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Last edited 07 Nov 2020
 Executive summary
In order to demonstrate building completion, the delivery team (which may include designers, constructors, suppliers and providers of specialist input) needs to have available evidence that all of the completion requirements have been met.
The quality professional plays a pivotal role in the successful achievement of building completion by ensuring that this evidence is created, collected and collated so as to enable the smooth and successful completion of construction.
Since contracts typically involve, either directly or indirectly, a large number of organisations and individuals, the quality professional needs to work towards this objective throughout the delivery of the project.
The contract between the client and the contractor forms the basis on which completion will be measured. It will contain completion requirements that are defined explicitly and requirements that are implicit in the contract conditions (eg to meet legislative requirements). One element of these requirements will relate to the physical asset that is being delivered. The second element will relate to supporting requirements necessary for the use, adaptation, decommissioning and demolition of the asset.
Since there are overlaps between these two elements, the requirements relating to the physical asset are generally considered first. The requirements relating to the second element are then considered and only those not already covered are then added in assessing the overall requirements definition.
The quality professional in the contractor organisation is ideally placed to facilitate the collection, collation and presentation of the evidence to demonstrate that the contract requirements have been met.
When considering the demonstration of building completion, account must be taken of the need for each organisation to maintain its own (potentially commercially sensitive) project data in addition to that needed to demonstrate contract fulfilment.
To achieve this objective, the contractor needs to have available evidence to demonstrate that the contract requirements have been met and to be able to gain acceptance from the client that this is the case.
 Completion process
- Materials and equipment supply
- Site preparation
- (potentially) Trial running
Each of these will be relevant to the evidence required at building completion.
Therefore, in reality, the completion process begins as soon as the delivery team starts work on the project. However, for the purposes of this note, the process will be considered from the point at which detailed planning of the activities leading up to building completion is initiated.
This point frequently occurs when testing and commissioning is defined in detail. It is triggered by the need to define the information needed to enable testing and commissioning to take place (eg acceptance criteria) and when the various construction elements will become available.
Also at this point the contract as a whole needs to be reviewed so as to establish a consolidated listing of all of the documentation/data required at completion (along with a reference to the associated contract requirement). How this will be achieved will also need to be defined.
- Direct requirements (those which are explicitly defined as contract requirements at completion)
- Indirect requirements (those which are required in order to demonstrate that the contract requirements have been met).
although there will be significant overlap between these two streams.
The asset stream will consist of the documentation/data generated to define the works and during the works. The following is a (non-exhaustive) listing of the types of documentation/data which may be identified under this stream:
- Key design parameters and assumptions
- Principal design constraints
- Decommissioning/demolition constraints
- Materials and equipment data
- Variations and changes from the original contract requirements
- As-constructed data
- Health and safety data
- Operational and maintenance data
The contract stream will consist of documentation/data and evidence required to enable the use of the facility and that required to demonstrate the processes have been followed to ensure compliance with the requirements of the contract. The following is a (non-exhaustive) listing of the types of documentation/data and evidence which may be identified under this stream:
- Undertakings and assurances
- Works relating to third parties
- Acceptances and approvals (internal and external)
- Certificates (first and third party)
- Warranties and guarantees (first and third party)
- Contaminated materials disposal data
- Inspection and testing records
- Audit records (including nonconformity reports)
- Variation and change records
 Corporate requirements
The internal corporate documentation/data requirements of the delivery organisations will also need to be met. To avoid duplication whilst maintaining necessary segregation (needed for commercial confidentiality), these will need to be considered as an addition to the contract requirements definition.
This will ensure that the needs of all parties are met in the most effective manner.
 Outstanding issues
It will be noted that the above lists do not include either outstanding works, or defects or snags since the majority of contracts assume that these do not exist at completion. Therefore, it is for the contractor to gain agreement from the client that any of these can exist at completion along with the way in which they are to be recorded and treated.
Additionally, completion does not normally include a requirement that all commercial issues have been resolved. Written agreement is therefore needed between the contractor and the client that no outstanding commercial issues have a bearing on building completion.
 Monitoring of completion
It is normal for the asset and contract stream listings to be combined and to be arranged in such a way that elements can be extracted for use by the relevant contractor management teams. This implies that the listings identify the management team or individual responsible for ensuring that each requirement is fulfilled and that the documentation/data is made available in an agreed format.
An area to be addressed is the acceptance by relevant contract parties, and especially the client, that the listing defines only those issues that have been identified to date and that they will be updated to reflect any emerging issues.
Also, the parties must understand that they need to inform the Contractor at the earliest opportunity if it is considered that an item needs to be amended or to be added to the list.
 Completion meetings
The meetings provide the focus for monitoring progress towards physical completion, the establishment of the completion records, the identification of any issues and the progress being made in their resolution. Attendance at the meetings will be restricted to those directly involved in completion and will therefore include representatives from the contractor, the client and any other parties having a direct involvement in the completion process.
The completion meetings will also provide the opportunity to agree with others (and particularly the client) the details of the involvement that they will have in the completion process. This may include:
- Reviews and inspections
- Supply and installation of equipment by others prior to completion
- Provision of materials and equipment (eg used equipment from an existing facility)
- Decant of materials and equipment prior to completion.
Each of the above has implications for:
- The testing and commissioning of the facility
- Provision of access needed for final inspections to be carried out
- Potential damage (by others) to the facility
The meetings will be based on the detailed completion programme and the asset/contract stream listings updated to show actual progress to the date of the meeting. In order to streamline the meetings, records of the meetings will consist of updates to the completion programme and comments added to the listings. The comment will include agreed actions and target completion dates where appropriate. (Note that any progress issues will be reflected in comments relating to items on the listings and that separate progress notes should not, therefore, be needed.).
Unless specific provisions are included, it is assumed in the contract documentation that all of the works will be completed prior to completion. However, it is frequently the case that minor issues are expected to remain at completion.
The completion meetings can be used to agree the mechanism by which agreement can be gained to the acceptability of completion even though minor issues remain outstanding. The asset/contract stream listings (with any supplementary detailed supporting data) can be used to monitor the status of these issues and to form a base document for their acceptance by the contracted parties.
It is frequently the case that the contractor will wish to use completed elements of the project (such as lifts, window cleaning gantries and ventilation systems) prior to the completion of the project as a whole. Such use will require written agreement from the client, which will include the actions that the contractor is to take in order not to prejudice the lifecycle of the element or its performance in use.
 Phased completion
In this case, the completion process needs to be followed for each phase but taking into account the need for a ‘final’ completion. This ‘final’ completion is likely (but not necessarily) to coincide with the completion of the last phase.
In addition to the processes required for a single completion, phased completion needs to take explicit account of the interfaces between the phase being handed over and elements of the project which are yet to be completed. It is frequently the case that the interim phases will include elements (such as parts of plant rooms) that are distant from the principal area being completed. It is important that the precise physical interfaces are defined in detail in order to avoid disagreements relating to responsibility for maintenance or in the event that damage occurs at the interface.
Key activities in enabling this to happen are:
- the listing of direct and indirect contractual requirements
- ensuring the effectiveness of the series of meetings prior to and at completion.
Original article written by Andy Baker, and reviewed and accepted by the CWG on behalf of the ConSIG --ConSIG CWG 11:39, 06 Jan 2019 (BST)
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Beneficial occupation.
- Certificate of making good defects.
- Certificate of non completion.
- Completion date.
- Defects liability period.
- Difference between practical completion and partial possession.
- Handover to client.
- Migration strategy.
- Occupation and defects liability period.
- Partial possession.
- Practical completion.
- Punch list.
- Sectional completion.
- Schedule of defects.
- Soft landings.
- Substantial completion.
- Work-to-complete list.
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