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Quality control in construction

A successful construction project is the one which can achieve a balance between cost, time, and quality. Quality control is branched from the quality management sector as the responsible party to ensure that products and facilities comply with requirements and established standards.


A satisfied Project Manager

The common way of controlling quality is the inspection of finished parts of a product. The quality control engineers’ main purpose is to minimize the chance of defects before the project delivery to the owner or his consultancy. Supervision of a construction project is not just as simple as marking in your construction punch list. Controlling quality means monitoring if the work practices are going as planned or not, examining the quality of the current construction tasks, and provide reports daily for any unsatisfactory work output. Moreover, an important part of quality management is quality communication, because effective communication plays a vital role in your project. You should provide a common contact list and arrange a scheduled meeting to maintain a healthy working environment. Because of these required tasks, you need PlanRadar to assist you in your project. PlanRadar provides an effective communication platform and allows you to export all the all data and statistics as a report. This way you’ve solved three of your biggest challenges, defects ticketing, documentation, and communication. Try it now and explore the rest of our features yourself.
Find in this article:

  1. Quality control and quality assurance – how to differentiate between them?
  2. What are the construction management contributions to the real estate sector?
  3. Know how to make a quality control plan aided by PlanRadar?
  4. Finally, learn more about the construction manager job profile.

Quality assurance in construction industry

The “Quality assurance” term was defined by the American society of quality ASQ as “The planned and systematic activities implemented in a quality system so that quality requirements for a product or service will be fulfilled.” Hence, quality assurance acts are done during the construction and not at the end of it. Excellent quality monitoring will not only let you avoid expensive delays but also ensures that the method followed to complete the project is going through a planned procedure. A method like this must be a specific process which might become a structured program used for all of your projects if it repeatedly verifies its additional value to the management.

In the construction field, reputation and trust are the cornerstones of a company’s development and growth. The quality management including quality control and quality surveillance is the way to gain a client’s trust. Therefore specific procedures and inspections become part of the building process. Quality assurance programs exist for that purpose and one of these programs is called quality circles. According to the book “Project Management for Construction” by Chris Hendrickson “Quality circles represent a group of five to fifteen workers who meet on a frequent basis to identify, discuss and solve productivity and quality problems.” Appearing below are some examples of reported quality circle accomplishments in construction:

  1. On a highway under construction by Taisei Corporation, it was found that the loss rate of ready-mixed concrete was too high. A quality circle composed of cement masons found out that the most important reason for this was due to an inaccurate checking method. By applying the circle’s recommendations, the loss rate was reduced by 11.4%.
  2. In a building project by Shimizu Construction Company, many cases of faulty reinforced concrete work were reported. The ironworkers quality circle examined their work thoroughly and soon the faulty workmanship disappeared. A 10% increase in productivity was achieved.

 

What differentiates quality assurance from quality control in construction?

Simply quality assurance makes sure that you are doing the right things in the appropriate way while quality control is making sure that the results of what is done to meet the set standards. Quality assurance is connected to a working interaction between each contractor on site while quality control deals with the inspection of the outcome of this work. The two operations are closely linked because monitoring your quality levels through the project guarantee high-quality results at the end. A quality control manager’s task is to check the output and compare it to the standards regardless of the process of constructing this output. However, a quality assurance manager’s role is to monitor the project steps and ensure safety with the required methods for each one of them. The quality control manager’s main goal is to ensure that the construction meets standards they specified at the start of the project.

The difference between quality assurance and quality control in construction

Source: library for managers
 

How to make a quality control plan aided by PlanRadar?

To compile a good quality control plan or program requires understanding your client’s needs and vision. Sometimes the owner’s main intention is to save time and money regardless of the quality standards. On the contrary, some other clients main point of interest is the quality, no matter the expense or how much time this will take. The process of a good quality control method is serving both parties and their individual interests with specific inspections. Your role as a quality manager is to put a quality control plan that will aid you in the following procedures of the project.

  • A specially designed control plan

The quality engineer here discusses the quality control plans with the client showing him his responsibilities and duties as inspection and testing to improve safety and quality on the job site.

  • Quality Communications

Scheduled meetings and supporting smooth touchpoints among the project members will minimize tension and distances between them. PlanRadar helps you through this step by forwarding the tickets to the other relevant parties. Your team member or contractor will receive an automatic notification instantly after creating the ticket on the application.

  • Quality assurance monitoring

Whether depending on an automated system or a human-driven system you always have to keep your eye on the work and each contractor to avoid the anticipated events and delays. All that you need here is PlanRadar where you can easily capture any defect as a ticket and choose from many filters to categorize the defect type. This method doesn’t only let you make a ticket for the defect you will also be free to add pictures or voice memos or even to write text on the plan during your inspection.

  • Subcontractors and materials

As a general quality manager, you should put a criterion for selecting the materials and equipment needed for the work. Moreover, you have to record the delivery and completion dates to recognize any delays. Use PlanRadar in this step by downloading details or tickets as PDF or Microsoft-Excel sheets and create personalized templates and statistics for all your required data.

  • Project quality specifications

List all the building codes and the industry needs before starting so you can approve them from the client to avoid any confusion. Take advantage of the PlanRadar documentation cloud to save all of this data. Afterward, you can check them again from your smartphone. No need now to move with this bunch of specification papers or your laptop. Do it the easy way and try the 30days free trial version now!

  • Nonconformance control

Always put alternative plans to be prepared with backup solutions for the arising defects or delays, don’t leave it for chance by documenting and avoid covering ups. Get the aid of PlanRadar for any further procedures and documentation.

  • Project completion inspections

At the end of the work, you plan for the closeout with the final inspection to let the punch list assure that the facility is completed according to the provided specifications. You can’t depend on your memory here. PlanRadar helps you to revise the completion dates you documented before so you can make sure that during your inspection no defects are left behind.

Quality management is part of a wider field which is the construction management industry. Find next what you gain from following proper construction management plans and how to implement construction management standards to your organization before starting your work.

What is management in construction industry contribution to the real estate sector?

Construction management is a method of planning, designing, and constructing the project using specialized management techniques. The main goal of construction management is to control time, cost, and quality. If you wonder why management in construction industry is the cornerstone for establishing a successful project you should read the following facts by Jeff Collins in innovation management solutions blog.
Word Trade Center Path Station in the construction phase

Source: The World Trade Center PATH station

He stated that “The World Trade Center PATH station originally had a price tag of $2 billion and was slated to be completed in early 2013. However, due to issues in the supply chain from steel providers, a lack of communication between government agencies and developers, no use of best of breed project controls, and not adhering to construction deadlines; the PATH station at World Trade Center was opened at 2014 at a cost of $4 billion.”

For the same money, New York City and the state of New Jersey could have built additional commuter rail lines, increased capacity along the new Second Avenue subway and improved roadways. Most cities could build an entire rail line at that cost.

Still, need more proof that the money spent in the management industry is not wasted? Then you have to check how not maintaining an effective expenses plan affected large projects as Suez Canal and Sydney opera house with a cost overrun 1900% and 1400% respectively.

Construction management consists of diverse disciplines as the determination of the project requirements for materials, equipment, and even labor. The real problem here is not the lack of planning, but it’s trusting the flimsy existing plans. Putting your confidence in untested policies makes you think you’re on track, while this plan is your way to failure. The construction sector is a promising sector to start up your business with fast average growth. All that you need is to develop your organization and your team to the latest technological skills and get ready. Be on track using PlanRadar software, the latest technology tool in the construction sector and save yourself and your team 7 working hours in a week and up to 40% decrease in costs. In the upcoming section, you will see the different approaches in setting up a construction management structure, in order to create your own.
 

Establishment of construction management structure – Knowhow

Implementing a construction management plan is essential to the success and the coordination of sequences. Putting a management structure minimizes confusion and interference between all members. Start on developing your project management procedures by knowing the project needs according to the type of your object. Afterward, the organization needs to define the manager’s job, the degree of authority and autonomy, and relationship to both, the organization and the project. Because the main factor that affects the construction structure is the extent of authority and responsibility held by the manager. Without organizational structure interruptions, sudden crashes, broken communication and conflict are likely to occur.

The construction management structure should be properly adjusted so it can create a structure that triggers the highest amount of collaboration and communication among your team. Large organizations tend to choose one of the following management structures defined by the level of authority given to the project manager:

Programmatic based structure: in which managers have authority only within the program focus or area.

Matrix-based structure: in which the manager shares responsibility with other specialized managers.

Project-based structure: in which managers have the total authority in the project.

After understating the main view of the construction management industry and structure, do you think now that your objectives for your career match the construction manager job? Check what is next about the construction manager responsibilities, salaries, and education requirements and make your decision.

 

What does a construction manager do?

The construction managers main objective is setting schedules, controlling expenses and monitoring the project process to make sure that everything is going as planned. They are the main leaders in the construction project from start to the end. The construction manager adheres to the standards to maintain the quality and ensure the workplace is free of safety hazards. They must meet deadlines to ensure that construction phases are completed on time so that the next phase can begin. You don’t only need a construction manager for large projects you also need him in retrofitting or renovation projects. The required education to be a construction manager is a bachelor’s degree in a related field as a minimum, but sure the return is higher. According to the Bureau of labor statistics, the median salary for construction manager in America is of $89,300 in May 2016. A growth of 16% was reported in the last decade from 2006 till 20016 and still, there is an expected growth of 11% in the next years. The construction manager holds many tasks and responsibilities, the following lists some of them:

  • Project supervision and inspection on site
  • Report and document work progress to the owner
  • Coordinate the general contractor, architects, and all the project parties together
  • Prepare the cost budgets and schedules
  • Plan the appropriate construction techniques to be used in the project
  • Make alternative plans to face any delays and sudden defects
  • Comply with the building & safety codes, legal requirements and any regulations needed.

 

A construction manager is either a member of the project owner’s staff, a consultant, or in some cases he works for a consultant-contractor hybrid. Most construction managers come from a civil engineering background. But mainly all of them must have a relevant experience in the construction industry as a previous contractor or even an architect. Construction managers must know the last construction tools and technologies, so they can cope up with the recent developments in the industry.

Finally, if you made up your mind to work as a construction manager, never forget to work smart not hard. Choose PlanRadar as your construction software companion and hold your own multitask application in your pocket. Improve your construction management with the aid of our free trial version.