Quality Control (QC) describes the directed use of monitoring and measuring the achievement of a specified standard. It is a procedure or set of procedures intended to ensure that a manufactured product or performed service adheres to a defined set of quality criteria, and that it meets the requirements of the client or customer. It is a process by which entities review the quality of all factors involved in production. In real estate, the basic goal of QC is to ensure that the completed structure meets specific requirements, and is dependable, sustainable and reliable.
Here are a few basic guidelines that must be adhered to, to ensure effective QC in a construction site, stage by stage:
1. Planning Stage
Quality must be the principal rule that should be conformed to, right from the planning stage. Residents’ satisfaction and adherence to environmental norms must be kept in mind. One must keep abreast with the latest environmentally-friendly advancements.
On site, a fully-equipped quality control laboratory should be established, which is manned by senior QC engineer and his assistants.
A Quality Manual should be in place. This lays down the specifications and standards to be maintained for various construction activities, and should be regularly referred to by the site engineers and QC staff.
A Quality Plan for all projects is made, where the frequency of testing of all the materials is laid down. This is duly implemented and a record is maintained, which is checked during the ISO Audit.
The in-house architect must check the buildings at every stage to ensure adherence to BMC, MPCB and other mandatory rules and regulations.
This is the major activity in building construction, and should be dealt with in a special manner.
A Concrete Approval Form must be signed for all castings by both the QC and execution engineers.
Concrete cube compressive strength results need to be duly recorded, and the results achieved must always fulfil the acceptable criteria as per code requirements. These must be regularly monitored by the senior QC manager, and must be countersigned and approved by the external consultant.
During concreting, an engineer needs to be present on site always, to check all the technical aspects—particularly the cohesiveness and workability of concrete, and the laying and compaction.
At the plant, a separate engineer should check whether the given mix design is maintained or not.
The checklists for all activities such as plastering, plumbing, tiling etc. need to be made mandatorily, and these must be followed carefully. Further, a record of the same also needs to be maintained.
It is of immense importance that during the construction, any non-conformances that occur are listed and rectified.
Also, before the handover to the customer takes place, a thorough check must be carried out and the snag lists made. If there are any defects, they should be rectified at this stage.
7. Training Staff
To maintain high QC standards, it is important to train the staff. For example, a training centre has been established by Neev Group, where technical training to the new entrants as well as to experienced employees is imparted with emphasis on practical training. ‘Theory guides and practice decides’ is a commonlyfollowed dictum. This technical knowledge is bolstered with training in managerial skills and personality development, so that employees can be groomed as good managers in due course of time.
8. Post-construction Care
QC does not end with the possession of the project by the customer. The customer complaints must be promptly attended to and analysed, to improve the developer’s expertise in future projects.
At Neev Group, quality and safety are given top priority, over speed and economy. The top management is very particular about maintaining high quality standards in building construction. In the real estate business, a great deal of attention is paid to the final product, so that the final building impresses the customer.
The author is Head (Projects and RMC) at Neev Group.