Coordination and scheduling of acceptance inspection should be made a responsibility of the contractor. This will provide timely inspections and avoid owner-caused construction delays.
Quality-control inspection, or in-process inspection,is performed by contractor personnel or others specially hired by the contractor. These inspectors are most effective when they report directly to the contractor’s management. It is important that these activities be actively supported by management. Inspection and testing by or for the contractor,subcontractors, or concrete suppliers is separate and distinct from acceptance inspection for the owner.
In some construction contracts, the contractor is required to provide a specified amount of inspection and testing as part of a formal quality-control program. When not contractually required, many contractors still maintain a quality-control program that includes inspection and testing forces separate from the line of supervision, reporting directly to management. The price is often returned many times over through reduction of rejections, and savings in replacements and repairs. Sometimes this inspection work is an informal and automatic part of the contractor’s operations performed by regular production supervisors.
Inspection performed by, or for, the contractor, particularly when contractually required, will often be much more detailed than is the usual practice for acceptance inspection. The contractor’s personnel should make a much more detailed inspection of form alignment, reinforcing bar positioning, cleanup of forms, and other concrete placement.
Even if not required by the project specifications, the contractor should use quality-control inspection to ensure against later rejection of a complex placement. If such items are not covered by a formal quality-control inspection team, they should be covered by the contractor’s supervisory personnel.
When the project specifications require extensive quality-control inspection and testing by the contractor, the owner should not reduce or eliminate acceptance inspection. If the contractor’s quality-control inspection program becomes the owner’s acceptance inspection program, the system is nullified. The objections are exactly as stated previously against the practice of having the contractor hire and pay an inspector to perform acceptance testing for the owner. When the owner requires the contractor to have a quality-control inspection program, the owner should still accept responsibility for acceptance inspection to provide assurance that the contractor’s quality-control program achieves its objectives.
Quality-control inspection, other than, or in addition to, that required by the project specifications, will be as directed by the contractor’s management. These inspection details and criteria will be based on management’s judgment as to items and criteria necessary to ensure that all aspects of workmanship and the finished product will meet the requirements of the project plans and specifications and will thus be accepted by the owner.