The biggest threat to sustainable design and construction is Quality.
If you are a property owner/manager, or if your are a professional in the A/E/C industry (architect, engineer, contractor or construction manager), or if you are just concerned about the built environment - this site is for you.
Learn what you can do to improve Quality, and deliver projects that are truly sustainable.
Because quality can be both subjective (open to interpretation) and objective (established criteria and attributes), we need to carefully define what we mean when we discuss quality - especially as it applies to design and construction.
Over the last 15 years, I have investigated more than 10,000 buildings, and have been involved in hundreds of construction disputes representing ownership interests, developers, contractors and design professionals - including some of the top builders in the country.
I have never seen a building that is completely free of defects.
Sustainable construction increases complexity, and as complexity goes up, so does risk. Insurance carriers have been losing a fortune on construction defects, so they are pulling back on their coverage.
If the insurance companies won’t underwrite the increased risk of sustainable design, what can we do?
Too often, the terms quality assurance and quality control are used interchangeably. QA is not the same as QC. Both are needed in order to design and construct buildings that are truly sustainable.
Imagine, if you will, that you are a laborer on a drywall crew. As is the case with most trades, you get paid in a piece-meal fashion - the faster you go, the more you get paid.
Once you get the hang of it, hanging drywall isn't that difficult. There are actually just a few critical pieces of information you need to do your job right.
The only problem: Finding that information is harder than you might think...
If the current quality management practices in the AEC industry are broken, what can we learn about quality from other industries?
In the A/E/C industry, safety is first. Safety is important, but it is just one aspect of Quality. Until Quality becomes the number one priority, the promise of sustainable design and construction will never be realized. This will require a major change in the cultural perception among all stakeholders in the built environment.
To design and construct buildings that are truly sustainable, everyone must take responsibility for Quality - instead of pointing fingers at others.
The only way that the promise of sustainable design and construction will be realized, is if everyone is responsible for quality. Here's what you can do to improve the quality on your projects.