For People Outside The Construction Sector, Knowing The Difference Between Qa And Qc Is An Advantage

In the construction industry, there are fundamental differences between quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC), and this knowledge must be imbibed by stakeholders, whether as the proprietor or contractor of an infrastructure project.  It is likewise advantageous for people not technically involved in the construction industry, especially those newly embarking on establishing their own housing units, to understand and differentiate the two concepts to place in proper perspectives plans and expectations.

Basically, QA and QC have diverse objectives and purposes in the various phases of a construction project.  During the design phase, the quality assurance team monitors the procedures that the construction firm has executed and guarantees that the design meets quality standards. Likewise, the QA group exacts parameters, rules in drawing preparation, revision, and approval, as well as criteria and specifications for the proposed materials in the drawings. On the other hand, quality control examines the qualifications of the technical experts designated to handle whether these match the specific skills required.  QC team likewise ensures that the drawings bear the proper identification and signatures and that the materials for procurement have the accurate specifications.

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In the materials procurement phase, QA establishes a system of evaluation to discern who among the supplier-applicants have the means and the capability as well as the integrity to produce the specified quality.  QA recommends whether personal calls to the potential supplier’s facilities are necessary, whether it has to establish a QA program or whether supplied materials have to put to the test.  All of these recommendations have to be implemented by QC which likewise has to implement corrective actions if the quality of the delivered materials veers from the quality standards.

During the construction period, QA sets the initiative in setting the appropriate construction parameters.  It installs a process of evaluating construction specifications or project descriptions to set up standards that will match the quality preferences of the client, as well as compliance with legal requirements and building permits.  Quality control, meanwhile, is in charge of confirming that the materials used, and the corresponding output are all up to the design framework and standards ruled by the QA team.  The QA may further require certain tests, for some construction processes and the materials, for which the QC bears the accountability to undertake.

Image source: terracon.com

Hence, the application of QA systems and procedures provides the characteristics and quality standards of the completed infrastructure, while QC confirms, in a report, the compliance to the specified quality and standards.

Having obtained his degree in civil engineering from the Osmania University in Hyderabad, India, and his master’s in civil engineering from Texas Tech University at Lubbock, Reddy Kancharla also logged more than 25 years of experience in projects involving civil construction, geotechnical consultation, construction QA/QC, including ten years of senior management experience.  For more reads on civil engineering, click here.

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How 3-d Printing Is Remodeling The Construction Industry

3-D printing technology first started to gain mainstream attention several years back, and it has since disrupted (in a good way) various industries, including construction.

In March 2017, the audience at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show was treated for a surprise. Aside from the blossoming displays and demonstration of skills by the countries’ leading landscape and floral designers, revealed during the five-day event was a 3-D-printed treehouse that exhibited the potential of mankind’s ability to full-scale houses and other structures in the future.

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Image source: industrytap.com

Even before the show in Australia, 3-D printing in the construction industry had already been experimented on in other countries. In China, 3-D-printed concrete houses have been built. In Dubai, fully-functioning offices have been erected using 3-D printing. Even in California, contour-crafted buildings have already been designed using the technology.

While it may be years away from seeing 3-D-printed homes and buildings on the ground, the technology has been useful in the industry for various reasons.

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Image source: inhabitat.com

It has boosted efficiency in structural designs because creating prototypes is much easier now. Translating drawings and sketches from software into a physical model can be done more quickly. Even prefabrication of components used in construction projects has become more cost-effective, thanks to 3-D printing technology.

Reddy Kancharla has more than 25 years of experience in the fields of civil construction, geotechnical consultation, and construction quality assurance. See more discussions on the industry by following this Twitter page.

Both Art And Construction Marvel: The Eiffel Tower

It used to be condemned by artists as a hulking monstrosity, a blight over the pristine city of Paris, but Gustav Eiffel’s creation has stood the test of time and proved itself a triumph of civil construction.

Today, it is one of the most photographed tourist monuments. It stands tall at 324 meters and is revered as the city’s tallest structure. Of course, it took a lot of climbing, technology-wise and from an engineering point of view, to get it to its iconic status.

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Eiffel, in fact, was heavily criticized for preferring artistry to sound construction principles during the tower’s creation. But it turned out he may have had his civil engineering principles pat. Eiffel then was more known for the bridges he built; perhaps he had just built a vertical bridge without knowing it.

His main concern, naturally, was wind resistance, so he compiled his experience and knowledge in building to do the math. The tower was meant to symbolize France’s newly minted status as an industrial country and to be showcased at the Universal Exhibition of 1889. Predictably, it took four months to lay its very foundations. Its square base would measure 125 meters on each side. Then it took another two years to get much iron to a height of 300 meters.

                       Image source: TravelandLeisure.com

The pieces of the tower were assembled in a factory in Levallois-Perret. Then another mass of workers labored onsite to put them together. One of the marvels of the Eiffel tower is the manner by which the design of the parts had been assiduously designed, calculated, and drafted, all 18,000 pieces of them.

The riveted metallic pieces were also a testament to the newest techniques of the day. Bolts held them together, and cooling techniques were used to tighten the rivets, ensuring the strength of the structure.

One can imagine the number of workers the completion of the project demanded. At least four workers tweaked the rivets. Multiply that manifold, and you get a picture of the Herculean labors that actually went into this marvel of architecture and engineering.

Reddy Kancharla holds a master’s degree in civil engineering from Texas Tech University at Lubbock. He has 25 years of experience in civil construction, geotechnical consultation, and construction QA/QC, and more than a decade in senior management for civil engineering firms. For similar reads, visit this blog.

Artificial intelligence: Does it have a role in the future of the construction industry?

As technology continues to evolve over time, so does artificial intelligence (AI). What were the stuff of sci-fi novels and movies a couple of years ago is becoming more and more a reality today. Various industries nowadays take advantage of the convenience and usefulness of AI. In the construction sector, those who use the technology have found their projects completed more efficiently and with increased safety and higher quality.

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Contrary to common belief, AI in the construction industry is not just limited to robotics in job sites replacing human-operated machineries such as bricklaying, concrete dispensing, welding, and more.

AI is roughly defined as a machine that mimics human cognitive functions, and these include problem-solving, recognition of patterns, and learning from data that it is fed with. Because of this, AI can be used in various applications, which can be categorized into four perspectives, namely, equipment, administrative, construction methodology, and post-construction.

There is also a widespread concern, however, on whether people will lose employment opportunities as construction tasks become more automated. This was like the apprehension people have when the first construction machines were developed. As time has proven, though, these machines have opened new doors of opportunities for specialists and jobseekers.

Furthermore, construction companies see AI as the solution to the current labor shortage in the construction industry, particularly in the U.S.

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                                                         Image source: cityam.com

Reddy Kancharla is a civil engineer who has had more than 25 years of experience in various construction projects and senior management. Read more about him here.

Recent Noteworthy Trends In Civil Engineering

As innovations in technology continue to affect our daily lives, civil engineering adapts to the rapid changes and develops more ways to improve quality of life. From the construction of high rises to sturdy structures for drainage and disaster prevention, civil engineering is shaping our modern world.
Recent developments point to an increased interdisciplinarity, as the field marries traditional engineering methods with the other sciences. The idea is to promote sustainable and resilient infrastructure. In the traditional sense, civil engineering is turning its attention to so-called “smart” materials like recycled rubber pellets, geopolymers, fly ash, and concrete reinforced with fiber.
Image source: medium.com
Energy efficiency is the current direction, and progress in nanotechnology has led to enhanced materials geared toward energy conservation. Shape Memory Alloys, previously used only in aircraft and automobiles, are now being deployed for such enhancements, as they have high damping and fatigue resistance capacities.
Computers are now being heavily used to understand the structural health and resiliency of structures. Vision-based techniques are now being maximized for civil engineering work like oil explorations, corrosion detection, and construction progress monitoring.
Image source: en.wikipedia.org
Pretty soon, sensing techniques in roads and bridges that study crack propagation and structural vibration will intertwine with advances in data interpretation and the growing fields of virtual/augmented reality and robotics.
Reddy Kancharla has more than 25 years of experience in projects involving civil construction, geotechnical consultation, and construction QA/QC. He has extensive knowledge of budgeting principles relating to both civil construction projects and building management. For similar reads, visit this blog.

Construction Technologies That Help Buildings Resist Earthquakes

The not-so-good news is that the world is even more inclined today to suffer the effects of earthquakes than in the past. This is primarily because a lot of people have moved to the cities, to modern environments with many structures like elevated superhighways, bridges, and buildings. But there’s no need to fret, as architects and civil engineers are continuously working on innovations to make our living and working spaces more earthquake-resistant. Here are some technologies of note.

Image source: civildigital.com

Base isolation

The concept is to separate a building’s substructure from its superstructure. A building can then “float” above its foundation, using lead-rubber bearings with a solid lead core wrapped in layers of rubber and steel. These bearings are attached to the structure with steel plates, allowing the base to move during an earthquake without shaking the structure above. Japanese civil engineers are even using cushions of air to expand on the idea, with seismic sensors that prompt a compressor that pumps air into the base, allowing the building to be temporarily lifted.

Damping

This innovation is taken from the automobile industry. In principle, it acts like a car’s shock absorber, slowing down and reducing vibrations by transforming kinetic energy into heat. This damping process then dissipates the heat using hydraulic fluid. Engineers now put dampers at each level of a building, with the ends connected to a column and a beam, respectively. These absorbers are made up of pistons in cylinders filled with silicone oil. During an earthquake, the pistons push against the oil and diminish the shaking.

Rocking core-wall

Core-wall construction means placing a reinforced concrete at the middle of the building, surrounding its elevator banks. This technology is often used in modern high-rise structures to deal with seismic activities at a lower cost. However, the core-wall concept is ideally applied in conjunction with base isolation lead-rubber bearings, as rocking core-walls tend to leave walls deformed after significant seismic activities.

Image source: youtube.com

Reddy Kancharla has 25 years of experience in civil construction, geotechnical consultation, and construction QA/QC, and more than a decade in senior management for civil engineering firms. For similar reads, drop by this blog.

A Historical Ballpark: Fun Facts About The Yankees Stadium

The Yankees Stadium has become a landmark in New York. As one of the structures that people from different generations have come to appreciate, the famed ballpark has gone through changes and significant events. Here are some interesting facts about the Yankees Stadium:

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Image source:Mlb.com

1. The old Yankees Stadium that was built in 1923 was nicknamed “The house that Ruth built.” The project cost $2.4 million and was financed by owner Jacob Ruppert.

2. During the Second World War, Yankees president Ed Barrow offered the use of the old Yankees Stadium to the Civil Defense as a place for evacuation in case of a bomb attack.

3. Aside from sports events, the old Yankees stadium became the venue for some conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses. When Pope Paul VI visited the U.S. for the first time, he celebrated mass with 80,000 devotees at the stadium.

4. The new stadium was opened to the public on April 2, 2009. The new stadium was meant to look like the original one, including the dimensions of the playing field during the old stadium’s last reconstruction.

5. The new Yankees Stadium is believed to be the most expensive sports stadium built and took three years to be completed. Construction started in summer of 2006 and ended spring of 2009. Aside from being the home of the New York Yankees, it is also the home of New York City FC.

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Image source:Loving-newyork.com

The Yankees and its homes are considered to be a part of the New York culture. For many sports fans, these stadiums are the site of many memories. Despite the changes the stadiums have undergone, sports fans still gather and flock to the site to watch their favorite teams play.

Reddy Kancharla has worked on projects such as the USTA National Tennis Center, Yankee Stadium, the Giants/Jets Stadium, and Terminals 1, 4, 5 and 7 of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Airport. In his many years of service, he has acquired extensive knowledge of engineering theories, principles, and practical solutions to engineering problems relating to civil engineering and the construction industry. For more civil engineering updates, follow this page.