How to Ensure Quality of Construction?

Written by: Md. Sharifur Rahman

When you are buying apartment in Bangladesh, one of the most important things to consider is the quality of construction since buying an apartment is not only a huge investment decision but it is also about ensuring safety and security of your family. In this article we talk about what quality of construction entails and how you can be assured that when you are buying from developer companies, you are indeed getting a home that has quality construction and is a safe abode for you.

What is meant by quality in construction?

The notion of quality means different things to different people, for some it can be functionality, for others it can be durability, no presence of defects, performance and so on. In construction projects, quality refers to how durable and functional the space is which is determined by several factors like quality of raw materials of both structure and finishing, quality of workmanship, construction time etc.

How to ensure quality?

Raw materials

To ensure quality of materials, all raw materials used in construction project such as Re- Bar, cement, Stone Chips, bricks, stone, sand, Flooring Materials, Paint, Electrical fitting fixtures, Plumbing fitting fixtures, Sanitary Ware etc should be from reputed branded companies. This is the primary step for ensuring quality, after which all raw materials and finishing materials need to be tested for quality control through appropriate field tests and laboratory tests from accredited institutions. And the lab authority will supply reports for individual materials mentioning the test results and the concerned engineer will see if the results conform to the required quality.

Workmanship

In case of quality of workmanship, the work force has to be a skilled work force and they need to be aware of the quality requirements and the purpose of it. The workforce also needs to be trained periodically for ensuring consistency of quality in construction. It can be done department wise- for instance training programs should be held for civil engineers, electrical engineers, plumbing engineers and so on regularly in real estate companies so that concerned people are aware of the standard quality to be maintained in construction work. Reputed developer usually use check list to ensure quality in every step of construction.

Construction time

A third parameter in ensuring quality of construction is time management for the construction of the project. For instance, reputed developer companies in Bangladesh will offer good quality construction in a reasonable time frame required for project completion and provide on time handover. For this, a master construction work plan needs to be developed in the primary stage considering a standard time frame. Apart from this construction work progress is monitored closely through multilayer supervision such as Assistant Project Engineer, Deputy project Engineers, Project Engineers, Electrical Engineer, Plumbing Engineer, Higher management of Construction and so on. For ensuring smooth construction work, the work force also needs to undergo project management training and have ownership to complete project on time without compromising the quality of construction work.

Construction procedure

Since Bangladesh is on a moderately earthquake prone zone, care has to be taken to ensure buildings are earthquake resistant. In such cases, apart from designing a building to make it earthquake resistant, implementation of design during construction of building is also imperative. For instance, real estate companies in Bangladesh follow BNBC and ACI Code guideline to make standard building design that are durable and earthquake resistant.  Some developer companies also employ other advanced technology to make buildings greater earthquake resistant.

For making a building durable, the concrete strength is another important factor. The shuttering for concrete should be waterproof.       Mixing, transportation, placement, compaction of concrete is also very important so that the concrete does not weaken. And the water cement ratio needs to be in right proportion to have the desired concrete strength. Concrete curing is another important factor for adding structural strength to the building.

Throughout the different construction phases proper testing and procedures need to be followed so that the building is robust and no future problems arise, such as water soaking before brick works to prevent suction of water from wet mortar which will make mortar weaker and cannot provide any strength. For electric work, it has to be ensured that no cracks develop on plastering surface due to groove cutting and conduit laying on walls  afterwards through use of wire mesh. For plumbing work, water test is done for water supply line to avoid any leakage. Successively, plaster work, tiles work, paint work etc are carried out with quality control in each step.

How can you be assured of quality construction when buying real estate property?

If you are looking to buy apartments from developer companies in Bangladesh, many reputed companies will provide you with materials test report of raw materials used in construction such as Re- bar, bricks, stone chips, stone, sand  etc so that you are aware of the quality materials. An expert in the field such as structural engineer may also explain to you in detail about how quality is ensured.

To verify quality of workmanship you can also visit project site during construction phase and monitor the progress. You can also consult with on site engineers or departmental engineers such as plumbing engineer, electrical engineer and so on to get quality assurance from them after they have explained in detail to you.

Apart from this to ensure that you get handover on time, reputed developer companies will share with you regular construction updates so that you have no worries regarding delayed handover. And before final handover, you can inspect the apartment to check that everything is in working order- such as no visible defects, correct working order of water lines, light point, power point working, all plumbing and sanitary fixtures, no discoloration in paint work ,no salinity and no dampness over paint surface etc.

Another important thing to note is to check if the real estate company is ISO certified. The ISO certification is an international body which provides global standardization for specifications, requirements for materials, quality management etc. If a real estate company bears this, it certifies that its management system, manufacturing process, service etc has all the requirements for standardization and quality assurance.

Hopefully, after going through this article you are well aware of the important points to consider for ensuring quality of construction when buying an apartment which will guide you to make an informed decision from the right developer company.