CONSTRUCTION PROJECT QUALITY DEFINITION

The definition of quality for construction projects is different from that of manufacturing or services industries as the product is not repetitive but a unique piece of work with specific requirements. Quality in construction projects is not only the quality of product and equipment used in the construction of a facility but the total management approach to complete the facility.

The quality of construction depends mainly upon the control of construction, which is the primary responsibility of the contractor.

Quality in manufacturing is spread over a series of processes. Material and labor are input into these processes out of which a product is obtained. The output is monitored by inspection and testing at various stages of production.

Any nonconforming product is identified as repaired, reworked, or scrapped, and proper steps are taken to eliminate problem causes. Statistical process control methods are used to reduce the variability and increase the efficiency of the process.
However, in construction projects, the scenario is not the same. If anything goes wrong, the nonconforming work is very difficult to rectify, and remedial action is sometimes not possible.

The authors of Quality in the Constructed Project (2000) by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) have defined quality as the fulfillment of project responsibilities in the delivery of products and services in a manner that meets or exceeds the stated requirements and expectations of the owner, design professional, and constructor.

Responsibilities refer to the tasks that a participant is expected to perform to accomplish the project activities as specified by contractual agreement and applicable laws and licensing requirements, codes, prevailing industry standards, and regulatory guidelines. Requirements are what a team member expects or needs to receive during and after his or her participation in a project. (p. xv) Chung (1999) states, “Quality may mean different things to different people.

Some take it to represent customer satisfaction, others interpret it as compliance with contractual requirements, yet others equate it to attainment of prescribed standards” (p. 3). As regards quality of construction, he furtherstates, “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. 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” (p. 3). Based on the foregoing, the quality of construction projects can be defined as follows:

Construction project quality is the fulfillment of the owner’s needs per defined scope of works within a budget and specified schedule to satisfy the owner’s/user’s requirements.

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