The Crucial Value of a Construction Inspection
July 23, 2021
The goal of every construction inspection is to ensure that nothing compromises the function of the building systems, the integrity of the structure itself, and perhaps most crucially, the safety and well-being of the people who will be using the structure. This applies not just to new builds, but also to alterations and additions. Thorough inspections give the project owner peace of mind in the integrity of their build, and confidence that the structure will continue to function as intended throughout its life cycle, safely and efficiently.
Fortunately, the construction inspection process can begin before ground has even been broken. By having a local inspection official review all drawings during the design stage, any compliance violations and other issues can be discovered and addressed upfront, rather than later when there could be costly or even tragic consequences that impact much more than just the completion date.
What do construction inspections help you do?
Adhere to the owner’s requirements, including design and materials. This is more of an inspection that addresses quality and project progress rather than the third-party site inspections required at different phases of construction. You might consider this kind of inspection to also be a preventive measure to ensure potential risks are caught and corrected before they have a chance to worsen or become bigger issues, requiring late-stage rework. For this reason, ongoing inspections can actually help your project better adhere to its schedule and budget.
Follow local and building codes as well as zoning ordinances. These represent the long list of minimum requirements for structural quality and soundness in order to ensure the safety of the building itself, its surroundings, and most importantly, the people who will occupy it. Naturally, these processes are quite involved, making them time-consuming due to their thoroughness. Because codes, ordinances and state-enforced regulations can change over time, inspectors must check that your project meets the latest standards of compliance for safety and stability.
Avoid injury and other damages. We have all seen how the consequences of even the most seemingly minor of undetected flaws or construction mistakes can be costly in more ways than just rework and fines. Especially if they become worse over time, they can lead straight to serious accidents and injuries. Vigilance is your watchword here.
Paving the way for successful construction inspections
How can you make certain the formal building and systems inspections go well without any surprises or outright fails? Many construction companies have implemented regular quality control walkthroughs as an internal best practice. These ongoing inspections — monthly, weekly and even daily — serve to verify progress and adherence to project requirements. But they’re also meant to catch and fix cosmetic flaws, poor equipment and systems functioning, and construction defects before they have a chance to develop into an inspection fail that requires rework and re-inspection.
You can set this up as part of a quality assurance (QA) plan which determines the QA standards for your project, including building and zoning requirements, and outlines the methods you’ll use to verify this. Ideally created during the pre-build stage, the plan can establish a walkthrough schedule to ensure the structure is meeting these standards throughout the construction life cycle. These can be done parallel to your building commissioning process as well.
While “inspector” may not be part of their typical job description, contractors and/or project managers can be designated as such for internal inspection purposes, though third-party consultants can be contracted to do this. To ensure nothing is overlooked, they’re turning to mobile software — rather than completing forms attached to clipboards — to simplify this rather overwhelming, complex process. A mobile app guides them in capturing the necessary information via templated or customizable checklists, with the ability to upload smartphone photos as documentation.
InEight Compliance is the kind of software solution — accessible on your mobile device — that allows you to streamline your quality control efforts in preparation for the formal construction inspections. With its real-time data and event capture and reporting capabilities, it can help ensure you meet all project and compliance requirements every step of the way, ensuring project safety as well as project certainty. Want to see for yourself how it works? Schedule a demo so we can show you.