How to Plan Quality Control into Your Construction
Ensuring quality projects is essential in making sure your client is happy with their end product. In construction, a quality control plan looks at specific areas of a project that may affect the quality and then outlines how those areas will be controlled. These areas could include but are not limited to, personnel, subcontractors, materials, and procedures. For example, a lack of inspection procedures could lead to serious quality issues in a project. Implementing a quality control plan with specified inspection procedures ensures that these quality issues don’t occur.
Depending on your specific project and what your client is looking for, you will need to craft your quality control plan accordingly. It is important that you have a discussion and come to a mutual understanding with your client if you want your plan to be successful. Communication is everything!
Before you put your plan together, it is essential that you know which construction industry quality standards you need to review and which building codes will apply to your project. The two most common quality standards guidelines used in the construction industry are the FTA Quality Assurance and Quality Control Guidelines and the USACE/NAVFAC/AFCESA/NASA Quality Control Requirements. Both of these guidelines are easily accessible and are a variation of ISO9000 quality standards. In regards to building codes, it will vary greatly depending on the type of project you are working on.
Once you have addressed these standards, it’s time to craft your quality control plan. After you take into consideration your clients input, these are a few essential elements you should be sure to include in your plan:
As you know, communication is extremely important to the success of any construction project. Because of this, you must include a quality communications plan in your quality control plan! This will consist of a point of contact list, scheduled routine meetings, record keeping, and so on. A communication plan sets expectations amongst you and your client and helps ensure quality communication.
Quality Manager & Project Superintendent
When outlining your quality control plan, make sure you have a designated quality manager and project superintendent. The quality manager will have overall responsibility for the quality of the project, and the project superintendent will be responsible for the day-to-day operations in the field. In your plan, you need to identify both of these individuals, their qualifications, and what their specific responsibilities will be.
Subcontractors & Suppliers
It is important that you make your client aware of any suppliers and subcontractors you will use on the project. Subcontractors and suppliers can have a huge influence on the quality of a project and therefore must be identified. In addition to listing them, outline what criteria and procedures you used in order to pick the suppliers and subcontractors. This could include records of their qualifications or work performance.
Inspections and performance tests will be expected by your client and should be included in your plan. List all inspections and tests you predict to use during the project, the procedures you will use and the forms/reports as well. In your report, make sure you outline how you will monitor work in progress, handle material inspections, and verify that finished work meets specifications.
When things go wrong, having a plan can help to control the situation. Your quality control plan should specifically discuss what you will do if something is to go wrong and how you will control these nonconformances. Some of the most common nonconformance procedures are corrective actions, preventing cover-ups, and record keeping of incidents.
If you include these elements in your plan, along with your client’s feedback, you will be on your way to a quality project!