Goitom, Tesfai (1987, ASQC) California State University, Long Beach, CA
Quality in construction results from many factors such as dedication to service in construction, qualified people trained in design, inspection and modern construction techniques, but the single most important factor that affects the overall quality in construction is the organizational integrity of the industry. Traditionally, the design firms have had little or no organizational interaction with the general contractors during the design phase of the project, and the general contractor usually arrives on the scene long after the design work is started, or most frequently, after the design work is completed. Generally, the lack of input from the contractor's viewpoint results in drawings that are released with design uncertainties.
This margin of uncertainty embodies such factors as incomplete information about certain performance characteristics of components, construction methods and techniques, which directly affects the quality and performance of the project. The degree of uncertainty is related to the cultural tolerance for errors that have developed in the construction industry, and accompanies an unwittingness about the high cost and quality consequences of incomplete or unclear designs. However, as the surging technology rapidly generated an immense variety of novel construction material and construction techniques, and as the economic conditions required larger and more complex projects, quality and high costs are increasingly becoming a concern.
Recognizing the potential for problems, many design firms and construction companies have begun to review their quality assurances procedures and are rethinking their approach to quality in the construction industry. Currently, new approach of organizational management is being promoted within the construction industry in general and high-use building construction in particular to achieve high quality in design and construction of a project, which is called Construction Management Approach. With this approach, development of good quality culture will be possible. Owners, designers and contractors will take quality seriously, preventive disciplines will be widely used and camaraderies will be observed throughout the industry. This paper will discuss this approach in organizing for and managing quality during design and construction phases of a project.