QUALITY ASSURANCE ON ROADS CONSTRUCTION

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CHAPTER ONE
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

1. 1. 0. INTRODUCTION
The acquisition of constructed infrastructure usually represents a major capital investment, whether the owner is an individual, a private corporation or a public agency. For each infrastructure constructed (building or road), there is a minimum level of quality that is expected at a given cost within an acceptable time frame. To achieve the above, a higher level of “control” is required as things do not happen by chance.

Control is therefore a process of regulation which seeks to maintain conformity to some kind of plan. Those charged with the responsibility of executing the plan must be aware of the objectives on which it is based, and the resources at their disposal. On a construction project these resources include materials, services, skills, energy, information and working capital.

Flanagan et al (1997) state that the construction industry and the environment in which it operates have changed significantly – the process of change now seems to be never ending and hectic. There have been: new approaches to buying design and construction; fragmentation of the industry with the increase in specialist trade contracting; the demise of direct employment and the growth of labour-only and fixed term contracts; fee competition for consultancy services; the introduction of partnering; and more conflict and less trust; and clients wanting more value for money.

However, what has not changed is the importance of effective quality and cost control. Quality and cost on construction projects should not be simply monitored, they need to be controlled and managed from the early design stage through to project completion if the project’s objectives have to be successfully realised.

Quality Control in construction is the process of verifying that the project is built to plan, that the tolerances allowable by industry standard and engineering practices have been met or bettered, and that the



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