How to Identify the Special Inspections and Materials Testing Partner You Want.

Key Points:

  • The right experience offers an advantage
  • Collaboration is key to complicated projects
  • A customized, flexible approach matters

Close attention to detail and rigorous quality control are key pieces of any commercial construction project, but the responsibilities become even more critical in complicated projects involving large quantities of steel and concrete. Ensuring the structural integrity and long-term durability of these structures, without needlessly pressuring budgets, requires the wise selection of a partner. Here’s what construction project managers should look for:

The Long, Local Experience Advantage.

Experience counts, especially when it comes to your choice of an inspections and testing partner who will complete the cornerstone of a successful project team. Seasoned technicians, well-versed in best practices and the realities of local regulations, offer peace of mind and valuable efficiency opportunities. Their expertise will ensure compliance with relevant codes and help identify potential issues before they escalate into significant problems.

More experienced geotech teams are also likely to offer a wider range of services to tackle unique challenges related to working with large quantities of concrete and reinforcing steel. For example, deep foundation inspections expertise and a track record that includes concrete columns with post-tension concrete slabs, can be big pluses, depending on the specifics of your project.


Skip Silo Workers. Look for Proven Collaborators.

As you know, fostering open communication and collaboration with all project stakeholders, including architects, engineers, contractors, and material suppliers, leads to a better process and better results. The same goes with your inspections and testing partner.

A partner who thrives on close collaboration will help nail down a coordinated workflow, facilitate prompt resolution of challenges that pop up at complicated sites, and promote a shared sense of responsibility for quality outcomes. They’ll tune into communications surrounding pivotal aspects of the project, ranging from the timing of concrete deliveries to changing weather conditions, and proactively adjust to the impacts on schedules.



Expect Customized, Flexible Planning.

Outlining priorities that will be woven into an inspections and testing plan is a critical first step. You should get a good feeling from your partner in upfront discussions. They should communicate a thorough understanding of large-scale construction planning and even anticipate some of your needs.

Expect a plan that reflects a well-thought-out integration of services based on knowledgeable assumptions about how general contractors work. You should feel like your partner clearly understands the overarching vision and objectives of your project. Their thinking should instill confidence and trust, and demonstrate a clear focus on getting things done correctly and efficiently.

Take a pass on a “one size fits all” mentality and the excessive costs that typically go along with it. Choose a partner known for adapting to the unique needs and complexities of each project. They’ll tailor inspection and testing processes to evolve alongside the project’s progress with an eye for staying on schedule and within budget.

Beyond the essentials of covering project elements requiring inspection, the frequency of inspections, and key procedures to be employed, the plan should also be flexible enough to adapt to unforeseen challenges and changes along the way. The ability to roll with day to day punches are sure signs of the kind of experience project managers want. Few things ever go exactly as planned, and your inspections and testing partner’s ability to adapt can be defining.

Bonus: A Dependable, Responsive Laboratory.

Laboratory services may or may not play a central role in your project, but if they do, an inspections and testing partner with its own Lab team can boost confidence and further ensure compliance. An in-house Lab, in particular, can streamline response times and anticipate needs to tighten up timelines even more.

By partnering with an experienced, local geotech team that employs a comprehensive and adaptable approach to special inspections and materials testing, you’ll achieve the core standards of quality and safety for projects involving massive quantities of steel and concrete. And you’ll do it more efficiently.

Before you quickly hire a partner and just check the box, be a little more selective to reap the benefits of a proactive approach that fosters trust and confidence among stakeholders, enhances project performance, and results in a better chance of outcomes that are on-time and on-budget.

Contact AOG to explore a project partnership >>

Read about AOG’s concrete and steel work on a massive dual hotel project >>