The rising incidence of natural disasters is impacting Quality Assurance ratings for Australia’s commercial construction sector. Queensland, the state which experiences the highest number of natural disasters, has seen the commercial construction industry embrace new legislation and technologies to build more resilient and disaster-proof buildings. A transparent digital workflow, backed up by automated reporting and a clear audit trail, is what both the Quality Assurance accountability regulators and the community now expect.
Managing Director for North Australian Contracting (NAC) Danny Simpson knows traditional reporting of Quality Assurance in construction is no longer up to scratch in Queensland.
“Major changes in quality control, particularly on fire-rated and seismic works, mean you need to switch from a paper to a digital ITP system. An audit trail is a must,” Simpson says.
This has seen NAC transform its approach to project management systems and how its team works. Gone are the days of completing ITPs at the end of a project. Its new-look digital ITP process is now an ‘enforced’ activity that is completed progressively throughout a project.
“When the Queensland Building & Construction Commission (QBCC) is on-site for its inspections, this digital ITP process reveals our commitment to compliant building standards. This benchmark is even higher for Level 4 buildings, such as hospitals and public projects, and the QBCC must be confident the buildings we need the most in a disaster are going to withstand the common causes of damage that can happen,” Simpson explains.
The cost of failing QA compliance
One thing construction companies can no longer do is cut corners when it comes to Mother Nature. The impact of cyclones, floods, fire and seismic activity is growing, and building for greater disaster resilience has become the number one Quality Assurance priority. After all, it costs six times more to rebuild after a disaster. Replacing paper-based ITPs, countless internal RFI emails, and spreadsheets is the fastest way to revolutionise efficiency and protect your investment and reputation.
“If you fail a QBCC audit, regardless of your role in a project, you are in breach or at risk of losing your licence. This means you can no longer trade. So, cutting corners is not only bad for business, it’s bad for your business,” Simpson says.
Leveraging digital construction management technologies is key to transforming outcomes.
“With Procore, I can automate weekly reports to run my business better. Procore benchmarks our industry reputation with a clearly defined digital ITP trail for quality inspections for fire-rating, seismic, and wind pressure requirements. We are proactive and very effective with our ITPs, and this protects our building licence and ability to deliver,” says Simpson.
Investing in Quality Outcomes
Simpson outlines the extreme pitfalls linked to manual administration of quality assurance for external and internal fit-out projects.
“Previously, the only way to determine if a building had not been fire-rated correctly was if it burnt down in a fire. This in itself is a disaster. However, now because of the investment in our digital ITPs, we know we are fire-rating correctly throughout a job.”
Although delivering high quality assurance standards when building for natural disasters might not help the bottom line, it can definitely reinforce a company’s reputation.
“Transforming how we utilise construction technology for building for natural disasters gives our reputation a competitive edge. It gives builders the confidence they can trust us to deliver a quality build that meets QBCC legislation – at no extra cost.”