Construction Administration, Quality Assurance and Special Inspections

Construction Administration (CA), Quality Assurance (QA) and Special Inspections (SI) are processes meant to ensuring a safe, comfortable, useful, and enduring project constructed to the appropriate standard of quality. These services can be discreet, but they are most effective when complimentary. The purpose of each is to ensure that the construction process and its result are in conformance with the construction contract. The services are necessary and are a direct benefit to the Owner, user, and the public. Whenever possible, NorthWind strives to provide these services in tandem.

Construction Administration refers to the Architect's administration of the construction contract on the Owner's behalf. It is often legally required that a design professional provide CA services for its own design projects, however many owners prefer to augment the Architect's service with those of a third party specializing in construction phase services. NorthWind provides CA services for projects including its own throughout the State of Alaska.

Principal Construction Administration services include:

  • Owner representation
  • Permit acquisition assistance
  • Contract, specification and drawing interpretation
  • Submittal review
  • Field design where conflicts and/or constructability issues arise
  • Project progress and schedule tracking
  • Project fee consumption tracking
  • Document control
  • Communication facilitation
  • General quality assurance

Quality Assurance refers to scope-specific, field quality oversight. QA efforts are typically focused on architectural, mechanical, and electrical scopes (structural scopes of work are typically addressed by Special Inspections). Quality Assurance will benefit a project comprehensively, but can be indispensible where critical systems are concerned, such as building envelops.

Principal Quality Assurance services include:

  • Detailed material and systems design, installation and performance requirement review
  • Preconstruction conferences with key sub contractors to establish expectations regarding design installation and performance requirements
  • Field inspection/observation of material and system installation
  • Constructive communication to preempt and/or correct deficiencies
  • Documentation

Special Inspections refer to code stipulated Quality Assurance efforts. SI is typically focused on structural scopes of work, but can include some mechanical and civil aspects of a project. Special inspections are required by law to assure that systems key to the stability of a structure are constructed in conformance with governing codes and the construction contract. A Special Inspector must be recognized by the local building official as qualified to perform special inspections in a given jurisdiction. NorthWind provides Special Inspection services throughout the State of Alaska.

Principal Special Inspection services are similar in form to QA services but are governed by the International Building Code and include:

  • Detailed material and systems design and installation requirement review
  • Preconstruction conferences with key sub contractors to establish expectations regarding design and installation requirements
  • Field inspection/observation of material and system installation
    • Soils for material quality, bearing and compaction
    • Concrete forming, reinforcing, mixing, placement and curing
    • Post-tensioned concrete reinforcing
    • Structural steel erection, detailing, bolting and welding
    • Light gage metal and wood framing
    • Seismic resisting systems
  • Constructive communication to preempt and/or correct deficiencies
  • Documentation