This is an office tower project owned by the royal family of Qatar. The contract was to supply approx. 25,000m2 of 30mm thick cut to size (bespoke) light beige Travertino for external cladding of the entire building. We proposed a material from Turkey which matched the approved concept and met the budget. It also came from a large quarry with a steady production, which was a critical factor given the scale of this project and limited delivery schedule.
Submissions, approvals, and a client trip to Turkey including a mock-up was arranged successfully. We also placed two full time QC team members at the factory in Turkey. Their job was to inspect blocks that arrived from the quarry to ensure they were of the approved shade. Then, during production, they inspected once again all produced material against the agreed parameters.
In this project we had two main challenges:
First, this quarry had a consistent shade of material, so the background is uniform. However, more than 60% of the production of the quarry was with some level of imperfection on the selection (i.e. – veins, patches, spots, etc.), characters which the client wanted us to avoid. However, it was not economically viable for the quarry owner to supply only 40% of the material which the client preferred and keep aside the remaining part (effectively, it means 60% of the production would be rejected). We proposed a solution which was agreed by all sides, and this was to supply the better selection (40%) for the first five levels of the building, because that was the part which is most visible by the naked eye. While the upper levels needed to be of the same shade but can include the imperfections, because at those upper levels such imperfections were not visible.
Second, since we had to supply cut to size (bespoke), the cutting lists which included sizes and quantities had to be produced perfectly, as everything had to fit together when installed. This is not an easy process because it requires very good site survey and ‘as built’ drawings prepared by a professional draftsman and in cooperation with a capable quantity surveyor. Unfortunately, this was not prepared properly by the contractor. So we sent our own QS who was placed full time on site to coordinate with the draftsman and personally ensure we had the correct cutting lists in hand. Moreover, the logistics on site including the installation process also faced challenges. Once again for lack of availability of proper human resources at the contractor’s side, we provided a professional foreman to the client who managed this operation in full. In sum, we had drawings produced by our team on site, which were then sent to Turkey to our own supervisors at the factory who controlled production according to the approved quality and sizes. Once the containers were dispatched with the finished product, packing details were sent to the site foreman who prepared the ground work for off-loading, storage, and then installation. All the core elements of this project were managed by our own team.