Construction Quality Management is the process that guarantees the quality of a built asset or infrastructure. Find out why it’s important and what the procedure is
Completing and delivering a high-quality work to the customer is the ultimate goal of all the actors involved in the construction process. The quality control management phase requires professionalism, planning and a sense of responsibility.
But What is Construction Quality Management really? And what is the correct procedure to follow to achieve efficient and effective results? Find out in this article.
What is Construction Quality Management?
Construction Quality Management is the process through which the quality of a built asset is guaranteed. Through this type of “quality control”, all the parts and materials used on site can be considered as compliant with the project and with safety and quality standards. For example, soil characteristic checks, concrete acceptance, welding quality, etc.
Depending on the construction element or material, these checks are carried out:
- both on site and at the production plant;
- both on the construction site during works or at the final stages when the site is actually closed.
Before starting construction, it becomes crucial to check construction materials and ensure that they comply with the structural characteristics required by the project. At the same time, the final checks determine whether or not the finished work complies with the design and quality requirements and standards.
The main objectives of Construction Quality Management are:
- to minimize any errors or defects found during the subsequent delivery phase;
- to identify and resolve defects and errors before the client does so.
Why is Construction Quality Management important in the construction sector?
The Construction Quality Management phase is paramount in the Construction Industry because:
- it guarantees customer satisfaction;
- it avoids rework with consequent savings in time and costs.
When starting a work, we always start from the analysis of the client’s requests: in fact, he is the end user who must be satisfied with the finished work.
An accurate and punctual quality control phase, therefore, allows you to verify step by step that the design requirements are met and ultimately ensure the satisfaction of the client and their needs.
Moreover, a Construction Quality Control role performed with care and responsibility allows you to identify inconsistencies and errors to be able to correct them in time, without being in the condition of having to run into rework, with consequent losses in terms of time and, of course, costs.
Ultimately, an effective and efficient Construction Quality Management allows you to successfully complete the project from all points of view: quality, satisfaction, respect for the timeline and budget.
What are the quality processes in the construction sector?
Within Construction Quality Management, two types of Quality Process are distinguished:
- Quality Assurance
- Quality Control
Quality Assurance, or QA, not only examines the final result of the project but focuses on the entire construction process (planning, design, production and installation/construction). Therefore, the QA focuses on all the planned activities of the construction process, thus ensuring the satisfaction of the quality requirements of the finished work.
On the other hand, Quality Control, or QC, is more focused on the final result of the project than on the process that led to its realization and provides quality controls based on measurements and numerical data. The QC examines the successful completion of a job and determines whether or not a project has been completed in compliance with project requirements and standards. If it detects differences between the results obtained and the desired results, it assesses the need for any corrections.
Quality Control is a mandatory process required by contractual requirements and is a tool used by contractors to ensure that the finished work meets the quality standards and specifications of the designers and other stakeholders involved in the construction process thanks to the construction management software.
What are the 5 steps of the quality control procedure?
Quality control in construction requires a clear procedure to ensure that this phase is completed accurately and effectively. Below are the 5 steps of a good quality control procedure:
- Define What Done Means: this first step involves completing the project without defects and meeting safety standards and customer requirements. It is also important to share the results of this first phase with all the actors involved in the process who have the opportunity to align themselves with the qualitative needs of the project.
- Have an Inspection Plan: an inspection plan allows you to verify that the finished work meets the quality accepted criteria. It sets a timeline of the checks to be carried out, it specifies on what these checks will be carried out and by whom.
- Create Quality Control Checklist: the preparation of a quality control list allows you to organize your work precisely, reducing the risk of missing something. The checklist is then shared with the work team to ensure perfect cooperation.
- Correct Work: when the controls carried out do not meet the required standards and the Quality Control has provided a negative feedback, a correction phase must be carried out. In this phase called correct work, the item/work in question is marked in the checklist and enriched by photographs, if necessary, then the correction phase of the error found begins. The correction is recorded and quality standards are verified again, this time with the expectation of a positive feedback.
- Review and Revise: when, through the previous steps, a problem is detected, what you do is definitely solve it so as to proceed with the Quality Control of the specific project, but on a larger scale it is also useful to reflect with the team on the conditions and reasons that led to this error. The aim is to avoid committing it again in the future, in the same or in another project.
How do you improve Construction Quality Management?
The Construction Quality Management phase guarantees the quality of the finished work; this basically means that all stakeholders have the common interest in improving and enhancing processes and workflows. In order to reach this goal, it will certainly be useful to:
- Define quality requirements: for a Quality Management process to be effective, it is necessary to accurately establish the quality requirements and specifications for each phase of the project. All this, together with the standards to be met, will be contained in the Quality Control Plan, also including Quality Management timings and methods.
- Manage and monitor the Construction Quality Processes: once requirements, standards, timings, methods and quality control managers have been identified, all attention and energies must be directed to the active monitoring phase that will concern every element, every material, every processing. The ultimate aim is to ensure the construction of a work that respects the requirements and quality standards and where possible, why not, also exceeds them.
Quality control is therefore a fundamental step in the design process. It is clear that the earlier you start with the project controls, the less you will incur risks and errors that can no longer be remedied or for which the correction would result in a waste of time and costs not projected in the initial project.
Good quality control of the BIM model certainly contributes to an efficient Construction Quality Management phase with seamless and continous validation of the IFC file even before the start of the construction process. That’s why I recommend you try the ifc-checker now, free for one month, for optimal BIM validation!