Managing Construction June July 2024

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Women in Construction : Mortar and Milestones: From Entry to Leadership

Publications and Financial Officer:

On various occasions, we meet industry stakeholders from different occupations, and the discussion normally revolves around current issues. These issues, which include safety regulations, productivity challenges, and industry trends, often highlight practices that are not really best practices.

While many advocate for increased enforcement by authorities to curb accidents and bad practices, it's essential to foster a culture where good practices are not just recognized, but celebrated at all levels of the organization. This shift in culture can significantly contribute to a safer and more productive work environment, fostering innovation, and enhancing the industry's reputation.

Suppose we compare the notion of enforcement and the resources required from all the stakeholder entities. In that case, we can compare it to a business entity with a higher price than a competitor, not because of its superior offering but because of its inefficiency in providing that service. Therefore, if the authorities can focus on the industry's upkeep rather than firefighting different construction sites each day, not only will the incidents reduce, but we will also reduce the burden on the general public. This reassures us all that a safer and more secure industry is within our reach.

Hence, the role of our chamber is not just to spread the message, but to actively promote and facilitate learning through qualified and experienced personnel. This approach would not only solve the basics of time constraints and economic viability but also pinpoint specific areas of improvement within the industry. MCCM, from its inception, kept the education part close to its principles, and this year, we introduced the CPD and COP sessions every two weeks for this very reason. Therefore, we invite all members and non-members alike to attend these events, as we can make a difference through knowledge. Your participation is crucial and valued.

Who We Are

The Chamber is the voice of the construction managers at the various levels operating in Malta and beyond. We promote and expect, high standards in, quality, ethics, integrity and to be at the forefront of innovation of the local built environment. Through our input we strive to influence policies and regulations that impact the industry and their impact on the common good. Women in

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Mission Statement

To promote science and technological advancement in the process of building and construction for the public benefit.

To be at the forefront of public education, encouraging research and sharing the outcome from this research.

To make sure that advancement in the built technology is aimed at improving the quality of life of the public in general.

To enhance professionalism, encourage innovation and raise quality in construction management.

To promote high standards and professional ethics in building and construction practices.

To promote the highest levels of integrity in every decision that we take that affect others.

To respect all those affected by our decisions


out the red

and drop a curtsy, the Grand Master’s Palace is back!


Welcome to the Tenth Edition of Managing Construction. Indeed, dear readers and followers this is already our tenth publication and whoever has been following us since the first edition can witness the changes and evolution that this magazine underwent.

The second edition of the Women in Construction is the special feature in this edition. This is another initiative that our chamber started last year, always in collaboration with our international partners, the Chartered Institute of Building and The Malta Chamber of Commerce. This year, we also extended our collaboration with the Ministry of Justice and Construction Reform and with the Minister Hon Jonathan Attard.

Apart from the three partners mentioned above, for this edition we partnered also with the MARE Summit organizers who helped us raise the bar and take up the quality another notch.

I’m delighted that the MCCM have held another Women in Construction event, in partnership with the MARE Summit. It was a little disappointing I couldn’t be there in person but I know the event this year was another great opportunity to celebrate the women working in our sector.

I applaud the MCCM for keeping this on the agenda –there is no room for complacency when talking about something so important for society and for the future of our sector.

However, once we recruit new people, we must provide inclusive work environments, where everyone can thrive. Retaining the talent we attract to the industry needs to be as much of a priority as recruiting successfully.

This year, the adopted format was slightly different from the one used last year. This year’s format not only allowed more participation from all the stakeholders and their representatives, but even more so, the discussions by the four panels was another breath of fresh air. We commit ourselves so that in the future editions the bar will continue to raise even higher.

Apart from the event organized by ourselves, the Women in Construction, I attended the CIOB Construction Manager of the Year Awards which took place in London last April. Our presence in such an event provides our industry with an opportunity to learn from other countries’ experiences and expertise. Additionally, as MCCM, we are grateful that our international partner the CIOB, is not only supporting us by helping our members to upscale their knowledge through CPDs and courses but is also recognising the commitment we have for the local construction industry. We can proudly say that the same CPDs organised locally by our chamber are now being recognised as official CPDs for the local MCIOBs and FCIOBs. These CPDs are an obligation in the retention of Chartership status.

Another important event ahead of us, is the election of a new administration for our chamber. In truth, three years are almost over and the time for the renewal of our chamber is around the corner.

To conclude, I hope that you find this edition of Managing Construction an interesting and exciting one.

This was brought home to me a few weeks ago when spending time with CIOB members in Essex in the UK. A theme emerged during these meetings –sustainability – and in a discussion with students and tutors, Saul Humphrey FCIOB, a long-standing member and chartered environmentalist, said something that stuck with me.

He said that whatever your role or level of seniority, you can have an influence. If you’re in an environment where there are opportunities to raise the importance of decision making focussed on sustainability, take them. If you’re in a working environment where there are values which do not match your own, consider taking your talents elsewhere.

That’s not always an easy decision but it is easier to spend your life in a workplace which aligns with your ideals than it is to feel you cannot be a positive influence.

So my call to employers is to provide a safe, healthy workplace and one where people can carry our roles which match their values and ethics as the best way to keep much needed skills in the construction community.

Women in Construction 2024 Mortar and Milestones: From Entry to Leadership

For the second consecutive year, MCCM organized the Women in Construction Event that celebrates and promotes the role of women in the construction industry. Following the success of last year’s event and the request for more individuals wanting to participate and share their experiences, for this year we decided to apply a different format. Whilst last year a number of different speakers shared their own personal experiences, this year the event consisted of four different panels discussing different subjects that covered the whole spectrum of a construction project: from inception to the design phase and ultimately the construction phase.

These panels consisted of various individuals and professionals coming from different backgrounds such as architects, project managers, psychologists, company directors and human resources managers. It was highlighted how the construction industry has changed over the past years and how this created more

opportunities for women to join this sector. In fact, although the number of women within this sector is still globally low, more women are choosing a career where they can contribute towards this industry.

Distinct roles within the sector were highlighted; important roles that women are increasingly taking on. These panelists shared their journey within the industry and the many challenges they faced in the past; challenges that have now changed within an industry that is constantly evolving. The Minister for Justice and Reform in the Construction Sector, Hon Jonathan Attard closed the event by confirming that in Malta, the percentage of women working in this industry increased from 47% to 80% from 2013 to 2023.

The Malta Chamber of Construction Managers would like to thank the MARE Summit organizers for helping set-up this successful event.


Court Report

The Rent Regulation Board

In February 2024 the Rent Regulation Board (Ref. 94/2019MV) refused an application instituted by a landlord, to terminate a rental agreement of an apartment on the basis that the tenant was now residing in an old peoples’ home; and that the apartment was no longer said tenant’s ordinary residence.

Therefore, according to the landlord, the tenant no longer qualified for the protection offered by chapter 158 of the Laws of Malta (the Housing Decontrol Ordinance). The tenant on the other hand denied abandoning the apartment and expressed his wish that the move to an old peoples’ home was a temporary measure.

On its part, the Rent Regulation Board referred to past decisions, in which it was held that for it to order the return of the property to the landlord, it had to be proven that the tenant had definitely abandoned the property in question, that there was no chance of the tenant’s returning to his residence if he got better or if he simply did not wish to remain at the old peoples’ home; the same RRB even cited a judgment in which the Court of Appeal confirmed that it was natural for an elderly person to move into an old peoples’ home but this was done for health reasons and in no way implied that the elderly person intended to abandon their actual home or to renounce their lease.

The RRB also observed that when instituting the case, the plaintiff landlord failed to bring any evidence of the tenant’s state of health; nor was any evidence brought as to

whether the tenants used to go home regularly or whether he used to go home at all: it specifically criticised the landlord for instituting such procedures against an elderly person after a mere seventeen months in an old people’s home, for seeking to interpret this as abandonment of the premises which had been the elderly gentleman’s ordinary residence for much of his life. Indeed, the RRB expressed a moral conviction that when the elderly tenant moved to the home, he did so with the hope of being able to return to his ordinary residence and therefore never intended to abandon the leased apartment.

Following these considerations, the landlord’s application for retaking the property in question was refused by the Rent Regulation Board.

MCCM's Second Series of Organized CPDs / COPs

In his book, Dale Carnegie (1981) cited Bernard Shaw who stated that:

“If you teach a man anything, he will never learn”. The author continues explaining that ‘learning is a process’ and that ‘we learn by doing’.

This is in line with the goal of our Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and Communities of Practice (COP) sessions that we listen, share ideas, obtain new knowledge and ultimately, we try out new concepts and ‘learn by doing’.

The past number of weeks have been deemed a success once again with a variety of topics as mentioned hereunder;


Thanks to Acting CEO Perit. Roderick Bonnici, Martin Farrugia, and Jack Farrugia, from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), an interesting session relating to Legislation and Legal Notices was conducted to our members. The attendees were provided with an informative presentation and a lively discussion on the work and services of this crucial authority. They also offered valuable insights into the legislation and its application at the early stages of a construction project and how a Project Manager can be THE role that ensures that such processes are in place and followed.


Another engaging CPD session – Structures - was hosted by Perit Milan Zdravkovic, a specialist in structural engineering with extensive project management experience. The event aimed to bridge the gap between these two disciplines, demonstrating how awareness of architectural structures can enhance project outcomes from conception to completion. At MCCM, we believe that as projects become increasingly complex and

The third COP session which relating to the Management of Projects, targeted a thorough analysis of Factors Influencing Project Success, particularly within RIBA Stages 0-4. Experienced professionals - Project Manager Mr. Carl Benecke and Procurement Specialist Mr. Mohamed Elaida - hosted the session, carefully guiding attendees through the processes and factors that, if not

Career Scape

Our chamber was invited to the CareerScape Emerging Careers session the National Skills Council organised on May 9th. As part of the Built Environment round table discussion, we were given a significant platform to share our insights about what skills are currently missing and what skills will be required in the medium and long term.

Our chamber, along with esteemed entities like the University of Malta and the Building and Construction Authority, actively participated in the round table session. The discussion was particularly stimulating when guests questioned the industry's reluctance to appoint a professional construction project manager, a role that is widely recognized for its potential to enhance project practices and minimize public disturbances.

It also came to light the lack of spatial planners and how such professionals can contribute across a wider spectrum, not only from a sustainable point of view but also for traffic planning and basic amenities, such as water and electricity supply, for example.

As always, the MCCM was delighted to attend such events, seizing every opportunity to advocate for the pivotal role of the construction project manager. Our continuous participation in such discussions reflects our unwavering commitment to the industry's advancement.

Enhancing Safety and Compliance through Hilti Firestopping Products

As project managers in the construction industry, ensuring safety and compliance is paramount. One critical aspect often overlooked is fire protection. Fires can cause significant damage to buildings, endanger lives, and disrupt project timelines. Enter the Hilti Firestop Range of Products, designed to mitigate these risks effectively.

What Is Firestopping?

Firestopping involves sealing openings and penetrations in fire-rated walls and floors to prevent the spread of flames, smoke, and toxic gases. Hilti has over 1,050 tested systems that provide firestopping solutions for joints and penetrations. These systems are rigorously tested and comply with international standards such as ASTM and EN.

Why Choose Hilti Firestop?

- Experience: With over 30 years of expertise, Hilti provides internationally approved and tested firestop systems including ASTM, UL, and EN.

- Local engineering support: through the engineering support team at Hilti's long-standing partner in Malta, Panta Group can provide the local support to help design a solution for your building.

- Productivity: Hilti's pre-formed firestop products increase efficiency. They come with firestop material already inside, making installation, retrofitting, and inspection faster and more straightforward.

- Software Solutions: Simplify the firestopping process with Hilti's dedicated software for product selection, design, planning, specification, and documentation.

- Holistic Fire Protection Approach: holistic solution including planning, installation, inspection, and maintenance.

Key Features of Hilti Firestop Products

1. Pre-Formed Firestop Sleeves and Cast-In Devices:

- Designed for easier installations and inspections when firestopping cable and pipe penetrations.

- Ensure water-, smoke-, and gas-tight barriers.

- Ideal for energy and industry projects both onshore and offshore.

2. Firestop Blocks and Plugs:

- Pre-formed solutions for cable, pipe, and mixed penetrations.

- Easy re-penetration while reducing dust and airborne fibre particles.

3. Firestop Collars, Wraps, and Bandages:

- Choose the right fire collar to firestop cables, pipes, and mixed penetrations in standard and non-standard wall and floor configurations.

4. Ready-to-Use Joints and Cavity Barriers:

- Prefabricated joints for edge-of-slab and top-of-wall joints.

- Cavity barriers for ventilated and non-ventilated façades.

- Faster, simpler, and spray-free firestop solutions.

5. Firestop Putties:

- Quick-to-install putty pads, putty sticks, and cable discs.

- Ideal for firestopping outlet boxes and small cable penetrations.

6. Sealants, Sprays, and Coatings:

- Enhance soundproofing and limit smoke spread.

- Suitable for cable, pipe, and mixed penetrations.


As project managers, prioritize fire safety by incorporating the Hilti Firestop Range of Products into your construction projects. By doing so, you protect lives, assets, and ensure compliance with fire regulations. Panta's dedicated engineering support team can help find the right solution for your fire stopping requirement.

Striving for Excellence in Project Delivery

Striving for excellence is one of the core values of AIS Interiors Group, so the company dedicated a recent summit in its London headquarters to review what it means to us and how it should manifest in our work. The resounding feedback was that to be truly excellent then we must not only deliver for our clients, but also for each other and for our supply chain. Indeed we can view each of these as pillars which, without any one, the other two would suffer.

A project journey is divided into stages of design, pre-construction planning, delivery and completion. Good design, programming, budgeting, procurement, site management and logistics are all “must-haves” for a successful project. But how do you become truly excellent? Excellence is a mindset that needs to live in every team member. It’s an attitude of going over and beyond, whether that is to improve the client experience, to assist a colleague, or working with the supply chain to improve performance.

From a client perspective the goal has been achieved if they trust your team, return again as clients in future, and recommend your work to others. It’s important to remember

that every member of your team they meet, from the initial design right through to handover, is an ambassador whose actions define your company values far louder than any brochure. Straightforward honest communication, flexibility, positive attitude and a solutions-based approach from the whole team is important to build client trust.

Supply chain is our next pillar, but how can you influence another company? Transparent communication, setting standards and having regular two-way feedback should build trust and a willingness to work together. The site standards that you set will also be reflected in the supply chain relationship. Providing good welfare facilities, a safe and well managed site, and respect for everyone working there, will in turn build a more positive site culture, somewhere where people feel valued and part of something.

Team mindset is perhaps the most crucial of the excellence pillars. Here the aim is to build a culture where each person cares about doing their best. They may not be involved for the whole journey but their aim is to deliver their part in such a way as to make it easier for the next phase to take over. Indeed in our summit, the transitionary stages, for example from planning to execution, were seen as critical. A well performing team is one where individuals have autonomy to do their work, respect from their peers, and

Projects can be tough and demanding, so it’s important that

Information on and Technology in Facilities Management

Communication is essential in any setup. Control, monitoring, filtering, and dissemination of information in any organisation is crucial to the continued success of that organisation. Businesses which inappropriately manage information flow and dissemination of information might be sending the wrong signals to its customers.

Communication mediums are also essential as information channelled through the wrong apparatuses would end up affecting productivity and even the image of the organisation. In facilities management, facilities managers cover a wide range of activities under their scope. Having the right communication skills and the right channels for the flow of information is vital in the ultimate goal of enhancing increased productivity, costs reductions, increased organisation image and optimisation.

Facilities management (FM) can be defined as an integrated approach to operating, maintaining, improving and adapting building and infrastructure assets in order to support the primary objectives of the occupants, owners and facility managers (Atkin and Brooks 2009). FM constitutes an extensive field encompassing multidisciplinary and independent disciplines whose overall purpose is to maximize building functions while ensuring occupants wellbeing (Atkin and Brooks 2009, Becerik-Gerber et al. 2012). FM functions require extensive data and information from various fields and disciplines in order to fulfil their purpose. Traditionally, FM data and information are organised and maintained in dispersed

information systems such as Computerised Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS), Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS), Building Automation Systems (BAS), etc

Facilities management used cases and driving forces as analyzed in past research, such as locating building materials location, space management on-site, managing and controlling energy consumption, and lifecycle management of the entire project (Volk et al.,2014). Another application area is mechanical, pipping, planning, and emergency management. BIM systems can enable facilities management to be easy and efficient if well integrated throughout the project lifespan. It has recently been pointed out that internal organization and external promotors, via in-depth research with FM professionals, desire to be perfect by using the BIM software in their daily operations. The capacity of BIM systems in preventive maintenance and management as a single source of data and information in the whole project lifespan is used to motivate more BIM system implementation in more projects.

The challenges in Value realization from BIM systems were classified concerning implementation and technological gaps in the market. The process challenges include low levels of market readiness, integrating the system too late in the late stages of the project lifecycle, high costs for training personnel on how to operate the system (Kassem et al., 2015). Other challenges include legal commitments associated with the software, ownership, and patent rights system constituting the system. Many research shows that lack of technological know-how has also made it difficult for an organization to realize the value of using BIM for FM.

BIM Standards cont’dBS EN ISO 19650-3

BS EN ISO 19650-3: Organization and digitization of information about buildings and civil engineering works, including building information modelling -Information management using building information modelling.

Part 3 – Operational Phase of the Assets

BS EN ISO 19650-3 like the other ISO 1960 standards, supersedes PAS 1192 3:2014. This standard focuses on the operational phase of an asset. The purpose of this document is to enable the appointing party to establish the information requirements during the operational phase of an asset. It is also prepared to create the right commercial and collaborative environment for all appointed parties such that these can produce effective information efficiently. These standards can be applied to any type of asset such as buildings, campuses, infrastructure, roads etc. BS EN ISO 19650-3 should be applied appropriately depending on the asset scale and complexity. The continuity of information management throughout the operational phase of an asset is very important.

BS EN ISO 19650-3 is mainly used by the following:

• Those involved in the management of an asset and facility,

• Those involved in the specification of appointment and collaborative working for all the lifecycle of an asset,

• Those involved in delivering asset management and facility management during the operations of an asset,

• Those involved in specifying the information required for operational purposes that need to be obtained during the delivery phase of assets.

The Information management process in this document can be used for trigger events which can be either foreseen, scheduled or unforeseen and unscheduled. Figure 1 shows examples of different types of trigger events. The different type of trigger events require different methods and

approaches for the identification and appointment of the lead appointed party. For type 1 events, the lead appointed party should be identified and appointed prior to the events. On the other hand, for type 2 events, the lead appointed party is appointed after the event occurs.

1 - Type of Trigger Events


Figure 2 shows the relationships between parties during the operational phase of an asset for the purpose of this standard.


A Appointing Party

B Lead Appointed Party

C Appointed Party

1 Asset/Facility Management or Operations Team

2 Delivery Team

3 Task Team

Information requirements and information exchange

Information coordination between lead appointed parties if required by appointing party

Figure 2 Interface between parties and teams for the purpose of Information Management

Health and Safety Duties and Responsibilities of Workers under the OHS Act (of Malta).

The areas relating to the duties and responsibilities of workers in relation to occupational health and safety (OH&S) are frequently ignored and clearly misunderstood and misrepresented. This is a dangerous attitude in and of itself, for many reasons, some of which we shall introduce in this article.

First off, what and who is a worker in the eyes of the law? OHS Act XXVII/2001; [Ch.424 of the LoM] is extremely clear on the definition, and it is worth reproducing it in full to establish the idea without any room for doubt, reasonable or otherwise:

“Worker" means any person employed by an employer to perform work, or who provides a service to another person under a contract of service or for service, and includes a trainee, an apprentice and a self-employed person, but shall not include the crew of a vessel registered in Malta or

any other person employed thereon as part of the ship complement.

(Art2. Interpretation).

The definition is clear as daylight; any person employed to work, assigned work or tasked to work, is classified as a worker under article 2, without exception. The provision for crew members of vessels registered that seems to make an exception actually does not; it is placed there because the health and safety of such workers is already provided for and administered under different safety regulations, standards and regimes

Having established the definition, it follows that we should understand very clearly what the duties and responsibilities of workers are. These are captured under Article 7 of the Act, which is being reproduced below:

7.(1) It shall be the duty of every worker to:

• Safeguard one’s own health and safety and …

• that of other persons who can be affected by reason of the work which is carried out.

7.(2) It shall be the duty of every worker to:

• co-operate with the employer and

• with the Health and Safety Representative or Representatives at the work place

• on all matters relating to health and safety.

Readers familiar with the regulations will have noted that the bullets are my representation, which I have adopted in order to clarify precisely the duties and responsibilities incumbent upon workers at law. Again, the law leaves no room for any doubt whatsoever, workers have a duty (under the law) to cooperate with employers, their representatives and to watch out for the safety and wellbeing of themselves in the first instance, and others as a direct consequence of work.

There is no excuse. We cannot not know or pretend to not know. Any interpretation other than the law is frugal, possibly vexatious. Dead persons cannot speak for themselves.

John Schembri, MSc. SRM (L’cstr.); PgC, OHS (P’mth); SIRM; CBCI.

An ex-Serviceman of eighteen years’ experience in operations and command, John has held a Master of Science degree in security risk management from the world-renowned Scarman Centre, University of Leicester, UK, since 2001. He has extensive experience in critical infrastructure, specialising in resilience, digitalisation of risk management and operations in challenging environments.



Instil professionalism, innovation and quality - Continuing Professional Development Opportunies - Affiliation with the Chartered Insitute of Building Preparation for the Cosntruction Project Manager Warrant An active community willing to improve the industry Built around the busy schedules of professionals


Whenever a tragic accident occurs during construction work, it inevitably brings to the forefront a pressing question regarding the underlying causes: Was there a lack of effective management or leadership? This question is not just a matter of attributing blame but aims to understand what could have been done differently to prevent such a tragedy and how future incidents can be avoided.


Safety management or managerial skills in construction safety involves complying with all legal requirements, identifying hazards and evaluating associated risks, allocating sufficient resources including trained personnel and certified equipment, and implementing clear safety procedures that are consistently followed. A lack of these skills can result in inadequate safety planning, insufficient

resources for safety measures, and poor enforcement of safety regulations, all of which contribute to unsafe working conditions and a higher risk of accidents. Leadership skills on the other hand, inspire and enforce the importance of these protocols. Leaders not only advocate for safe practices but also create an environment where safety is ingrained in every action and decision. It focuses on the human elements of safety practices, motivating workers on site to achieve safety goals.


A serious accident on a construction site often points to failures in both areas. Poor decisions and choices by clients or property developers, contractors, design teams, and incompetence often lead to poor project outcomes and accidents. Without strong managerial skills, safety systems might be poorly designed or implemented. Without

effective leadership, however, even well-designed systems can become weaker if they are not actively supported and reinforced at all strategic levels.

When some workers on a construction site are aware of how to behave safely but choose not to, it becomes essential to apply external motivation or pressure for change. When a project experiences delays, defects, or incidents such as injuries or fatalities, the fault lies not with the project itself but with poor decisions and incompetence - all of which lead to these undesirable outcomes. This necessity arises because safety leadership is fundamentally about establishing a strong safety culture, which relies on commitment, communication, training and competence, and active participation. The conclusion is clear: All projects hold potential; it's the leadership that makes the difference."

Safety Management and Safety Leadership must work hand-in-hand to achieve safety in the workplace. Rather than viewing these approaches as competing or one being more important than the other, they should be seen as complementary forces that, when effectively aligned, provide a comprehensive framework for preventing incidents and fostering a culture of safety that pervades every level of an organization. This holistic approach is especially crucial in high-risk environments like construction sites, where the stakes are inherently high. This comprehensive strategy emphasizes that safety is not merely a checklist item but an integral part of daily work routines.

In life, certain things are clear-cut: a fight is won or lost, comedy either makes people laugh or it doesn't. Similarly, in property development, a project is only truly successful if it meets its deadlines, stays within budget, adheres to specifications, has minimal or no defects, and most importantly, occurs without any injuries. Unfortunately, such failures, especially involving injuries, are all too common.

It is a system that is intended to allow the MCCM to welcome members

from across the Construction Management community


St Paul’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral (1839 – 1846) was commissioned by Queen Adelaide and designed by Richard Lankesheer and William Scamp. The tower and spire of St Paul’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral has been an iconic and powerful presence in the Valletta skyline since its construction. Being the tallest among all local construction until the recent era of high-rise buildings, it is itself a feat in engineering.

This was evidenced during the early research into the building’s history when it was noticed that parts of the masonry structure were reinforced with metal cramps (staples), embedded into the wall thickness, at eight different levels externally and three levels internally, running on average at four metre lengths each, in some locations with two cramps per level on each facade. At the level of the spire, lead joggles were also evident within mortar joints, particularly on the internal facades as well as within the existing finials.

Initial investigations consisted in identifying possible iron locations which were not recorded on historical documents. Challenges in locating theses metal cramps were dealt with non-invasive techniques, such as ground penetrating radar (GPR), and confirmed with endoscopic visualisation where the already established cracks were wide enough to allow non-destructive insertion of the instrumentation. The results confirmed the initial indications; however, the known extent of embedded iron was only revealed during the actual works and after the scaffolding structure was fully erected. Another of the initial investigations carried out on the structure

Credits: Guillaume Dreyfuss


(PART 2)

pertained to the movement being exhibited by the masonry structure, which resulted in structural cracks. This was carried out through the installation of a structural health monitoring system (2019), thanks to a group of brave abseilers, with the resulting data allowing for tailor-made interventions to be designed on the structure.

The corrosion and expansion of the metal was creating large pressures on the masonry work, resulting in significant cracks. The metal was removed in areas where the inevitable need for stone replacement allowed for it, while in areas where the metal cramps could not be accessed without severely damaging the fabric, an Impressed Current Cathodic Protection (ICCP) system was designed and implemented. Here an electrical current is passed through the historical metal elements to halt the corrosion process, and therefore, the resulting expansion that causes stresses on the adjacent masonry elements. The system is connected to a data processor, that allows for the system’s performance to be analysed and controlled remotely, with actions taken as required for the continual preservation of the structure in its totality. Furthermore, a new structural health monitoring system has now been installed as part of the completed restoration campaign on the masonry structure for the continual monitoring of any movement and the timely implementation of any action required.

The systems implemented, only possible due to recent developments in technology, allow for the monument to be constantly monitored to ensure it is preserved for future generations. With the monument's preservation in mind, other systems installed include fire detection and lightning protection, for the continual protection of the tower and spire. Energy-efficient LED lighting, both externally and internally, were also designed and installed to maintain its iconic visibility on the Valletta skyline throughout the night.

Guillaume Dreyfuss
Credits: Guillaume Dreyfuss


Beyond Entry

Cultivating an Environment for Women to Thrive in Construction

Panel formed from Hon. Rebekah Borg, Hon. Katya De Giovani, Dr. Josianne Cutajar, Dr. Audrey Demicoli and Maria McKenna (Moderator)

Building Futures

Engaging the Next Wave of Female Leaders in Construction

Panel formed from Katrina Attard, Rebecca Dalli Gonzi, Patrick Camilleri Mercieca and Beatriz Rodriguez Sanz (Moderator)

Foundations of Innovation

Fostering Entrepreneurship and Women-Led Start-ups in Construction

Panel formed from Garbriella Borda, BeverlyCosta, Simone Muscat, Mary Gauci and Neil Azzopardi (Moderator)

Commanding the Site

Women Leading Major Construction Ventures

Panel formed from Lara Lewis, Charlene Jo Darmanin, Sandra Magro, Catherine Hurley and Vera Sant Fournier (Moderator)


Resilient Building Designs

Resilient building design refers to a collection of practices and strategies aimed at creating structures, landscapes, and communities that can withstand the natural disasters typical to a given region. This approach also considers the long-term effects o climate change, such as rising sea levels, droughts, floods, heatwaves, forest fires, and other related phenomena.

To evaluate the ESG performance of a project intended to create a space for various stakeholders, it's crucial to examine a range of ESG issues and assess associated risks. This helps in identifying opportunities to mitigate those risks. Those responsible for ESG due diligence must consider various factors across the three dimensions of ESG. When it comes to buildings, it's crucial to focus on key aspects within these dimensions, ensuring that the project meets human needs, protects the surrounding environment, and promotes socialequity, among other factors.

In this article, we will feature three questions posed to an experienced architect who has worked on various projects focused on resilient buildings. It's crucial to begin assessing the social dimension's impact when examining the built environment, and to ensure that capital flows are directed towards sustainable projects. We need to raise awareness that this requires attention, and that it's indeed possible to mitigate certain risks.

Q.1 How feasible do you think it is to implement simple and cost-effective measures tomitigate risks arising from natural disasters?

A.1 It is absolutely feasible. By analyzing the results through the lens of the experience we've gained in Chile, we can demonstrate how this can be accomplished. Our country is, by far, the most seismically active in the world, having experienced the most severe earthquakes and the most destructive tsunamis in history. In this sense, our country serves as a natural seismic laboratory, and given that we are a small and relatively poor developing nation, we offer an excellent reference point for other countries. Throughout our history, we have not only created a comprehensive anti-seismic and anti-tsunami regulatory framework, which we update after each major event, but we have also developed an anti-seismic philosophy that has driven innovation and creativity. This approach has enabled us to devise various solutions to mitigate damage, all at a relatively low cost. These innovative and creative solutions encompass the development of new materials, technologies, devices, and complementary construction mechanisms, all overseen by a professional and rigorous system of anti-seismic certifications. The most important aspect, however, is that over time, and by

learning from our experiences, we've cultivated a comprehensive culture of anti-seismic architectural, engineering, and construction design—without compromising the artistic and cultural design of our buildings and cities. Yes, it is possible to create extraordinarily effective mitigations against this type of natural disasters.

Q.2 What methods have you used to strengthen buildings that require protection and reinforcement?

A.2 For new buildings, the standard mandates a series of anti-seismic protections and reinforcements, which include traditional anti-seismic structural systems. These systems are based on avoiding construction in high-risk areas (this factor is key), reinforcing column design over beams, and favoring lateral stability over ductility in the building's structural system. This is one of the key differences that contributes to our success in damage mitigation compared to other earthquake-prone countries. In parallel, we implement a complementary and collaborative secondary strategy by designing and incorporating a series of devices, mechanisms, elements, and materials that aid in isolating, absorbing, dissipating, and dampening the various structural forces that buildings may face during an earthquake. These two complementary structural systems allow us, for example, to separate a building's foundation structure from the rest of its vertical framework, isolating and cushioning the foundation's structural forces. This approach significantly mitigates, absorbs, and dissipates those forces, preventing a large percentage of them from being transferred to the rest of the vertical structure, that is the floors above ground level.

Our slogan is: let the building's secondary structural system endure significant damage, but never let it collapse.

When it comes to reinforcing existing buildings, we apply the same principles, particularly the system of mechanisms, devices, elements, and complementary materials.

Q.3 You have extensive experience in designing structures that are tsunami-resistant. Could you briefly explain what this involves?

A.3In this regard, our strategy has been to 'pay attention and listen when nature speaks,' recognizing that both earthquakes, and tsunamis, leave an indelible mark of destruction. This mark defines a boundary beyond which we should not rebuild. So, along this coastal risk zone, we have taken significant steps to develop a natural mitigation barrier against the energy from a tsunami, using two key elements. The first is to create hollows and natural pools along these coastal strips, which, over time, serve as recreational and sports parks. However, in the event of a tsunami, these areas can absorb a significant amount of seawater, reducing its energy. The second element involves strips of forests located along these same hollows and natural pools, using specially selected tree species whose dense foliage further contributes to reducing the energy of the sea wave. These two strategies combined, significantly reduce the energy with which the tsunami eventually reaches the urban boundary, greatly mitigating its potential for damage.

Cristian Wittig is a Chilean Architect and Urban Planner of the Architectural Association School of Architecture and Academician of The Academy of Urbanism, London, UK. He is the CEO of Thought Group Chile and specialises in Integral Inrastructure and Urban Planning Solutions.

Interior Design

In the realm of interior design, clarity regarding professional roles is essential for clients seeking to elevate their spaces. Amidst the vernacular of the industry, the terms "interior decorator," "interior designer," and "interior architect" often intersect, yet

colours, and accessories to harmonise with a client's vision and space requirements. Their expertise lies in creating atmospheres that reflect clients' personalities while adhering to current design trends.

Conversely, an interior designer is an orchestrator of both form and function. Beyond selecting decor elements, designers possess a comprehensive understanding of spatial planning, building codes, and ergonomics. They conceptualise interior layouts, considering traffic flow, lighting, and spatial optimisation to enhance functionality and promote well-being within a space. Collaboration with architects and contractors is common, ensuring seamless integration of interior elements with the overall architectural framework.

The role of an interior architect encompasses a broader scope, integrating architectural principles into interior design. Combining knowledge of structural systems and

building regulations, interior architects focus on spatial restructuring and renovation projects. Their expertise lies in reimagining interior spaces, often involving structural modifications, such as wall removal or ceiling alterations, to optimise functionality and aesthetics. Through their interdisciplinary approach, interior architects bridge the gap between architectural vision and interior realisation, ensuring coherence in design execution.

While each role exhibits unique competencies, their synergy is pivotal in delivering cohesive and tailored design solutions. Clients benefit from a collaborative approach, where decorators, designers, and architects

enhancement, an interior decorator offers tailored expertise in furnishing selection and ambiance creation. Those seeking holistic spatial transformation and optimisation should engage the services of an interior designer, benefiting from their proficiency in spatial planning and functional. For projects necessitating structural modifications and architectural integration, collaboration with an interior architect ensures seamless alignment between interior vision and architectural framework. By aligning project objectives with the specialised skills of each profession, clients can embark on design journeys with confidence, knowing they've engaged the expertise best suited to realise their vision and elevate their spaces to unparalleled heights of aesthetic and functional excellence.

An interior decorator is primarily concerned with aesthetics

critical juncture, facing the dual challenges of environmental sustainability and safety. However, amidst these challenges lies an opportunity for transformation through ethical standards and decarbonisation. By learning from best practices across the European Continent, Malta can elevate professionalism, push back against industry cowboys, and prioritize the wellbeing and safety of both industry professionals and the public.

building sector. By aligning with the EU's ambitious targets for carbon neutrality, Malta can draw inspiration from other member states that have made significant strides in sustainable construction practices.

One of the primary lessons Malta can garner from other European and EU states is the importance of professionalism and adherence to regulatory standards. Countries like the UK, Germany and the Netherlands have robust certification programs and stringent building codes that ensure high-quality construction and prioritize safety. By adopting similar frameworks, Malta can raise the bar for professionalism within its building industry, thereby safeguarding both workers and the public. This cannot be an impossible task. Seeking to replicate best practices while adjusting these to Maltese realities is surely the way

to go. There can be no excuse for not engaging with serious ambition to deliver in the interest of all parties.

Furthermore, decarbonisation presents an opportunity to push back against industry unwanted players and promote practices of integrity. In many EU countries and those in the wider continent, regulatory bodies and industry associations play a crucial role in monitoring and enforcing standards, holding accountable those who cut corners or compromise safety for profit. Malta can follow suit by strengthening its regulatory oversight and fostering a culture of accountability and integrity within the industry. These structures have been present and have been tried and tested in many European countries for decades now.

Moreover, decarbonisation offers a unique opportunity to prioritize the wellbeing and safety of both industry professionals and the public. Sustainable construction practices, such as energy-efficient building design and the use of recycled and non-toxic materials with a long life-cycle, contribute not only to environmental sustainability but also to the health and comfort of building occupants. Additionally, investments in smart technologies and advanced safety systems enhance resilience against

between government agencies, industry stakeholders, and educational institutions is essential to drive this transformation forward.

Furthermore, Malta can draw inspiration from initiatives such as the EU Construction 2020 Action Plan, which promotes innovation, competitiveness, and sustainability within the construction sector. This transformation should be central to the Europe-wide ambition crafted in the European Green Deal by participating in collaborative projects and knowledge-sharing initiatives. Malta can stay abreast of the latest developments in sustainable

construction practices and integrate them into its building industry whether new-builds or transformative projects.

In conclusion, decarbonisation presents a unique opportunity for Malta's building industry to learn from other tried and tested best-practices, increase professionalism, push back against industry cowboys, and prioritize the wellbeing and safety of both industry professionals and the public. By embracing this opportunity, Malta can pave the way for a more sustainable, resilient, and ethical built environment for generations to come. Given the current public prioritised sensitivity, the Maltese building industry will do well to heed to this calling and take immediate, fast and impactful actions to drive the transformation we all yearn for.

Sustainability and Building Materials

Construction and Demolition waste –the importance of the 4 R’s

Construction and demolition waste accounted for 30–40% of the total global waste stream in 2022 (Science Direct) Up to 30% of all construction materials delivered to a typical construction site can end up as waste.

C&D materials consist of the debris generated from the construction, renovation and demolition of buildings, roads and bridges. Construction and demolition waste include steel, wood products, drywall and plaster, bricks and clay tiles, asphalt shingles, concrete and asphalt concrete. The majority of this waste comes from demolition, only around 10% is attributed to construction. At the construction site level, construction and demolition waste can lead to costly delays. More broadly, if not properly managed, this waste can have a serious impact— on the environment, leaching toxins into the soil and water supply and contributing to our ever-growing landfill problem.

So what are the 4 R’s and how are they defined?

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rethink.

Reduce: Reducing the amount of waste generally produced by an individual or society.

Reuse: to use an item more than once.


item used over again



item used for a new function

Recycle: it is the process of turning used materials into new products

Rethink: This starts with changing the design process of new buildings, prioritizing renovations over new construction, incorporating C&D waste materials into new projects and creating purchasing agreements that avoid excess resources from ever reaching a site.

Advantages of reducing, reusing & recycling C&D materials

Recycle examples

Recycled Concrete – Uses

• Sub – base gravel in new constructions

• Dry aggregate for brand new concrete

• Large pieces of concrete for erosion control

• As a substitute for landscaping stone

• Retaining Walls or Screen Walls

Reuse examples

• Materials such as wood and bricks, items such as doors and windows, sanitary ware, light fittings, furniture and anything that is still in good condition can be saved prior to refurbishments, or demolitions.

• Deconstruction and Disassemble.

Techniques for reducing the amount of material used in construction in a sustainable way are still being developed.

• Less virgin materials need to be sourced hence less GHG emissions

• Less C&D waste is disposed of therefore, less environmental impact

• More job and business opportunities

Keep in mind one thing; Landfills are only a temporary solution.

Enlightening Spaces The Benefits of Professional and Consumer Lighting Solutions

Lighting serves as the cornerstone of ambiance, functionality, and safety in any space, be it residential, commercial or outdoor. As importers of Philips Lighting products and a diverse array of other renowned brands, we take pride in offering a comprehensive range of lighting solutions tailored to meet the discerning needs of professionals and consumers alike.

Philips is one of the world’s most trusted lighting brands and since 1891, has been synonymous with high quality, reliable, innovative technology that improve people’s lives. The Philips brand is licensed to Signify, a world leader for lighting products and is Signify’s primary brand for lamps, luminaires and other lighting solutions that are innovative, stylish, and easy to install across a wide range of settings. There are indeed distinct advantages when installing lamps and luminaires from our diverse portfolio since these span from applications in homes, offices, shops, warehouses to outdoor environments.

Adequate illumination is crucial for ensuring optimal visibility and safety in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Professionally designed lighting solutions minimise glare, shadows, and uneven lighting, thereby reducing the risk of accidents and enhancing overall safety for occupants and visitors. Well lit environments promote a sense of security, deterring potential intruders and fostering a safer atmosphere for residents, employees, and customers alike.

Our comprehensive range includes energy efficient lighting solutions that not only minimise electricity consumption but also contribute to cost savings and environmental sustainability. LED technology, prominently featured in many of our products, offers unparalleled energy efficiency, longevity and superior performance compared to traditional lighting sources. By transitioning to energy efficient lighting solutions, businesses and homeowners can significantly reduce their carbon footprint while enjoying long term financial benefits through reduced utility bills.

Our curated selection encompasses an array of innovative designs and styles to complement diverse architectural aesthetics and interior decor preferences. From sleek and contemporary luminaires to timeless classics, our products combine form and function seamlessly, elevating the visual

appeal of any space. With an emphasis on aesthetic versatility and design excellence, our lighting solutions serve as focal points that enhance the overall ambiance and character of residential and commercial environments alike.

Designed with user convenience in mind, our lighting products feature intuitive installation processes, minimising downtime and labour costs associated with setup and maintenance. Many of our luminaires boast modular designs and user-friendly features, facilitating hassle free maintenance and component replacement as needed. By offering products that prioritise ease of installation and maintenance, we enable our customers to enjoy the benefits of quality lighting without the complexities often associated with traditional lighting systems.

Our extensive product range also caters to a diverse array of environments and applications, including homes, offices, retail spaces, warehouses and outdoor landscapes. Whether it's task lighting for workspaces, accent lighting for retail displays, or security lighting for outdoor areas, we offer tailored solutions that address the unique lighting requirements of each setting. By providing versatile lighting solutions that are specifically engineered for different environments, we empower our customers to create customised lighting schemes that optimise functionality, aesthetics and comfort.

Investing in high quality lighting products ensures long term reliability, durability and performance, minimising the need for frequent replacements and associated costs. These products are meticulously crafted from premium materials and engineered to withstand the rigors of daily use, ensuring years of dependable illumination. By prioritising longevity and durability, we enable our customers to enjoy uninterrupted illumination and peace of mind, knowing that their lighting investments are built to last.

In conclusion, the benefits of installing lighting products from our extensive portfolio extend far beyond mere illumination. From enhanced visibility and energy efficiency to innovative design and easy installation, our solutions are designed to enhance the functionality, aesthetics and safety of any space. With a commitment to excellence, sustainability and customer satisfaction, we strive to provide lighting solutions that illuminate spaces while enriching the lives of our customers and communities alike.

Brought to you by the Mac Med Group

Standard Methods of Measurement in Construction (Part 1)

The profession of surveying can be traced back to as early as 1750 in Ireland. Indeed, Quantity Surveying predates the existence of the USA. John Payne, an Irish clergyman, and architectural writer, notably documented a "True Bill of Materials required for the Improvement at the Barrack of Horse at Trim," signing it as "a full bill made by me John Payne, Clerk and Surveyor of Quantities."

The earliest documented quantity surveying firm dates back to 1785 in Reading, United Kingdom. In 1802, a group of Scottish quantity surveyors convened and developed the initial method of measurement. On June 15, 1868, 49 surveyors assembled at the Westminster Palace Hotel in London to establish The Institution of Surveyors. It wasn’t until 1881, following the institution's attainment of a royal charter, that it gained widespread recognition. This institution, now universally known as The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors or RICS, published the first Standard Method of Measurement in 1922.

Standard Method of Measurement (SMM)

A Standard Method of Measurement (SMM), in construction, consists of rules and provisions applicable to the measurement of various tasks, trades, sections, and elements within the construction industry. Ensuring a consistent and uniform method for measuring building works is crucial for promoting industry-wide consistency, benchmarking, and the adoption of best practices, ultimately helping to mitigate disputes.

The SMM outlines a process for compiling a Bill of Quantities, particularly for contracts operating on traditional

re-measurable contracts. This Bill of Quantities facilitates the efficient preparation of tenders and serves as a basis for valuing completed work once the contract is awarded.

The SMM provides comprehensive details, classification tables, and measurement rules for building works. It is commonly used to prepare bills of quantities, and documents that delineate measured quantities of work items identified in tender documentation through drawings and specifications. These bills of quantities are tendered to contractors for pricing purposes.

Standard Method of Measurement for Building Works

The RICS released the seventh edition (SMM7) in 1988 as a collaborative effort between the RICS and the Building Employers Confederation, with revisions in 1998. However, the use of this edition ceased in 2013 in favour of adopting the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' New Rules of Measurement NRM2.

The NRM2 (New Rules of Measurement 2nd Edition) provides updated guidelines and standards for the measurement and quantification of construction works. It offers a modernised framework that reflects current industry practices and advancements. NRM2 builds upon the principles established by its predecessor, SMM7, but incorporates new methodologies, terminology, and approaches to measurement.

The RICS new rules of measurement (NRM) suite

The RICS New Rules of Measurement (NRM) is a series of documents issued by the RICS Quantity Surveying and Construction Professional Group. These rules are designed to establish a standardised set of measurement guidelines accessible to all stakeholders in construction projects. They offer essential guidance for those involved in or seeking to understand the cost management of construction endeavours.

While primarily rooted in UK practices, the principles and philosophies underpinning each volume of the NRM suite hold global relevance. The suite consists of three volumes:

NRM 1: Order of Cost Estimating and Cost Planning for Capital Building Works

NRM 2: Detailed Measurement for Building Works

NRM 3: Order of Cost Estimating and Cost Planning for Building Maintenance Works

These volumes collectively serve as a comprehensive resource for professionals across the construction industry, facilitating accurate cost estimation and effective project management.

NRM 1: Order of cost estimating and cost planning for capital building works

This volume offers essential guidance for quantifying building works to prepare cost estimates and plans. It includes directions on quantifying various project costs beyond measurable building items, such as preliminaries, overheads, profit, fees, risk allowances, and inflation. NRM 1 serves as the foundation for effective cost management in construction projects, enabling more accurate advice for clients and project team members and facilitating improved cost control.

NRM 2: Detailed measurement for building works

This volume offers essential guidance on meticulously measuring and describing building works to obtain a tender price. It covers all aspects of bill of quantities (BOQ) production, including the necessary information from the employer and other construction consultants, quantification of non-measurable work items, contractordesigned works, and risks. Additionally, guidance is provided on BOQ content, structure, format, benefits, and uses.

NRM2 includes 41 primary classifications of work typically associated with building projects. It specifies the division of work into items, outlines the method for item description, determines the units to be used, and establishes the measurement methodology.

NRM2 is used internationally and is contract-neutral. The latter means that it can be used with NEC, FIDIC, ICC or any other standard or customised conditions of contract.

NRM 3: Order of cost estimating and cost planning for building maintenance works

This volume offers crucial guidance on quantifying and describing maintenance works to prepare initial order of cost estimates in the early stages of a building project, cost plans during design development and pre-construction stages, and detailed, asset-specific cost plans in pre-construction phases. The rules' guidance also supports the procurement and cost control of maintenance works.

An extract from a typical Finishes’ BOQ
Roll out the red carpet and drop a curtsy, the Grand

(Part 2)


Palace is back!

works were started simultaneously. A temporary lab was set up at the palace so that work could commence on the soffit paintings. Eventually, these were hung back in place piece by piece in such a way as to make it easy for conservators to remove them and do the necessary maintenance work when the need arises. The marble floors were consolidated and restored with original materials. The walls, on the other hand, led to a journey of discovery, with no less than 16 layers of paint uncovered in some places. Their new coat is in a colour scheme similar to what Nasoni had in mind.

original hall after nearly 50 years. A relocation that entailed extensive renovations of the hall as well as in-depth research thanks to which the present Armoury respects its various historic phases, including the colour scheme on the walls and the display of the artefacts.

Considering the complexity of the project and the various skills and techniques required, the project was subdivided into two different phases including a number of tenders and contracts. The main contracts involved the turnkey operation, one contract for each phase. Another two restoration contracts were also signed, one focusing on the Piano Nobile corridors, whereas another focused on the restoration of all the State Rooms. Concurrently, another contract was procured for the structural consolidation and waterproofing of all roofs.

Other smaller contracts involved the museums fit-out, audiovisuals, as well as the restoration, supply and installation of the damask which adorns most of the halls.

Each contractor was expected to have key experts engaged, as specified in the respective tender, depending on the specialisations required for the job and in accordance to statutory requirements, in order

To date, the central government has invested around €40 million in the rehabilitation and restoration of the Grand Master’s Palace, €18 million of which were co-financed via the European Regional Development Fund.

The Grand Master’s Palace is open daily between 09:00 and 17:00. For more information visit:

The importance of quality assurance

Quality assurance in building construction should guarantee that construction projects are executed in a manner that consistently meets or exceeds predetermined quality criteria.

It encompasses a series of processes, procedures, and protocols aimed at preventing defects, errors, and deviations throughout the construction lifecycle.

Quality assurance is the process of identifying or deciding on all the quality requirements for a project. It also includes identifying existing quality documents that are relevant to the quality requirements of the project, and making them available for use. QA is critical to the overall success of any construction project.

Quality assurance focuses on proactively identify and prevent defects and on properly executing a project to ensure it meets all standards of quality expected at completion.

The primary goal of quality assurance is to ensure that the completed building is structurally sound, safe for occupancy, and compliant with relevant regulations and industry standards.

QA strategy begins at project inception and extends through design, construction, and project completion.

Define Quality Objectives: should align with client expectations, standards, and requirements.

Document Quality Standards: specifications, and codes that the project must adhere to.

Quality Planning: processes, responsibilities, and procedures for maintaining quality throughout the project. The QMP should identify quality control checkpoints, inspections, and testing protocols.

Supplier and Contractor Selection: a proven track record of delivering quality work. Verify their qualifications, skills, certifications, and adherence to industry standards.

Quality Control Inspections: measures at various stages of construction. This includes structural inspections, material testing, and compliance checks. Use Inspection Test Plan for specific projects.

Documentation and Reporting: including inspection reports, test results, and any non-conformance issues. Report findings to relevant parties promptly. Handover and snagging.

Continuous Improvement: Establish a culture of

continuous improvement, where lessons learned from previous projects are applied to enhance quality processes.

Benefits of quality assurance in construction

Enhanced Safety/Long-Term Durability/Improved productivity/Increased efficiency/Better project management/Compliance with Regulations/Client Satisfaction/ Enhances Reputation/Cost Savings/Risk Mitigation/Enhanced Market Competitiveness/Public Image/Insurance and Liability/ Facilitates Continuous Improvement

Safety First: The safety of occupants and users is paramount in any construction project. Quality assurance ensures that structural elements, electrical systems, plumbing, and other crucial components are installed correctly and function safely. This proactive approach minimizes the risk of accidents, injuries, and structural failures that could result from subpar workmanship.

Long-Term Durability: High-quality construction materials and workmanship translate to long-term durability. Buildings constructed with precision and attention to detail are less likely to require frequent repairs or premature replacements. This not only reduces maintenance costs but also enhances the building's overall lifespan.

Compliance with Regulations: Building codes, regulations, and industry standards are in place to safeguard public safety and health. Quality assurance ensures that a project complies with these regulations, minimizing the risk of legal issues, fines, or the need for costly retrofits to meet code requirements.

Cost Savings: While investing in quality assurance may seem like an additional cost, it often results in substantial long-term savings. Preventing defects and errors during construction minimizes the need for costly rework, which can be a significant drain on project budgets and schedules.

Risk Mitigation: Comprehensive quality assurance helps identify and address potential risks early in the construction process. This proactive risk management approach reduces the likelihood of unexpected issues arising during or after construction, which can be financially and logistically challenging to rectify. Enhanced Market Competitiveness: Construction firms known for their commitment to quality assurance are more competitive in the market. A strong track record of delivering high-quality projects can differentiate a company and attract clients seeking reliability and excellence.

Public Image: High-profile construction projects often receive public scrutiny. Ensuring quality not only meets legal and ethical obligations but also safeguards a company's public image. Reputation is a valuable asset in the construction industry.

Insurance and Liability: Quality assurance can positively impact insurance costs and liability concerns. A well-documented commitment to quality and safety practices may lead to lower insurance premiums and reduced liability exposure.

Best Practices in Construction Quality Management

Regular Training and Education/Consistent Quality Audits/Effective Communication/Responsive Issue Resolution/Continuous Improvement

Clients can hire independent consultants or quality assurance experts to oversee and report on the project's quality performance.

QA is the collective responsibility of clients, architects, builders, subcontractors, and quality control inspectors to ensure that every construction project delivers a high-quality, safe, and compliant end result.

By prioritizing quality at every stage of a construction project, the industry upholds its commitment to excellence, safety, and client satisfaction, ultimately reaping the numerous benefits of sound quality assurance practices.

Quality Assurance is essential in preventing problems with a build and reducing risk.

The risks of not doing QA are extremely high, and can result in:

• Additional costs when work has to be redone or repaired

• Damage to reputation

• Additional costs to client when defects have to be repaired

• Serious injury

• Project delays

Quality should be everyone’s responsibility, from top management to the onsite workers. Training, communication, and recognition of quality achievements foster a culture where quality thrives.

In conclusion, quality assurance in building construction is a multifaceted process that demands meticulous planning, careful execution, and continuous monitoring.

(Part 1) QAQC on Piles

1. Scope introduction to QAQC on piles

Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QAQC) is an essential process in the construction industry to ensure compliance with design specifications and project requirements. When applied to piles, which are long cylindrical structures used to support buildings and other structures, QAQC becomes even more critical due to the significant load-bearing function of these elements.

This topic provides an in-depth understanding of QAQC on piles, exploring the various techniques and procedures used to ensure the quality and integrity of pile installations. By studying this topic, you will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively carry out QAQC activities on piles, contributing to the success of construction projects while maintaining safety and structural integrity.

2. Why is QAQC important for piles?

The importance of QAQC on piles cannot be overstated. Piles form the foundation of any structure and play a vital role in transmitting loads from above to the underlying soil or rock. Any compromise in the quality or integrity of the piling system can have severe consequences, including foundation failure, settlement, and even structural collapse.

QAQC procedures on piles are implemented to ensure that pile installations meet stringent quality standards, adhere to design specifications, and comply with relevant codes and regulations. By maintaining high-quality standards, potential risks and failures can be minimized, and the safety and stability of the structure can be ensured.

3. Key components of QAQC on piles

3.1 Preliminary investigations

Preliminary investigations involve a detailed study of the project area to determine the soil conditions, load requirements, and the most suitable type of piles. QAQC begins at this stage by ensuring that the necessary geotechnical investigations and soil testing are conducted correctly, enabling accurate pile design and selection.

3.2 Material inspection and testing

QAQC on piles involves the inspection and testing of materials used in the pile construction process. This includes verifying the quality and integrity of reinforcement bars, concrete mixtures, precast components, and any other materials involved. Material testing techniques, such as compressive strength, slump tests, and reinforcement checks, are employed to ensure compliance with the required standards. Following are the inspections which are carried out during the construction of the piles.

• Inspection for steel reinforcement

• Inspection for casing works
•Inspection for concret works

3.3 Pile installation procedures

QAQC on piles encompasses the monitoring and control of pile installation procedures. This includes overseeing the execution of pile driving or drilling activities, ensuring that the pile is installed to the required depth and alignment. Monitoring techniques, such as pile integrity testing, dynamic pile testing, and geometric assessments, are employed to verify the satisfactory installation of each pile.

3.4 Non-destructive testing

Non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques play a crucial role in QAQC on pile foundations. These methods assess the quality and integrity of the piles without causing any damage. NDT techniques commonly used in QAQC on piles include sonic testing, low-strain integrity testing, cross hole sonic logging, and thermal integrity profiling. These tests help identify defects, voids, or anomalies in the piles, allowing for corrective actions to be taken during the construction process.

3.5 Documentation and reporting

QAQC on piles requires accurate and comprehensive

documentation and reporting at every stage of the construction process. This includes maintaining records of preliminary investigations, material inspections and tests, pile installation procedures, NDT results, and any corrective measures taken. Documentation and reporting facilitate accountability, transparency, and traceability, ensuring that construction projects adhere to quality standards and meet regulatory requirements.

3.6 Conclusion

QAQC on piles is a critical process that ensures the quality and integrity of pile installations, safeguarding the structural stability of buildings and structures. Through a systematic approach involving preliminary investigations, material inspection, pile installation procedures, non-destructive testing, and comprehensive documentation, QAQC helps mitigate risks, prevent failures, and achieve successful construction outcomes. By applying the concepts and techniques discussed in this topic, you will develop the necessary skills to effectively carry out QAQC activities on piles, ultimately contributing to the safety and quality of construction projects.

Women in Construction 2024

Mortar and Milestones: From Entry to Leadership

What do you think of this year’s edition?

Where the topics discussed by our panels relevant to your work and profession?

The yearly Women in Construction Conference is offering a powerful platform for women to support each other in a predominantly male-dominated industry. The event fostered an inclusive environment, featuring keynote speakers, and networking opportunities. Participants gained insights into overcoming gender barriers, enhancing leadership skills, and building connections. I see this conference as a way to empower further women's contributions to the construction industry, leaving participants motivated to excel in their careers.

Perit Janice Borg (Infrastructure Malta)

In my opinion this year's event is the fruit of the organiser's very hard work and determination to consistently organise top class events which everybody with the remotest of interest in the construction industry should make space for in their calendar. This includes the men, who unfortunately might be under the impression that this is a 'by women - for women' event when it is anything but that. The men need to come forward in greater numbers and use this event to engage more with their female peers.

Dr. Ivan Mifsud (Malta University)

The conference provided a platform to delve into the evolving role of women in the construction industry. Speakers commented on the very definition of women in construction and the progress made in these last decades. Some discussed the significance of patience, authenticity, and honest work in challenging deeply ingrained gender stereotypes. I believe the shared experiences fostered a sense of unity, reassuring fellow women architects that they are not navigating this journey alone. However, it's crucial to extend awareness beyond the already converted audience to construct an even more meaningful conversation

Perit Mireille Tabone (AP Valletta)

The conference was yet another success as it covered several important aspects shared by the key speakers hailing from various backgrounds in the construction industry. I entirely enjoyed this year’s format, as it was more engaging and fast paced. Each panel conveyed a strong message of inequality that still exists, accentuating however unique strengths that women own and how these can be exploited to their advantage and the industry in general.


I was struck by the diversity of the speakers, where not only women directly working on site were present but also women working behind the scenes shared their wise words. What resonated with me the most was the message that men and women have different perspectives, but together a new set of skills is created that we would not achieve with men or women alone. Gender diversity should be embraced in every line of work.


I found this year's edition of the Woman in Construction event insightful and relevant to my work in the construction industry. The topics discussed by our panels addressed important issues such as diversity in leadership, inclusion initiatives, and overcoming barriers for women. These discussions resonated with my profession and provided valuable insights for fostering a more inclusive and equitable workplace.

Patrick Camilleri Mercieca (Group Head of HR Attard Bros)

Attending the Women in Construction conference was an empowering and inspiring experience. Surrounded by a diverse group of talented women breaking barriers in the industry, the atmosphere was charged with enthusiasm and determination.

Michaela Cassar Pickard

This conference was so interesting I’m looking forward to the next one! As with everything else, there are challenges and opportunities in every sector of every occupation. When we think of construction, we need to remember that this does not involve only site work –there’s much more to it than that: design, detailing, drawing up of BOQ’s and tenders, management, etc. We are not like men, and this is something that should be celebrated, because the input that we can give can be invaluable. Women can visualize projects differently than men and therefore, the contribution of women can unveil ways of working that may not have been thought of. Research has also shown that women often score higher on emotional intelligence than men – this is another plus of having a balanced representation of men and women – considering that empathy and the way challenges are tackled really do affect the outcome, especially when difficult situations arise.

Perit Annmarie Mifsud (BCA)

The event was a very good opportunity to meet up with a good number of professionals from the construction industry and discuss and share various issues but also strengths and achievements that women have encountered throughout these years. Throughout the discussions it was felt with pleasure that we have come a long way and even though progress and more collaboration is still needed we should be encouraged by the long strides done. It was also agreed upon that education, experience and communication are the basis of everything and as long as those are present the gap between the gender di erences will always become smaller.

I was delighted to sponsor and attend the Women in Construction 2024 event. Thank you to MCCM, Mare Summit, panel members and attendees. It was wonderful to see so many industry professionals discussing how we can attract and retain female specialists within the construction sector. Of particular interest was the topic related to the need for women in board level positions and how we can all benefit from diversity within senior management. Another great event!

Being an HR professional, anything related to human capacity is relevant to this profession. It was very interesting to experience and learn about the perspective of diverse roles in the industry of construction. Those who are directly on site, others on drawing boards, others managing projects and following Gant charts while others leading and directing. Apparent are the challenges faced by some of them due to the typical stereotypes in the industry. Evident also the multi-cultural challenges which do cause barriers for some. Notwithstanding this I was extremely delighted about the resilience of these women. Would be interesting to have available evidenced based research about the female participation in the Maltese industry and a presentation for the forthcoming event. Furthermore to focus the panel on other roles in the industry who are less elite in position but still valid contributors in this industry.

Women in Construction 2024 had an interesting and different set up with various panels. Personally this made sense and highlighted common issues, including the various cultures and languages found on site nowadays, which makes it more challenging, especially for us women in certain circumstances. The notion of women uniting helps in meeting other women with similar experiences, however we are trying to unite with all people in our industry, where we all need to learn from one another and respect one another.

Delays and Penalties in Construction Contracts

PART IA considered the penalty clauses in common law jurisdictions whereas PART IB hereunder will consider the penalty clauses in construction contracts as regarded in continental law jurisdictions.

PART IB - Penalties in Continental Legal Systems:

Distinction between the penalty clause and liquidated damages emerges in civil law jurisdictions. Generally, the courts are not endowed with the powers to reduce the liquidated damages, however, in some civil law jurisdictions1 there has been a recent drive towards reducing penalties. This differs from common law jurisdictions because while in the civil law jurisdictions the penalty clauses are considered a priori enforceable, the penalty clauses in the common law jurisdiction are considered unenforceable.

How long is "STILL"?

clause is stipulated in a contract, that clause acts as a maximum penalty, not a minimum.5

One justification for reducing penalties is that the revised Italian Civil Code reflects the desire to prevent the contract from becoming one of usury.2 Legal author De Cupis notes that the penalty clause in private contracts may function as a mode of excessive enrichment by the creditor (the non-breaching party). Italian law allows the judge to reduce the penalty clauses also because of the impact the introduction of the principle of good faith has had on their interpretation.3

The French Civil Code was also amended4 so that the Courts in France now enjoy the same rights to reduce stipulated penalties based on the same reasoning. Since the latest revisions to the French Civil Code, if a penalty

In Germany, where stipulated contractual penalties6 are found to be disproportionate and are either larger than the actual losses or seem excessive, the German Courts also have the power to reduce them.7 Article 339 of the German Civil Code stipulates that contractual penalties are triggered when the obligations are not performed, or not performed properly. The creditor may ask for the penalty to be paid instead of the obligations of the debtor. No additional damage can be claimed, and the penalty is the minimum amount of the damage if it is being claimed instead of performance.8 The only instance expressed in the German law where the creditor may claim the penalty as well as the performance of the debtor’s obligations is

when the penalty is stipulated as being promised when performance is improper. Performance and penalty are demanded only if this was clear at the time of contracting.9

The penalty clause appears to be an exception when comparing common law and civil law jurisdictions, because while it is typical for the former jurisdiction to be more permissive, in this case it is less permissive: their baseline is that the penalty clause is unenforceable. The baseline for civil law jurisdictions is that the penalty law is permitted and will only be reduced if excessive.20

1. The ones considered for the purposes of this research were the ones mostly referred to in court cases assessed: Italian, French and German. For further reference on which court referred to which jurisdiction or legal authors in these countries, see Appendix A –Schedules of Cases.

2. De Luca, La Clausola Penale cit p 116 obtained from Fleur Shaw, Penalty Clauses and Liquidated Damages, 2005, 59-60.

3. Francesco Paolo Patti, Penalty Clauses in Italian Law (2015) Vol. 23, European Review of Private Law, Issue 2, 309-325.

4. The French Civil Code was revised in 1975, in 1985 and last in 2016. In the old French Civil Code of 1975, the penalty clause was regulated by Article 1152.

5. Article 1094 of the French Civil Code (2016); Jean Carbonniere, Droit Civil Vol.II, 4 January 2017, (2nd Edn., Manual Quadriga, Paris).

6. Vertragsstrafe, as opposed to liquidated damages, schadenspauschale.

7. Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch (BGB) Article 343 of the German Civil Code

8. Article 340 of the German Civil Code.

9. Article 341 of the German Civil Code.


MARE Summit 2024

During the last week of May, between the 23rd and 24th of the month, our chamber together with other stakeholders operating within the construction industry, were

faces that have exhibited in the past but even more so to meet new exhibitors and new speakers to discuss this ever-growing vast industry.

This year’s event was inaugurated by the Minister for Justice and Construction Reform Hon Jonathan Attard followed by a message from the Opposition representative for the sector Hon Stanley Zammit. The two days were packed presentations from the various professionals. In addition, a number of different panels discussed the challenges and opportunities our industry is facing.

Needless to say, such events are important for the upscaling of the industry and encourage people within the sector to work together. Participation in such events is a must!

MARE Summit is not just an exhibition event, MARE Summit is a community of like-minded individuals and professionals that have the improvement of the construction industry and how this industry affects the rest of the country, at heart.

See you next year.

Education & Development CPDS

National Association of Women in Construction and Women’s PPE

Exploring the A to Z Essential Principles

Using ozone for decontamination

This webinar addresses the challenges women face in the construction industry. Katy Robinson discusses the initiatives of the National Association of Women in Construction, along with the recent release of a report focusing on Women PPE. She discusses the history of PPE, the obstacles in obtaining PPE tailored for women as well as the consequences of poorly fitting PPE.

This Rockwool-sponsored CPD module examines the A to Z Essential Principles relating to passive fire safety by RISCAuthority, highlighting the importance of going above and beyond the Building Regulations to better protect buildings and their occupants.

This JLA-sponsored module explores the benefits of using ozone for decontamination, alongside the adverse health effects associated with the gas and considerations needed to mitigate them

Events 2024


Events in programme for the coming months

26th June Membership and CPD Certificates Presentation by the Minister Dr. Jonathan Attard

19th & 20th July I Choose (Career Fair)

18th September CPD - ERA

24th October Gozo - The Role of Project Management in Construction in collaboration with the Gozo Business Chamber

30th November Annual General Meeting

Malta Chamber of Construction Management would like to thank its Partners

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