Given the complexities of the construction industry, and the increasing ability for mistakes to happen, many Architects have developed methods to manage quality. A lot of Architects and designers will refer to this by the acronym QAQC.
QAQC: Quality Assurance Quality Control
QC: Quality Control
- Procedures, which involve carefully checking the work (a contract, a set of drawings, a design sketch) before it is distributed to the user (an Owner, a Contractor, etc)
- Quality control identifies errors late in the process.
QA: Quality Assurance
- Supplemental to quality control. Quality assurance requires that in design documenting, and constructing a building, the proper resources and scrutiny are applied to each part of the process in order to prevent errors before they are made.
- At the very least the goal is to correct errors early on in the process
- Limitation of quality assurance is that it looks at problems segmented rather than holistically
TQM: Total Quality Management
- Incorporates quality control and quality assurance together, but also includes all aspects of service to achieve the goal of “customer satisfaction”.
- The customer = client, user, public, and the Architectural profession
Dimensional and Finish Tolerances
Generally, cheaper and bulkier materials have poorer dimensional quality and stability. Something like tile work and cabinetry has a high level of craftsmanship and requires a much lower tolerance. An Architect needs to draw the tolerances into the drawings and incorporate these into the specifications.
High levels of precision and low tolerances, usually result in higher costs and increased construction time.
An Architect controls aesthetics. The Architect will produce and select samples that show the proposed color, texture, or finish of materials. Samples approved by an Architect become the standard which actual installations are compared.
Mock-ups can be produced to help see the performance or visual assembly of a system.
- Mockups can cost up to 10 times as much as the same amount of work on the job, and sometimes even more than this. The Architect needs to be selective, requiring mock-ups when only necessary. However, some Architects have incorporated mock-ups as the ‘go-to’ way to find problems and solutions in the field.
AIA • A201 GENERAL CONDITIONS OF THE CONTRACT: Gives the Architect the right to reject construction work that does not comply with the intent expressed in the construction documents. Usually such rejection is based on a standard such as a field test. For decisions concerning aesthetics, the Architect is the final authority.