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Value Engineering in QAQC: Let's Talk about Overruling Standard Specifications

posted Jul 28, 2022, 6:11 AM by jeffery jim

Overruling the specification? How dare you overrule a standard specification (SP) set by the Client and binded as part of the Contract? You are not the Superintending Officer and how can you take charge of overruling?
2. These are typical questions by many engineers who failed to see beyond their responsibilities. The question is not about overruling but what can be done during quality assurance (QA) stage which will assist decision when it comes to quality control (QC) stage. What miscellaneous information can be use as parameters, determinants, and/or constants when analyses are conducted when issues arise during construction stage? Here is the trade-off for an engineer to plan from the early stage of any construction based on previous projects and lessons learned.
3. Updates: The SP is a reference point which comes with many narratives and usually backed with other normative references. In this case, most of national level specification allows clauses in the SP to be overruled by latest national and international normative references when these are in-place. This can be seen in JKR's Standard Specification for Building Works.
4. Discretion: Apart from latest normative references, the SP allows the Consulting Engineer to apply his professional decision in making proper call when it comes to executing work. This is the case which creates a lot of confusion for engineer. Some will take it with pride and distinction and allow for good practices. On the other hand, this usually causes many engineers to be uneasy to decide and refrain from making changes for fear of noncompliance.
Overruling part(s) of the SP could be something which is benefiting for QAQC and part of the concept in establishing value engineering. The adoption of new specification(s) may reduce one of the three elements in construction; cost, time and quality. This creates value! It allows for robust and durable structures to be built and comply with latest standard requirements. It is also a compelling method of increasing initial testing for more data part of validating one's moves and discretion on certain issue based on statistical analyses.
6. Have you overruled any standard specification in a project?

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