Technical Guidance Note (Level 2, No. 22): Workmanship and quality inspections by the structural eng

Author: Chris O'Regan

Date published

2 September 2019

Price

Standard: £9 + VAT

Members/Subscribers: Free

Buy Now
Back to Previous

Technical Guidance Note (Level 2, No. 22): Workmanship and quality inspections by the structural engineer during construction

The Structural Engineer
Technical Guidance Note (Level 2, No. 22): Workmanship and quality inspections by the structural eng
Date published

2 September 2019

Author

Chris O'Regan

Price

Standard: £9 + VAT

Members/Subscribers: Free

Buy Now
Author

Chris O'Regan

Inspection of works on site during construction is a high-risk activity which requires skill and experience. Inspections are of the utmost importance as they help to reduce the risk of defects being present within the structure of the building – although they can never guarantee it. They should only be performed by those who are familiar with the design of the works and the limitations of construction methods.

The construction phase of a project is the stage where its design is implemented. Unforeseen variables have an impact on the assumptions made and changes may occur to the original design. Workmanship is also important, as the structural model used in design assumes good practice will be followed on site. For materials for which the partial factors used in design vary depending on the level of workmanship/supervision, it is essential to confirm that design assumptions have not been jeopardised.

It is typically the responsibility of the main contractor, supported by the specialist contractors’ designers, to ensure that the works are delivered in accordance with the design documentation.

The principal way workmanship is assured is through supervision and oversight by the main contractor. Any inspection carried out by the client’s design team, including by the structural engineer, will be in addition to the contractor’s monitoring of progress of the works. Nonetheless, it is good practice for such supplemental inspections to occur.

Before attending site, it is important that the inspecting engineer understands the scope of the site inspection and its purpose; any review can only be based on a sampling of the works that are available at the time. Where intrusive works are required to achieve the objective of the inspection, the inspecting engineer must provide a detailed specification of what is to be done. Before attending site, they should confirm that the necessary opening-up works have been completed.

This Technical Guidance Note concerns the inspection of structural elements that are typically present within buildings during their construction and/or alteration. It describes the elements, aspects of the elements which consistently prove to be problematic and, to some extent, how to detect defects. The note assumes that the inspecting engineer has suitable levels of competency.

It should also be borne in mind that, no matter who is employing the engineer, they have a duty of care to the public to ensure a building is safe.

Correction

This note contains an error in Figure 2. The figure describes the indentation pattern on the surface of the concrete as ‘plastic settlement’, when in fact it is the far more common and benign effect of ‘reinforcement ripple’.

Further information on reinforcement ripple can be found in Concrete Advice Sheet No. 6 Reinforcement ripple, and further information on plastic settlement can be found in Technical Report 22 Non-structural cracks in concrete. Both texts are published by the Concrete Society.

Additional information

Format:
PDF
Pages:
5
Publisher:
The Institution of Structural Engineers

Tags

Technical Guidance Notes Technical Guidance Notes (Level 2) Technical Guidance Notes Technical Issue 9

Related Resources & Events

The Structural Engineer
<h4>Technical Guidance Note (Level 2, No. 9): Designing a reinforced concrete retaining wall</h4>

Technical Guidance Note (Level 2, No. 9): Designing a reinforced concrete retaining wall

Although retaining walls have been the subject of two earlier Technical Guidance Notes; No. 8 (Level 1): Derivation of loading to retaining structures and No. 33 (Level 1): Retaining wall construction, their design has not been covered. This guidance note focuses specifically on the design of reinforced concrete gravity retaining walls. There are three different forms of this type of wall, all of which are designed to resist overturning and sliding failure. The primary difference between them is their height. The taller the retaining wall, the more likely that counterforts and beams spanning between them will be necessary. This note describes how all of these forms of retaining wall can be designed. (This article was updated in October 2016 to reflect errata issued since its original publication.)

Date - 1 January 2014
Author - The Institution of Structural Engineers
Price - £0/£9
The Structural Engineer
<h4>Technical Guidance Note (Level 2, No. 8): Designing a pile-cap</h4>

Technical Guidance Note (Level 2, No. 8): Designing a pile-cap

This Technical Guidance Note concerns the design of pile-caps for small groups of piles e.g. 2-4 piles. It relies on the strut and tie method to determine the amount of reinforcement required in the pile-cap; which is dependent upon the depth of the cap, the magnitude of the axial load being placed upon it, the cap’s concrete strength and the pile size and spacing.

Date - 28 November 2013
Author - The Institution of Structural Engineers
Price - £0/£9
The Structural Engineer
<h4>Technical Guidance Note (Level 2, No. 7): Designing a concrete pad foundation</h4>

Technical Guidance Note (Level 2, No. 7): Designing a concrete pad foundation

The purpose of a pad foundation is to spread a concentrated force into soil. They are one of the most simple and cost effective types of footings for structures. Provided the founding soil is of sufficient strength and is not too deep to reach, pad foundations are the preferred solution for foundations due to the straight forward nature of their design and construction. This Technical Guidance Note covers the design of concrete pad foundations, both mass and reinforced concrete forms. It will not, however, discuss how the bearing capacity of the soil is determined, as that is explained in Technical Guidance Note 19 (Level 1) Soil bearing capacity. It is suggested that you read that text in conjunction with this, in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the topic. (This article was updated in October 2016 to reflect errata issued since its original publication.)

Date - 1 August 2013
Author - The Institution of Structural Engineers
Price - £0/£9