This report details the ‘quality of the product’ and the ways by which this quality is achieved
Rather than specify specifics, our company is of the opinion that quality control is standardised across each and every project, and to that end we will attempt to explain what Bannister Constructions policy on Quality is. From this we aim to satisfy the client tha, at this interim stage of the project, they can satisfy themselves that the completed project will meet all their requirements
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Information and Analyisis
Quality is defined as ‘fitness to purpose’, i.e. providing a product (a building) which provides an appropriate quality for the purpose for which it is intended. The price to be paid for a building is a reflection of the expectations of quality – A cheaper building probably uses inferior materials and is likely to be less attractive and less durable. The quality is also related to the timing of when it is delivered.
Quality control in the construction industry can be looked at as having three elements:
To produce a building which satisfies you the client
To produce a building where quality is related to the price.
To produce a building in which sufficient time is allowed to obtain the desired quality.
Like most other aspects of construction management quality control has to be planned. Planning seeks ‘order’ and a quality control system for a construction project reflects this sense of order. It may be seen to be in five basic stages:
Setting the quality standard or quality of design required by client.
Planning how to achieve the required quality, construction methods, equipments, materials and personnel to be employed.
Construct the building right first time.
Correct any quality deficiencies.
Provide for long term quality control through establishing systems and developing a quality culture.
The costs of quality
Quality is proportional to costs associated with the construction process. Costs associated with quality need to be identified for management decisions. The costs of quality can be broken down as follows:
Failure costs: The costs of demolishing and rebuilding, the cost of production time, delays to other gangs
Appraisal costs: The cost of inspection and testing.
Prevention costs: The costs of providing better designs, more training to reduce failure costs, more maintenance.
Quality Assurance QA
Quality assurance is a mechanism for ensuring that the construction process takes place within the framework of a quality management system. This suggests that quality assurance defines the organization structure, tasks and duties for implementing quality management.
In 1987, the Building Besearch Establishment surveyed the quality problems on Britain’s construction sites. They found that half of the faults were design related, and 40% of the problems arose from faulty construction. 10% were product failing.
misunderstanding the client’s brief to develop the design
using information which is incorrect or out of date
misunderstanding of the client’s expectations of quality standards
lack of co-ordination between the designers.
Loose or inappropriate specifications
Not building to drawings or specifications
poor supervision leading to bad workmanship
insufficient management of the quality of construction.
In order to eliminate those potential problems Bannister Construction have looked to Quality Assurance (QA) to reassure our clients that they will get the right building without encountering undue quality problems and to that end have achieved the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 9000 standard.
Quality and Safety Concerns in Construction
Quality control and safety represent increasingly important concerns for Bannister Constructions project managers. Defects or failures in the Airways Direct Headquarters construction could result in very large costs. Even with minor defects, re-construction may be required and facility operations impaired. Increased costs and delays are the result. In the worst case, failures may cause personal injuries or fatalities. Accidents during the construction process can similarly result in personal injuries and large costs. Indirect costs of insurance, inspection and regulation are increasing rapidly due to these increased direct costs.
As with cost control, the most important decisions regarding the quality of a completed facility are made during the design and planning stages rather than during construction. It is during these preliminary stages that component configurations, material specifications and functional performance are decided. Quality control during construction consists largely of insuring conformance to these original design and planning decisions.
While conformance to existing design decisions is the primary focus of quality control, there are exceptions to this rule. First, unforeseen circumstances, incorrect design decisions or changes desired by you the client in the facility function may require re-evaluation of design decisions during the course of construction. While these changes may be motivated by the concern for quality, they represent occasions for re-design with all the attendant objectives and constraints.
With the attention to conformance as the measure of quality during the construction process, the specification of quality requirements in the design and contract documentation becomes extremely important. Quality requirements should be clear and verifiable, so that all parties in this project can understand the requirements for conformance requirements for construction as well as the issues associated with insuring conformance.
Safety during the construction project is also influenced in large part by decisions made during the planning and design process. Some designs or construction plans are inherently difficult and dangerous to implement, whereas other, comparable plans may considerably reduce the possibility of accidents. Safety largely depends upon education, vigilance and cooperation during the construction process. Operatives should be constantly alert to the possibilities of accidents and avoid taken unnecessary risks and at Bannister Construction we endeavour to make this one of our employment requirements.
Organizing for Quality and Safety
Ensuring safe and quality construction is a concern of the project manager in overall charge of this project in addition to the concerns of personnel, cost, time and other management issues.
Inspectors and quality assurance personnel will be involved in this project to represent a variety of different organizations. Each of the parties directly concerned with the project will have their own quality and safety inspectors, including you the client, the engineer/architect, and the various construction firms. These inspectors may be contractors from specialized quality assurance organizations. In addition to on-site inspections, samples of materials will commonly be tested by specialized laboratories to insure compliance. Inspectors to insure compliance with regulatory requirements will also be involved. Common examples are inspectors for the local government’s building department, for environmental agencies, and for occupational health and safety agencies.
Quality control should be a primary objective for all the members of a project team. Managers will take responsibility for maintaining and improving quality control. Employee participation in quality control will be sought and rewarded, including the introduction of new ideas. Most important of all, quality improvement can serve as a catalyst for improved productivity. By suggesting new work methods, by avoiding rework, and by avoiding long term problems, good quality control will pay for itself.
In addition to the various organizational bodies involved in quality control, issues of quality control arise in virtually all the functional areas of construction activities. For example, insuring accurate and useful information is an important part of maintaining quality performance. Other aspects of quality control include document control (including changes during the construction process), procurement, field inspection and testing, and final checkout of the facility.
Work and Material Specifications
Specifications of work quality are an important feature of facility designs. Specifications of required quality and components represent part of the necessary documentation to describe a facility. Typically, this documentation includes any special provisions of the facility design as well as references to generally accepted specifications to be used during construction.
Construction specifications normally consist of a series of instructions or prohibitions for specific operations.
In recent years, performance specifications have been developed for many construction operations. Rather than specifying the required construction process, these specifications refer to the required performance or quality of the finished facility.
Total Quality Control
Quality control in construction typically involves insuring compliance with minimum standards of material and workmanship in order to insure the performance of the facility according to the design. These minimum standards are contained in the specifications described previously. For the purpose of insuring compliance, random samples and statistical methods are commonly used as the basis for accepting or rejecting work completed and batches of materials. Rejection of a batch is based on non-conformance or violation of the relevant design specifications. Procedures for this quality control practice are described in the following sections.
An implicit assumption in these traditional quality control practices is the notion of an acceptable quality level which is a allowable fraction of defective items. Materials obtained from suppliers or work performed by an organization is inspected and passed as acceptable if the estimated defective percentage is within the acceptable quality level. Problems with materials or goods are corrected after delivery of the product.
In contrast to this traditional approach of quality control is the goal of total quality control. In this system, no defective items are allowed anywhere in the construction process. While the zero defects goal can never be permanently obtained, it provides a goal so that an organization is never satisfied with its quality control program even if defects are reduced by substantial amounts year after year. The best known formal certification for quality improvement is the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 9000 standard. ISO 9000 emphasizes good documentation, quality goals and a series of cycles of planning, implementation and review.
Total quality control is a commitment to quality expressed in all parts of an organization and typically involves many elements. Design reviews to insure safe and effective construction procedures are a major element. Other elements include extensive training for personnel, shifting the responsibility for detecting defects from quality control inspectors to workers, and continually maintaining equipment. Worker involvement in improved quality control is often formalized in quality circles in which groups of workers meet regularly to make suggestions for quality improvement. Material suppliers are also required to insure zero defects in delivered goods. Initially, all materials from a supplier are inspected and batches of goods with any defective items are returned. Suppliers with good records will be certified and not subject to complete inspection subsequently.
The causes of injuries in construction are numerous and there are various measures are available to improve construction site safety in construction. Several of the most important occur before construction is undertaken. These include design, choice of technology and education. By altering facility designs, particular structures can be safer or more hazardous to construct. For example, parapets can be designed to appropriate heights for construction worker safety, rather than the minimum height required by building codes.
Choice of technology can also be critical in determining the safety of a construction site. Safeguards built into machinery can notify operators of problems or prevent injuries. For example, simple switches can prevent equipment from being operating when protective shields are not in place. With the availability of on-board electronics (including computer chips) and sensors, the possibilities for sophisticated machine controllers and monitors has greatly expanded for construction equipment and tools. Materials and work process choices also influence the safety of construction. For example, substitution of alternative materials for asbestos can reduce or eliminate the prospects of long term illnesses such as asbestosis.
Educating workers and managers in proper procedures and hazards can have a direct impact on construction site safety. The realization of the large costs involved in construction injuries and illnesses provides a considerable motivation for awareness and education. Regular safety inspections and safety meetings have become standard practices on most job sites.
Pre-qualification of contractors and sub-contractors with regard to safety is another important avenue for safety improvement. If sub-contractors are only invited to bid or enter negotiations if they have an acceptable record of safety (as well as quality performance), then a direct incentive is provided to insure adequate safety on the part of contractors.
During the construction process itself, the most important safety related measures are to insure vigilance and cooperation on the part of managers, inspectors and workers. Vigilance involves considering the risks of different working practices. In also involves maintaining temporary physical safeguards such as barricades, braces, railings, toe-boards and the like. Standard practices are also important, such as:
requiring hard hats on site.
requiring eye protection on site.
requiring hearing protection near loud equipment.
insuring safety shoes for workers.
providing first-aid supplies and trained personnel on site
While eliminating accidents and work related illnesses is a worthwhile goal, it will never be attained. Construction has a number of characteristics making it inherently hazardous and improving worksite safety is a very important project management concern.
Total quality control is difficult to apply, particular in construction. The unique nature of each project, the variability in the workforce, the multitude of subcontractors and the cost of making necessary investments in education and procedures make programs of total quality control in construction difficult. Nevertheless, a commitment to improved quality even without endorsing the goal of zero defects will pay real dividends to our organization.
From the above, you the client can draw the conclusion that Bannister Construction takes quality control seriously and will provide the client with an end product that is definitely ‘fit for purpose’
b Detail the project-specific safety and induction training for all personnel involved on site.
Construction site induction is a legal requirement and will always precede a building start. Workers who have not participated in the process will be excluded from the site until they have undergone the site-specific induction.
The modern Regulations that are usually referred to are the ‘six pack’ and comprise of the following:
Management of Health and Safety at Work (Management Regulations 1992 – amended in 1999 – MHSW 1999)
Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
Display Screen Equipment Regulations 1992
Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1992.
It is the duty of the main contractor to insure that all operatives on site are properly inducted, have received relevant training and are competent to carry out the tasks assigned.
A preliminary check that operatives hold current CSCS cards will prove an effective means of preventing sub-standard operatives accessing site.
All operatives on site should make themselves familiar with the Constructrion Phase Health and Safety plan as well as the following specific issues
As construction workers will sit through hundreds of induction courses throughout their career, being fed the same information time after time, the induction will particularly focus on site specific issues. These will probably include the following:
Every project has it’s own specific rules and all operatives will be made aware of these.
Location of Facilities
Storage areas, welfare, off-loading, restricted access areas should be identified to all operatives
The handling and storing of hazardous materials are a major issue during induction as they will vary site to site. The instructor will go through all hazardous materials used on the specific site, explain their dangers and point out the correct storage. Correct waste disposal and its legislation will be explained
Responsible Behaviour and Clothing
The workers will be reminded of their responsibility to keep themselves and others safe by applying common sense and sticking to rules. Basic personal safety measures include appropriate clothing called personal protective equipment (PPE) which always includes hard hats, steel-toe boots and high-viz vests. Different construction trades will have varying additional PPEs such as safety glasses and gloves for ground workers, ear defenders for plant drivers and tool belts for bricklayers. Insufficiently equipped workers will be expelled from site.
Accidents with heavy equipment are usually serious if not fatal and the instructor will specify the legal rules and regulations. The traffic management plan, usually placed in the site office, will be presented and the walkways will be pointed out. The induction course usually concludes with information about accident reporting procedures.
Safe and visible access must be proivided to every current work location, with non-access areas isolated – operatives must be made aware of any special requirements
Operatives should be made aware of warning signals, escape/fire plans, escape routes and location of fire extinhuishers and first aid kits.
Operatives should be familiar with all buried/overhead, as well as the location of new installations as works progress.
Permits to work
Working on confined spaces, hot works permit, works to electrical mains, working alone all have stricter requirements and operatives should be made aware of the controls in place as well as the permit system to be used.
Siging in/out relevant exits, traffic routes, identity checks (bag searches if required) should be understood and conformed to.
All work areas should be clean and tidy, both at the end of the working day an as works progress.
Limts have been set on operatives exposure and they are required to wear T-shirts and not go bear chested. The main contractor is required to provide suitable protection (hoarding, sun screen) and potable water in order that operatives do not get burnt or suffer from dehydration.
If asbestos is identifed, operatives are to cease work report back to management and await confirmation that it has been safely removed before re-commencing works.
Ongoing, site specific tool box talks will take place during the duration of the contract, covering relevant topics as works progress.
Operatives will be required to sign a form confirming that they have received a site induction, and that they understand all paperwork they have been required to read.
Some companies have taken to implementing a card system using a ‘traffic light’ colour code for operatives who repeatedly breach health and safety:
Yellow – first warning
Orange – Instructed to leave site and receive further training
Red – permanantly removed from site for repeated breaches.
In mid May the client states that he would like to take possession of the building three weeks earlier than planned.
You will form part of a three-person negotiating team from your company. Produce explanatory guidelines for your team to be adopted as your negotiation strategy.
“Negotiation” defined is a “discussion aimed at reaching an agreement”-which is not always the simplest of tasks. Following certain guidelines is helpful to develop better negotiation skills for more productive discussions. A method to use for optimum give-and-take is principled negotiation.
I believe that the best way for our team to achieve the best deal is as follows:
Principled negotiation, or “negotiating on the merits,” achieves it’s success by being hard on the problem and soft on the people. This approach takes away the roadblocks to clear communication. This method is summarized in five points:
1. Separate the people from the problem.
2. Focus on underlying concerns, not stated positions. Ask why.
3. Generate a variety of solutions before deciding what to do.
4. Base an agreement on objective standards or fair procedures.
5. Prepare in advance what you’ll do if negotiation fails. Know your “BATNA”-Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement.
People are in a constant negotiation, frequently looking for an edge in obtaining the most efficient solution possible.
It has to be remembered that during a negotiation, everything you want is owned or controlled by someone else. This knowledge helps us break the methods we intend to use down further to the critical factors of power, information and time. Power in negotiation comes down to influence. Specifically, what makes one person able to influence another person? Information is the knowledge that influences the negotiation. Time comes into play in how critical the negotiation is to either party’s ultimate success.
In order to progress the negotiation it is my intention to ensure that the neogotiation team has a full understanding of how to employ the ‘Big Three’
The Big Three in Skilled Negotiation are:
Perception – Perception involves understanding the way the other side thinks. As you negotiate, your perception improves by following a few simple steps:
Put yourself in their shoes.
Don’t deduce their intentions from your fears.
Don’t blame them for your problem.
Discuss each other’s perceptions.
Look for opportunities to show them you’re not who they think you are; give them a reason to think you’re flexible.
Give them a stake in the outcome; have them participate in the process.
Make your proposals consistent with their values.
Emotions – Hand-in-hand with perception is emotion. Allowing emotion to affect your negotiation style prevents effective negotiation. The following are guidelines for dealing with emotions during persuading sessions:
Recognize and understand emotions-yours and theirs.
Acknowledge emotions, and make them a focus of discussion if necessary.
Allow the other side to let off some steam.
Use symbolic gestures; invite the other side to join you for dinner or for a cup of coffee. Show them you care about them as people.
Don’t react in kind to emotional outbursts.
Communication-After harnessing our emotions and winning the game of perception, we can move on to more open, honest, two-way communication. The following are proven psychological techniques to assist in improving communications:
Speak to be understood, and reduce outside distractions by keeping confidence and communication in private.
Speak about yourself, not about them. Use first person.
Listen actively and acknowledge what is being said.
Don’t simply react. Think before you speak, then speak with a purpose.
Know Your BATNA – Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement
Armed with these guidelines, we can still run into roadblocks on the way to success. Our team should prepare in advance for negotiation failure. Therefore, before entering into negotiation all members of the team should fully understand our BATNA.
A backup plan is vital, so a list of actions we might take should be made I advance. Next, the team should convert the most promising ones into realistic options and the best option selected. This option becomes our “walk-away alternative.” Every offer will be judged against this alternative. The other sides of BATNA should also be appreciated. The more understanding we have of the alternatives, the better prepared our team will be for negotiation. This is achieved as follows:
Don’t attack the other person’s position-look behind it.
Don’t defend your ideas. Instead, invite criticism and advice.
Recast an attack on you as an attack on the problem.
Ask questions and then pause. Silence can be very effective.
It’s important that we use all of your options, whether it’s our top priority or our best alternative. We should keep everything on the table without narrowing the negotiation down to only one item. One common mistake in negotiation is making the whole discussion about price. If we narrow the give-and-take down to price, someone has to win, and someone has to lose. If we include every facet along with price in the negotiation, we have a real chance at an agreement that fosters future communication.
In the end, the art of win/win is to piece together the various elements.
Different people want different things. We assume other people want what we want and that’s not always true. We should not fall into the trap of making assumptions. It may be that we assume price is the most dominant issue in a negotiation, but there are many elements other than price that are important to people. Once we master all the elements of effective negotiation, each party will walk away feeling they’ve made the ultimate agreement.
b. Produce for your internal meeting a revised programme which reduces the finish time to an achievable date.
Please refer to attaced MS Project File
‘Airways Direct Headquarters – Draft Programme 2 – Less 15 days’
c. Provide a detailed explanation of your rationale for part (b) above.
The original draft programme was, in the main sequential, with one task following on from another, through to project completion.
The easiest way to reduce the programme by three weeks was to analyse where tasks could be commenced earlier, at the same time as other tasks.
To that end, a detailed study was made of the programme and the easiest and most cost effective way of reducing the timescale through the project without increasing labour or working weekends, which would have had a negative impact on the overall project costs, making it unlikely that the client would chose this option.
Therefore the only option available to us, as the main contractor is to contract the programme without increasing expenditure.
Certain structural elements have to be completed in their entirety prior to works progressing (foundations, structural steelwork) and therefore the majority of the first half of the programme cannot be altered.
The latter elements of the programme prove more flexible, timewise, and therefore it was decided that the cladding, and subsuquent tasks could be altered to suit the revised timescale.
The most flexible task was that of the cladding, being non-structural and could be commenced on any elevation.
The elevation containing the roller shutter doors will be commenced first, allowing for the roller shutter doors themselves to be installed earlier in the porject.
The electrical first fix was then brought forward, allowing the suspended ceiling installation to be brought forward, which then meant that handover/snagging and site clerance was complete 15 days earlier, as requested by the client
Your director has asked for your opinion on the benefit of using webcams on this project.
Detail the benefits of webcams for the management of construction projects.
The implementation of wireless construction cameras (webcams) creates an immediate and effective means to meet these needs of managements demand for transparency and efficiency.
The majority of construction management teams use cameras to provide documentation of project progression. They are a great tool to give both management and stakeholders peace of mind as well as to better communicate the project status with the entire project team.
Listed are some general benefits that I feel our management team will accrue:
The ability to document the construction project’s progression
As an impressive relationship tool for investors, banks and other funding sources
Increased efficiencies (improved documentation, communication with project team, reduction of travel time, enforce accountability, obtain image assets for marketing collateral)
See what is going on without having to travel
View every aspect of the job using optical zoom with 360 degree rotation control
Improve project collaboration
Historical high quality image archive available at all times
Take pictures manually
Gather evidence to settle disputes
Check working practices are safe and to standard
Check weather and site conditions remotely
Monitor material deliveries and handling
Ideal for use in presentations. can be embedded in Powerpoint etc
ideal for hosting on project websites
Superb marketing tool
Observe changes over time
Investors can track progress
Architects and Designers can verify construction is as design
Settlement of disputes with suppliers (check times using the image archive)
Increase collaboration between teams
Ensure health and safety procedures are adhered to
Public can view progress
Our main and sub-contractors responsible for the day to day operations and progress of the construction site can also benefit from the installation of construction cameras. Below are some benefits for our contractors:
Improve scheduling of construction construction site visits
Reduction in site visits
Accountability (Who’s working? How many? What time did they arrive – leave? Is the construction site clean?)
Project management improvements translates into more margin per project and protect the margin by avoiding costl
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