ArticlePDF Available

ISO 9000 Quality Standards in Construction


Abstract and Figures

There is risk involved in any construction project. A contractor's quality assur- ance system is essential in preventing problems and the reoccurrence of problems. This system ensures consistent quality for the contractor's clients. An evaluation of the quality systems of 15 construction contractors in Saudi Arabia is discussed here. The evaluation was performed against the ISO 9000 standard. The contractors' quality systems vary in complexity, ranging from an informal inspection and test system to a comprehensive system. The ISO 9000 clauses most often complied with are those dealing with (1) inspection and test status; (2) inspection and testing; (3) control of nonconformance product; and (4) handling, storage, and preser- vation. The clauses least complied with concern (1) design control; (2) internal auditing; (3) training; and (4) statistical techniques. Documentation of a quality system is scarce for the majority of the contractors.
Content may be subject to copyright.
ISO 9000 Q
By Abdulaziz A. Bubshait,
Member, ASCE, and Tawfiq H. Al-Atiq
:There is risk involved in any construction project. Acontractor’s quality assur-
ance system is essential in preventing problems and the reoccurrence of problems.This system
ensures consistent quality for the contractor’s clients. An evaluation of the quality systems of
15 construction contractors in Saudi Arabia is discussed here. The evaluation was performed
against the ISO 9000 standard. The contractors’ quality systems vary in complexity, ranging
from an informal inspection and test system to a comprehensive system. The ISO9000 clauses
most often complied with are those dealing with (1) inspection and test status; (2) inspection
and testing; (3) control of nonconformance product; and (4) handling, storage, and preser-
vation. The clauses least complied with concern (1) design control; (2) internal auditing; (3)
training; and (4) statistical techniques. Documentation of a quality system is scarce for the
majority of the contractors.
Quality assurance is important in the engineering and
construction industry because of the risk involved in any
project. The risk involved in not completing the project
on time is high, because many external factors will affect
the performance of the project. It is vital that a built-in
quality assurance system is developed to avoid any in-
efficiency that could result in poor quality of products
and service being delivered to the customer. Everyone
involved in the engineering and construction business
has, in different ways, benefited from a common ap-
proach to quality work. Systematic quality work reduces
the costs of failure in one’s own work and in the final
product. The standards can make quality work more ef-
ficient by creating uniformity. A contractor’s in-house
quality assurance system is of utmost importance; it pre-
vents problems and their reoccurrence and allows his or
her clients to relax. One of these quality system stan-
dards is the ISO 9000 standard, which has been adopted
by a large number of countries around the world and is
applied in various industries including engineering and
Quality systems involve internal and external aspects.
Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Constr. Engrg. and Mgmt., King Fahd Univ.
of Petr. and Minerals, Dhahran 31261, SaudiArabia.E-mail:bushait@
Mech. Engr. and Quality Lead Assessor, Inspection Dept., Saudi
Aramco, Dhahran 31311, Saudi Arabia.
Note. Discussion open until May 1, 2000. To extend the closing
date one month, a written request must be filed with the ASCE Man-
ager of Journals. The manuscript for this paper was submitted for
review and possible publication on September 23, 1997. This paper
is part of the Journal of Management in Engineering, Vol. 15, No.
6, November/December, 1999. ASCE, ISSN 0742-597X/99/0006-
0041–0046/$8.00 $.50 per page. Paper No. 16624.
An internal quality system covers activities aimed at pro-
viding confidence to the management of an organization
that the intended quality is being achieved. This is called
a ‘‘quality management system.’’ Successful implemen-
tation of quality management systems can contribute to
an increase in product quality, improvements in work-
manship and efficiency, a decrease in wastage, and in-
creased profit. An external quality system covers activ-
ities aimed at inspiring confidence in the client that the
supplier’s quality system will provide a product or ser-
vice that will satisfy the client’s quality requirements.
This is called a ‘‘quality assurance system.’’ The quality
system can work effectively only when the top executive
responsible for engineering or production takes full re-
sponsibility for interpretation and implementation of the
quality assurance program. A contractor’s quality assur-
ance system is very important to her/his clients, who will
gain confidence that ‘‘getting it right the first time’’ will
be the contractor’s norm.
In Saudi Arabia, the large volume of constructionproj-
ects, in term of numbers and size, has led giant, multi-
national construction contractors to the local market and
created intensive competition. Although quality systems
are relatively new in Saudi Arabia, especially in the con-
struction industry, the concept is receiving the utmost
attention from large construction companies who seek a
competitive edge.
The quality systems of 15 major construction contrac-
tors in Saudi Arabia were assessed using the ISO 9001
standard requirements. This paper reports the findings of
the assessment. The level of implementation and con-
tractors’ perceptions are also discussed.
ISO 9000 is an international standard intended to pro-
vide the generic core of a quality system standard ap-
TABLE 1. Contractors’ Background Information
Years in
Number of
(3) Construction type
Position of
contacted person
1 4 700 electrical, piping, piping mechanical, structural steel General Manager
2 35 6,346 civil, structural steel, piping mechanical, electrical QA Manager
3 34 1,000 mechanical, electrical civil QA/QC Engineer
4 23 80 reinforced concrete and steel work Projects Manager
5 40 4,000 petrochemical, refining, desalination, process control QA/QC Manager
6 49 1,000 roads and civil Business Manager
7 16 2,100 buildings, mechanical, electrical, and HVAC QA Manager
8 25 1,000 mechanical, electrical, and instrumentation QC Manager
9 5 450 mechanical, piping, and tanks Business Manager
10 35 1,500 buildings (schools) Operations Engineer
11 17 475 building, civil Projects Manager
12 20 600 mechanical, electrical, civil Projects Managers
13 8 3,000 buildings, structural steel QC Manager
14 402,500 mechanical, electrical, civil Procurement Manager
15 29 425 roads, sewer Projects Manager
plicable to a broad range of industries and economic
sectors. It outlines how a supplier can establish an ef-
fective quality system that will demonstrate commitment
to quality and ability to meet customer requirements.
ISO 9000 is based on, and is almost identical to, the
American National Standards Institute/American Society
of Mechanical Engineers (ANSI/ASME) NQA-1, Qual-
ity Assurance Program Requirements for Nuclear Facil-
ities, 1989 (Reedy 1994).
The acceptance of ISO 9000 standards in the construc-
tion industries is not as wide as in other industries, such
as manufacturing. There are special features in the con-
struction industry that limit the implementation of the
ISO 9000 standard. The following are some of these fea-
tures (Phenol 1994; ‘‘Quality’’ 1992):
A construction project is usually a unique collec-
tion of people, equipment, and materials brought
together at a unique location under unique weather
conditions, while most manufacturing is a system
of mass production wherein all of these factors are
consistent with producing typical products over
and over again.
Performance testing in construction is generally not
feasible as a basis for acceptance.
It is common to have separate contracts for design
and construction.
It is not feasible to reject the whole constructed
project after completion while attached to the pur-
chaser’s land.
Decisions to reject a defective part of a constructed
project need to be taken promptly before succeed-
ing parts are constructed or installed.
The number of parties involved in the constructed
project’s procurement are more than those involved
in manufacturing procurement. Achieving quality
construction requires effort from all parties. This
makes the interface and responsibilities of the var-
ious individuals and organizations more compli-
cated than in manufacturing.
The organizational structure of a construction com-
pany varies depending on the nature of the project,
while the same structure in a manufacturing com-
pany is almost unchanging. This affects the
smoothness of communication and interface be-
tween the responsible individuals.
Turnover of manpower in construction is higher
than in manufacturing, which affecting the preci-
sion of long-term plans.
Construction projects are very complicated and
their execution may take years.
The generic nature of the standards often leads to dif-
ferences in interpretations. In turn the implementation,
use, and impact of ISO 9000 standards can vary from
company to company and from country to country. The
concept of ISO 9000 has been viewed in various ways;
as a means of improving the overall quality of opera-
tions; as the requirements of customers to be complied
with; as a necessary response to competition; as a way
to reduce cost; as a means to improve the flow of activ-
ities and coordination in the organization; as a strategy
to have better sales through an improved quality image;
as a way to maintain competitive edge in the industry,
etc. (Bhuian and Al-Zamil 1996; Lamprecht 1992). Thus,
the impact of ISO 9000 standards may vary depending
on how it is perceived by companies.
Case Study
With the help of the Chamber of Commerce, 34 major
construction contractorslocated in the Eastern Prov-
ince of Saudi Arabia—were identified for the study. The
selected contractors were contacted and introduced to the
scope of the study. Only 15 contractors agreed to partic-
ipate in the study, since each has some form of a quality
system. The acute sampling problems in Saudi Arabia
compel researchers to adopt nonprobabilistic sampling
methods in most of the surveys (Al-Meer 1989). Because
this study is adopting a nonprobabilistic sample, the
sampling of 15 contractors was judged sufficient for an
exploratory study. Table 1 lists the contractor numbers,
years of experience, number of employees, specialty, and
position of the contacted person. The annual construction
volume data is not listed in the table, since some con-
TABLE 3. Contractors’Compliance with ISO 9001 Clauses
TABLE 2. ISO 9001 Clauses
(1) Title of clause
(2) Remarks
4.1 Management Responsibility
4.2 Quality system
4.3 Contract review
4.4 Design control
4.5 Document and data control
4.6 Purchasing
4.7 Purchaser supplied product
4.8 Product identification and traceability
4.9 Process control
4.10 Inspection and testing
4.11 Inspection measuring and test equip-
4.12 Inspection and test status
4.13 Control of nonconforming product
4.14 Corrective and preventive action
4.15 Handling, storage, packaging, and de-
4.16 Quality records
4.17 Internal audits
4.18 Training
4.19 Servicing Not included
4.20 Statistical techniques
tractors feel it is preparatory information. All ofthe com-
panies are Saudi-owned companies with Westerner man-
agement staffs.
The assessment consisted of personal structured inter-
views with key representatives and inspection of docu-
ments. Each interview took between 2 and 4 hours. A
questionnaire form was used as a checklist. The ques-
tionnaire consists of two parts, the first part being gen-
eral and intended to get information about the contrac-
tors general interest in and perception towards the ISO
9000 standards. The second part asks specific questions
about the ISO 9000 clauses (Table 2 lists the clauses).
Contractors were asked if they have a means in their
quality system that satisfies each ISO 9001 clause, and
whether these means are documented and implemented.
Contractors’ input was evaluated and rated according to
the following criteria:
A contractor who has a system that fully complies
with the respective clauses of the ISO 9001 stan-
dard was rated ‘‘Y’’ and given a value of 1.0 point.
A contractor who has a system that partially com-
plies with the respective clauses of the ISO 9001
standard was rated ‘‘NF’’ and given a value of 0.5
A contractor’s system that did notmeet the require-
ment of the ISO 9001 standard was rated ‘‘N.’’ It
was given a value of 0 points.
For each clause, the three aspects (i.e., ‘‘existing,’’
‘‘documented,’’ and ‘‘implemented’’) were totaled based
on the above rating system. The term ‘‘existing’’ indi-
cates the presence of the clause in the organization sys-
tem either documented and/or implemented or not. The
term ‘‘documented’’ indicates the knowledge and proper
procedural documentation of that cause irrespective of
whether it is implemented. The term ‘‘implemented’’ in-
dicates the knowledge and practice of that clause even
though it may not be documented. For example, in the
case of clause 4.17 of ISO 9001 (internal quality audit),
if a contractor has a system of scheduling and perform-
ing internal quality audits, it was rated ‘‘Y’’ and a value
given equal to 1. If it was found that the contractor does
not have any documented procedure for internal audits,
it was rated ‘‘N’’ and given a value of zero. Finally, if
the contractor performed some of the scheduled internal
quality audit and did not document the audit findings, it
was rated as ‘‘NF’’ and given a value of 0.5. The rating
of the clauses is shown in Table 3. Then the percentage
of the companies complying with the ISO 9000 clauses
was determined. A company was deemed to be comply-
ing with that particular clause if it had received a rating
of ‘‘Y’’ in both the ‘‘documented’’ and ‘‘implemented’’
aspects of the clause. Table 4 lists the most-used and
least-used clauses. As examples, the following sections
given more information regarding clauses 4.3, 4.10,
4.12, 4.13, and 4.15.
Contract Review (Clause 4.3)
The standard requires that the organization has docu-
mented procedures for contract review and for the co-
ordination of activities. Before the acceptance of the
contract with the customer, the organization must review
the proposed contract to ensure that (1) all requirements
are adequately defined; (2) all verbal requirements are
TABLE 4. Most Complied with and Least Complied with
ISO 9000 Clauses
documented; (3) all differences are resolved; and (4) the
organization is capable of meeting all contract require-
ments. One-third of the interviewed contractors reported
that they had encountered a problem (during the exe-
cution of the projects) due to improper initial reviews of
the project contracts. This inadequate contract review
caused financial losses because of underestimated or
overestimated bidding, and delayed project completion
due to the contract’s inability to plan for meeting con-
tract requirements.
Inspection and Testing (Clause 4.10)
The main objective of the contractor’s inspection and
testing is to provide objective evidence that the con-
structed project and related components meet contract
requirements. The top-ranked contractors indicated that
inspection and testing activities are performed during all
phases of the projectreceipt, storage, field fabrication,
erection, and upon completion prior to handing over to
the client. The inspection and testing procedures specify
the quantitative and qualitative acceptance criteria for
construction workmanship and materials.
Inspection and Testing Status (Clause 4.12)
The top-ranked contractors have well-documented
procedures to identify the acceptability of construction
items with regard to inspection and tests performed
throughout the construction process. This requirement
covers all inspection and testing of materials, equipment,
or construction work. The contractors use tags, marks,
or routing cards to distinguish between inspected and
uninspected construction items. Such procedural practice
safeguards against the use of unacceptable materials and
against shoddy workmanship.
Control of Nonconforming Product (Clause 4.13)
This clause is one of the most difficult aspects of the
quality system because it requires the contractor’s per-
sonnel to admit openly and in writing that they have
done something wrong. This may cause the contractor
not to notify the customer. Some of the contractors ad-
mitted that the nonconformance reports issued by the
quality control personnel are either ignored or overruled
by project engineers. This is due to the lack of authority
given to the quality control personnel (ISO 9001, clause
4.1.2). Few stated that the nonconformances are undoc-
One contractor relates the cost of quality to the non-
conformance. Whenever a Nonconformance Report
(NCR) is issued and the disposition is agreed upon, the
value of the problem (i.e., the cost of rework, replace-
ment, project delay, etc.) is calculated and documented
on the NCR. Documenting the nonconformance not only
serves as a tool to track the problem areas from begin-
ning to endit also helps in taking corrective measures
to prevent reoccurrence of these problems in the future.
The historical data developed through documenting the
nonconformance occurring during projects can be used
to reduce the costs of future projects.
Handling and Storage (Clause 4.15)
All contractors agreed that the packaging, preserva-
tion, and delivery required by clause 4.15 applies to
products not for construction work. The top-ranked con-
tractors showed evidence that the procured project ma-
terials and equipment, when received at the site or during
construction, are handled properly and in such a way that
their quality will not be degraded because of inappro-
priate handling, lifting, and rigging. Also, that materials
and equipment are properly stored to ensure that they
are preserved safely prior to their use or installation in
the project.
Assessment Findings
Quality Systems
The quality systems of the contractors vary in com-
plexity, ranging from an informal inspectionand test sys-
tem to a comprehensive system where inspection and
testing is only one element among many others. Four
contractors have comprehensive, corporate, documented
quality systems. The systems of these four contractors
are documented in quality manuals and procedures. Ten
out of the 15 contractors have limited, project-wide qual-
ity control systems. In other words, the quality system
in these companies covers only the activities associated
with certain projects at the job site. This type of limited
quality system concentrates heavily on inspection and
testing. One contractor, however, has no formal system.
Of the 15 contractors, two are registered to the ISO
9002-1994 standard, four are planning to be registered
in the near future, and three have hired external con-
sultants to assist in the process of establishing formal
quality systems and preparing for registration. The other
four contractors are interested in being registered but not
in the near future.
The registered contractors and the ones pursuing reg-
istration mentioned that the reasons for registration are
top management’s interest in the standard’s potential to
improve the quality of their projects, and the current or
expected demand from customers. They believed that it
is going to be compulsory in the future for public and
private contracts. They wanted to be ahead of others
when registration becomes a prerequisite for acceptance
of bids. Some construction managers indicated that cur-
rently there are several international agents, working in
Saudi Arabia, that administer registration of companies
for ISO 9000. It is possible to ‘‘shop around’’ to find
the certifying organization that offers the ‘‘best deal.’’
As a result, not all ISO 9000registered companies are
following the same requirements and the cost of imple-
menting the program can very tremendously.
Applicability and Benefits
The majority of contractors believe that the ISO 9000
standards are applicable to the construction industry and
will be beneficial to their companies. These contractors
made no exception to any of the clauses of the standards.
Two contractors have some reservations about whether
or not the standards add value to the quality of construc-
tion projects.
Processes, rather than products or services, are ISO
certified. The rationale is that if process management is
good, then resultant products or services will also be
good. It is important to recognize that some process steps
add value, while other activities add cost but provide no
value relative to the output of the process. These non-
value-added activities include all delays in processing,
temporary or permanent storage, inspections, and any
rework necessary to meet customer requirements or en-
gineering design specifications. In general, value is
added in a process whenever all three of the following
conditions are simultaneously met: (1) A desired physi-
cal change noticeable by the customer occurs; (2) given
a chance, the customer would pay for the activity to be
performed; and (3) the activity is done right the first time
(Gamsby et al. 1996).
Difficulties Surrounding ISO 9000 Requirements
Six contractors reported that the ISO 9000 standards
are not difficult to implement, while other six contractors
reported the following difficulties:
Voluminous amounts of required paper work as-
sociated with the documentation of the quality sys-
tem and its implementation
Difficulty in controlling the subcontractors
Difficulty in full implementation of all the require-
ments, and the possibility of occasional deviation
Difficulty in understanding the terminology of the
Difficulty in sparing company personnel to under-
take an additional workload in order to establish
quality system and its requirements
Lack in ability to afford full-time quality managers
and specialists
Obstacles to Implementation
The contractors have identified various obstacles that
discourage successful implementation of the ISO 9000
standard in their companies. These are
High cost, especially initial cost
Resistance to change at various levels in the or-
Loss of productivity of the workforce due to the
effort exerted in learning the new system and im-
plementation, besides their regular duties
Management interference
Limited ability of personnel
Remote job sites, making it hard to control and
track the quality system implementation in all sites
Communication problems between personnel be-
cause of language differences
Cultural differences within the workforce
There are several observations regarding contractor
quality systems. These are highlighted below:
There is a misconception about the objective of the
ISO 9000 standards. They believe that it requires
only a documented consistent level of quality,
whether low or highi.e., ‘‘write what you do and
do what you write.’’ This misconception must be
replaced by the correct concept, the ‘‘plan-do-
check-act,’’ where the quality system is continu-
ously monitored and updated to make sure that
continuous improvement is achieved and the or-
ganization’s quality policy objectives are met.
The contractors who have just started developing
quality systems in their companies do not consider
setting up priorities in developing the various ele-
ments of the quality system.
Most contractors confuse the understanding and
implementation of clause 4.13 (nonconformance)
and clause 4.14 (disposition and corrective action).
To explain the difference, whenever a nonconform-
ing work is constructed or wrong equipment is in-
stalled in the job site, and a decision is made to
correct the problem, this is ‘‘disposition.’’ When
measures are taken to prevent reoccurrence of the
nonconformance in the future, this is ‘‘corrective
Procedure effectiveness evaluations are lacking in
the contractors’ quality system. The objective of
internal quality audits (according to ISO 9000 stan-
dards) is to verify implementation and to evaluate
effectiveness. In other words, the auditor must not
only check if the quality procedures are adhered to
but must also check whether the procedures are
adequate and effective in achieving quality and
quality assurance.
Setting up priorities is another area of concern, es-
pecially for those who have just gotten started with
their new quality systems. They should consider
their company operations and make a list of pri-
orities, starting with areas needing immediate im-
provement. It was observed that ISO 9000 con-
sultants look at all quality elements in the same
way. It is the role of the contractor’s management
to identify the priorities for the consultants, and
improvement progress should be followed up.
The quality systems of 15 construction contractors
were evaluated. The quality system complexity varies
from an informal inspection and test system to a regis-
tered ISO 9002 quality system. The most appealing rea-
sons for registration are top managements interest in im-
proving project quality and current or expected demand
from customers. The ISO 9000 clauses most often com-
plied with are (1) inspection and test status; (2) inspec-
tion and testing; (3) control of nonconformance product;
and (4) handling, storage, and preservation. Misunder-
standings were observed regarding the quality system
documentation, method of implementation, and the dif-
ference between disposition of nonconformances and
corrective actions. Setting up priorities for improvement
is another area that contractors are not performing.
The writers appreciate the support of King Fahd Uni-
versity of Petroleum and Minerals during the course of
the study. Thanks is also extended to the construction
companies who participated in the study.
Al-Meer, A. A. (1989). ‘‘Organizational commitment: A comparison
of Westerners, Asians, and Saudis.’’ Int. Studies of Mgmt. & Org.,
19(2), 74–84.
Bhuian, S. N., and Al-Zamel, I. (1996). ‘‘ISO 9000 quality standards:
How is it perceived in Saudi Arabia?’’ Saudi Commerce & Econ.
Rev., 31, 13–16.
‘‘European survey reveals construction industry lags behind on ISO
9000.’’ (1994). ISO 9000 News, 3(6), 4–6.
Gamsby, S. O., Mize, J. D., and Reid, R. A. (1996). ‘‘Aproject man-
agement focused framework for assuring quality work process.’’
Proc., 27th Annu. Sem./Symp., Project Management Institute, Bos-
ton, 1010–1016.
Lamprecht, J. L. (1992). ISO 9000 preparing for registration. ASQC
Quality Press, Marcel Dekker, Inc., Milwaukee.
Nee, P. A. (1996). ISO 9000 in Construction. Wiley, New York.
Phenol, L. U. (1994). ‘‘ISO 9000: Implementation problems in the
construction industry.’’ Quality World, American Society of Quality
Control, May, 2–4.
‘‘Quality management in construction-contractual aspects.’’ (1992).
CIRIA Spec. Publ. No. 84, Construction Industry Research and In-
formation, London.
Reedy, R. F. (1994). ‘‘ISO 9000—guidelines to increased costs and
reduce product quality.’’ Cost Engrg., 36(6), 15–18.
... This divergence in the literature suggests that there is no general agreement on the positive effect of ISO 9000 on company performance (Martínez- Costa et al. 2009). Therefore, the effects of ISO 9000 on the company performance cannot be standardized, due to the probable effects of the organizational structure of each company (Bubshait and Al-Atiq 1999;Turk 2006). ...
... Juran and Godfrey (1999) stated that ISO 9000 certification lacks training to manage quality. Bubshait and Al-Atiq (1999) also stated that construction companies avoid exerting effort to learn new systems and implementations due to the loss of productivity of the workforce. Hoonakker et al. (2010) stated that training and learning are the best ways to improve quality in construction companies. ...
Although some studies identified positive effects of ISO certification on company performance, some studies proposed that the ISO 9000 certification does not guarantee high performance. To understand the reasons for performance differences between ISO-certified companies, these two assessments should be examined. In this way, ISO-certified companies can use the certification to improve their performance. Integrating both ISO 9000 certification and total quality management (TQM) is considered a vital factor for increasing the company performance. Therefore, TQM can be a crucial complement to ISO certification. One reason for the performance difference among ISO-certified companies may stem from ISO 9000-certified companies' following the ISO 9000 standards and applying TQM elements concurrently, which improves the performance, whereas other companies still rely solely on ISO 9000. However, this strategy does not provide the expected improvements to achieve high performance. This study investigated the reasons for performance variances among ISO 9000-certified companies by considering TQM elements. Forty TQM elements and eight performance metrics were extracted by conducting a literature survey, questionnaire survey, and focus group discussions. Another questionnaire survey was conducted among 65 participants from ISO 9000-certified construction companies. The data were examined by performing a cluster analysis and ANOVA. The analysis revealed that ISO-certified companies should not rely solely on the ISO certification. They should integrate ISO certification and TQM to increase their organizational and operational performance. Furthermore, these companies have deficiencies in encouraging employees to learn how to improve skills. They fall short in developing an environment for on-the-job training, quality data to evaluate supervisors and managers, and quality data to manage quality.
... Being the largest and fastest-growing construction market in the Gulf region, quality products and processes are becoming essential to the KSA construction industry. For example, Bubshait (2001) and Bubshait and Al-Atiq (1999) discovered that quality performances of construction projects in the KSA were at substandard levels. A further study in KSA also indicated that quality problems are among the leading causes of the conflicts between construction contractors and engineering consultants (Sha'ar et al., 2017). ...
... A further study in KSA also indicated that quality problems are among the leading causes of the conflicts between construction contractors and engineering consultants (Sha'ar et al., 2017). Bubshait and Al-Atiq (1999), for example, argued that one of the main reasons for the ineffective implementation of QMS in the Saudi construction market was that most Saudi contractors did not have a good understanding of document management concepts. Therefore, it was then necessary to first adopt an effective documentation system. ...
Full-text available
The construction sector in Saudi Arabia is the largest and fastest-growing market in the Gulf region. However, there are considerable quality service gaps that affect the overall performance of the construction projects. Achieving a high quality for construction projects is strongly associated with managing interrelated organisational processes and the company-specific practice and culture. Under this context, this paper develops a Quality Management System (QMS) for Saudi construction companies. The QMS is developed based on three primary sources: literature review, case studies on real-world practices of QMS implementations in Saudi Arabia, and ISO 9001. The study results demonstrate that the application of the QMS needs to consider five main components: top management commitment, facilitation of QMS application, company and project-based QMS, and evaluation and correction. The proposed QMS model can equally be implemented in culturally and economically similar countries like KSA.
... Their performance got improved by reducing absenteeism. Similarly, using the right tools and tackles while working was also found as a significant factor influencing workmanship at the site (Bubshait and Al-Atiq, 1999). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The adoption and implementation of Sustainable Construction has been one of the main challenges facing the construction industry for the last three decades. The issue has attracted global attention with many governments and organizations developing codes and frameworks to encourage and enforce the adoption of Sustainable Construction. However, current evidence suggests that companies and individuals are struggling to commit to Sustainable Construction and implement the suggested policies. This paper explores from the Malaysian residential building developer’s perspective, the barriers and external drivers influencing the adoption of sustainable construction in Malaysia. A comprehensive literature survey is carried out to develop a theoretical link between sustainable construction and identified factors. This was followed by a structured questionnaire survey among 365 Developer company registered with the REHDA (Real Estate and Residential Building Developers ‘Association Malaysia). 103 responses were received, 101 considered valid for analysis. Findings from the study revealed financial support (Incentives/tax rebates/subsidies, high profit margin), legislative and building regulation and availability of rating system. E.g. Green Building Index (GBI) are the key external drivers. Besides, high initial cost and investment, insufficient initiatives & support by government in term of tax rebates/subsidies/incentives and lack of improvement of legislation, building code and byelaws are the crucial barrier to the sustainable construction adoption. The study suggests government support in term of financial incentives, change in legislation and creation of awareness can promote the adoption and at the same time can provide barriers mitigation.
... (1) Quality management system. Generally, construction enterprises establish their quality management systems based on ISO 9000 [1]. ISO 9000 provides a set of requirements and processes for standardized quality management practices; however, it is not practical enough in some fields, such as design, internal review, training, and data statistics [2]. ...
Full-text available
Power engineering is complex, involving many participants, numerous management factors, and different stages. To improve the quality management level of power engineering and realize the standardization of power engineering quality management, power engineering construction quality management standardization (CQMS) is evaluated using the order relation analysis method (G1 method) and the cloud model method. Firstly, based on systematic thinking and practice in China, the CQMS framework is proposed, and the evaluation index system including organizational performance, management behaviour performance, and entity performance related to power engineering construction quality is established. Subsequently, the G1 method is used to determine the weight of each index, and the cloud model method is used to implement the evaluation process. The results are divided into five grades, representing the five grades of construction quality management. Finally, taking a practical multiterminal DC demonstration project in China as an example, the CQMS performance is described and evaluated. The evaluation results directly reflect the level and difference of CQMS and show that this evaluation method can provide a reference for CQMS in power engineering.
... Chau et al. (1993) defines quality as a measure of fitness for purpose, in the sense of meeting the needs of a client or customer as well as community standards, through the provision of an acceptable standard of construction to a reasonable cost and within the most feasible construction time possible. Quality assurance is important in the engineering and construction industry because of the risk involved in any project (Bubshait and Al-Atiq 1999). The issue of quality has been and is still of universal interest (Adenuga, 2013) and should be a matter of concern to all project participants in the construction industry (Chau et al., 1993) to improve their understanding of quality (Loushine et al., 2006) up to post occupancy stage. ...
... Quality problems cause delays and cost overruns. Effective quality management increases product quality, improves workmanship and efficiency, decreases wastage, and increases profit [62]. Quality is an essential consideration in selecting the proper contractor for any project [63]. ...
Full-text available
The failure of construction projects could be attributed to several challenges that emerged during the construction process. Nine major challenges were uncovered from the literature: resource allocation, time, cost, quality, safety, project complexity, changes, uncertainties, and communication. A survey was carried out among professionals having a minimum of 10 years of experience in the construction industry to identify the occurrence and severity of these challenges. A total of 117 responses were analyzed and plotted on a risk matrix. The mean values indicated that time, cost, and quality are the top three challenges faced in construction projects, while the risk matrix revealed that all challenges are high-risk challenges. Thus, the professionals should consider suitable measures to address these challenges for improving a project’s performance.
Full-text available
Systematic implementation of information modeling with further state regulation is planned in Ukraine. Individual design institutes already use BIM technologies in civil and industrial construction, mainly determined by static models of design, storage, and transmission of information separately in paper and electronic formats. The Concept aims to set goals for implementing BIM technologies in transport construction as a tool for further reform, modernization, and digital transformation of transport infrastructure in Ukraine. Postwar restoration of the road industry with the proper state regulation can be a significant impetus for the rapid introduction of information modeling in road network development.
The construction industry is a leading sector in the Egyptian economy. In 2020, its gross domestic product share was $23.75 billion, representing 6.7% of the total gross domestic product. While the construction investments reached $2.6 billion, representing 8.7% of Egypt’s total investment. However, in many cases, it is characterized by poor quality and performance. Many industries claimed that adopting a quality management system (QMS) enhanced their performance, productivity, and profitability. Previous research widely explored QMS implementation in different industries; only a few studies focused on the implementation and its key aspects in the construction industry, especially in developing countries. This paper aims to highlight the current QMS implementation status in Egyptian contracting companies and examine QMS implementation barriers, benefits, and critical success factors (CSFs). Accordingly, a survey questionnaire was distributed among top managers and quality management representatives. The findings indicated that resistance to change is the main barrier that encounters Egyptian contractors, while the top benefit identified is improved customer satisfaction and confidence. Besides, top management commitment and leadership was recognized as the essential factor for implementing QMS successfully. This study provides an insight into QMS implementation in Egypt to facilitate its successful implementation and promote quality management practices improvement in contracting companies.
Full-text available
A methodology was devised to measure the hidden cost of poor quality at construction projects and it was successfully tested on two projects to bring down the Cost of poor quality.
Purpose Conflicts, claims and disputes are inherent in most construction projects. Acceptable degree of commonality in the interpretation of contract provisions is critical in effective contract administration. This study aims to assess the effects of contract ambiguity factors on construction conflicts, highlighting the causes of divergent interpretations using fuzzy technique for order of preference by the similarity-to-ideal-solution (TOPSIS) method. Design/methodology/approach Fuzzy TOPSIS framework with 27 ambiguity factors is constructed by conducting a comprehensive literature review, accompanied by a pilot study. Questionnaire survey is formed, and one-to-one interviews are arranged with 35 contract administration experts. Findings The findings indicate that (1) ambiguity due to excessive changes in the bill of quantity (BOQ) (including ambiguous provisions related to BOQ changes), (2) incomplete clauses that do not describe the scope of the intended work purely, (3) ambiguity due to excessive amendments in the scope of works (including ambiguous provisions related to scope changes), (4) ambiguous enforceability including excessive demands and (5) ambiguous goal and performance requirements are the top five ambiguity factors affecting construction conflicts. Research limitations/implications Presented framework is performed referring to ambiguity factors in all type of construction contracts in the general sense. However, the identified factors may vary depending on the project type, contract type, procurement method or use of standard contract forms (such as NEC, FIDIC). Originality/value The literature lacks the investigation of ambiguity factors in construction contracts, yet the assessment of the effects of contract ambiguity is essential to minimize conflicts.
The number of ISO 9000 registered firms in the US and Europe is growing rapidly. Reasons for registration are retention of market share, customer pressure, trade in the European Community and desire to establish a functional quality management system. Construction contractors in Europe are seeking and obtaining registration. The trend toward registration may soon affect US construction contractors. Registration will require significant commitment of time and money for domestic contractors.
Many US companies are considering being registered to the provisions of ISO 9000, International Standards for Quality Management. One important problem with the document is that ISO 9000 is not focused on control of product quality. The quality assurance rules established in ISO 9000 have been used in the US for more than 25 years with disastrous financial consequences and little, if any, improvement in quality and safety. These rules are so reliant on documentation and strict compliance that ensuring products comply with specifications has become a secondary issues. That is not what was intended, but it is the result. ISO 9000 program can work effectively only when the top executive responsible for engineering or production takes full responsibility for interpretation and implementation of the quality assurance program. 3 refs., 1 tab.
Conference Paper
Federal Manufacturing & Technologies/New Mexico (FM&T/NM) of AlliedSignal is an organization of approximately 300 associates providing operations support, engineering, and other technical services for DOE, New Mexico`s National Laboratories, etc. Work performed is primarily project-oriented and ranges from executing a major long-term contract for retrofitting and maintaining a large fleet of escort vehicles to creating a single, small, prototype electronic device for measuring radiation in a unique environment. FM&T/NM is functionally organized and operates in a classic matrix format with functional departments providing personnel with technical expertise, necessary physical resources, and administrative support to several project-based groups. Like most matrix-based organizations that provide support to diverse customers, FM&T/NM has encountered problems that occur when a group of project managers is expected to work together in using and scheduling a shared set of limited resources for the good of the organization as a whole. The framework for managing projects that we present focuses on developing, understanding, and managing the relationships between the functional organization structure, the system of work processes, and the management of projects. FM&T/NM retains its functional structure which primarily assigns personnel to work processes. The evolving role of the process leader focuses primarily on designing, managing, and improving the process, and the interactions among the subprocesses. The project manager is responsible for (1) translating customer requirements into product specifications, (2) determining the sequence of activities needed to meet project goals, (3) scheduling the required work processes, (4) monitoring project progress, (5) providing liaison between the customer and process leaders, and (6) having the desired product and/or service delivered to a satisfied customer in a timely manner.
Sumario: Overview of the ISO 9001/Q91 requirements -- How to interpret and address ISO 9001 -- The ISO Quality Assurance System: How to proceed? -- Suggestions on how to organize a quality assurance the pyramid of quality model -- Tier two documentation -- Tier three documentation -- Documenting your procedures -- How to proceed? -- Often asked questions -- On registrars and EN 45011/2 -- The third party audit -- How to facilitate an internal audit -- The ISO 9000 series in 1992 and beyond
ISO 9000 quality standards: How is it perceived in Saudi Arabia?” Saudi Commerce &
  • S N Bhuian
  • I Al-Zamel
Bhuian, S. N., and Al-Zamel, I. (1996). ''ISO 9000 quality standards: How is it perceived in Saudi Arabia?'' Saudi Commerce & Econ. Rev., 31, 13–16.
“ISO 9000: Implementation problems in the construction industry
  • L U Phenol
Phenol, L. U. (1994). ''ISO 9000: Implementation problems in the construction industry.'' Quality World, American Society of Quality Control, May, 2–4.