You are on page 1of 4

Quality of Construction

The survey on Quality of Construction by FIDIC within Member Associations in 2001 confirmed that failure to achieve appropriate Quality of Construction is a problem worldwide. The pressure to reduce the initial costs of construction and supervision were found to have had an adverse effect on quality, as could be predicted. The problem is serious and is evident in both developed and developing countries.

Within the conventional processes for the procurement of construction contract, contractors, who are keen to win tenders, can do so by submitting low prices, but at the risk of not being able to produce construction work which fulfils the specification or meets sustainable standards. Likewise, consultants may be under pressure to reduce the initial cost of construction and construction supervision so that contractors are not able to produce the required quality.

Lack of quality in construction is manifested in poor or non-sustainable workmanship, and unsafe structures, and in delays, cost overruns and disputes in construction contracts.

Consultants are often appointed by a client for a partial service only during construction. This increases the risks to the client and the consultant with respect to the quality and safety of construction, and frequently increases the overall cost of the project when account is taken of delays and disputes. Longer-term costs such as increased maintenance will also be incurred.

FIDIC wishes to take a leading role in working with other stakeholders to address this potentially serious problem.

FIDIC policy

FIDIC believes that construction should be sustainable, and to this end, it is the policy of FIDIC that each party in the construction process should be committed to satisfying its obligations in respect to achieving Quality of Construction.

The Guide for Quality of Construction recommends a Best Practice approach to achieving proper Quality of Construction and Action to be taken by each party concerned:

Actions by government

Engineering is not value-free and hence the approach that organizations take in solving problems is influenced strongly by the values and beliefs they hold. Values and beliefs drive attitude and behavior, and thus outcomes. If improved quality management and quality of construction is desired, then it will be necessary for quality management and quality of construction to be embodied within the values and belief system of the client body. If this is not the case, all the good intentions of the suppliers of services, goods and processes further down the project cycle will have limited impact.

As Client

membership of a recognized body representative of the profession or industry.standardized procurement methods (consultants) . as Clients. In summary.Adopt a sustainable development approach towards construction by taking cognizance of the need to internalize costs.professional indemnity insurance . . . and consider the following: .Formation of a body geared towards creating a more enabling construction environment .Recognize that quality management is a prerequisite for sustainable construction. . .standardized construction contracts (FIDIC) . operation and maintenance. for the purposes of ongoing management.business integrity management system . .quality management system .Promote the use of standardized documentation to be used by all government departments and organs of state for the purposes of: . Such laws and regulations that government may need to consider may include the following: .environmental management system .Governments which. As Regulator Government often has a second. must adopt a quality management approach towards projects and construction. very important function in that it can create an enabling environment through laws and regulations. operation and maintenance. . should be consulted to achieving quality of construction.Registration of professionally qualified persons in their respective categories .Recognition of equivalent foreign qualifications and registrations.Adopt a quality-orientated selection process for the procurement of construction contracts. .Adopt a quality-based selection approach for the procurement of consulting services and include in the selection criteria the need for consultants to have the following in place: .standardized client/consultant agreement .Creation of a specific set of construction activity targets .standardized procurement methods (contractors) . . these are: . local capacity must be developed .risk management system . local capacity must be developed on all projects.Insist that. and hence the actions for international funding agencies are mirrored on those for government as a client. for the purposes of ongoing management.standardized tender and construction documentation.Adopt a quality management approach towards projects and construction. Actions by International Funding Agencies International Funding agencies are often as powerful as governments in setting the right climate of what is expected from a construction project.Insist that.Make provision on all construction projects for adequate supervision independent of the Contractor.Adopt a sustainable development approach towards construction by taking cognizance of the need to internalize costs.

Reduce the project initiation periods. review and improvement of appropriate documentation and documents including contracts. . Additional actions for international agencies include: .professional indemnity insurance .environmental management system .Adopt a quality-based selection approach for the procurement of consulting services and include in the selection criteria the need for consultants to have the following in place: . firms and contractors) are mainly on the supply side of the intended intervention to improve quality of construction.quality of construction.Make provision on all construction projects for adequate supervision independent of the Contractor. . possibly using the FIDIC Guides for Action.on all projects . .Adopt a quality-orientated selection process for the procurement of construction contracts.standardized client/consultant agreement . Actions by industry The various role-players in the industry (FIDIC. .to act as a conduit for information between the member associations and member firms. FIDIC The actions for FIDIC could include: .Insist on capacity building and technology transfer.standardized procurement methods (consultants) . .quality management system .risk management system .Promote the use of standardized documentation to be used by all for the purposes of: . . .membership of a recognized body representative of the profession or industry. member associations.Take cognizance of local economic cycles and smooth these cycles rather than exacerbate or deepen them. .business integrity management system .standardized tender and construction documentation.to draw attention to the benefit of quality of construction at all times.standardized construction contracts (FIDIC) . Member Associations .to facilitate the production.standardized procurement methods (contractors) .to continue liaison with international agencies. as continuity of firms and their staff would improve quality of construction. . .Reduce prolonged payment periods for claims from consultants and contractors as this would reduce the incidence of unacceptable shortcuts and therefore improve the .to engage on education and training initiatives and production of appropriate materials for member associations and their firms.

. . Member Firms The actions for firms could include: .to act as communication channels between FIDIC and the firms and between the firms and local clients. . . quality management systems. . business integrity management systems and risk management systems.to recruit.to participate actively in member associations. . . environmental management systems. Contractors Actions for contractors could include: .to assist with the implementation of improved quality and related systems such as quality-based selection.by FIDIC for future review . risk management systems and professional indemnity management system. . .to encourage the use of internationally accepted Contract documents.to provide feedback to consultants for improvement of quality of construction.to lobby with government for the adoption of the actions as outlined under Actions by Government as Client and as Regulator.to adopt quality management systems. Further actions would be developed in consultation with the representative bodies of the international contractors. and/or licensed as required.The actions for member associations could include: .to take measures to ensure that subcontractors are qualified. .to provide procedures for corrective action when quality control and /or acceptance criteria are not met.to adopt quality management systems.providing feedback on systems and documents promoted .lobbying with government .reviewing FIDIC documentation and local equivalents . . . .to assist in the development of standard specifications.to assist with education and training of members. . business integrity management systems. train and assign a skilled work force.to provide feedback to sub-consultants and contractors on their performance with respect to quality of construction. . .to assist with: . environmental management systems.to produce good standard comprehensive tender and construction documents.to recognise the importance of quality of construction.to draw attention to the benefits of quality of construction at all times.to publicise examples of poor practice.