Cost of Quality in Construction

Quality of construction is defined as

  1. Scope of work
  2. Time
  3. Budget

Cost of quality refers to the total cost incurred during the entire life cycle of construction project in preventing nonconformance to owner requirements (defined scope). There are certain hidden costs that may not directly affect the overall cost of the project; however, it may cost the consultant/designer to complete the design within the stipulated schedule to meet owner requirements and conformance to all the regulatory codes/standards, and for the contractor to construct the project within the stipulated schedule meeting all the contract requirements. Rejection/non-approval of executed/installed works by the supervisor due to noncompliance with specifications will cause the contractor loss in terms of

  • Material
  • Manpower
  • Time

The contractor shall have to rework or rectify the work, which will need additional resources and will need extra time to do the work as specified. This may disturb the contractor’s work schedule and affect execution of other activities. The contractor has to emphasize the “Zero Defect” policy, particularly for concrete works. To avoid rejection of works, the contractor has to take the following measures:

  1. Execution of works per approved shop drawings using approved material
  2. Following approved method of statement or manufacturer’s recommended method of installation
  3. Conduct continuous inspection during construction/installation process
  4. Employ properly trained workforce
  5. Maintain good workmanship
  6. Identify and correct deficiencies before submitting the checklist for inspection and approval of work
  7. Coordinate requirements of other trades, for example, if any opening is required in the concrete beam for crossing of services pipe

Timely completion of a project is one of the objectives to be achieved. To avoid delay proper planning and scheduling of construction activities are necessary. Since construction projects have the involvement of many participants, it is essential that the requirements of all the participants are fully coordinated. This will ensure execution of activities as planned resulting in timely completion of the project

Normally, the construction budget is fixed at the inception of the project, therefore it is necessary to avoid variations during the construction process as it may take time to get approval of an additional budget resulting in time extension to the project. Quality costs related to construction projects can be summarized as follows:

  • Internal Failure Costs
    • Rework
    • Rectification
    • Rejection of checklist
    • Corrective action
  • External Failure Costs
    • Corrective action
    • Repairs
    • Maintenance
    • Warranty
  • Appraisal Costs
    • Design review/preparation of shop drawings
    • Preparation of composite/coordination drawings
    • On-site material inspection/test
    • Off-site material inspection/test
    • Pre-checklist inspection
  • Prevention Costs
    • Preventive action
    • Training
    • Work procedures
    • Method statement
    • Calibration of instruments/equipment