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  Third party Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Although the Quality Control (QC) during the construction is preferable for the deep foundations, there are many instance when it is necessary to resort to Quality Assurance (QA) methods if, for various reasons, QC is not possible. Non destructive Testing (NDT) methods for the deep foundation are indirect approaches, i.e. in complex situations they do not provide complete information and need to be augmented by additional testing and/or analysis.

While the challenges are varied for the different deep foundation type and the different test methods they are the same in many different countries. Experience of the testing engineer is often mentioned as being most important for the best possible measurements and complete construction documentation for a meaningful data interpretation are minimum requirements for the successful test outcome. Another problem is the widely varying cost of the QA test. For that reason the specifying engineer or authority has to be aware of what can reasonably be expected so that technically feasible specifications can be written for optimal cost and minimal construction delays. QC and QA of deep foundations are much more difficult than other construction element because any potential defect are well buried deep in the ground.

Obviously, QA and QC are not free and the question often arise as to who bears the cost. Ultimately, all parties involved in a construction project benefit from a quality foundation and as such a certain amount of the funds should be available for monitoring and testing. Further, more progressive codes and specification allow reduced factor for LFRD, which reduced overall foundation cost and easily justify the testing cost.

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