chapter  1
8 Pages

Quality and quality assurance

Quality of construction is even more difficult to define. First of all, the product is usually not a repetitive unit but a unique piece of work with specific characteristics. Taking building construction as an example, the product can be an entire building, a section of a building or just a prefabricated component that ultimately forms part of a building. Secondly, the needs to be satisfied include not only those of the client but also the expectations of the community into which the completed building will integrate. The construction cost and time of delivery are also important characteristics of quality. All these should be properly addressed in

The quality of building work is difficult, and often impossible, to quantify since a lot of construction practices cannot be assessed in numerical terms. The framework of reference is commonly the appearance of the final product. ‘How good is good enough?’ is often a matter of personal judgement and consequently a subject of contention. In fact, a building is of good quality if it will function as intended for its design life. As the true quality of the building will not be revealed until many years after completion, the notion of quality can only be interpreted in terms of the design attributes. So far as the builder is concerned, it is fair to judge the quality of his work by the degree of compliance with stipulations in the contract, not only the technical specifications but also the contract sum and the contract period. His client cannot but be satisfied if the construction is executed as specified, within budget and on time. Therefore, a quality product of building construction is one that meets all contractual requirements (including statutory regulations) at optimum cost and time.