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CIVIL & STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING DIVISION

OPERATION GUIDELINES

6. CONSTRUCTION

CONTENTS

6.1 CONSTRUCTION SUPERVISION

6.2 PROJECT COMPLETION AND HANDING OVER

6.3 APPLICATION OF TOP

6.4 APPLICATION OF CSC

6.5 DEFECTS LIABILITY PERIOD


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6. CONSTRUCTION

6.1 CONSTRUCTION SUPERVISION

Construction Supervision involves monitoring and control of quality,


progress, safety and cost. In a small construction project, such
monitoring and control may be less complicated and less formal.
However, with large projects and a corresponding increase in the
quantity of activities and parties involved, a much more formal and
detailed system of monitoring is necessary.

The method of supervision described below is based on that adopted


for large building project. The magnitude and nature of your projects
may differ. However, the basic principles of construction supervision
should still be applicable.

The extent of involvement of the structural engineer depends on who is


the Superintending Officer (S.O.) of the project. For Building projects,
the Architect is the S.O. However, for other projects e.g. piling,
bridges, roads, the structural/civil engineer is usually the S.O.

6.1.1 Quality Control

6.1.1.1 Specification

The Contractual basis for establishing quality standards is from the


parameters in the specification. The specification may state the ASTM
or BS standards that need to be followed or require the material used
to meet the standards. The specification may also specify values such
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as compressive strength, elongation values and tensile strengths that


the material used must meet.

6.1.1.2 Contractors method statement and QA Programme

The Contractors method statement, which usually incorporates the


salient points in the manufacturers catalogue, will elaborate on how
the contractor will achieve the quality on site, the frequency and type of
checks to be done at each stage, the tests required, the criteria that
the material and method of construction must meet. Usually the
contractors method statement will be discussed at site meetings,
amended where necessary, before it is accepted. The statement
forms the basis for the CPG staff to check the work on site.

For larger projects, particularly design and build projects, the


contractor may implement a Quality Assurance programme. This is a
comprehensive programme that covers most, if not all construction
activities, and basically lays down the principles and procedures that
the contractor will follow in order to achieve the quality, tolerances,
standards required in the specification. For example, a design and
build contractor, at the commencement of a project, may work out the
tolerances for precasting elements, levels of corbels levels of slabs,
steelworks, column verticality, beams, etc and this form the basis for
meeting the overall tolerances as specified in our specification.
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6.1.1.3 Checklist

From the contractors method statement and specification, checklist


can be devised which can be easily used by the CPG staff on site to
check the salient aspects of work. A comprehensive checklist would
ensure a more uniform standard of inspection between different CPG
staff and would also guide new staff as to the points to look out for.
Checklists could be devised for structural works such as concreting,
fireproofing, precasting, prestressing, post-tensioning, steelwork,
bolting and waterproofing.

6.1.1.4 Testing

The normal procedure for testing is that the contractor and CPG staff
would jointly sample the test material. The contractor would send it to
the relevant laboratory, and depending on the requirement of the
specification, the contractor would usually pay if the test fails,
otherwise, CPG or the client would pay. For concrete cubes, bitumen,
there is also an administrative charge and deduction should the test fail
to meet certain strength requirements or other criteria.

Testing should only be carried out at Accredited Laboratories.


Tests normally carried out include: -

a) Concrete cube tests


b) Steel carbon equivalent tests
c) Steel tensile tests on steel members, bolts
d) Waterproofing elongation, tensile, puncture tests
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e) Aggregate sieve tests


f) Bitumen tests and compaction tests
g) In situ load test for piles & structures
h) Non Destructive Test (NDT) on piles
i) Cement, aggregate tests

Concreting records should be kept on site to record volumes of


concrete poured, concrete grade, slump test results, concrete cube
reference and other details.

6.1.1.5 Quality Audit

For larger projects, especially those with Quality Assurance


programmes, quality audits may be done after the method statement
and checklists have been agreed upon and work has carried on for one
or two months. The purpose of the audit is to check whether the
method and items in the checklist have been followed and also any
problem with the method/checklist used. The quality audit team would
then report to management on the shortcomings of the work done so
far and make recommendations on how to improve the situation.

6.1.1.6 Remedy of defects

Remedial works are to a certain extent unavoidable. However,


conscientious supervision and a good contractor may reduce the
extent of remedial works. For a large project, defects should be
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recorded in writing to the contractor and an outstanding defects list


should be kept to monitor the progress of defect rectification.

Tests that would be carried out to ascertain the integrity of the


structure include: -

a) Ultra sonic test


b) Load test
c) Steel weld dye penetration test
d) Torque test on bolts
e) Schmidt Hammer test for insitu concrete

Remedial methods include: -

a) Epoxy pressure grouting for fine crack


b) Pressure grouting with non-shrink high strength grout.
c) Hacking and concreting again
d) Patching with cement mortar
e) Rewelding of poor quality welds

For large sites with substantial defects, photographs are recommended


to record the extent of damage/defects and the location of damage.
This would minimize disputes will the contractor as to their liability in
rectifying defects, particularly when defects may be subsequently
covered up by Architectural and/or M&E works.
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6.1.2 Progress Control

6.1.2.1 Specification

The specification would state the duration allowed from the date of site
possession to the practical completion of the project. For certain
projects, phased completion of the project may be specified. This is to
enable other contractors or the client, early access to these handover
areas so that M&E, Architectural works, which are on the critical path,
can be completed expeditiously.

For projects where the client is a statutory board or government


company, the works will not able to commence unless permit to
commence work is issued by the Chief Building Engineers Office of
Building Control Division. Furthermore, for building projects, the
building cannot be occupied unless the Temporary Occupation Permit
(TOP) is obtained from BCD.

6.1.2.2 Contractors Programme

For smaller projects, the contractors programme would normally


comprise a bar chart showing the list of activities and the duration of
each activity. For large projects, a critical path network may have to be
set up by the contractor, as required in the specification, and the
contractor may need access to computer facilities to monitor and
update the network. However, for on site use, the critical path is
generally reinterpreted as a list of bar chart so that progress is easily
monitored on site.
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6.1.2.3 Monitoring site progress

Based on the contractors programme, which should meet all


requirements of the specification, the site staff can draw up a series of
colour coded wall charts and plans which can depict progress at a
glance. The staff will usually monitor progress in the site office.

Progress meetings may be held monthly or fortnightly to discuss the


progress with the contractor, any problems on site and generally how
the site supervision team can best work with the contractor to achieve
progress, without sacrificing quality. The site staff will keep an official
site diary as a record of the contractors work and the effort he has put
in. Amongst other things, the site diary will record inclement weather,
the works done on site for each day, any problems encountered during
the day, the number of workers and type and number of large
machinery on site.

6.1.2.4 Extension of Time

The most common reason for extension of time is because of


inclement weather. The specification allows for claim by the contractor
in the event of rainy days for any particular month in excess of those
stated for that month in the specification. Another reason is variation
orders that require the contractor to do additional work on site. The
extent, cost and time implication of additional work should be clearly
discussed with the contractor, agreed upon and documented, prior to
commencement of the additional work. The client should also be kept
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informed of the time and cost implication of any additional work


commissioned by him.

Other reasons for time extension include claims by contractor of delay


in S.O.s issue of amendment drawings, details, instructions,
obstruction of work by other direct contractors employed by the client,
obstruction due to clients operational requirements (e.g. airport
operations). The validity of contractors claims would depend on the
requirement of the specification, site documentation in support or
against the claim, as well as the reasonableness of the S.O.s and
contractors action in mitigating the severity of the problem.
Furthermore, the contractors claim for time extension may not be valid
if the activity is not along the critical path and could have been done
concurrently with the other normal construction activities.
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6.1.3 Cost Control

For most projects, cost control is generally carried out by the Quantity
Surveyor (QS). However, the structural staff may need to provide input
to the QS for them to adequately assess the contractors claims.

Inputs required include: -

a) The progress of certain aspects of work at a particular point in time.


b) The time and effort put in by the contractor for a particular piece of
work.
c) The severity of problems encountered by the contractor, particularly
those beyond his control, and the actions the contractor has taken
or could have taken to mitigate the problem. The extent of delay as
a result of these problems.
d) The type of material used for structural works and whether such
material comply with the specification requirement.
e) Star Rate items which are items of work not included in the
schedule of rates.
f) The scope of work involved in any structural variation order and the
extent of omission and additional works involved.
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In order to minimize disputes, it is prudent to discuss and agree with


the contractor early and even have a joint site inspection and written
agreement. Variation orders should be clear and given to the
contractor early. Any agreement with the contractor should be
documented, particularly those with time and cost implications. Where
disputes are likely to occur, dated photographs of the site at the time of
the dispute are useful evidence.

6.1.4 Co-ordination

6.1.4.1 Latest drawings

Site staffs have to co-ordinate closely with the Project Officer to ensure
that the latest drawings are being used.

Due to requirements from the clients and government authorities (TAS,


BCD, URA, LTA, ENV, etc), amendments may be necessary during the
construction stage. It is a good practice to have an inspection form for
each casting for the staff to record any problems as well as the
reference and version of the drawings used. Site staff should
consistently check with the project officer to ensure that their castings
are based on the latest drawings.

Superseded drawings should be stamped superseded and keep apart


from current drawings.
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6.1.4.2 Architectural, M&E and Structural requirements

Structural site staff should have regular and close co-ordination with
architectural and M&E staff. This is to ensure that the interfacing of
Architectural, M&E and structural items is smooth. This is particularly
critical prior to large concrete castings.

The latest architectural, M&E and structural drawings should be


compared and any disagreement between drawings should be clarified
prior to casting. Items that are not incorporated prior to casting would
involve substantial time and cost to subsequently remedy the problem.

The critical items that may need to clarified and agreed upon prior to
casting include: -

a) Location and size of openings of Architectural and M&E services


such as rainwater down pipes, air-conditioning ducts, and sanitary
pipes.
b) Structural floor levels, the tolerances allowed and any cross falls.
c) Embedded services such as water pipes, sanitary pipes and
electrical conduits.
d) Position and size of plinths and trenches for M&E rooms.
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6.1.5 Conclusion

The above write-up offers a rough guide to construction supervision


and provides pointers as to what to do and where to refer to for
information. It is by no means a comprehensive description of all
aspects of construction supervision but more a guide to the technical
issues and established procedures commonly adopted to control
quality, progress, safety and, to a certain extent, cost. Effective
construction supervision is a skill that is acquired through a sound
knowledge of the technical issues, effective communication and
coordination with all relevant parties as well as practical experience on
the job.
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6.2 PROJECT COMPLETION AND HANDING OVER

6.2.1 Upon completion of the project, the Project Engineer, assisted by the
site supervisor/s shall check and ensure that all the site records and
other related documents are properly compiled.

6.2.2 The Contractor shall submit all the as-built drawings/documents in


accordance with the contract requirements prior to the completion of
the project.

6.2.3 After the submission of as-built drawings, the Project Engineer will then
arrange with the Contractor and Clients representative for inspection of
the works. Site supervisor shall prepare two lists, one for defects and
one for outstanding works during the inspection.

6.2.4 The Contractor shall rectify all the major defects within a specified
period (within 1 to 2 months).

6.2.5 The completed works shall be handed over to the clients


representative prior to the issuance of Certificate of Substantial
Completion by the S.O.. The Project Engineer/Site Supervisor will be
notified of any defects which shown up during the DLP. The Contractor
shall rectify the defects before the end of DLP.
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6.3 APPLICATION OF TOP

6.3.1 After the main structural works has been completed, the Contractor
shall submit the as-built drawings and calculations in accordance to the
contract requirements.

6.3.2 The Project Engineer shall prepare all the relevant drawings,
calculations and forms for submission to AC and BCA before QP
Architectural applies for Temporary Occupational Permit (TOP) for
building.

6.3.3 The Technical Officer shall assist in compiling the as-built drawings
and calculations.

6.3.4 The Project Engineer shall check that the as-built drawings and
calculations are in order prior to QP endorsement.

6.3.5 A copy of the cover letter to BCA to be extended to Project Architect for
onward application of TOP.
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6.4 APPLICATION OF CSC

6.4.1 After the external works have been completed, the Contractor shall
submit the as-constructed drawings and survey plan in accordance to
the contract requirements.

6.4.2 The Technical Officer shall update the drawings to as-constructed prior
to submission to the relevant Authorities.

a) Sewerage Department
b) Drainage Department
c) Land Transport Authority
d) National Parks Board

6.4.3 The Project Engineer shall ensure that the drawings are in order and
prepare the relevant forms for submission to the Authorities, and
arrange for final inspection on site with the relevant Authorities.

6.4.4 The Authorities will advise the QP on the commencement of the


one-year Defects Liability Period (DLP) which starts from the date of
CSC clearance.

6.4.5 Upon the expiry of the DLP, the Project Engineer shall arrange for the
handing over of the works to the Authorities after all the rectification
works are satisfactorily completed.
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6.5 DEFECTS LIABILITY PERIOD (DLP)

6.5.1 Upon the issuance of the Certificate of Substantial Completion, the


Defects Liability Period shall commence.

6.5.2 The Contractor shall rectify all the defects and outstanding works listed
during the handing over inspections.

6.5.3 The Project Engineer shall monitor the progress of the rectification
works by the Contractor.

6.5.4 A final handing over inspection with the clients representative shall be
arranged near the end of the DLP in order to identify any outstanding
defects for rectification by the Contractor.

6.5.5 All defects should be rectified before the final handing over.