Quality Control Measures in Construction Management

Quality Control Measures in Construction Management

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Effective construction management is generally measured by delivering a project on time and within budget constraints. However, the best way to achieve those goals is to incorporate quality control measures into your project methodology.

Quality control is a construction management system that ensures all deliverables meet client guidelines. It also ensures the standard of work is appropriately high and follows all applicable regulations. While there are several different approaches to quality control in the construction industry, they all share the common goal of completing a project with the best possible outcomes.

If you’re responsible for construction management at your company and haven’t yet implemented a quality control system, this is your handbook. From setting quality benchmarks to code compliance, this guide will help you implement the right quality control measures for your crew.

Setting Quality Benchmarks and Standards

Since every construction project is different and every construction team has its specialties, there is no standard quality control approach. Some of the more popular methods include:

Lean Management

The lean approach to construction management focuses on eliminating waste, both in terms of materials and spending. Lean management is all about providing the customer with the best value for their money without sacrificing quality.

Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a problem-solving methodology used in a range of industries. The manufacturing sector, in particular, embraces Six Sigma for its emphasis on identifying and resolving issues in real time. The main steps of Six Sigma provide a solid foundation for any quality control system: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control.


Kaizen is a Japanese word that translates to “change for the better.” It’s a philosophy dedicated to gradual yet constant improvements. Kaizen is a particularly team-focused approach, assigning shared responsibility for quality to everyone on a project.

Continuous Improvement

The continuous improvement methodology is similar to Kaizen, focusing on constant incremental improvements. The difference is that the ultimate responsibility for continuous improvement typically falls on a quality supervisor or manager instead of the shared approach of Kaizen.

Once you select a quality control methodology, setting benchmarks is critical. Project milestones, completion dates, and budget status are essential benchmarks. But don’t stop there; you should also set benchmarks and standards for materials and workmanship.

Conducting Regular Inspections and Audits

Once you set benchmarks, it’s important to monitor them throughout the project’s life. This is best accomplished through regular inspections throughout the construction process.

Particularly critical stages of the project deserve extra scrutiny, like a full audit of the progress, the quality of completed work, and spending so far. For example, you might conduct an audit at the foundation stage before the final finishes are applied.

Audits take a broader view than inspections. With an audit, you assess the overall progress compared to the project plan. An audit ensures procedures are followed correctly and that the project’s budget is on track for completion.

If necessary and your project budget allows, hire qualified inspectors for your audits and inspections. Their knowledge and guidance serve as validation of the project’s status. An inspector can review your construction methods, material delivery records, and the results up to that point. If they identify any problems, your crew can address them before they cause issues later.

Training Staff on Quality Control Procedures

No quality control system can be effective without training. Every crew member should be fully trained in the quality system of your choice. This includes training staff on the quality protocols and inspection procedures.

While this may seem like an extra step in your project, it will pay dividends as work progresses. Full training also ensures quality workmanship throughout the life of the project. Trained workers are empowered to identify and report quality control issues before they can negatively impact the project.

Documenting and Addressing Quality Issues

A critical component of any quality system is the methodology for documenting and addressing issues. Reports from the crew, inspection reports, and audit findings must clearly identify deviations from quality standards. Therefore, you need a clear communication protocol and documentation process to properly address all issues.

A corrective action plan provides the mechanism for resolving documented issues. This plan should detail the steps required to resolve problems and ensure they don’t occur again. Corrective actions are typically assigned to individual workers so everyone knows who is responsible for implementing fixes. Clear and realistic timelines should be set for every corrective action.

Ensuring Compliance With Building Codes and Regulations

Anyone who works in construction management is aware of the regulations that guide any project. Building codes are always at the top of the list, but numerous other laws and regulations exist to consider, like those from the EPA. A quality control system helps ensure that your team follows all applicable regulations, with checkpoints for compliance.

To fully integrate regulatory compliance into your quality system, include training on the relevant codes and laws. During inspections, take time to verify adherence to all guidelines. Consulting with code officials throughout the project is also a good idea. Document your meetings with officials, and take any recommended actions. This extra step can save costly rework later on.

Integrating Quality Control and Construction Management

By adopting a quality control system, establishing clear benchmarks, and performing regular inspections and audits, you immediately improve your approach to construction management. Quality systems reduce errors and project delays and help you run safer projects. The result is a project completed on time and budget — not to mention a happy client.

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