If you ask most people in the industry about construction quality management, they normally talk about defects. But it’s this narrow focus that’s the problem.
A heavy focus on quality at the defecting and handover stages of a project is inevitable. The issue is that all phases of a project could gain from this attention. It just needs the industry to rethink how quality management technology is applied.
It’s about looking at quality throughout a project’s lifecycle.
If construction management systems are applied holistically, issues at all stages can be detected, rectified and analysed.
A stronger quality focus makes for a smoother construction journey.
1. Design and construction
Using a quality management system during earlier phases benefits builders and owners. This could mean tracking an issue in the design phase, or a blocked floor waste during construction.
2. Defecting and handover
This is where construction management automation systems are typically applied.
3. Operation and maintenance
This is where the same systems can be used to record a tenant reporting a maintenance problem, or a property management inspection. In fact, these construction quality management systems can handle nearly any issue that needs follow-up and closure.
Seeing the whole picture: A cradle-to-grave approach
Kevin Granger has been in construction management for nearly 10 years, and agrees that defect management systems are under-utilised.
“Thinking of a project as a whole and not as individually-managed fragments; from new build to the property manager’s role and beyond, is an exciting concept, said Mr Granger. “Using the same quality assurance system throughout the entire life of a building, from footings to later managing new tenant builds and even base-building refurbishments years down the track, is remarkable and realistic.”
ACCEDE is a platform for builders, subcontractors, project managers and developer/owners to manage quality. Its detailed data collection (both written and photographic) and live reporting functions set a foundation for solid commercial relationships.
Capturing data from a building’s inception, through construction to completion, right through to operations, makes for a strategic approach to quality management. One that delivers time and cost savings – not just in the defect management stage, but across the board.
Parts of this article were first published in The Urban Developer.