Hello good people of the world! This blog post covers Construction Quality Assurance, based on an article that appeared in the Nov/Dec 2012 edition of Pharmaceutical Engineering titled “Assured Construction Quality Saves Time and Money.” All credit goes to the authors: Jay Lad of Skanska Pharmaceutical Group and Bruce Beck of Eli Lilly.
I’ve a scanned copy of the article Assured Construction Quality Saves Time and Money, but will have to remove it if anyone asks.
It is obvious that the earlier you find a quality issue, the easier, and less-costly, it will be to fix. That has been the impetus for a push towards more rigorous commissioning and qualification, and even the tracking of quality issues during construction, prior to turnover/transfer. Based on the project cost and and risk (a combination of project complexity and contractor quality experience), you may want to employ a Construction Quality Assurance (CQA) program.
Project complexity may be ranked by (1 is least complex, 5 is most):
- Parking lot, landscaping
- Minimal construction, installing equipment
- Warehouse, laboratory, office-space
- Medium-sized process or packaging space
- Large-scale, complex, regulated facility
Contractor quality experience may be ranked by (1 is most experienced, 5 is least):
- Industry Leader / ISO 9000 certified
- Projects with alliance contractors
- Projects without alliance contractors
- Projects with limited owner experienced contractors
- Projects with no previous owner experience
In document issues in the field, it is recommended that a web-based software solution is used, running on tablet PCs with built-in cameras to recorded issues digitally. Issues can be tracked with the following attributes:
- Description of Issue
- Picture of issue, if applicable
- FSE (facility, system, or equipment) the issue belongs to
- Responsible party (contractor or subcontractor)
- Date identified
- Target date for resolution or next step
- Priority of issue
- Commissioning/Qualification impact potential
- Root cause
Severity could be calculated from the impact to commissioning/qualification (has/does not have impact) and the following categories:
- Category 1: Severe issues requires immediate attention
- Category 2: Significant issues needs attention before proceeding
- Category 3: Incomplete or minor repairs/adjustments needed
- Category 4: Change in design required. Evaluate change
Based on data collected, CQA could be managed by looking at such factors as:
- Time to resolve issues (by severity, responsible party, etc.)
- Number of open issues over time
- Issues identified prior to turnover/transfer vs. after
- Root cause patterns
Of course to be successful a CQA program should be introduced early in the project, and all team members should have buy-in. The issues, resolutions, and metrics should be reviewed regularly.
In choosing a software solution, consider the following:
- Solution should be user-friendly for a construction environment (e.g. web-based, running on tablets, with integrated camera, etc.)
- Solution should allow links or embedding to external documentation (e.g. drawings, specifications)
- Solution should allow flexible and robust reporting of metrics
- Solution should allow data export in various standard formats (e.g. CSV)
What is your experience with a Construction Quality Assurance Program? Any applications you would recommend?
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