How to avoid construction rework: address issues before construction to prevent costly rework and errors

How to Avoid Construction Rework: Address Issues before Construction to Prevent Costly Rework and Errors

How to Avoid Construction Rework

When I was in elementary school, I distinctly remember having to do rework. For some reason, the instructions were incomplete, or I misread them. Regardless, the work I completed was wrong and needed rework. Other times, I was in such a rush to complete my work that the quality was sub-par. Similarly, I had to do rework. Each time I was extremely upset about the amount of time wasted.

The same scenario often occurs in construction rework. Either the crew read the instructions (drawings and specs) incorrectly, the instructions (drawings and specs) were wrong or incomplete, or the quality of work was unsatisfactory. Similarly, a significant amount of time was wasted. Design errors and omissions are akin to getting the instructions wrong in elementary school. As a result, design errors account for 40% to 60% of construction of rework. Below are some items you can leverage to prevent rework.

Leverage Subcontractors to prevent construction rework

The architects and design teams do a wonderful job of designing amazing and beautiful structures and buildings. However, once it gets to the subcontractor or skilled trade contractor who is responsible for implementing their wonderful designs, the designs are not constructible for a number of reasons. The best way to avoid rework is through early collaboration with subcontractors.

Your subcontractors are partners in building who possess years of experience specialized in their specific trade. They undergo an extensive apprenticeship program, which includes hours in the classroom and on-the-job training under a seasoned worker. In their many years of working in their trade, they have dealt with many challenges and come up with out-of-the-box solutions. Design teams will be apt to leverage their years of experience and subject matter expertise during the design process.

The Integrated Labor DeliveryTM method encourages early collaboration between the design team and subcontractors. The subcontractors deliver labor early in the project—in the design and pre-planning phase—to collaborate with designers to complete comprehensive, constructible designs. They can catch design errors and provide input into the design to ensure constructability and adherence to standards and codes.

In order to be competitive in their business, subcontractors must remain abreast of the latest materials and trends in installation methods. They are always learning of the most efficient ways to be productive and deliver high-quality work. ILD promotes lean construction and target value design methods. Leveraging the expertise and experience of subcontractors allows designers and subcontractors to collaborate on designs that meet the quality and cost expectations of the owner. Most of all, the designs are constructible to prevent rework before construction begins.

Leveraging BIM to prevent construction rework

Building information modeling (BIM) is gaining adoption by many subcontractors because of their ability to find errors in design and prevent rework. As part of the collaborative, integrated labor delivery method, designers and subcontractors utilize BIM to create a virtual model of the building. Using BIM enables different subcontractor trades to coordinate their work to prevent clashes or intersections.

Many times architects, electrical contractors, mechanical contractors, and engineers are all working off different models. BIM collaboration software, such as BIM 360 Glue, enables the centralization and synchronization of multiple models for thorough constructability reviews. The team can identify, review, and resolve potential clashes in the design prior to construction and prevent rework.

Leverage technology to prevent construction rework

In addition to BIM collaboration software, many teams utilize technology to improve transparency on projects. Although Integrated Labor Delivery promotes the alignment of teams in the design and pre-planning process, naturally, design updates will need to occur throughout a project. A significant source of rework occurs when the field teams do not have access to the most updated drawings and models.

When changes occur, updated drawings must be printed and delivered to the field team. This is costly and resource intensive. Drawing management software allows the team to upload and share drawings quickly and easily. Most importantly, cloud-based software with complementary mobile apps ensures the team in the field has ready access to drawings.

When a team member makes any changes to a drawing or uploads a new version, everyone receives a notice. This ensures that everyone is aware that new versions are available so no one can blame rework on outdated drawings. Most importantly, users can compare and overlay the different versions to see exactly what has changed.

The immediacy of updated drawings combined with mobile technology connects the field team with the office. No longer is there a disconnect and data silos between the field and the office. Through technology, the team can collaborate. Review markups, ask questions and receive answers in a timely manner. Most importantly, the central repository stores all this information and logs all activity. Technology is a valuable collaboration tool that ensures everyone is the same page and the chances of rework are significantly reduced—and hopefully prevented.

How eSUB Can Help

eSUB is a cloud-based project management platform built especially for subcontractors. It seamlessly integrates with leading construction software systems so you can easily switch from your current RFI process to a cloud-based system to upgrade RFI process.

eSUB organizes all of your project information in one place, allows for smooth collaboration, and streamlines communication through its intuitive interface. It also works on your mobile, so you can track projects on the go—no matter where or when—and stay up-to-date.