Building Airplanes vs. Building Buildings – Part 2 (Inspection and Monitoring)


Workers assembling a 747 follow detailed process instructions that combine visual images and text to direct the installation of every component. Inspection is exhaustive (100% for critical systems.)

Process monitoring is comprehensive and accomplished in real time to enable rapid correction in order to minimize the amount of disassembly necessary to access the rework area (sound familiar construction folks?)

Again, the contrast in construction is obvious when it comes to inspection and monitoring. Inspection schedules often conflict with building schedules, often resulting in a lag that can lead to delays (as crews wait for inspectors to catch up,) multiple occurrences of the same defect or worse yet, potentially covering defective installations as time-crunched general contractors decide that they can’t wait for inspectors.

Building Envelope Defect-in-Progress

Monitoring (and data recording) in construction is haphazard. So much so, that if there is an indication that there are multiple instances of an error in construction, the only way to clear suspect installations is to physically inspect them. That is, if they’re not already buried in concrete.


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