Superiority, excellence and free of defects, deficiencies and errors are usual connotations of quality; however, the broader spectrum of the meaning of quality can vary due to its subjectivity and situation. For example (and slightly off topic), the cloth used to tailor a new suit may be cheap and of low cost, but the Egyptian cotton used in the stitching and seaming by the tailor and his/her reputation, schooling and experience is of a high standard. Question, is this suit a quality suit or not?
Quality in construction is more of a challenge to control compared to manufacturing primarily because the environment, location, labour and materials are usually static and stable in manufacturing. Nevertheless, there are still high expectations of perceived quality on a construction project which primarily fall in to three categories. The quality of the product conforming to ISO 9000 which will not be listed in this article, the quality of installation and the quality of the finish.
Quality of installation
There are many items to look out for to ensure a quality installation, a few of which have been list of for List below:
- Ensure wall and ceiling insulation is installed tight to ensure loss leakage is minimized and that thermal and acoustical performance ratings are met.
- Check that the head of a partition wall has the ability to deflect in the event of loading to the floor above to prevent cracking and warping to wall finishes.
- Check door frames are plumb and correct swing prior to bonding them in to walls to avoid removal and re installation at a later date which may have further cost and schedule impacts on surrounding finishes.
- Review reinforcement placement, spacing and coverage prior to concrete pours.
- Conduct concrete and mortar 28 day strength tests to ensure concrete meets expected compressive strength.
- Ensure foundation water proof membrane protection board is in place before backfill of gravel.
- Check under slab polythene is intact without penetrations or holes to prevent future moisture rising through the slab from the sub grade.
- Double check location of plywood backing inside partition walls for wall hung cabinets, washroom accessories and other items to be hung on the walls.
- Ensure penetrations through rated walls and floors are fire stopped and caulked.
Quality of finish
The quality of finish is more subjective and may attract varying comments; however a few have been listed below:
- Ensure that the transition of different floor types is under the door leaf.
- Ensure the ceiling services such as pot lights, access hatches etc. are aligned and/or centered along the ceiling.
- Window film or decals is applied to the inside of the glass in the office partition.
- Alignment of screw heads on electrical cover plates and door hinges etc.
- Ensure paint has been applied behind hardware and wall fixtures like light sconces, fire alarm and security fixtures etc.
- Complete all VOC emitting works prior to the installation of soft absorbent materials.
- Run sheet flooring like lino all the way under the base units instead of cutting in the lino.