Planning Construction Site Visits

Construction activities and materials change with stages of construction, so it is useful to consider the activities and products you should expect to see on a given site visit before you go. If, like most construction administrators, your job is to compare the work you see to the requirements of the construction documents, it makes sense to spend a little time considering the specified materials and details that should be apparent during your site visit. Some material differences can be subtle, and you can easily miss them if you are not paying attention to those matters during your visit. Examples of subtle visual differences can be found in most construction products: masonry reinforcing (such as different styles and sizes of horizontal wire reinforcing), fasteners for carpentry work (stainless steel vs. galvanized), gypsum board (different thicknesses and product types that may appear the same without close examination), and others. Consider the need to look at product labels at the job site to verify compliance; packaging labels and “drops” can be useful sources of information where exposed parts of installed products do not support verification of material compliance. Take time to study applicable sections of the specifications and parts of the drawings and make a checklist before you go; list specific items to look for, especially components and details that are unique to a project or are high priority requirements for intended building performance. And take a camera to record items or assemblies for further consideration after the site visit. The importance of product recognition to a successful building outcome is one of the chief reasons conventional wisdom recommends assigning experienced professionals to the role of construction administration.

Posted in Construction Administration, Practice Management, Project Administration, Project Management

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