Select, procure and store construction materials

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Choosing bushfire resistant materials are of vital importance if you are building in a bushfire prone zone. Choosing the right materials can be very confusing because an assessment must be done to determine the level of danger the fire poses on the property to be built. Finding out the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) is the first thing you should do. This information can be derived from the state and local fire services. However; BAL 40 and BAL Flame zone suggests extreme danger; BAL 19-29 suggests a fire danger which is high to moderate; BAL 12.5 suggests some danger; BAL Low suggests little or no fire danger[CITATION Qua10 p 32 l 1033 ].

The updated Australian Standards for bushfire area building construction is AS 3959-2009 covering every construction facet from the construction design to materials. Building materials are classified based on their efficiencies and appropriateness for use in bushfire prone or BAL areas. For carpentry work, the timber permitted for use in BAL prone areas are spotted gum, river red gum, turpentine, red ironbark, Merbau, Blackbutt or silver top ash. Construction in an area that is bushfire prone requires additional design, construction parameters and specifications which cannot be ignored.

On the other hand, construction methods and materials in a coastal environment should be resistant to wind damage and flood, corrosion, decay, wind-driven rain, and moisture. Decay comes as a result of aging, chemicals, sunlight, temperature and several other factors. Another major consideration for selecting materials for construction in coastal regions is the ease of installation. Framing and brick layering materials must be considerate of salt water corrosion. Concrete and treated wood is suitable for houses near the ocean[CITATION Ber09 p 17 l 1033 ]. The types of painting materials will be fire retardant coating system in a three-part system: intumescent coat, sealer, and premier. For the bushfire Zones, Aerated Autoclaved Concrete (AAC) products are preferable because they are non-combustible and have been tested and certified as the external cladding material.

Developing a Purchase Order for Construction Materials

The following clauses shall form the terms and conditions of the purchase order unless specifically stated otherwise:

  • Goods mean products, materials or services to be purchased or supplied according to the purchase order specifications.

  • Delivery time shall be strictly adhered to, and a written notice should be provided in the care of any delays failure of which the purchases can cancel the order without any penalty to the purchaser, refuse to accept the goods delivered, and claim damages for additional costs incurred.

  • The delivery terms are construed and governed in relation to the INCOTERMS provisions.

  • The supplier must ensure that goods are tested and inspected adequately and properly. The supplier will also make sure that the purchaser of any third party appointed gets the opportunity to witness and inspect testing of goods either at the supplier’s workplace. The supplier is however not relieved from any liabilities and responsibilities under the purchase order. The goods will still be subjected to final inspection, rejection or acceptance at their final destination according to purchase order specifications.

  • Payment shall be made 45 days after receiving the undisputed invoice and its supportive documents.

  • Until the goods are delivered at the point specified, the risk and property in the goods remain with the supplier, and the passing of property does not affect rejected goods rights.

  • In any case the goods are not delivered according to the specifications in the purchase order based on the specified quality, quantity, stipulated measurements, and being unfit for the intended purpose, the purchaser has all the rights for rejecting the goods, and to purchase elsewhere as well as claiming the additional expenses incurred[CITATION Sea15 p 22 l 1033 ].

Checklist for Material Purchases

  • Clarification and specification of quantity (number, units, and performance)

  • Order number and reference number specification

  • Specification of functionality requirements.

  • Specifications for safety measures

  • Specifications for temperature, ventilation, and humidity

  • Specifications for cleaning

  • Specifications for water and drainage

  • Equipment guarantee

  • Availability of spare parts

  • Specifications of packaging- is packaging should not be included in the price.

  • Specifications of delivery time and late delivery penalties. The conditions that need to be met before delivery is made. Whether the supplier is supposed to install and test the equipment on delivery. Payment deadlines are impacted by delivery time which also affects the start time for the guarantee. Late delivery attracts a fine too. It might be necessary to consider late penalty clauses in a purchase contract. It can be limited to 10% of the contract amount and two weeks added. If the materials are not delivered within the additional two weeks then the contract will be considered terminated[CITATION Mon15 p 13 l 1033 ].

  • Price specifications

  • payment requirements (45 days from the receipt of undisputed invoice)

Material Testing

The following tests can be carried out on a wide range of materials: Elastic limit testing, deformation testing, ductility testing, dry strength testing, elongation testing, delamination strength testing, bending tests, break strength testing, bond strength testing, adhesion/adhesives testing, compression testing, peel strength testing, modulus elasticity testing, friction testing, flexural strength testing, rupture testing, toughness testing, tensile strength testing, resistance to tear testing, stress relaxation testing, and tear strength testing[CITATION Kar131 p 276 l 1033 ].

Material Handling and Storage

According to construction law, every part of the construction site must be kept in good order. Work must be planned, managed and monitored to ensure safety and avoid risks of health. It is through good co-operation and co-ordination that efficient and safe storage is dependent on. Cooperation should be between everyone involved including suppliers, clients, contractors and construction traders. Arrangement for material storage should be discussed and agreed between the project client and the contractor. There should be an arrangement for material storage included in the construction phase.

Storage areas: the storage areas have been well designated for waste, materials, flammable substances, flammable gasses and liquids, timber treatment chemicals and pesticides. For materials that are stored at height, there are rail guards to prevent people from falling when collecting or stacking materials or equipment. The storage area is kept tidy, and deliveries have been planned to keep to minimum materials on the site[CITATION Joh16 p 27 l 1033 ].

Works Cited

Berge, Bjorn. The ecology of building materials. London: Routledge, 2009. Print.

Johnston, John E. Site control of materials: Handling, storage, and protection. New York: Elsevier, 2016. Print.fd

Karmazínová, Marcela and Jindrich Melcher. «Material testing and evaluation of stell mechanical properties for classification of steel grade of existing civil engineering structure.» Advanced Materials Research January 2013: 274-279.

Monczka, Robert M, et al. Purchasing and supply chain management. Boston: Cengage Learning, 2015. Print.

Quarles, Stephen L, et al. Home survival in wildfire-prone areas: Building materials and design considerations. Richmond, CA: ANR Publication, 2010. Print.

Sears, S Keoki, Glenn A Sears and Richard H Clough. Construction project management: A practical guide to field construction management. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2015. Print.