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Examples of Quality Control

and
Quality Assurance During Construction

Prepared by the
Construction Practices Subcommittee
Of
APWA’s UPROW Committee

Introduction

The UPROW Committee requested that the Construction Practices Subcommittee research and evaluate the
existing available documents related to Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) during
construction. The request initiated from the report Recommendations to Establish a New Professional /
Educational / Technical Committee for Utility and Public Right-of-Way Issues, prepared by the Utility and
Right-of-Way Task Force, and dated April 13, 1998.

The following report documents the process that the subcommittee followed in gathering, assessing,
evaluating and reporting the data and the results.

Data Collection

The Subcommittee chair requested that each member search for examples of specifications, guidelines,
manuals, programs or other written information, which outlined methods or requirements of QA/QC during
construction. The members of the subcommittee were located in various regions across the entire country,
from governmental (local, state and federal), industrial, commercial and private consulting backgrounds.

A total of nine documents were received and reviewed. While the number of documents was not
expansive, it was the opinion of the subcommittee that the sources of these documents have extensive
background in construction quality control and therefore these documents cover the topic adequately. It is
likely that other agencies have very good examples of standards but the subcommittee was unable to obtain
other documents in their search.

Analysis and Evaluation

Prior to review the documents, members of the subcommittee developed a list of criteria to allow a
subjective evaluation of the sample documents. These criteria included the following factors:

• Quality Control Organization


Items considered:
The classifications of the employees included within the structure of the organization.
The tasks performed by each of the classifications.
The level of detail performed by each of the classifications.
Defining of the rules and requirements.

• Material Testing requirements


Items considered:
Detail of the testing
Items tested

• Technician Certification requirements for the people reviewing the construction


Items considered:
Length of the certification program
Items covered in the certification
Organization that provided the certification training

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• Installation and Testing program
Items considered:
Level of detail and items included in the testing procedures
Level of detail and items included in the Installation procedures

• Documentation Forms for documenting Quality Control


Items considered:
Level of detail of information on the forms
Clarity
Items to be documented

• Referenced Technical specifications


Items considered:
Clarity when cross-referencing
Appropriate cross-referencing
Detail of Technical specifications

• Length of the overall specification


Item considered:
Generally, the subcommittee felt like the specifications should be long enough to adequately cover
the necessary elements in a good Quality Control Manual, but not too lengthy that it is difficult
follow.

Evaluation Matrix
The members of the subcommittee analyzed the data and scored each of the criteria on a scale of 0 to 5. 5
being the “best” and 1 being “poor”, and 0 for being “not at all”.
Documentation
Requirements

Specifications
Organization

Specification
Certification

Installation/
Technician

(Forms)

Reference
Technical

Length of
Program
Material

Document Comments
(Rules)

Testing

Testing

Number(s)
Q.C.

1,2,3,4. U.S. Excellent


Army Corps Organization and
5 4 3 4 4 3 4 Installation/Testing
of Eng.
Procedures
5. Oregon Excellent Training
D.O.T. Procedures and
5 4 5 3 3 3 4 Material Testing
P rocedures
6. Clark Excellent Forms and
County, Detailed References
3 3 3 3 5 4 4
Nevada
7. Quality Good Resource for
Management organizational
5 2 2 2 2 2 4 methods
Guidelines
8. Public Excellent resource for
Works seasoned inspectors;
1 5 0 5 5 3 5 excellent training aid
Inspectors’
for new inspectors
Manual
9. Introduction 4 3 3 5 5 3 4 Excellent general
to Construction review of
Inspection, construction
APWA, 1999 inspection
fundamentals
Note;
5 = Good
1 = Poor

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Results

Of the nine submittals, four were from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and were evaluated as one
document. As shown above, each example had specific strengths in the area of Quality Assurance and
Quality Control during construction. The documents submitted and evaluated are listed below.

List of Submittals

1. Construction Quality Management, (Regulation No. 1180-1-6), by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
dated September 1995. 12 pages. This publication provides the general policy and general guidelines for
establishing the Quality Management procedures in the execution of construction contracts. It is intended
primarily for Corps of Engineers’ projects.

2. Contactor Quality Control – Section 01451, A Guide Specification for Construction by the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers, dated Aril, 1997. 14 pages. This publication is a guide specification for the contractor
to provide a construction Quality Control. This specification requires that the contractor provide a Quality
Control Plan and a Quality Control Manager.

3. Excavation, Trenching and Backfilling for Utilities Systems, A Guide Specification for Construction by
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, dated November 1997. 15 pages. This specification provides the
requirements for trench backfill material and compaction techniques.

4. Quality Assurance Representative’s Guide- General Information and Sitework, by the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers. Volume 1 dated January 1992. 54 pages. This publication gives both general and specific
guidelines for a Quality Control Manager to follow during the construction of a project. It is a long
guideline and likewise very complete.

5. Quality Assurance Program, by the Oregon Department of Transportation, dated October 2000. 48
pages. This publication focuses mainly on the certification procedures and requirements of the laboratory
and technicians that will be overseeing the construction. Because this publication is provided by a state
highway department, it is primarily geared toward the quality assurance and quality control of the
materials and placement of road related construction.

6. Quality Control Program Manual for Contractor, Source, and Production Organizations, by the Clark
County Department of Public Works- Construction Management Division- Quality Assurance Section &
Materials Testing Laboratory, Clark County, Nevada, Version 1.02. 49 pages. This publication outlines
the requirements for acceptance of materials for public works projects. It provides the specific procedures
for their staff to follow in order to provide the required Quality Assurance/Quality Control of the public
works projects.

7. Quality Management Guidelines, by Construction Management Association of America. 2000 Edition,


39 pages. This publication provides the guidelines for a Construction Manager to use in implementing
Quality Management procedures from the pre-design phase to the post-construction phase.

8. Public Works Inspectors’ Manual, by Silas B. Birch, Jr. 5th Edition dated 1996, 711 pages. The Public
Works Inspectors’ Manual (Blue Book) functions as a resource for the seasoned inspector and a training
guide for the new inspector. Information within this publication is presented in both reference and text
book format. The Blue Book is divided into three sections, General Information, Construction Materials
and Materials Control Procedures, and Inspection Procedures. The following is a summary of each section

Highlights of the General Section


• Stresses the importance of well-informed and conscientious inspectors.
• Provides a project inspectors check-off list of duties.
• Emphasizes the importance of clear and concise written and verbal communication.
• Provides a project inspectors daily report check-off list.
• Stresses the importance of foreign utility protection and relocation, so as to minimize the
possibility of loss of life and property.
• Identifies the need for utility pre-construction meetings, where participants include representatives
from the agency, contractor, and utilities.

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Highlights of the Construction Materials and Materials Control Procedures Section
• Describes what needs to be sampled, when it needs to be sampled, and who needs to sample it.
• Contains an extensive section on concrete and hot mix asphalt, including a definition of terms.
• Briefly alludes to engineered fabrics and rehabilitation methods.

Highlights of the Inspection Procedures Section

• Addresses the level of inspection required


• Illustrates the elements of earth work construction such as:
− Soil properties
− Excavation inspection check-off list
− Compaction methods
• Describes in detail hot mix asphalt and concrete construction.
• Briefly covers methods of pipe installation.
• Emphasizes the importance of protecting foreign utilities and or substructures.

The Public Works Inspectors’ Manual is an excellent general reference manual for public works
construction projects. It serves as a reference manual for the more experienced inspector and a training
guide for the new inspector. However, in many instances, it is too general in nature for complicated
projects.

The publication is available for purchase on the APWA web site. To order a copy, visit the following web
site: http://www.apwa.net/shop/asp/product.asp?product=199. Member price: $50.00 (US) Non Member
price: $50.00 (US)

9. Introduction to Construction Inspection, APWA publication, 1999

This manual discusses the following key responsibilities of the construction inspector. The instruction
modules include the following areas:
• Inspector responsibilities, duties, qualifications, limitations
• Pre-project preparation
• Communication and documentation
• Risk Management and legal issues
• Project close-out procedures
• Regulatory overview
• Earthwork inspection
• Excavation and confined space safety
• Underground pipeline construction
• General concrete construction
• Street and surface improvements
• Street lighting and traffic signal inspection
• General structural steel inspection
• Landscape and irrigation construction

Each module is assembled to provide information directed to individuals just starting out in construction
inspection. The material is a good review for individuals with inspection experience and could be used as a
refresher course to improve performance. The manual was assembled by a large group of professionals
from across the USA. It follows good teaching techniques. Each module can stand on it’s own and be
presented as independent instruction sessions for use in short training periods or combined into a multiple
day instruction class. This is good general syllabus on construction inspection. It is not intended to be an
advanced instruction manual and will not include discussion material on specific special provisions that
may arise in complicated public works projects.

The publication may be purchased through the APWA. Go to www.apwa.net/shop/asp/home.asp to order


you own copy. PB.E09A Member price: $395.00 (US) Non Member price: $495.00 (US)

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2001 Construction Practices Sub-Committee

Steve Goodman, Chairman Ron Polvi, P. E.


Mail Station: 3162 Director District Engineering
P. O. Box 53933 NW Natural
Phoenix, Arizona 85072-3933 3123 Broadway St., N. E.
Bus: (602) 371-6965 Salem, OR 97303
Mobile: (602) 220-2794 Bus: (503) 585-6611
Bus Fax: (602) 371-6600 E-mail: rdp@nwnatural.com
E-mail: steven.goodman@aps.com

Mark Macy, P. E. – Committee Liaison Phillip Lynn, P.E.


720 South 5th Street City Engineer
Nashville, TN 37206 City Hall
Bus: (615) 862-8764 East 11th Street
Bus Fax: (615) 862-5568 Chattanooga, TN 37402
E-mail: mark_macy@metro.nashville.org Bus: (423-757-5117
Fax: (423) 757-0586
Kevin Gangaware E-mail: lynn_p@mail.chattanooga.gov
1935 Twenty First Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212 Willard Rusk, P.E.
Bus: (615) 385-4144 P. O. Box 6091
Bus Fax: (615) 385-4020 Florence, KY 41022
E-mail: kgangaware@leainc.com Bus: (859) 647-7341
E-mail: wwrusk@fuse.net
Shawn O’Keefe
Gas Measurement & Control Engineer Darryl D. French, P.E.
Xcel Energy Traffic Control Engineer
825 Rice Street, MS 16 City of Tulsa
St. Paul, MN 55117 200 Civic Center, Room 633
Bus: (651) 229-2536 Tulsa, OK 74103
Bus Fax: (651) 229-2376 Bus: (918) 596-9753
E-mail: shawn.m.okeefe@xcelenergy.com Fax: (918) 596-9713
E-mail: dfrench@ci.tulsa.ok.us
James Snyder, P. E.
720 South Fifth Street John Nowak, P.E., Staff Engineer
Nashville, TN 37206 City Engineer's Office
Bus: (615) 862-8763 510 N Broadway - 4th Floor
Bus Fax: (615) 862-5568 Billings, MT 59101
E-mail: james_snyder@metro.nashville.org (406) 657-8242
(406) 657-8252 fax
Nowakj@ci.billings.mt.us

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