Karthika Murali

Role: Senior Quantity Surveyor
Office location: Aldwych, London
Joined the team: October 2014

Why Base?
I previously worked in Singapore before moving to London in 2014 after getting married. I was looking for a job opportunity, had an interview with Duncan, and was excited by the projects Base was involved with at the time. I was also informed about the company’s future plans, projects and the prospects for my personal progression and realised that it was a great place to develop my career in the UK.

Where did you work and what were you doing previously?
I worked in Sri Lanka for 2 years as a project quantity surveyor after graduating with a degree in Quantity Surveying from the University of Moratuwa. I then completed a master’s degree in Project Management at the National University of Singapore and worked in Singapore for a year before relocating to London.

What do you feel you bring to Base?
I believe that I bring a wealth of experience gained from working on various projects in different countries. When I was in Sri Lanka, I worked with Middle Eastern clients undertaking measurements and preparing bills of quantities where I used POMI (the Principles of Measurement International) as a standard method of measurement.

This has been invaluable experience for my work at Base which has included assessing variations for an airport project in the Middle East.

What would you consider to be your area of expertise?
My particular strengths and areas of interest include measurement, preparing and reviewing contracts and documentation, assessing payment applications, variations and negotiation of contracts.

What are your career aspirations for the future? 
I would like to work on a variety of projects and different forms of contract to continue to gain experience and improve my level of expertise in quantity surveying. I would also like to venture into expert witness work both in the UK and abroad.

How do you see the industry changing in the future?
I believe that technology is the main factor that will change the industry, for example using Building Information Modelling (BIM) platforms to improve collaboration between project team members and increase productivity in complex projects.

Base provides and encourages training and CPD sessions to continually develop the team and ensure that we are equipped to best utilise the changes in the industry.

How do you see yourself fitting into those changes? 
By learning new technologies such as CostX for taking off measurement and estimating, and Cubicost 5D BIM for quantity take-off.

How do you see Base fitting into those changes?
Base provides and encourages training and CPD sessions to continually develop the team and ensure that we are equipped to best utilise the changes in the industry.

What has been your favourite project/biggest achievement at Base so far?
My biggest achievement has been completing my APC and gaining my RICS Chartership in 2018. My favourite projects have been those which have given me new experiences – I was involved in providing a cost estimate for Dover Harbour masterplan and gained knowledge on top-down construction methods at Paddington Square. I also enjoyed my first project with Base which included providing data analysis for expert witness reports and assessing variations for a dispute regarding an airport in the Middle East.

What would your biggest piece of advice be to those starting in the industry today?
Try to get involved as much as possible and take the opportunity to visit construction sites as this will help you to gain a deeper understanding of the construction industry.

Gardening, cooking and baking.