Every contractor will likely have their own system for supervising construction, but we’ve found it’s important to have an independent construction monitoring strategy. If communities have any complaints regarding quality of construction, these will likely come to you rather than directly to the contractor themselves. Therefore, it’s important to keep an eye on construction activities. Given that every team may not technical expertise, we’ve included some non-technical (and technical) resources for construction monitoring to guide you.
Focus Points for Monitoring
Adherence to the design drawings
Keep in mind that there are cases where will need to be made due to site conditions. For instance, if the water table is too high a PVC septic tank might be needed instead of a concrete one. The main point is that all major changes should be justified and should be communicated to the monitoring team before being done.
What is the quality of the material being used?
It can be difficult to tell if you don’t have a technical background, but sometimes it’s possible to tell by looking at the materials (i.e. Rusted iron rebar)
Attention to practical details
Even though the contractor may be sticking to the designs, sometimes practical details can be overlooked, like placing taps at the right distance from toilet pans, or making sure that all the door latches are attached well, or that the floor is completely level so that puddles won’t form. These details are crucial for the user experience.
The interaction between the construction team and community
Since the construction team and community members will be in close proximity on a daily basis for a few months, it’s important to track their relationship. Often it can be a friendly one, but there are cases when issues can arise. These issues will need to be identified and tracked in monitoring
Interaction between the community and the infrastructure
Sometimes community members look after construction materials, and sometimes community members steal construction materials. Also, as the facility starts to look like a building, vandalism may happen or people may start using the structure for various activities – keeping animals, socializing at night etc. These activities are hurt the quality of construction and slow down the process. The Involving Communities section outline strategies to minimize these issues.
Pace of construction
Tracking the pace of construction can help you figure out if construction is going too fast (compromising quality), or going to slow (due to unforeseen bottlenecks). It also helps to align construction timelines with the start of operations and maintenance preparation.
Check out these resources on common issues found during monitoring and how to resolve them, and a sample construction monitoring checklist.
Common issues found during monitoring
Construction monitoring checklist