Quality Control in Construction Projects
The importance of quality control and assurance in construction projects cannot be over-emphasised. The quality control process is used to compare the outcome of the project to the client’s standard. The comparison helps to correct the changes noticed as the success of any construction project may be measured by strict adherence to quality and standards; ability of the project to meet specifications and whether the project is achieved with a balanced cost at the projected time without delay.
Quality control and assurance must be carried out on all materials, implementation, workmanship, and methodologies in order to make the project successful. It ensures that standards are implemented on the construction site, and that inappropriate practices are eliminated. It is often carried out by an independent team different from the construction team. Poor quality control affects the quality, durability, safety and longevity of the project.
Consequences of Poor Quality Control
- Delays and Extra Costs
- Injuries and Death
- Poor Reputation
When quality control is not professionally done on a project, quality and standards are compromised. For instance, poor quality control leads to the use of sub-standard materials, shoddy implementation of design and plan, employment of unqualified workmanship and the use of outdated methodologies. These cause disruption of work on the project and structural defects which will definitely require increased and constant maintenance. Hence, the client is made to incur additional costs.
Poor quality control may result in injury or death of construction workers if the project fails in the process of construction. After construction, the same fate may befall the occupants or users of the project. This is mainly caused by failure of the load-bearing parts of buildings, especially concrete.
Once a building contractor has a history of failed structures or collapsed buildings and it is known to potential clients – individual and corporate, it tarnishes the reputation of the contractor in the industry. Consequently, no potential client will have the confidence to patronise the contractor.
Why Quality Control?
- Compliance to design specifications
- Reduction of costs
- Avoidance of Accidents
Every construction project is conceived and designed with specifications and standards which are determined by the purpose it is designed to serve. Quality control starts from the design and planning stage as important decisions such as material specifications and functional performance are decided. Quality control, therefore, helps to construct the project in accordance with the design to meet or exceed the standards and specifications set in the contract.
Reduction of cost in construction projects does not mean trying to recover the cost expended by sacrificing quality. It refers to lowering levels of wastes and rework, improving productivity and production efficiency. Quality control helps to achieve this, as a minor defect in any construction project is detrimental to the safety of the workers and users.
Ensuring proper quality control on the construction site helps to mitigate against accidents. Safety measures and implementation plans must be included in the schedule.
Conclusion – Ensuring Quality Control
Quality control is beneficial to all the parties involved in the construction process.
- Guides against defects
- Successful construction project
- Enhances client’s satisfaction
Structural elements that are not built according to standards and specifications usually develop defects, even in the process of construction. This often leads to collapse or damage, causing injury or death.
Adhering strictly to proper quality control helps to keep the project within budget and completed within the specified timeframe without delays. It also ensures that high quality and standards are maintained as there will be no need for constant repairs and maintenance which cause additional costs.
When a projected is completed at the right time, within budget and meet standards and specifications, the client will be satisfied as their expectations are met or exceeded.