Weekly Grind: Biggest Construction Award Winners and New Equipment to Hit the Market
States face flooding, other problems in Midwest amid storms
U.S. Home Construction Jumps Nearly 10 Percent in January
Trump's Plan to Rebuild US Roads Relies on Local Dollars
How OSHA Is Trying to Catch Up
Automation in the Construction Industry
Smart Buildings Continue Their Rise in 2018
Seattle Eyes Taller, Denser in Affordable Housing Proposal
By Erica Konieczny
April 14, 2016
Most failures can be traced back to the designers’ or builders’ blatant disregard of codes or laws, but not every structural failure happens because of criminal negligence. Below are a few of the world’s largest construction disasters—ones that stemmed from workday oversights, shortcuts, and gaps in communication, yet had deadly consequences. Unfortunately, all of these tragic examples could have been prevented by a good quality control program and better communication amongst project team members.
The above examples demonstrate that quality control is more than just a nicety on the job site. With procedures developed over years and in response to real-world conditions, managing quality goes far beyond product refinement and can have life or death consequences. Still, not every structural defect or safety lapse ends in catastrophe. More commonly, the costs associated with such mistakes are small. But even these costs, when considered cumulatively, are significant.
A quality control (QC) program can help drive the success of construction projects by ensuring contract and safety requirements are met—and work is done right the first time. For general contractors tasked with QC responsibilities, this means making sure the project is built to plan, specifications, industry and safety standards, and requirements set by the architect, engineer, and owner.
Grab your free copy!
Click here to download the entire free “Stay Ahead of Risk” eBook
Typically part of a project-specific Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) plan, QC relies heavily on inspections during all phases of construction. When superintendents, project managers, and/or dedicated QC staff follow a rigorous field inspection schedule and daily safety checks, they can identify problems and take measures to correct any oversights before they lead to more expensive—or dangerous—issues.Whereas a QA plan is part of early-stage project planning to lay the groundwork and formulate processes that will lead to the best outcomes, QC activities occur throughout the project to determine whether the results of completed work meet criteria outlined in the QA plan. In addition to inspections of all types, QC includes conducting audits—based on metrics that have been established early in the project’s front-end planning—to aggressively benchmark quality throughout construction. Maintaining an ongoing list of corrective items that must be accomplished before the responsible subcontractor is paid or leaves the job is also essential.It all boils down to identifying issues as they happen, and addressing them before they become bigger problems that could impact the project deadline and budget, your reputation, and— most importantly—the safety of job site workers and end users.
Limited communication between field staff, contractors, designers, and engineers can lead to costly project delays as well as devastating construction defects. Detailed record-keeping that includes completed inspection forms, project photos illustrating issues, and dated sign-o forms can help provide project insight. But keeping records is only half the story; simply having records adds no value if nobody sees them. A key component of QC is making sure the appropriate stakeholders can access the records. These stakeholders can include, but are not limited to:• Project owners
• General contractors
• Field staff (superintendents, project managers, project engineers, etc.)
• Dedicated QC personnel
Even a relatively small construction project can be complex, involving many players in the QC process to ensure its success. On large projects, the scale and number of details involved in construction inspections, and the paperwork they generate, can become staggering. Making inspection data transparent and available to team members and project partners can become a time-consuming, paper-shuffling nightmare. Hardcopies can get lost, leading to deficient items going unnoticed and unresolved.For this reason, an increasing number of construction firms are choosing to digitize their QC processes. New software tools are making the work easier, and the inspection results are simpler to share across the entire project team. Important documents will no longer get lost in the paper shuffle, so decisions can be made based on the most complete and up-to-date information.
To read the rest of the eBook, "Stay Ahead of Risk," click here.
6 General Requirements that Can Bust Your Estimate
Take a look at some of the various ways that climate change will be affecting the construction industry in the distant future and find out what you can do about it. Read More
If you're a construction worker, you're most likely working physical labor and it can get hot if you're working under the sun. Here's a guide for h... Read More
Pete says that Procore quickly breaks down the complicated pieces of data in his jobs, and presents them to the end user in a digestible format. "T... Read More
Hear Brad Hyatt, Associate Professor at California State University Fresno, discuss what students are learning in school to prepare them for const... Read More
Ever wonder what’s the difference between a general contractor and construction manager? Well, you’re not alone! To help clear up any confusion, we... Read More
Construction has always had a somewhat complicated relationship with technology. Over the last few decades there have been improvements in material... Read More
J. Colin Cagney, a director, KPMG Major Projects Advisory, knows that while most companies want to use data analytics to increase, they’re often no... Read More