Training of site operatives (tool box talks)

On some building sites, traditional attitudes can be entrenched and effort must be made to bring all site operatives on board. Each trade, from foundations to roof, has a part to play in the successful completion of a project. One of the best techniques is to hold a series of tool box talks that all site personnel are required to attend. New or replacement personnel should also receive an induction. Typically these tool box talks examine each detail, the sequence in which it will be constructed, the technologies that will be used when forming the detail, and trades that will impact upon the successful completion of the detail. An atmosphere of collaboration helps these talks to work best and allows any sceptics to voice their concerns. Inviting sceptics to speak up is vital because:

• they may have a valid point and the sessions create an opportunity to address relevant concerns

• there is an opportunity to address their concerns and to bring them on board

• in the most extreme cases there is the opportunity to identify people that will obstruct the success of the project. They can then be replaced by more appropriate trades people.

A dedicated, on-site Quality Assurance Champion

The role of a dedicated, on-site Quality Assurance Champion is to make sure that the building satisfi es its airtightness target. The role is to also help ensure that the correct insulation system is installed properly. This means ensuring that:

• the interface between insulation products has a good butt joint

• the insulation is encapsulated between the air barrier and the wind barrier

• the wind barrier system is completed in accordance with the design intent.

Their role is also to:

• organise and arrange pressure tests

• arrange for timely tool box talks for all trades

• review the buildability of the air barrier, wind barrier and insulation systems – this means reviewing the sequencing of the build process and considering where challenges may arise before they become an obstacle

• undertake day to day site inspections of the work and instruct remediation as required

• ensure that only the specifi ed materials are used in the construction i.e. avoid ad hoc substitutes, without prior consultation and agreement with the designer.


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