Last edited 14 Jan 2019

Main author

ConSIG CWG Institute / association Website

Building completion

Contents

[edit] Executive summary

Building completion is the critical stage in which the activities that have been undertaken to fulfil the building contact requirements are brought together prior to handover to the client.

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.

[edit] Introduction

Construction projects take numerous forms but all have the same characteristics. They each involve the development, definition and delivery of a piece of infrastructure to meet a client need.

A contract will exist between a client and a contractor which covers the project’s delivery. The contract will include a definition of the client requirements.

Note that the client may have a number of such contracts and, in this case, responsibilities at the interfaces between these contracts must be defined.

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.

Building completion Fig1.png

[edit] Objectives

The contractor’s objective is to ensure the smooth and successful completion of construction prior to handover to the client.

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.

Building completion Fig2.png

[edit] Completion process

The delivery of the project will have included a number of stages, many of which will have overlapped:

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.

To this should be added a review of the documentation/data collected to that date in order to establish any gaps and the means by which they will be filled.

The documentation/data listing will also enable progress to be monitored, issues to be identified and addressed, and completion to be confirmed.

[edit] Contract requirements review

The systematic review of the contract will enable the identification of all of the documentation/data and evidence required in order to enable completion. These will fall into two categories:

  • 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).

From a different perspective, the documentation/data and evidence can be considered to fall into two streams:

although there will be significant overlap between these two streams.

Building completion Fig3.png

[edit] Asset stream

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:

[edit] Contract stream

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:

It is worthy of note that the precise wording of acceptances, approvals, certificates, warranties and guarantees can be problematic and therefore need early attention.

[edit] 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.

[edit] 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.

[edit] Monitoring of completion

[edit] Documentation/data listing

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.

Figure 4: ‘Typical completion data’ provides an indication of main headings within a typical completion data listing.

Building completion Fig4.png

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.

The parties need to understand that the listing will be the responsibility of the Contractor and that it will not supersede or change any of the contract requirements.

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.

[edit] Completion meetings

Typically, completion meetings arranged to discuss, agree and monitor the completion process. These are generally held at decreasing intervals as the completion date approaches.

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.

In this regard, the client involvement throughout the delivery process will need to be recognised and addressed.

Building completion Fig5.png

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:

Each of the above has implications for:

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.).

The meetings will also provide the opportunity to discuss and agree the precise details of the handover process – which will lead to written confirmation of these arrangements.

[edit] Outstanding works, snags, etc

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.

[edit] Beneficial use

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.

By implication, these elements will be included in the asset/contract stream listing and will also be covered in the completion documentation/data listing.

[edit] Phased completion

Phased completion is frequently encountered, particularly in the case of large projects.

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.

The precise locations of the physical interfaces are also needed to enable the required insurance responsibilities to be defined and allocated.

Similarly, phased completions need to take account of any interim works (eg power supplies and access arrangements) that will be changed in subsequent phases.

Again, the detailed definition of phased completion can be usefully discussed and agreed through the completion meetings.

[edit] Conclusion

The quality professional plays a key role in ensuring that the evidence needed to enable the smooth and successful completion of construction is created, collected and collated.

The quality professional therefore needs to take an active role in driving the completion process forwards.

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)

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki