Spec Finish

Technical Benchmarks are used to establish a standard that future work can be judged against. For example; benchmarking something for the quality of finish or technical execution, and to set a level for what’s expected throughout a project. WHY BENCHMARKS ARE SO IMPORTANT 12 www.thefis.org I N this article, Joe Cilia (JC) Technical Director at FIS, talks to Alex Double (AD) a Director at AD Design Consultants, (drylining and fire protection consultants) about the best way to use benchmarks and what to do if they are not part of a contract or included in the specification. JC: What is the difference between a quality benchmark and a technical benchmark?’ AD: A building contract should make provisions for the subcontractor to provide an appropriate number of benchmarks on a project. A full list of what is required should be scheduled and agreed between the parties at the earliest opportunity; taking care that these benchmarks can be accessed and referenced throughout the project. Sufficient records should be made to log exactly what was constructed. Benchmarks can take a number of forms, such as: • Quality: - finishes; and - tolerances • Technical - detailing; and - system. A ‘ quality ’ benchmark can help to agree the standards for both the quality of finish and the installation tolerances. It should set out the methodology for checking the works to be explained, mainly to avoid overzealous methods being employed. It is important to carry out the benchmark works as you would intend to do throughout the project and not to overwork this area. After all, this will be the standard you would be expected to install throughout the duration of the contract. A ‘ technical ’ benchmark allows the parties to demonstrate how the system is compliantly assembled and also gives the opportunity to ‘mock up’ specific areas of work where there is complex detailing (e.g. a partition interface with cladding). The benchmarks can form part of the finished works or be a standalone area and this will depend on the size of the project. It is imperative that quality benchmarks are available to view throughout the project, as these will need to be used as a comparison if there is a dispute, whereas a technical benchmark may simply be recorded Alex Double, A D Design Consultants Ltd Joe Cilia, FIS Technical Director

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