The Caribbean Industrial Research Institute’s (CARIRI’s) Industrial Materials – Civil Unit held their first session for the year on Tuesday 12th April 2016 and was aptly named “Quality in Construction”. The session was held at the Centre for Enterprise Development in Freeport and was attended by a wide cross-section of persons who actively work in the Construction sector.
The Minister of Works and Transport, the Honourable Fitzgerald Hinds delivered the feature address at the session. The Honourable Minister stated his enthusiasm for accepting CARIRI’s invitation to the seminar since he thought that this discussion was very important to the nation and he commended CARIRI for taking the initiative to commence it. He stated that in adversity, we become strong and can find opportunities for growth.
He continued by saying that the government has plans in place to improve the infrastructure of the country by building more interchanges, bridges and overpasses among other things but they also recognized that there needed to be a system in place to ensure that quality is present from the start. He stressed that institutions like CARIRI needed to play a role in ensuring that quality is adhered to. He reiterated that quality needs to be given more attention and that his Ministry will be keeping an eye on the issue of quality in projects moving forward.
Chief Executive Officer of CARIRI, Mr Liaquat Ali Shah also spoke about the need to move the quality discussion forward collectively. He spoke about making quality a priority and ensuring that innovative solutions become a necessary component in the current market. He noted that when creativity is implemented, then companies can become more cost-effective and efficient.
Guest speaker, Mr Geoffrey Abdulah, Director of Acuitas spoke about the need to improve the Engineering Profession Act and that insurance also needed to play a part in quality.
CARIRI’s staff members then went into valuable presentations and demonstrations that clearly spoke about the need to have quality present at all times from the start. The presentations were well received with many of the attendees indicating their appreciation of the efforts of the CARIRI team.
Achieving quality standards is one of the most important issues in the
construction industry and the management of quality is an important factor in determining the competitive edge of any business, but more so, for construction companies. Always a point of consternation, it is vital that companies in this sector recognize and understand the importance of a proper quality system since it begins with selection, sampling and storage of materials.
After being in this sector for a number of years and working with an assortment of companies, the Civil Engineering Unit of CARIRI has seen the need to further educate companies on the importance of quality in construction from the beginning of the project to the completion of the final structure. This remains one of the most important ways in which CARIRI is seeking to enhance industrial capability and competitiveness in the construction sector.
As a certified and accredited testing facility, it is vital that CARIRI take the lead in bringing these key quality issues to the forefront. With over 30 years of experience, the Civil Engineering Unit is the most advanced ISO-certified civil/construction engineering testing laboratory in the Caribbean. CARIRI’s team of experienced professionals has provided testing and consultancy services to government ministries locally and within the region and to the construction, energy and light manufacturing sectors, among others.