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QUALITY CONTROL TESTING LABORATORIES FOR CONSTRUCTION
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QUALITY CONTROL TESTING, LABORATORIES FOR, CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS. THIS REPORT ADDRESSES AN ASSESSMENT AND THE STATE, OF CONDITIONS OF CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS QUALITY. CONTROL TESTING LABORATORIES THROUGHOUT KOSOVO, THE REPORT PRESENTS FIELD REPORTS AND. RECOMMENDATIONS TO INCREASE THE ACCURACY AND, RAISE THE LEVEL OF CONFIDENCE IN A LABORATORY S TEST. Kosovo Cluster and Business Support project Quality Control Testing Equipment for Construction. Contract No AFP I 00 03 00030 00 TO 800, This report submitted by Chemonics International Inc 16 Jun 2006.
The author s views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States. Agency for International Development or the United States Government. PURPOSE OF ASSIGNMENT 1, BACKGROUND 1, EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 2. FIELD ACTIVITIES TO ACHIEVE PURPOSES 4, TASK FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 4. ECONOMIC RESULTS 7, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR. FUTURE ACTIVITY 8, PURPOSE OF ASSIGNMENT, The purpose of the assignment was to advise on the basic testing equipment to be. provided the organization of laboratories training and certification of laboratory. technicians and certification accreditation of laboratories through the following tasks. Review the existing structure of testing in Kosovo the facilities currently in use. and the steps needed to upgrade their operations to perform satisfactorily. Define the minimum needs to assure Kosovars that construction is being. performed with materials that meet specification and advise what necessary. knowledge training and equipment must be provided, Advise what quality control and quality assurance procedures are required to be.
implemented in the laboratories, Advise on the certification and accreditation requirements for the laboratories and. liaise with the Ministry of Trade and Industry s Standardization Agency in. implementing these requirements, Develop a program for training the laboratory supervisors and technicians. Review the practicality of using testing facilities in neighboring countries as is. proposed by the EU, BACKGROUND, The USAID Mission in Kosovo has identified the construction materials cluster as one. sector of industry with potential for significant development and for assisting the. acceleration of private sector growth in Kosovo The Kosovo Cluster and Business. Support Program KCBS is working with leaders in the cluster to improve productive. capacity to improve market chain linkages and to improve quality control The majority of. construction in the boom years since the war ended in 1999 has been completed with. little attention to standards and with little inspection during construction KCBS has. funded the translation of European Norms EN applicable to cement aggregates. reinforcing steel into Albanian and is waiting for the Ministry to recommend their. application for all construction By the end of 2005 EN standards for concrete and. concrete products will also have been prepared, The facilities for testing materials incorporated in construction are limited When tests are. specified many contractors use facilities at the University of Pristina where professors. see testing on University equipment and issuing certificates as secondary income A. rigorous approach to testing is not evident At the same time many construction. products are imported rebar cement blocks and there are doubts about the. authenticity of the certificates that accompany these products Kosovo needs an. authorized testing center where investors engineers and quality conscious contractors. can be sure that test results are accurate and valid. STTA Report Jeffrey Groom June 2006 Page 1, EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.
Interviews laboratory tours and production facility tours were performed with USAID. personnel to assess the current local standard of care associated with quality. assurance quality control QA QC testing the quality of testing equipment being utilized. the standards and test methods being followed and the level of internal quality control. used by laboratory personnel, There is a movement within the Kosovo construction industry to have accredited. laboratories with certified personnel performing the QC tests Personnel within the. industry understand basic QA QC concepts but need guidance on how to improve the. current local standard of care Improving the accuracy of test results will benefit the. overall construction industry but testing is a relatively small part of a much needed. improvement in overall construction practices, The testing equipment currently in use is adequate for basic QC testing Most of the. equipment observed is less than three years old There has been a significant. investment made in all of the laboratories visited The laboratory equipment. encountered is in need of calibration and based on the calibration results may need. some level of repair Even the most elaborate testing equipment is relatively simple and. can be easily repaired Replacement parts are also easy to acquire There seems to be. an impression that equipment with more electronics is better One lab had two pieces of. equipment used to measure the stress and stain of hot mix asphalt samples The more. modern piece incorporated electronic pressure transducers to determine load and relied. on linear variable distance transducers LVDT to measure displacement The less. modern piece of equipment used simple load rings and dial gauges to determine load. and displacement We were told the more modern piece was not working properly At. this stage in the industry the simpler pieces of equipment will suffice. Material standards and test methods are not standardized within the industry For each. laboratory visited different standards and test methods were being used It is. reasonable to assume that EN standards and methods should be adopted for Kosovo to. compete in the European marketplace There is a significant need for updated and. translated standards and test methods Organizations that publish the standards are. constantly revising the standards and it is an important part of any QC program to keep. the standards and methods current Laboratory personnel are concerned that they are. not applying and performing the material standards and test methods correctly. The level of internal QC being practiced by laboratories is low to non existent. Laboratories need to be trained in industry accepted internal QC procedures such as. continual personnel training programs proficiency sample testing routine maintenance. and calibration of test equipment and third party assessment of test methods facilities. and record keeping The understanding and adoption of currently accepted industry. QA QC programs is at a minimum two years away, The Assembly of Kosovo has adopted a law requiring testing laboratories be accredited. UNMIK Regulation No 2006 15 Based on discussions with the Head of Accreditation. the government is in the process of establish requirements for individuals who will be. trained to asses and accredit testing laboratories. The responsibility of KCBS and USAID will be to facilitate and expose all sectors of the. Kosovo construction community architects engineers contractors and material. suppliers to current EN material standards test methods QA QC program. STTA Report Jeffrey Groom June 2006 Page 2, implementation QA QC based business practices and construction practices that will. result in higher quality and safer roads and buildings To this end it is recommended that. KCBS organize a Conference in which sessions are devoted to Pavement Construction. Portland cement Concrete and Hot Mix Asphalt, In addition the government should be convinced that initiating a program to accredit.
laboratories will be prohibitively expensive and that an oversight position will be more. beneficial to the government construction industry and the people of Kosovo The. oversight should consist of establishing a list of acceptable accreditation agencies i e. the United Kingdom Accreditation Service and making sure that agencies performing. testing services on government funded projects are accredited by one of the approved. STTA Report Jeffrey Groom June 2006 Page 3, FIELD ACTIVITIES TO ACHIEVE PURPOSES. There were numerous field trips for the purpose of observing laboratories material. supplier facilities and practices Discussions were held with individuals involved in the. testing industry to establish the level of internal and external QC programs Reports of. the field trips are presented in Annex A, TASK FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS. The current focus of the KCBS is providing better construction of roads and. highways To this end the Road Construction Association of Kosovo has been. The overall road construction process is in need of modification The perception. is that poor quality roads are the result of poor quality materials The materials. may be contributing to the poor quality but the methods of construction need to. be improved as well, The University of Pristina seems to be the industry standard for testing There is. a general feeling throughout the industry that test results reported by the. University of Pristina are not accurate, The existing equipment currently in use in all of the operations visited is adequate. to provide QC testing and is relatively new and in good working condition. The equipment industry wide is in need of calibration The Road Contractors. Association of Kosovo RKAC should organize and coordinate an equipment. calibration visit from a reputable company that routinely calibrates verifies and. maintains test equipment Controls or ELE International The cost of the visit. approximately 10 000 US should be shared by all participants The following. equipment is in need of calibration or verification. o Compression Machines and bearing plates, o Load rings.
o Balances, o Thermometers, o Large capacity batch scales. A complete set of construction material standards and test methods needs to be. translated and standardized to the European Norms, The personnel responsible for testing are competent but need training Everyone. interviewed expressed concern about whether they are applying the standards. and test methods correctly Training is paramount and all of the individuals. interviewed are eager to learn, STTA Report Jeffrey Groom June 2006 Page 4. Everyone interviewed would like to see quality specified in construction. The testing industry is in a good position to start promoting quality based. selection of services even though certification and accreditation may be years. Recommendations, The following are recommendations in order of importance for the implementation of the. presented tasks The recommendations are listed as short medium and long term. A Short term goals 0 to 3 months, Make available current EN standards for relevant materials and test methods.
Architects engineers testing laboratories material suppliers and contractors. should have the opportunity to purchase the documents A pricing scheme. should be established that will ensure all interested parties will have access to. the documents, Identify proficiency sample programs and assist laboratories in the interpretation. of results, Have RCAK organize and coordinate a country visit by a qualified company that. maintains verifies and calibrates laboratory test equipment Controls or ELE. International Any company that has a load verification device scale or other. equipment should be eligible for the service Each laboratory needs to establish. and submit a list of testing equipment held by the laboratory This will assist the. calibration company in determining what equipment is needed for the. calibrations The list should contain the following information. o Type of equipment, o Manufacturer, o Serial number. o Capacity i e 3000 Kn for compression machines, o Date placed in service if known. Create a technical committee within the RCAK Members should include the. testing laboratories currently operating in Kosovo technically oriented. representatives of member firms representatives of the Ministry or Trade. Ministry of transportation and the Head of Accreditation The purpose of the. committee should include, o Technical education to member firms.
o Determination of construction methods that improve quality. o Establish end result construction specifications that benefit both the. industry and the people of Kosovo, o Determine acceptance testing criteria. Start organizing a construction materials conference 2006 KCMC 2006 Kosovo. Construction Materials Conference which will provide education and training on. materials testing and QA QC practices The conference could be held over a. three to four day period Sessions could include presentations on proper. construction methods construction material and associated testing techniques. i e asphalt aggregates concrete aggregates and soils Each session. should contain a sub session on QA QC practices and procedures including the. benefits of certification and accreditation Speakers should be from Europe and. STTA Report Jeffrey Groom June 2006 Page 5, considered experts with respect to the different construction materials A draft. outline of a syllabus for such a Construction Conference is attached in Annex 2. The speakers can be found by contacting the BSI organizations like BSI are. always looking for new members They are a potential spon. THE REPORT PRESENTS FIELD REPORTS AND By the end of 2005 EN standards for concrete and One lab had two pieces of

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