Quality Assurance & Risk Management
There is an old saying: "An ounce of preservation is worth a pound of cure." Our experience has shown this to be very true when it comes to the design and construction of buildings.
There is another old saying: "Hindsight is 20/20." With experience analyzing thousands of conditions involving failed building components, SHCC has a clear vision of just what can go wrong. (Murphy was an optimist.)
The typical construction contract clearly outlines the cost (budget) and the timeframe (schedule) of a project. It is (usually) fairly obvious once either the budget or schedule have been exceeded.
Not clearly spelled out in most construction contracts: quality. While some defects may be obvious (cracked or stained finishes, for example), it has been our experience that most defects are concealed beneath the surface.
What's at stake: the life/safety/health of a building's future occupants, the desire to avoid costly repairs, the value of the work completed, and last but certainly not least, the reputation of everyone involved on a project.
The Solution: Quality Assurance & Risk Management
There are clear standards of quality that apply to construction. For instance: building codes, published industry standards, manufacturer requirements, etc.
Here is the approach that we recommend:
- A failure to plan is a plan to fail - Once SHCC has been engaged to offer Quality Assurance & Risk Management services, we begin by assessing the risk factors associated with the various components, assemblies, site location, environmental factors, etc. Based on this risk assessment, we develop a complete and coherent plan of action for assuring the quality throughout the project. Every project is unique, and therefore the risk factors associated with each project are unique.
- Measure twice, cut once - Before work commences on a particular component, phase or before certain trades proceed, we like to ask questions. How is this supposed to be done? What does "done" look like? What precautions should be taken? How will work already completed impact this assembly? How will this assembly impact the work of others?
- Trust, but verify - We don't think that most contractors intentionally build things incorrectly. Mistakes happen. The sooner a mistake is caught, the less expensive it is to fix down the road.
- If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck... - Building performance can be made very complicated. But there are some basic elements that are fairly straightforward. We want buildings to be durable, structurally sound, resistant to weather, and safe for occupants. During the course of construction, many potential flaws can be identified, isolated and addressed fairly easily - as long as you know what to look for. That's where we come in.
Based on our experience, we think quality is one of the most important, yet most overlooked aspect of a construction project. But quality is only part of what makes a construction project successful.
Here are some additional solutions we offer: