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Quality Considerations In Construction

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INTRODUCTION

Quality refers to the standard of a product without any defects or deficiencies. Measurement of quality is essential in the construction business to assure clients that products delivered to them match quality benchmarks and do not possess any deficiencies (Tattersall, 2014). In relation to the concrete trader, it is essential to deliver quality construction buildings or structures to clients so that they can construct properly without any harm. BGC group is a construction company that provides concrete to the Blue Mountains projects. In this project quality manual is being prepared encompassing different elements such as framework, reinforcement and most importantly concrete.

TASK

It is essential for quality concrete jobs to ensure the quality of raw materials which are used in order to prepare high-quality concrete so that construction of the building can be done appropriately.

Formwork

Formwork in construction refers to the structure which is prepared at the initial stage before constructing the building (Mixing and Transporting Concrete 2018). Further, these structures are filled with concrete so that buildings can be constructed effectively. The work of the Blue Mountains project includes various elements which are described below:

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Quality of material: It is required by the quality manager of the company to maintain the quality of formwork as it is the base of the construction. Quality measures for the Blue Mountains suggest that formwork must be watertight and strong so that it can stay for a longer duration and can handle the weight of concrete without leaving any space for leakage (Hack and Lauer, 2014). Along with this, the quality of raw material for building a framework is important as it can be utilized in future according to the requirement of work.

Storage on site: It is essential to store material formwork on the construction site so that can remain safe and can be utilized in future projects There is a need to plan and allocate store material in an ideal manner considering the site layout plan so that it is able to adequately fulfil the requirement. It is extremely important to unload the deliveries in the designated area under the supervision of eh competent person so that operations are carried out successfully This minimizes the usage of space at the construction site and also secures form work appropriately so that it can be utilized by the company in future (Švec and et. al., 2014).  This is can be considered as the best way to secure the raw material without chances of any misplacement.

Progressive inspection: Inspection is essential for every construction in order to ensure the quality of the building so that it can be used by the client without any risk to life. In relation to the Blue Mountains project, quality inspectors of the BGC group inspect the construction site at regular intervals (Quinn and Gengnagel, 2014). Inspection of formwork will be based on the measurement of structure which is used by the supervisor so that standards of quality established by the government are complied with in an ideal manner.

Reinforcement

Reinforcement is a way to establish a pattern of behaviour. These are stimuli that can increase or decrease desired action to learn the same. It increases the chances of a specific response as well as refers to an instrument of completing the work by providing some incentives to a specific person.

Reinforced Concrete: Steel reinforced concrete to improve quality of construction 

(Source: Reinforced Concrete, 2018)

Quality of steel: The BGC group will choose quality steel in order to build strong buildings for the Blue Mountains project. The quality of steel depends on its strengthening capability if reinforcement for the building is not built with high quality it won't be able to handle the heavy weight of concrete. As per the act ISO 9000:2008, the Quality manager of the company has used high-strength steel reinforcing bars according to the requirement of the client. High quality is beneficial in reinforcement as it increases the durability of constructed buildings and is easier to handle as well as transport.  

Sequence of installation and concrete coverage: The manager of BGC group needs to monitor its employees that whether they are installing reinforcing steel bars properly or not. It is important to install it in an effective manner as it is done on the basis of project specifications and its structure (Corr, 2016). The sequence of installation involves various steps like storage handling and procurement of material of reinforcement as per requirement, cutting and bending of steel bars, fixing of reinforcement as per project details so that concrete can be placed in it effectively and at last site installation. These are the most essential steps which are helpful in the installation of reinforcement in an effective manner.

Progressive inspections: The steel reinforcement needs an inspection relating frame prior to installation of the cladding and roofing materials. It is essential to carry out an inspection of the frame so that derivation from the actual plan can be identified mostly relating to size, type or spacing. It is the duty of the supervisor to make sure that strength of the structure is appropriate, 100% waterproofing is carried out along with the use of materials which match established benchmarks.

Concrete

It is a composite material made up of various constituents such as water, Portland cement,  coarse aggregate, chemical mixtures and fine aggregate. In building construction, concrete is used for the construction of foundations, columns, beams, slabs and other load-bearing elements. Various types of cement are used for concrete works which have different properties and applications. Some of the types of cement are Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC), rapid hardening cement, Sulphate-resistant cement etc.

Quality of material: Under AS ISO 10006-2003 Quality management systems - Guidelines for quality management in projects. Concrete is the most ample man-made and important material needed at the time of construction. Good quality of concrete depends on various constituents required while making and passing it through processes such as batching, mixing, transporting, proper placing in the form-work, proper compacting and proper finishing. In order to achieve high-class quality concrete, proper attention has to be given to the selection of various constituents of the concrete which attain international or local standards. The materials which are required to make concrete are Portland cement, water, fine aggregate and coarse aggregate. Each sack of Portland cement contains 94 lb. of cement and is equal to 1 cubic foot in volume (Krupić and et. al., 2016). Portland cement should be free of all chunks when used. Water should be clean and free of oil, acid and alkali. Fine aggregates consist of sand or other suitable fine material. Good concrete sand contains particles varying uniformly in size from very fine up to one-fourth an inch. For the purpose of construction, two types of steel bars mild and deformed are used. In reinforced cement, mild steel bars are used mostly because the nature of concrete is brittle and this type of steel is highly ductile. Therefore, it can be easily welded as well.

On-site handling: On-site handling is an important factor in the construction industry as it helps reduce wastage of material which results in sustainable building. This is the most vital factor for the construction sector as trucks, hoopers and chutes. The construction materials should be selected on the basis of their manufacturing and designing which can be shipped with minimal packaging. There should be a team designed on-site in order to monitor the activities thus using the resources in the most efficient manner thus minimising wastage.

Placement procedures: The placement procedure of concrete is an essential operation which relatively creates its dependency on the final structure of the building or structure. As it is stability and quality of form work are equally important for the constructed building. The various approaches through which concrete could be placed are slip forming, preplaced aggregate and underwater placement. After this, the position of the reinforcement is done properly according to the measurements. At last, concrete is placed in the reinforcement in a constant position so that it can give an effective shape as per the expectation of the builders.

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Generally

Non-conformance reports consist of various barriers which are identified during the quality audit of the construction site. This report represents issues in a concise manner so that corrective action can be taken by the management of the company. In relation to the BGC group, and its non-conformation report, it is essential for site engineers of construction site to maintain the records of each and every activity in order to execute the project effectively (Genikomsou and Polak, 2015). These records include the work instructions, process requirements, appropriate standard clauses etc as they are important to be analyzed at the supervision. Site engineer of every stage is responsible and answerable for their respective department. As it is instructed and monitored by them at the time of construction. As per the non-conformance report supervisor of the concrete formulating department is responsible for the identified problem. Therefore, in this regard, some control documents are:- Checklists, Quality manuals, internal audit lists of materials, review and approval forms etc. Under these techniques, engineers of BGC Group have used an internal audit list of materials to ensure quality.

This identified issue can be controlled by monitoring each and every stage of formulating concrete in an effective manner as it is helpful in analyzing issues at the initial phase only. In addition to this, various controlling measures can be used by the auditor like controlling products.  

Modern concrete majorly includes four components i.e. Portland cement,  sand, gravel and water for moulding something into shape. Thus, when hydraulic cement reacts with water in a chemical process the changes to a liquid state which can be further applied to achieve full strength (Li, Wu and Hao, 2015). Therefore, it includes some stages and processes which are explained below for better understanding.

Mixing: This is an essential process and for this different kinds of tools and equipment are being used for doing the construction process in a better manner. Under this, all the ingredients which are being used are mixed in proportion with water so that effective solutions can be made.

Workability: It is the ability of fresh of fill the mould properly without reducing its quality Therefore, to increase the workability of concrete workers can add an appropriate proportion of water with chemicals.

Curing: After applying the concrete this must be kept moist during the process of curing so that solutions can gain optimal strength and durability.

There are many issues which can create problems in this process and these are Discoloration, scaling, crazing, cracking, and curling.

Concrete is a relatively very easy material to manage in the proper manner. In order to overcome all concrete-related problems, there are different ways mentioned below:

 Reduce water-cement ratio- This concept refers to the ratio of weight of water and cement used in a concrete mix. As lower ratio leads to increase strength and durability of concrete while a higher ratio impacts quality in a negative manner.

Finishing of Concrete Surface- In slab construction, it is essential to use the proper finishing technique. It includes mixing, transporting as well as handling concrete to be carefully coordinated with finishing and placing operations. Flat troweling as well as floating are necessary.  The overworking can cause settle along with bleed water to rise.

Proper Curing of Concrete- To increase the strength of the slab, it is necessary to allow a proper amount of time to water cure.  So, it is essential to cure the slab for near about 3 to 7 days. Concrete on the slab sets its practice in order to make the boundary with mortar on the slab and also keep fill with water (Limantara and et. al., 2018). Prevent to this, covering slabs with cotton mats helps in soaking them with water on curing to prevent water loss.  

Proper Concrete Mix Design and Use of Quality Materials- It is important that concrete should be mixed as well as proportioned in a proper manner. If water is used more then concrete will be weak and it will lead to cracks. By use of good quality materials like crushed or coarse gravel rocks (limestone, granite, etc.) and finer particles (sand), concrete will be made better. Using the large top-size aggregate along with optimised gradation of aggregate is helpful in minimising shrinkage of the

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