
Town & Country Development Planning Office
A source of compliance information for developers, owners, and builders. This website provides information about the various stages in property development that relates to the Town & Country Development Planning office.
Land Tax Department – Ministry of Finance
The Land Tax Department is responsible for the valuation of all real property and for the levying and collection of land tax.
Barbados Land Surveyors Association
General information about the BLSA, including their functions, objectives, history and member contact information.
The Barbados Association of Professional Engineers
General information about the BAPE, including their functions, activities, and member contact information.
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
RICS is the world’s leading professional body for qualifications and standards in land, property and construction. Their website is an easy-to-use, comprehensive resource for anyone with an interest in the surveying profession.
Royal Institution of British Architects
The RIBA is a key source of information on architecture and related subjects. From up-to-date material on all aspects of design and construction, through to international architectural history.

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