Construction Monitoring / Observation
Our construction monitoring service provides supplementary quality observation to ensure the following:
- That the work is completed in accordance with the contract documents including all drawings and specifications and the manufacturers’ technical literature for the products and materials installed.
- Good trade practice.
- Compliance with the Contractor’s Quality Plan.
- Compliance with the Building Consent.
- Compliance with the NZ Building Code.
Engineer to the Contract
It has always been Alexander & Co Ltd’s policy to monitor the remedial work it has designed. The importance of this role is now recognised by a number of territorial authorities, which require it in conjunction with recladding projects. The role is broadly defined in our Remedial Works Monitoring Agreement (attached). This identifies three principal functions as follows:
- Ensuring the contractor understands and implements the design documents
- Evidence collection
- Builder payment claim and processing
Several mechanisms assist execution of this function. The first is the concurrent role of “Engineer to the Contract” (identified in the Preliminary and General section of the specification and in the Special Conditions of Contract). This role is a requirement of the standard terms of contract NZS 3910:2003 ‘Conditions of Contract for Building and Civil Engineering Construction’. The Standard defines the role as:
- As expert adviser to and representative of the Principal, giving directions to the Contractor on behalf of the Principal and issuing Payment Schedules on behalf of the Principal at due times; and
- Independently of either contracting party, fairly and impartially to make the decisions entrusted to him or her under the Contract Documents, to value the work and to issue certificates.
The Engineer is bound to follow certain procedures associated with matters such as processing contractor payment claims, issuing Practical Completion and Defects Liability Certificates, and dealing with any disputes concerning the contract (as between the Principal and the Contractor).
Another mechanism we utilise is the Quality Management Plan (QMP). This forms part of the Contract documents and building consent requirements of the Auckland City Council. The QMP provides a framework for recording our observations of key construction elements during the works. It also incorporates a recording mechanism for the contractor’s quality management process. The completed QMP is submitted to the Council at completion of the works when applying for a Code Compliance Certificate.
In practical terms, the work we undertake includes, but is not necessarily limited to:
- Attending site inspections with the contractor and Council inspector
- Attending site meetings with owner’s representatives and the contractor
- Clarifying repair requirements of damaged elements as these are uncovered during the works (eg. timber replacement)
- Submitting samples of timber framing for laboratory analysis to verify integrity of retained timber
- Responding to contractor queries during the works
- Responding to owners’ queries, variation requests etc.
- Attending to unforeseen matters identified during the works (not unusual with this type of remedial work)
- Issuing Contract Instructions to the contractor (e.g. to clarify the required extent of provisional sum work, or to instruct on Contract variations)
- Co-ordinating other professionals that may be involved (eg. structural engineer)
- Processing contractor payment claims, including tracking progress of fixed price items, verifying receipts and timesheets in respect of provisional sum items, and
- Issuing Payment Schedules
- Issuing Practical Completion and Defect Liability Certificates
- Preparing and following up on maintenance (‘snagging’) list
- Evidence collection including damage recording, investigating cause of damage and removal of samples for laboratory testing
- Attending to other matters that may arise during the Contract works