Quality in Construction Industry -Objectives, Factors Affecting Quality

Quality in construction industry can be defined as the attainment of acceptable levels of performance from construction activities. This performance would be attained when the activity meets or exceeds the requirement of the client or the owner. The quality of any product or service is achieved when it conforms to the desired specifications.

Achieving quality in construction industry in long run is a tough issue and has been a problem. Inefficient or no practice of quality management procedures will result in great loss of time, money, material, resources.

For example, in construction site, the designer would specify a particular grade of concrete. The contractor will use the ingredients of the concrete such that the desired grade of concrete is obtained.

Objective of Quality in Construction

The quality in construction relates to the following objectives

  1. Satisfaction of Contract Specifications
  2. Completion of Project within Time
  3. Enhancing Customer/ Owner Satisfaction
  4. Motivation and Empowerment of Employees
  5. Avoiding Disputes and Claims
  6. Performance based on Purpose

The Quality schemes will carry out the studies for

  1. Selection of types of material and methods to be included in design,
  2. Ensure design in accordance with all applicable codes and regulation
  3. Control construction on the project based on standards and contracts

The method chosen will vary from the automated documented through computer to statistical quality control in the field.

Read Article: Check Quality in Concrete Construction

Quality Assurance(QA) in Construction

Quality assurance are certain schemes that is implemented in construction in order to maintain the standard or the quality of the work in a consistent manner. Quality assurance forms the integral management system in a construction company.

The companies generally will have a quality assurance chart that will specify various checks at different levels. In general, a quality assurance plan will involve the following:

  1. Training Programs for Workers and Employees
  2. Efficient Safety Programme
  3. Effective Procurement system to obtain quality resources and suppliers
  4. Reward scheme for innovative works
  5. A competitive career progress scheme

Quality Control(QC) in Construction

Quality control in construction involves periodic inspection of the construction activities and facilities in order to meet the desired standardisation as per the contract. Quality Control is undergone by the team of QC engineers or special trained teams.

For example, the quality control for compaction work conducted for highway project is performed by measuring the soil density. Slump test helps in determining the workability of the concrete.

Quality assurance forms a scheme for good management of construction activities while quality control undergoes inspection or sampling processes.

Quality control focuses on:

  1. Setting and Practicing specific standard for construction
  2. Determining the deviations from the standards
  3. Bringing and taking corrective measures to reduce variation
  4. Standard Improvement with time

Elements of Quality

The basic element of quality in construction is

  1. Quality characteristics
  2. Quality of design
  3. Quality of conformance

1. Quality Characteristics

A quality characteristic is related to the parameters with respect to which quality – control processes are judged. Quality characteristic includes strength, colors, texture, dimension, height etc. Example in compressive strength of concrete, usability of concrete in slump, etc.

2. Quality of design

It refers to the quality with which the design is carried out. It primarily related to meeting the requirement of the standard, functionally efficient system and economical maintainable system.

3.Quality of conformance

 It is referred to the degree to which the constructed facility conformed the design and specification. Quality of conformance is affected by field construction methodology and Inspection

Factors Affecting Construction Project Quality

The quality of construction project is influenced by various factors which are mentioned below:

1. Project Requirements

Quality of any construction project is meeting the respective project requirements. This will satisfy the designer’s requirements, the constructors & the owner’s requirements. Below figure-1 shows the basic project requirements.

Project Requirements - Factors Affecting Quality in Construction
Fig.1.Project Requirements – Factors Affecting Quality in Construction

2. Construction Organisation

Based on different studies considered it is concluded that the commitment and the leadership criteria of an construction organisation will affect the quality of the project. There is decline in construction productivity, if the management practices are poor.

3. Quality Teams

A structured environment is provided by having quality teams for the project. Practices are implemented structurally and continuously with regular quality checks. Quality teams will have structural engineers, environmental engineers, electrical, civil engineers, architects and owners to bring quality goals.

4. Participation of Team Members

The participation of the quality team members are not only important in the planning stage but also during the construction phase of the project.