In response to private and public stakeholders’ requirements and amid technological developments, many aspects in connection with construction projects have changed. However, the key principles of such projects have not – including the way they are organised, which is still exactly the same, entailing a design stage, a construction stage and a handover stage. This means that it is crucial to opt for a construction project management tool that has been designed to cover all these stages, rather than attempting to adapt other non-specialised tools.
Resolving defects: a high-stakes process
Main contractors are well aware of the need to hand over the buildings with their clients, the project owners, with the fewest possible defects. This aim for minimum defects is a key factor in ensuring complete satisfaction on the part of project owners, who will then deliver the assets to the end buyers. If no shared digital solution is used, each company, each participant, will resort to conventional office automation tools to plan the construction, track its progress, record problems and defects and compile the handover report. In most cases, on the day of handover, the main contractor makes a note of the defects it observes while the project owner and project management team do the same on their own documents.
Once the handover is complete, the stakeholders return to the office and produce a concept note summarising, often in table format, the defects of each housing unit for example. These documents are emailed to each participant and several phone calls are made to ensure everyone has clearly understood the nature of the defects, their precise location and their preferred processing date. Companies must then go to the site to carry out the necessary repairs or adjustments on the defect, before calling on the main contractor to come and confirm on-site that the defect has been processed. As the main contractor, after conducting the inspection visit, you are personally going to contact your client who will also travel to the site to resolve the defect. In short, this amounts to an excessive amount of uncoordinated and time-consuming exchanges, generating a risk of misunderstandings and dissatisfaction for all teams involved.
Kairnial, a collaborative solution developed for building sites
Right from the outset, the Kairnial collaborative platform has been designed to help you more efficiently manage the business processes inherent in construction. Resolving defects is a core feature of the software’s architecture. First of all, it is accessible both in the office, via the desktop web app, and on the move, on phones and tablets. Specialising in BIM (Building Information Modelling), the platform allows for consultation not only of the plans in 2D but also of digital models. This means that all users – whether at the main contractor’s end or in the project ownership or project management teams – can access all this data through a single platform and, as such, make sure they are working on the same document. On the day of handover, the authorised participants will be able to locate the defects observed directly on the 2D plans or on the components of the 3D model contained in the Kairnial platform. Gone are any possible doubts over the location of the defect, since it is recorded directly on the platform which is common to all those involved. For the purposes of providing some context to the other companies that have to process the defects, it is possible to add a description of the defect, associate it with a work package, take a photo, annotate it and, finally, to allocate it to the subcontractor in question. This gets round the need to email the lists to all the project participants and minimises misunderstanding and risks of errors. Once a company has processed the defect, it can report this directly in the software by updating its status and adding a photo as evidence of the work done. The main contractor or project management team no longer needs to go on-site to check that the defect has indeed been processed. Thanks to a fully customisable workflow, only those with the requisite access credentials can update the defect status – to “closed” – to be able to fully resolve it. On a final note, by synchronising the mobile app with the desktop web version of the Kairnial platform, reports can be generated in Excel and PDF formats alike. This does away with any risk of data re-entry errors.
By using a collaborative platform like Kairnial, you can centralise all the data and gain exhaustive traceability as regards the list of defects, their processing and closeout.