What factors determine the quality in construction projects

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For contractors operating in a fragmented construction industry, there’s usually considerable competition. Quality of your construction work will almost always help you stand out and rise above this competition. Clearly, quality in your construction projects is a strong determinant of success.

So as a construction contractor, how do you ensure great quality of work in all your projects?

First, you will need to identify what factors determine the quality in construction projects. And what other factors help in improving this quality.

Uniform understanding of quality in construction projects

The idea of quality can be very subjective in construction projects.

These projects involve many different stakeholders – engineers, contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers etc. Idea of quality can be very different for each one of them.

For example – a design engineer’s idea of quality is usually very different than what a mason on site thinks about construction quality.

But without a uniform concept of quality, you cannot define common quality related goals for the team.

And without common goals it is very difficult to improve the quality delivered by your team.

What factors reflect quality

So, it is important to have a clear and uniform definition of what is quality and what are its attributes.

Following factors are commonly known to reflect of quality in construction projects.

  • Meeting technical specs as per the contract
  • Finishing the project within scheduled timeline
  • Keeping the costs within budget
  • A smooth work record without disputes

All of these are positive attributes indicative of good work done by the construction contractor. So naturally, all of them together define the idea of quality in construction projects.

To delivery good quality of work, a construction contractor should set up goals in these areas which are tied up with quality.

Just a reminder, idea of quality is subjective and there could be more or less factors for some others that symbolize construction work quality. The factors listed here, just present a common understanding of construction quality.

Quality control and improvement

Once your team has a uniform concept of quality and commonly shared goals toward improving it, next question is – what are the factors that influence quality?

Or in other words, how can the project team improve on the following –

  • Technical specs
  • Speedy project delivery
  • Cost of delivery
  • Dispute free work record

Each of these areas are considerably independent from each other and different factors influence each one of them.

For example – technical specs of the completed construction work can be ensured using – regular site inspections, checklists, clear communication channels between the engineering team and construction workforce.

On the other hand, speed of project delivery will largely depend on a well thought out and detailed project schedule, regular tracking and follow up on actual work on the site, reliability of the material supply chain.

That’s how a wide range of factors influence different aspects of construction quality.

Hence each area of construction quality needs to be analyzed independently and managed via two methods – Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC).

Quality measurement

QA and QC enable us to measure and monitor quality in construction projects.

QA works in a more process oriented fashion, while QC focused more on the final product and its inspection.

Both methods are important in different quality management scenarios. And both of them can be used to influence different areas of quality management, which are –

  • Technical specs
  • Speed project delivery
  • Cost of delivery
  • Dispute free work record

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