Mentoring MWESB trade partners on quality control
There is no substitution for diligence in the field; we have a strong system in place that produces outstanding results. Beginning during the design phase and continuing through warranty, each project team seeks quality design and construction solutions that meet the clients’ needs in the most cost-effective manner. Our quality process is extremely thorough, both with the employees of the company and the companies with which we partner.
Our teams have the authority to direct field personnel and subcontractors in product installation and detail review. Likewise, our field staff are authorized to stop installation of building envelope items if they see errors in product sequence or installation. To this end, we often will take the time to educate and mentor our trade partners to ensure the entire team is dedicated to providing the highest quality product to our client.
When we bring on a new exterior envelope sub with more of a residential construction experience base, our Quality team helps communicate WALSH’s expectations with regards to submittal processing: we organize a Building Enclosure Coordination (BEC) meeting, coordinate the exterior mock-up exercise, identify testing requirements, and oversee execution of the finished product.
These are the steps we take:
- Reviewing expectations for submittal processing includes walking through typical Technical and Safety Data Sheets (TDS & SDS) from manufacturers, connecting the sub with manufacturer representatives to procure accurate information (TDS, SDS, etc.), and identifying the necessary shop drawings (such as sheet metal profiles) to be provided. We even help walk through the software they can use to compile those documents and review the submittals, providing feedback prior to sending on to the design team for their review.
- The Building Enclosure Coordination (BEC) meeting introduces the sub to our Quality team including the Quality Assurance Manager, ‘Skin Doctor’ (an internal name for field professionals focused on building envelope installation concerns and corrections), and Envelope Superintendent. In these meetings, we walk through the products, details, and installation instructions for the project. We also connect their work with adjacent trades’ work, so that they understand how the quality of their work can enhance or impact all other work.
- Exterior mock-ups are an opportunity to practice the details and the sequence of construction before we execute the finished product. Here, the sub is re-introduced to our Skin Doctor for the project, and the process of how we communicate and review work in the field is introduced. We also get a feel for their internal quality control practices, and how they approach the work from the perspectives of quality, safety, scheduling, and preparedness.
- Testing requirements including water penetration testing for windows and destructive adhesion tests for sealants are executed on the mockup. This introduces the sub’s team to some of our verification process.
After all this preparation, the execution of the finished assembly might seem like a foregone conclusion. However, we continue to coach and support the sub’s team toward completion of the work, both on time, but accommodating changing project conditions relative to schedule, weather, and contracting requirements.
Beyond this, our project management teams will coach these trade partners through payments procedures, workforce training requirements, and documentation of all of the above.
We strive to help our trade partners succeed, not only for the success of our project, but for a genuine interest in bolstering our MWESB and COBID-certified businesses.