Quality Control in Construction | 3 Components of Quality Management

What is Quality Control In Construction?

Quality Control in Construction is One of the important pillars of the project delivery process. The management of the quality control works of a product or service related to construction is called Quality Control in Construction. 

The project specifications explain the quality standards for the construction project and by reference become a part of the contract between the Client (the project owner) and the contractor.

The project specifications usually quote some reference standards, such as ASTM, ANSI, ACI, AWS, or other organizations which explain the quality procedure and workmanship standards. In many cases, the specifications may use terms such as “Normal and Customary” or “Function for its Intended Use to define the quality standards.

The workmanship is not defined in Division 01—General Requirements of the construction specification Institute (CSI) or the American Institute of Architects (AIA) form A201—General Conditions of the Contract for Construction

To understand what is workmanship, we turn towards the American Heritage Dictionary, which defines workmanship as;

  1. The skill of a craftsperson or artisan. 
  2. The quality of something made by a craftsperson or an artisan. 
  3. Something made or produced by the workman. 

Inspection Testing Plan (ITP)

Certain Project elements, such as soil compaction, the strength of concrete, welding, etc., are normally inspected and tested by a third party (testing and inspection organizations). The contractor must submit an inspection and testing plan to the consultant’s quality management for approval.

Some tests are conducted prior to start the construction and others are during the execution of the work. The quality of the product or service is determined and a report is submitted shortly after the tests or inspections are made. The quality of other elements of the project is checked by the architect and structural engineer or any other trade designated engineer of the consultants at the request or during an occasional site visit.

The quality of the products is reviewed at various stages and the final quality of the project is reviewed close to final completion. The consultant issues a punch list of items or processes that need to be rectified for the project to be certified as completed as per the specifications, and quality expectations mentioned by the project documents. One indication of the effectiveness of quality control in construction by the contractor’s quality is the extent of the punch list by the project consultants.

Success Factors of Quality Control in Construction

There are a lot of factors that may influence the effectiveness of quality control in construction project quality management programs. there are some barriers to the successful implementation of quality control in construction organizations and the varied nature of the construction process. 

Every project is unique in design and execution, locations access, work volume fluctuates, staff rotation while the work is labor-intensive, the workforce tends to be temporary. Projects are sometimes subject to variation in designs and delays happen. There are some other factors such as the supply chain management, multiple suppliers, and organizations are involved, because of the different values and process system, weather can vary, some sub-contractors fail to deliver on their promises.

quality control in construction

In addition, the construction industry is mostly conservative to adapt to new technology and construction trends. Effectively managing quality control in the construction industry becomes challenging because most contractors are small organization types and lack technology, innovation, and resources.

Components of a Quality Management Process

There are three main components of the Quality Management process listed below;

Quality Standards

The First important step to implement the Quality Control plan effectively is the understanding of the project specifications and maintaining the quality of the project accordingly. if there are any clarification requirements regarding the design and specification, it should be documented accordingly, involving consultant and client, that how the group is formed to successfully complete the project. this initiative sets the basis for the Contractor’s Quality Management Program, commonly known as (CQMP). the information generated must pass on to the project execution and quality control staff.

Contractor Quality Management Program

The contractor’s Quality Management Program is an important document reviewed and approved by the client and consultant. it defines in detail the construction process involving the main contractor and sub-contractor, execution procedures. It ensures the project quality requirements are met and the project is accomplished as per the standards written in the document. CQPM has two elements know as Quality Control Plan and Quality Assurance processes.

a.Quality Control Plan:

Quality control plan

Quality Control Plan is the contractor’s documented definition of how the project will be executed quality-wise. if there are any specific project quality requirements, they must be defined in the specification of the construction project. QC plan defines the roles and responsibilities to achieve high-quality standards. In other words, the QC plan establishes a plan with detailed work procedures to ensure that the completed product must meet or exceeds the specified project quality requirements and the completed project is according to the quality control in construction practices.

b.Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance in construction

QA Process: Quality assurance (QA) can be defined as the procedure of how the contractor will engage in the process stated in the QC plan to ensure that the required quality of the construction project is achieved. This process elaborates the inspection requirements, inspection process, and timings, and then written inspection reports, and who is to receive the inspection request and review them, and if there are any requirements for modification of correction, who will follow up the procedure and how it be handled.

Managing Quality Control in Construction

The Quality Assurance personal ensures that the project is functioning according to the approved QC plan. and all the activities are carried out diligently.

QA Procedures:

Quality assurance procedures consist of review adequacy of the quality assurance plan:

  • Determine if the work practices are according to the quality control program and the expected project quality standard will be met.
  • Examine the quality of the running and completed works on a project to determine that it meets or exceeds the project requirements.
  • Ensure that the material used meets specifications and project quality standards.
  • The completed work is protected sufficiently from damage.
  • Issue a report of approved work and any substandard work noticed during the inspection that is required correction.
  • Follow the corrective work and issue a status report until the work meets the project QC standards.
  • Review and follow the approved method statements and see if the responsible supervisor is executing the work according to the plan.
  • Review processes, work practices, and procedures, and identify any possible areas for change to improve the quality of work.
  • Recommend any changes to project staff and/or management.
  • Review QC documentation to ensure the adequacy of systems.

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