Managing Construction March April 2024

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March/April 2024 Strategy Document Presentation and Women In Construction 2024


Publications and Financial Officer: Fabrizio Gerada MCIOB

During the launch of our strategy document for 2024 to 2026, we emphasised our commitment to professionalism, innovation and quality in construction management. Such a statement is not only sweet talk but the chamber’s commitment to improve the situation.

We have heard different cases over the years, mentioned in the media and not, where through mishandling, lack of skills, sloppy planning or negligence, accidents could have been avoided. Not to mention other aspects related to poor procurement processes, not abiding with building codes and the hindrances created to third parties during different stages of construction.

As part of the chamber’s commitment, members of the council with President Jesmond Chetcuti had been meeting different stakeholders in the industry to discuss how we can foster collaboration so our vision is transmitted to other entities.

The Malta Chamber of Construction, through its various collaborations and educational activities every other week are an example of how through educational enrichment we can create change. Another important activity is the Women in Construction event to be held on the 11th of April. The concept behind the second edition of the event is not aimed at creating gender balance but is to focus on how the role of women in different responsibilities can also lead the change in such an industry.

While our main aim is to be officially recognised as a profession, we shall keep moving forward in our stance to create awareness, fulfil our duty with the members to create professional sessions and inspire entities to do their part and be part of our trajectory to make a change in the local construction industry where the ultimate beneficiaries will be the general public.

Heritage Malta

Editorial enquiries:


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.

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




Contents MARCH/APRIL 24 4 For instant updates follow us: Twitter:@mccm Facebook: MCCM Website: Email: LinkedIn:maltachamberofconstructionmanagement
| Editorial 04 | Contents 06 | Message from: The President and the CIOB CEO
| ERP Solutions in Construction Projects 10 | Legal
| When Sustainability and Technology in Buildings Combine
| Keeping between the Swimlanes
| Procurement in Facilities Management
| BIM Standards BS EN ISO 19650-2 20 | Health and Safety Shield Consultants
| A Process Based Approach to Conservation 28 | ESG and the Built Environment 29 | Interior Design 30 | A Net Zero Economy
| The Importance of the Bill of Quantities in Construction Contracts
| Unveiling Your Expertise
- 13 | MCCM’s Second Series of Organised CPDs/COPs
| The Healthy House - Part 2

47 | Education and Development CPDs

38 | Roll out the Carpet and drop a Cursty, the Grandmaster’s Palace is Back!

40 | The importance of a Quality Manager in the Structure of a Large Site

42 | CE Certification for aggregates

45 | Gozo Events

46 | Penalties and Delays in Construction Contracts

48 | Courses

50 | Events


Message from


Welcome to the Ninth Edition of Managing Construction, which is the first edition for this year. It is incredible how time flies considering that three years have already passed since we started this initiative, targeting various purposes including education, awareness, ethics, standards and appreciation of the Maltese heritage.

There’s much to look forward to this year. For CIOB, we will mark our 190th anniversary in March, which is definitely a milestone to be proud of, and in April, in London, we will celebrate our CIOB Awards winners.

We are particularly pleased that in this edition, the first part of an article presented to us by Heritage Malta is featured. We must admit that this is just a token and we will be inviting our members and readers to pay a visit to The President’s Palace; a building which has gone through an extensive refurbishment in the past years that brought it to its original splendour.

Another feature will focus on the presentation of our Strategy Document. This document was launched during our AGM last December. As done previously with the first edition, during the early months of the year, the chamber’s administration embarked on presenting the document and discussing its contents with various stakeholders who not only support the work being done by our chamber but are sharing the same vision. Thus we will be ensuring that the interest of the common good is at the top of the agenda.

A must is a mention for this year`s Women in Construction. Similar to last year this edition will be taking place at the Malta Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise premises in Valletta.

In order to diversify the format of this year`s edition and to include more participants, instead of just speeches by the distinct special guests, this year we are going to present four panels to discuss four different topics focusing on the involvement of women in the industry.

More coverage of this event will feature on the tenth edition to be published in June/July.



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

For an organisation which is still relatively young, the MCCM has much to be proud of and look forward to. You’re making great strides with your new strategy and the forthcoming Women in Construction event is sure to be a success, if the fantastic event you held last year is any indication.

I also appreciate that there is a schedule of CPD events, as a regular rhythm of learning and encouraging reflection is an important part of being a modern professional and upholding high standards in our industry.

On that note, I do want to warn against complacency. The end of last year saw the UK’s Health and Safety Executive publish new data on workplace injuries and ill health. These showed a rise in the number of construction fatalities (45 in construction in the UK for 2022/2023, compared with 29 in 2021/2022) and unfortunately we know that industry accidents aren’t confined to the UK – health and safety needs to be a focus for the global community of construction professionals.

The reality behind the figures is that some people never made it home from work. We owe it to them and their loved ones and colleagues to continue putting health, safety and wellbeing at the forefront of our work.

In practical terms, this means a number of things but chief among them is providing workers with relevant and up-to-date training and CPD opportunities and the equipment and PPE to safely carry out their jobs.



ERP solutions in construction projects were drawn up in general terms in April 2023 edition of MCCM Magazine.

ERP solutions have several benefits for construction projects because it helps to classify all type of numerical and financial data which are very important for the organization. These data shall provide an enterprise memory to related parties to use it for the current and future circumstances.

How an ERP solution help for construction project?

ERPs systemize the high number of activities, assets, resources, suppliers and contractors in a requested manner. Therefore, more precise analysis of material, machinery, manpower and production are obtained. Especially in high budget and complex projects, activity-based cost analysis can be obtained by combining the module of accounting, project management, manufacturing, human resources and machinery & equipment management. The activity cost codes created for ERP system provide more precise cost management and control, hence it makes serious contribution for profit margins.

Cost Codes and Monitoring

Construction project budget may be generated in parallel with bill of quantities (BOQ) and program of works (PoW). In this regard, a cost code is assigned for each activity of the project. These codes are the cost identification of the activities. The most critical part to properly implement the system is separation of costs to assign the correct cost code. Therefore, related cost codes and activities should be monitored by related staff in an effective manner. Due to the nature of the construction projects, works may be hard on site to focus such details. In order not to fail about cost management, cost codes should be written on all cost related document like delivery notes/tickets as soon as it is received. Especially, this might be critical for the high budgeted construction projects. Since there are several activities and huge circulation of input and output, it is always important to separate and assign correct cost code to obtain more precise reports. In addition to this, ERPs can make more classification after assigning cost codes. It is also possible to perform this classification and separation under cost codes such as labour, machinery, material, subcontractor, equipment etc.

In conclusion, more precise manhours and data shall be obtained if an effective ERP and cost coding are implemented. It should not be forgotten that related units or departments have to contribute these steps to prevent lack of information.

Table 1) Diagram of Cost Code System

Court Report

The right to a bank account

Although this case may not appear to be related to the work of a Construction Project Manager, it is being included because it is useful to know one’s rights and to know about where on can seek one’s rights should they be breached. Hence the inclusion of a case dealt with by the Arbiter for Financial Services who deals with complaints against banks, insurance companies, investment service providers and other entities in the financial services industry. Complaints must be lodged within two years from when the individual first got to know about the subject matter. Complainants must first write to the financial services provider and allow them time in which to reply, before complaining formally to the Arbiter.

On this particular occasion (Ref: Case ASF 016/23) a seventy-six year old man subject to criminal charges under anti-money laundering legislation, whose only source of income at that time was a government pension of around €1,000 per month, found himself in a fix when his banks (the two largest in Malta who we shall refer to as Bank A and Bank B in this article) decided that this individual, facing criminal charges, was beyond their risk appetite. Bank A closed all his accounts, so this individual gave instructions to the pensions department to pay his monthly pension into Bank B. All went well until Bank B also closed his account, leaving him with no bank account at all. He approached other banks, but they refused to allow him to open a bank account with them, while the

government insisted that he must provide them with a bank account in which to pay his pension. He complained to the Arbiter, who ruled that every individual had a right to a basic payments bank account (i.e. a bank in which one can deposit money into, and withdraw money therefrom, and the right to a debit card to facilitate withdrawals and with which to pay). While Bank B queried why it should carry this burden and not Bank A, on the basis that this individual did most of his banking throughout his life with Bank A, the Arbiter ruled that when Bank A had terminated its relationship with him it has not breached this basic right because there was still Bank B, but when Bank B did the same it breached his rights because there was no other bank for him to turn to.

The Arbiter also observed that an elderly man cannot be expected to carry amounts of cash with him, wherever he goes, because of the risk he would be incurring, but ruled that in this bank account, to make monitoring easy for Bank B, he would only be able to deposit his government

Looking for a Construction Project Manager or a Site Manager? Reach out to our chamber and we will help you find the right professional for the job! E: W: T: +356 7711 6778

MCCM's Second Series of Organized CPDs / COPs

In the past, I've emphasised the significance of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and Communities of Practice (COP), expressing our aspiration to host more of these sessions for both our members and the broader public. I have an incline to these sessions because they facilitate discussions and knowledge-sharing among peers, enabling individuals to stay abreast of developments in the construction sector.

In a recent session, Dr. Gatt delivered valuable geological

Within the context of health and safety (H&S), CPD’s foster ongoing education regarding regulations, risk assessments and optimal methodologies. This, in turn, diminishes the likelihood of accidents and liabilities by integrating newfound knowledge. With gratitude to Mr. Mike Spiteri, our first session provided members with insights into rigging and hoisting techniques, alongside comprehensive guidance on implementing necessary checks to mitigate risks on-site.

Subsequently, under the expert guidance of Shields Consultants Ltd, participants delved into the protocols a Project Manager should adhere to for ‘on-site risk management’, concerning fire prevention and control.

We also hosted two captivating COPs, focusing on Project Management throughout the project life cycle. These sessions were divided into two parts. The first session


addressed project management from concept to mandate, while the second session delved into the specifics of project management duties during the implementation stage. Mr. Karl Azzopardi and Mr. Amadeo Mifsud led these sessions, providing attendees with the opportunity to share their experiences and engage in constructive discussions. Both sessions yielded positive outcomes that were well-received by all participants.

Reflecting on the impact of these sessions, it is clear that investing in self-development is not just beneficial—it is essential for staying informed about good practices with the sector. Moving forward, MCCM remain committed to providing opportunities for learning and growth, knowing that the rewards are boundless for those who embrace the journey of self-improvement.


When sustainability and technology in buildings combine.

In the pursuit of sustainable practices, the realm of building management systems has witnessed a transformative leap forward. Companies like Panta are at the forefront of this evolution, championing innovations that redefine standards in building data, energy efficiency and comfort.

Central to this movement is the development of advanced building management systems that prioritize environmental stewardship while optimizing operational efficiency. These systems represent a convergence of technology and sustainability principles, offering solutions that resonate across diverse building environments.

At the core of these advancements lies a commitment to harnessing renewable energy sources and maximizing resource utilization. By integrating centralized cooling/heating infrastructure, building management systems efficiently capture and recycle energy from various spaces within the building. This approach not only minimizes energy wastage but also significantly reduces carbon footprints, contributing to broader sustainability goals.

One of the key challenges in modern building management is equitable resource allocation among tenants and common areas. Addressing this challenge, companies can leverage sophisticated software solutions capable of monitoring and analyzing a myriad environmental variables in real time. Through data-driven insights, building managers can accurately apportion energy usage, fostering a culture of accountability and efficiency among tenants.

Moreover, the integration of comprehensive reporting mechanisms empowers stakeholders to track energy consumption patterns and identify areas for improvement. These insights not only inform strategic decision-making but also serve as valuable metrics for evaluating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance. The versatility of modern building management systems is exemplified by their ability to adapt to

diverse tenant needs and building functionalities. Whether it's offices, retail spaces, restaurants, or recreational facilities, these systems intelligently manage environmental conditions to ensure optimal comfort and efficiency.

Furthermore, the role of technology in driving sustainability extends beyond operational enhancements. It fosters a culture of innovation and collaboration, where stakeholders across the built environment ecosystem collaborate to develop solutions that transcend traditional boundaries.

As pioneers in the field, companies like Panta exemplify the transformative potential of sustainable building management systems. Their dedication to excellence and reliability underscores a broader commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

In conclusion, the evolution of building management systems represents a pivotal step towards a more sustainable built environment. By embracing innovation, collaboration, and data-driven insights, stakeholders can unlock new possibilities in energy efficiency, tenant comfort, and environmental sustainability.


Keeping between the swimlanes

In project management, you can describe the division of responsibilities and workflows among different individuals on the team as swimlanes. A good team will have a specific number of people, each with defined functions, which quantifiably add towards the achievement of the vision of the project. Team members need to understand their roles and should primarily focus on tasks that fall within their respective swimlanes.

It's important for team members to respect the boundaries of their swimlanes and avoid encroaching on the responsibilities of other team members. This ensures that each part of the project operates smoothly without unnecessary interference. But in order for this to work, the team needs to communicate effectively with each other and with other stakeholders. When people want information and they don’t get it, they get worried. When people get worried they stray inside other people’s areas of responsibility. Therefore, proactive communication is key to avoiding silos, confusion and a breakdown of this streamlined approach to project management.

between providing guidance and allowing teams to operate autonomously within their swimlanes. Trusting team members to fulfill their roles effectively, fostering open communication, and providing support when needed are essential for maintaining productivity and ensuring real progress in the project. When managers cannot step back and allow their team to operate to the fullest of their abilities, they blur the lines between swimlanes. If unchecked, this can impact the project in a number of ways.

When managers micromanage a project, team members start to feel less accountable for their work. Equally, the team may become demotivated if they feel their expertise and autonomy are being undermined. Projects are often high-pressure environments and it’s important for the team to feel respected and listened to, and to have ownership.

Maybe the worst part about mixing up swimlanes, is the lost opportunities to innovate. Everyone focused on one issue may not get that problem solved any quicker at all, and meanwhile all other business gets dropped. Ineffective project teams always remind me of young kids playing football, where everyone on the pitch is chasing around after the ball instead of being in their positions and marking their opponents. The strength of a good team is having the right expertise in the right places on the pitch, with the self-belief and the trust in each other to achieve.


Procurement in Facilities Management

Facilities Management in Different Sectors

Understanding procurement and contract management is one of the most important paradigm which focuses to bring on rational functional strength for various business decisions and expansion focus through which wider rational services can be attained within business world. There are various types of contracts and principles of procurement, cost and various detailed explanation onto vivid factors of strengthened business factors which built on wider rational paradigms to bring on higher relative expansion for gaining goodwill of service among business scale customers.

For the overall procurement process within a business organisation to be successful in its varied functions, the management of the procurement process needs to be effectively organised within the organisation in order for the procurement operations to be conducted effectively and productively. For the effective management of the procurement process in business organisations, the individual operations and functioning or roles of all employees and operational departments in the business organisation needs to be effectively organised in relation to the procurement process (Lawal, 2016). The roles of the employees engaging or taking part in the procurement process needs to be effectively organised based on their functions and operations towards the procurement process.

Role of framework contracts and management in meeting high value procurement requirements in facilities management can be understood with the wide rational functional standards of cooperate developed relativity it plays within business arenas. They enable to build strong business framework and higher leveraged focus to attain

larger quality within all determinants and to build best parameters and gain positive outlook of higher profitability and goodwill among consumers keenly progressively. The facilities management works as one of the most important paradigms through which wider quested synergy of optimism and quality metrics within all hospitality services can be attained by company to bring on rational new changes, tender supplies based on larger demand factors and to potentially bring higher keen focus for pertaining best standards.

Cost and technology are also highly important to program out wider determinants for focusing onto higher rational roles and, leverage onto wider focus for gaining best technical advancement within different building sectors. Facilities management and procurements requirements are one of the most important role to build on stronger working force at any department who is aiming to be one of the best higher goodwill attained company having large strength within all factors (Wright and Conley, 2018). The tender of supplier company who are active to produce strong innovative business services available to all functional strengths which hotel aims to achieve onto higher developed parameters.


BIM Standards (cont'd) BS EN ISO 19650-2

BS EN ISO 19650-2: Organization and digitization of information about buildings and civil engineering works, including building information modelling -Information management using building information modelling.

Part 2 – Delivery Phase of Assets

BS EN ISO 19650-2 like BS EN ISO 19650-1, supersedes

BS 1192:2007+A2:2016 and PAS 1192-2:2013. The purpose of this document is mainly to allow the appointing party to create the requirements for information for the delivery of the project. This document aids in creating the right commercial and collaborative environment for all appointed parties such that these can produce effective information efficiently. It specifies the requirements for information management for the delivery phases of the asset. These standards can be applied for any type of project of any scale. However, these should be applied appropriately depending on the project scale or complexity. This document focuses on the delivery phase of the project starting from the assessment stage up to the project close out.

Figure 1 - Scope of this document

Health and Safety

Occupational Health and Safety Risk Assessments

As I write this article, yet another fatality has occurred at the workplace, on Friday 23 February (2024). Perhaps the most shocking aspect of this latest tragedy lies in the fact that it barely raised a stir. It was briefly reported in the newspapers but by and large the community just walked on by, as if nothing had happened at all.

This is a very serious symptom of our approach to health and safety, one that indicts us all. For some reason, notwithstanding the alarming levels of fatalities in Malta (as well as the unreported incidents which no doubt occur on a regular basis), the levels of competence remain as poor and shallow as ever. We seem to make very little progress, if any at all, and in some specific areas, performance is regressing. No amount of wakeup calls seems to force us into smelling the coffee; this is a situation that should be alarming us all, stakeholders at all levels.

Perhaps we should start our interaction by sparing a thought and a prayer for the (all too many) workers who have lost their lives while earning a fair day’s wage. … … … …

An OHS risk assessment is a process for evaluating work-related risks and hazards, and which could affect workers and other persons during the works or tasks. Additionally, and this is a vitally important aspect, the evaluation shall also include the essential controls required to minimize risk to a level that is as low as reasonably practicable [ALARP].

In this Edition we discuss the requirements for a risk assessment to be valid under the terms of the law, which effectively requires three elements:

1. Suitability.

2. Sufficiency.

3. A systematic approach.

Act XXVII/2000 requires that all employers carry out a risk assessment relevant to the work activities undertake. This is a legal requirement, further endorsed under S.L.424.18; The General Provisions for OH&S at Workplaces and repeated in several other regulations. But risk assessments remain some of the most misunderstood professional practices in health and safety, if not the most. In today’s short article we explore some of the reasons and try to establish the most important facts around risk assessments. So, let us start by examining some questions.

What is a risk assessment?

There are probably as many answers to this question as there are questions themselves. This is simply because risk assessments are nothing more than a very useful way to determine the amount of danger present in work and the chances of it happening during the work. That is it, no black magic involved.

Suitability simply means that the risk assessment shall be fit for purpose. A risk assessment cannot be treated as some tick-the-box exercise that is done only because it is required by the law or the OHSA. A proper risk assessment is specific to the works being planned and should be completed before the works are approved by the person or persons responsible for their implementation. Furthermore, the risk assessment must stipulate the controls required to ensure that the work is completed safely.

For a risk assessment to meet the requirement for sufficiency, it must include all hazards and risks that are foreseeable to a reasonable person who is competent enough to identify them, evaluate the consequences and stipulate effective controls. On its own, it is not enough to simply identify hazards and risks. The assessor must also define the safety measures (controls) essential to ensuring that all hazards and risks are lowered to a level at which it is reasonable to operate under safe conditions, for the workers and others who might be affected by the work. This requirement effectively means that the hierarchy of control measures should be followed. The law is also very clear on this point, under OHSA Act XXVII/2000; Art 6. and S.L.424.18; Art.10.


Finally, a risk assessment shall adopt a systematic approach in evaluating the hazards and risks, insofar as it must result in a Safe System of Work (SSoW). This is possibly the most misunderstood, misapplied, and misinterpreted element currently affecting the quality of safe work in Malta. A very effective way to ensure that a risk assessment is thorough enough and systematic is to adopt the principles of Operational Integrity [OI] – People; Processes and Machinery. In the next edition, we shall examine these three elements in detail. For now, we shall conclude by establishing some major caveats relating to risk assessments.

1. Risk assessments do not keep workers safe unless fully and effectively implemented.

2. Risk assessments are incomplete unless the safety controls are stipulated.

3. OHS regulations provide a basis for safety measures, but they can be quite generic and require further consideration on the part of the risk assessors.

4. Risk assessments must be specific to works/tasks.

5. Safety controls stipulated in risk assessments should follow the hierarchy of controls required by law.

6. When implemented, risk assessments should result in effective Safe Systems of Work [SSoW].

7. Risk assessments need not be complicated or complex.

8. Risk assessments must be communicated to all workers involved in the works, task or job.

9. Risk assessments should be duly supervised by competent persons.

10. If controls fail or are not applied and give rise to serious and imminent danger, works must be stopped to rectify the safety shortcomings. This is a legal requirement under S.L.424.18; Art.11

John Schembri, MSc. (Sy & RM), L’cstr; PgC (OH&S), P’mth; CBCI; SIRM

SHIELD Consultants are specialists in writing policies relating to operational risk management, including OH&S policies as required by OHSA Act XXVII/2000. Contact us on: for a free consultation


Unveiling Your Expertise: Understanding Competency

Competency, as outlined by the Oxford Dictionary, denotes possessing sufficient skill or knowledge to execute a task proficiently or meet required standards. Legally, it encompasses the capacity to act appropriately within given circumstances, encompassing job performance, reasoning abilities, and decision-making skills. Additionally, competence is characterized by the capability to apply knowledge within specific practical contexts, often referred to as knowing-in-practice. Knowledge transfer can be viewed as an outcome resulting from various competency practices.

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), competence is described as the capacity to utilize knowledge, skills, and attitudes effectively to carry out job tasks and attain desired outcomes within specified deadlines. Competence includes both functional aspects, such as technical and leadership skills, and interpersonal qualities, such as social or organizational skills, ethical values, and critical thinking. It is not just restricted to cognitive elements, which involve applying theory, legal requirements, concepts, or tacit knowledge.


How is competency determined and by whom?

Drawing from my experience, I'd like to highlight additional common errors I've observed, particularly within certain construction firms. There's a notable absence of job descriptions explicitly outlining the expectation for workers to consistently demonstrate health and safety awareness, take accountability for their actions, and adhere to all relevant regulations.

Reasonable steps need to be proportionate and not over-bureaucratic,and will depend on the complexity of the project/work/sector, and the range and nature of the risks involved. This means from a health and safety perspective, that in practice, competent persons should be capable of understanding how to:

1. identify the significant risks that are likely to arise within the workplace, and

2. prevent those risks or manage or control them to acceptable levels

Anyone knowledgeable and skilled in these health and safety practices can effectively find and manage potential hazards before they escalate into accidents or incidents. In short, competency describes what individuals contribute to the workplace and the behaviors that support competent performance, such as analytical or critical thinking abilities.

A study about what makes safety and health coordinators successful on construction sites, an article published in Construction Management and Economics, 2020, found six new skills that are really important. These skills—like being persistent, thorough, friendly, creative, organized, and having a big-picture view—are not something other studies have talked about before. The study used surveys with experts and real-life observations on construction sites to figure out how these skills are used and what challenges people face in using them.

By looking at how workers actually use these skills in their jobs, the study helps us understand what makes someone good at their job. It suggests that if we train workers in these specific skills, it could make construction sites safer and healthier. The study also says it's more about knowing how to do things rather than just having the knowledge or skills on paper. Instead of just talking about these skills in an idealistic way, the study encourages us to focus on what really works in real life.

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), a prominent landmark and icon of Malta’s colonial past in Valletta’s skyline, has recently undergone a significant restoration campaign completed in 2024, co-funded by ERDF (European Regional Development Fund - Operational Programme I – European Structural and Investment Funds 2014-2020) and the inestimable support of the Save the Valletta Skyline Appeal. In 2016, The Restoration Appeal Committee entrusted AP Valletta with the restoration project.

AP elected to adopt a transdisciplinary approach to the restoration of the tower and spire, setting off with a series of archival and historical studies, non-invasive investigations, and structural analysis in the preliminary stages for a holistic examination of the existing structure to inform the design of interventions. Restoration works began in 2020, revealing further discoveries on the construction technics implemented within the monument as well as previously undocumented repair interventions.

Credits: Guillaume Dreyfuss


The monument’s unprecedented height, at 67m, makes it the tallest historical structure on the island, and undoubtably a feat in construction in the Maltese tradition of the 19th century. The masonry construction uses high-quality Globigerina Limestone and a thin-joint construction, the latter not widespread practice in local buildings. The internal structure consists of six timber platform levels, supported on a series of beams, assembled as the construction of the masonry structure went along.

The restoration approach was informed by preliminary research and studies and planned to retain the intrinsic qualities and values of the historical structure, whilst ensuring the structural stability of its complex assembly and its long-term preservation. The combined approach on both archival records and building structure had stressed the possible correlation between the masonry surface disruptions and the presence of embedded metal. Visible masonry surfaces exhibited deterioration patterns attributable to severe alveolar decay and cracks, due to the expansion of embedded metal located within the wall thickness. Approximately five thousand six hundred stone blocks (5600) were checked by tapping to determine whether the stone surface was detached where underlying cracks were not visible. To retain the original fabric as well as the time-gained surface patina, dowelling of the detached surface combined with lime injection was the preferred method of repair.

The intervention limited stone replacement to a minimum, also allowing for the original mortar joints to be retained. Wherever required for the structural stability of the monument, stone replacement was carried out to respect the original stereotomy, with most ornamental elements not requiring replacement and being retained. The urns located at the four corners of the tower terraces were reconstructed in local hardstone, using CNC technology, to reintroduce the transition between the tower volume and that of the spire which had been missing since early in the monument’s lifetime. The restoration of the monument was capped off with restoration of the cross atop the spire, providing a visible testimony to the in-depth restoration of this iconic Maltese landmark.

As an integral part of the restoration process, each stone block was coded and referenced to photographic records at distinct phases, with images taken before, during and after interventions. This was cross-referenced with stone replacement drawings - on elevation and on plan - to understand how day-to-day decisions could affect the structure, stereotomy and aesthetic of the tower and spire. Site data and recording of interventions are critical for the future preservation of the monument, with previous interventions exposed and those carried out in the most recent restoration campaign modelled using H-BIM technology (Heritage – Building Information Modelling). The early introduction of the technology into the project’s cycle, combined with high-definition imagery (through UAV photogrammetry and UAV inspections in 2019) and surveying technologies (including point cloud through laser scanning in 2017), archival research and a transdisciplinary approach to the project created a rich database crucial to the understanding of the building and as a guide for the intervention adopted, generating in parallel a collection of all crucial elements for the future preservation of the building.

(PART 1)

The Presentation Tour of the Strategy Document

UHM Chamber of Commerce General Workers Union MARE Summit MCAST Hon Stanley Zammit Hon Dr Clifton Grima Minister for Education MacMed Enemalta Bridgepoint/Camray MDA WSC ERA Vassallo Builders Unviersity Panta Project Green OHSA Universal Minister Dr Jonathan Attard

ESG and the Built Environment

In recent years, ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) factors have become integral components of diverse sustainability frameworks.

Stakeholders are no longer satisfied with organisations merely producing sustainability reports; instead, they seek detailed insights from these reports to assess performance effectively. While these frameworks facilitate standardized reporting, they alone do not serve as conclusive evidence of an organisation's commitment to sustainable practices. The onus lies squarely on each organisation, particularly its executives, who are expected to guide the organisation through necessary organisational changes to truly enhance sustainability performance.

In the realm of architecture and construction, the discourse has honed in on aspects such as green building standards, intelligent building systems, performance monitoring, and digital twins. However, this discourse has not touched in a relevant way, an essential factor that has a powerful impact on the well-being and sustainability of buildings and cities, their level of resilience, and their capacities to generate mitigation strategies against risks of destruction, for example due to earthquakes. That is, this discussion has not reflected the importance of including physical and spatial protection and security as a critical factor in the perception of well-being and sustainability.

Sustainability is underpinned by three essential pillars: environment, economy, and society, with an emphasis on maintaining a harmonious balance among them. Despite this emphasis, there exists an imbalance in the treatment of these pillars within the pursuit of sustainable development. The predominant focus in transformative processes tends to lean heavily towards environmental sustainability, encompassing aspects such as energy efficiency, carbon emissions, resource consumption, ecology, and waste management. However, the realization of sustainable goals demands a parallel commitment to social development, especially based on the concepts of protection, security, and well-being when inhabiting a building, public spaces, and physical cities.

Sustainable construction necessitates advancements not solely in the environmental and economic dimensions of sustainability but also its social aspect, especially in its components of guaranteeing the protection, security, and physical and psychological well-being of its living spaces. It revolves fundamentally around people, encompassing both present and future generations. So, in the construction industry, all this needs to be embraced throughout the

entire project life cycle. While social sustainability entails actions in both the construction and operation phases, maximizing benefits is achievable especially when addressed from the outset, during the architecture and engineering planning and design phases. This early intervention offers the greatest opportunities to shape and influence project performance positively.

The strength of the ESG framework lies in its holistic assessment of entire systems rather than individual components in isolation. The integration between architecture, engineering, and construction must begin right from the outset of the project, from its inception, ensuring a seamless collaboration throughout its development, and must progress from distinct entities to a harmonious collaboration that seamlessly integrates artistry, engineering, and the shared aspiration to craft structures that are physically and psychologically safe, functional, aesthetically pleasing, and sustainable.

By embracing the concept of double materiality assessment as advocated in the CSRD, one can reasonably anticipate that physical and psychological health, protection and safety concerns would feature prominently on both facets of the matrix. This underscores the significance of positioning these issues as a top priority within the sustainability strategy. These issues will exhibit variations across organisations, locations, and countries. Ultimately, embracing social responsibility entails taking every conceivable measure to mitigate risks that could pose a threat to sustainability, in terms of protection, security, and social well-being.

I will conclude this piece by offering a preview of the topic that will be explored in my upcoming article which will be supported by insights from an architect specialised in strategic architectural design of buildings, Cristian Wittig. The central theme of the upcoming article will revolve around resilient buildings and anti-seismic solutions, delving into the architectural and engineering design techniques and strategies available for implementation.

In essence, while achieving a net-zero building with a creative-innovative architectural design is commendable, the genuine worth of the living space and its encompassing structure is defined by its capacity to withstand and shield its occupants from potential dangers. Without resilience to potential threats, the building's overall value is significantly compromised, and it may even pose a danger to the safety and well-being of its occupants. Hence, it is crucial to focus on all dimensions encompassed within the ESG framework to genuinely implement it and realize a positive outcome.


Interior Design

Elevating Interior Design Standards: Pioneering Excellence in Construction and Aesthetics

In the ever-evolving landscape of interior design, it is imperative that we continually strive for excellence and innovation. As professionals in this dynamic industry, we hold the key to shaping environments that not only meet the functional needs of inhabitants but also inspire and elevate their quality of life. With the construction industry as our canvas, it is our responsibility to set and uphold rigorous standards that push boundaries and redefine possibilities. Raising the bar in interior design begins with a commitment to education and professional development. By staying abreast of emerging trends, technologies, and best practices, we equip ourselves with the knowledge and expertise necessary to deliver unparalleled solutions to our clients. This dedication to ongoing learning not only enhances our individual skill sets but also elevates the collective standard of our profession.

Moreover, fostering collaboration and communication within the construction ecosystem is essential for achieving optimal results. By forging strong partnerships with architects, engineers, contractors, and craftsmen, we can ensure that every aspect of the design process is meticulously coordinated and executed to perfection. This integrated approach not only streamlines project delivery but also fosters a culture of accountability and excellence.

Furthermore, as stewards of the built environment, we must prioritise sustainability and ethical practices in all aspects of our work. From selecting environmentally friendly materials to implementing energy-efficient design strategies, every decision we make has the potential to make a profound impact on the planet and future generations. By embracing principles of sustainability, we not only reduce our carbon footprint but also inspire others in the industry to follow suit.

In conclusion, raising standards in the interior design industry requires a multifaceted approach that encompasses education, collaboration, and sustainability. By continuously pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo, we can pave the way for a future where excellence is the norm rather than the exception. As we

professional interior designers, committing ourselves to creating spaces that not only meet the needs of today but also inspire and endure for generations to come. Together, let us shape a brighter and more sustainable future through our unwavering dedication to excellence in construction and aesthetics.


A Net Zero Economy

The risks of inaction to a building industry transition – Part 8

As the global community collectively addresses the pressing issue of climate change, the building industry plays a pivotal role in the transition to a sustainable future.

Malta, a member of the European Union (EU) and a strong participant in the yearly Conference of the Parties (COP), faces significant risks in the event of inaction towards achieving a net-zero economy, particularly supported by the building sector. This article examines the potential consequences of not keeping up with the necessary quality transition in the building industry, emphasizes the risks of missing EU targets and the lists potential penalties that the EU Commission and international economic discrimination may impose on Malta. The EU's climate goals are justifiably ambitious. Malta, as an EU member state, is bound by the targets set by the European Commission, and failing to meet these objectives poses substantial risks.

The significance of Malta’s building Industry to this transition

The building industry in Malta is a key economic sector, driving growth and development. However, it is also a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. In transitioning to a net-zero economy, the building sector must adopt sustainable practices, improve energy efficiency, and embrace integrated renewable energy sources to ensure that it shapes the Country we want to be.

The Reputational Risk of Missing EU Targets

The European Union has set seriously ambitious targets to achieve a carbon-neutral economy by 2050. Member states are required to play their part in reducing emissions, with specific targets for various sectors, including buildings. Malta's failure to meet these targets could lead to reputational damage, strained diplomatic relations, and economic consequences.

Potential Fines Imposed by the EU Commission

The EU Commission has established mechanisms to ensure member states adhere to the prescribed climate targets. Fines may be imposed on countries that fall short of their commitments. Malta, by neglecting the necessary transition of the building industry, risks financial penalties that could strain its economic resources and the industry itself. The amount of the fine may vary based on the severity of the non-compliance and the specific regulations in place. In addition, Malta may risk losing access to


certain EU funds or financial support earmarked for climate-related projects and initiatives if they do not align with the agreed-upon climate goals. The European Commission has the authority to take legal action against member states in the Court of Justice of the European Union if they consistently fail to comply with climate targets. This paper specifically draws attention to the ability and preparedness of the building industry to contribute to this ambition.

Economic Implications of Inaction

Beyond the direct fines imposed by the EU Commission, the economic implications of not transitioning to a net-zero economy in the building sector are vast. Increased energy costs, decreased competitiveness, and missed opportunities for green finance and investments in building infrastructure may hinder Malta's economic growth and resilience. Non-compliance with climate targets can result in reputational damage for the country on an international scale. This can affect diplomatic relations, trade partnerships, and the country's standing in global climate discussions.

Social and Environmental Consequences

Inaction in the building industry not only jeopardizes economic stability but also poses social and environmental risks. The Maltese population may experience hardships from vulnerabilities to extreme climate-related events which are set to increase, and these may pose unwarranted social unrest and unjust social divide. Lack of preparedness for, and sensitivity to, this inevitable transition may also imply that the country will not produce enough skills and talent to deal with these changes.

Mitigation Strategies

To mitigate the risks associated with inaction, Malta must prioritize a comprehensive transition plan for its building industry. This includes implementing energy-efficient building codes, promoting efficient use of resources, reduced use of energy, integrated use of renewable energy sources, and incentivizing sustainable construction practices.


The risks of doing nothing in transitioning to a net-zero economy in the building industry in Malta are multifaceted, encompassing economic, social, environmental and governance consequences. By emphasizing the potential risks to Malta for missing targets, this paper highlights the urgency for our Country to take proactive measures in aligning with the EU's climate objectives aimed at Buildings and Infrastructure. A concerted effort to transition to sustainable building practices is not only a legal obligation but also crucial for the safeguarding of our society and Malta's future in the face of climate change.


The Healthy House – Part 2

Sustainability and Building Materials

Thermal Comfort

Thermal comfort in buildings has a great impact on occupants both emotionally and physically. This occurrence is a fact in any type of building. Thermal comfort describes the human satisfactory awareness of the thermal environment. Feeling too hot or too cold within a building may create health issues and lower work performance. It is easier to obtain a satisfactory environment within a home rather than a public space because each individual’s thermal comfort varies from one person to another. During excessive peak cooling and heating requirements, to achieve thermal comfort, users rely on mechanical systems i.e. HVAC’s. Most of the time HVAC’s are turned on and off in individuals’ spaces resulting in unnecessary energy wastage which would also not provide the ideal thermal comfort environment. What affects the thermal indoor environment? The heat exchange between the human body and its environment occurs mainly through radiation, air movement, and evaporation and it is also affected by surface and air temperature, humidity levels, the occupant’s clothing, and the type of activity one would be doing. Common heat sources are generated from electrical


Materials Bringing Technology to the Surface

Enhancing Durability: The Benefits of Corrosion Protection Coatings for Onshore Steel Structures

Corrosion protection coatings play a pivotal role in extending the lifespan and maintaining the structural integrity of onshore steel structures. From bridges to storage tanks, to commercial and leisure centre facilities, these coatings offer a multitude of benefits that not only safeguard the infrastructure but also reduce maintenance costs and environmental impacts.

Longevity and Durability: Onshore steel structures are exposed to various environmental elements such as more proximity to the sea, moisture, chemicals, UV and temperature fluctuations, all of which can accelerate corrosion and compromise structural integrity. Corrosion protection coatings act as a barrier, shielding the steel surface from these corrosive agents and preventing degradation. By inhibiting corrosion, these coatings significantly extend the lifespan of steel structures, ensuring long-term durability and reliability.

Cost-Effectiveness: While the initial investment in corrosion protection coatings may seem significant, it pales in comparison to the costs associated with repairing or replacing corroded steel structures. By proactively applying corrosion protection coatings, organisations can avoid expensive maintenance procedures and premature replacement of assets. Moreover, the extended lifespan of coated structures translates to long-term cost savings, making corrosion protection coatings a cost-effective solution in the realm of asset management.

Enhanced Safety: The fact that corrosion compromises the structural integrity of steel, that also poses significant safety hazards to personnel and the environment. Poorly maintained onshore steel structures, such as bridges or storage tanks, can cause catastrophic consequences due to corrosion. Corrosion protection coatings mitigate these risks by providing a protective barrier that prevents corrosion-induced failures, ensuring our safety and that of the surrounding environment.

Environmental Protection: Corrosion not only damages steel structures but also poses environmental risks through the leakage of toxic substances into soil and water bodies. Corrosion protection coatings help mitigate these

environmental hazards by preventing corrosion-induced leaks and spills. Furthermore, by extending the lifespan of steel structures, these coatings reduce the need for resource-intensive manufacturing processes associated with steel production, thereby minimising the environmental footprint of infrastructure projects.

Maintaining Operational Efficiency: Corrosion-induced downtime for maintenance and repairs can significantly disrupt operations in industries reliant on steel structures, such as oil and gas, transportation, manufacturing and hospitality. Corrosion protection coatings minimise the frequency and extent of maintenance activities, ensuring uninterrupted operations and optimising productivity.

Flexibility and Versatility: Corrosion protection coatings are available in a variety of formulations, each tailored to specific application requirements and localised conditions. Whether it's coastal infrastructure or otherwise, there exists a corrosion protection coating suitable for the unique challenges being posed. This versatility allows engineers and asset managers to select coatings that offer optimal protection and performance.

In conclusion, corrosion protection coatings play a crucial role in safeguarding the integrity and longevity of steel structures. As industries continue to rely on steel structures for critical infrastructure, the importance of corrosion protection coatings in ensuring their reliability and performance cannot be overstated. Investing in corrosion protection coatings is not just a prudent business decision; it's a fundamental aspect of responsible asset management and sustainable infrastructure development.

Founded in 1881, International Paint pioneered marine coatings. By the 1920s, it developed antifouling paints, revolutionising ship maintenance. The brand expanded globally, catering to various other segments like oil and gas, yachts and aerospace. In 2008, AkzoNobel acquired it, enhancing its portfolio. International Paint continued its tradition of innovation, focusing on sustainability and performance. Notably, it introduced coatings with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and high durability. The brand remains a leader in protective, marine, yacht and aerospace coatings, offering advanced solutions worldwide. Its commitment to quality, innovation, and environmental responsibility solidifies its position in the market.

Brought to you by the Mac Med Group


The Importance of the Bill of Quantities in Construction Contracts

On large complex projects, clients often face challenges when comparing proposals from contractors. Ensuring that contractors are bidding on identical scopes of work is essential before price comparison can take place. In the construction sector, adopting a bill of quantities (BOQ) enables clients to efficiently manage the bidding process. This detailed document defines the required work and quantities, enabling contractors to price their proposals accurately before bidding. Removing uncertainties streamlines the bidding process and enhances the systematic evaluation of bids.

Purpose and Importance of the Bill of Quantities

The BOQ holds significant importance in construction projects for several reasons:

1. Accurate Cost Estimation: The BOQ provides a detailed breakdown of all materials, labour, and other resources required for the project. Contractors and clients rely on it to estimate the overall costs of the project accurately.

2. Basis for Tendering: Contractors use the priced BOQ to submit bids during the tendering process. It ensures that all bidders are quoting based on the same specifications, enabling fair competition.

3. Variations: In the event of changes or modifications to

the project scope, the BOQ serves as a baseline for assessing variations and determining their impact on cost and time.

4. Cost Control: By having a detailed breakdown of quantities and costs, project managers can effectively monitor costs throughout the construction project's lifecycle. This allows for better budget management and cost control.

5. Resource Planning: The BOQ aids in resource planning by providing a clear outline of the materials, labour and plant required at each stage of the project. This helps in scheduling deliveries, manpower allocation, and overall project coordination.

6. Cash flow: In addition to aiding in bidding, a BOQ is instrumental for project clients in forecasting costs and expenses. By referring to the project schedule and the detailed breakdown outlined in the BOQ, clients can foresee the extent of work expected to be accomplished during each billing cycle. This foresight allows them to effectively manage their cash flow requirements throughout the project's advancement.

7. Quality Control: By specifying the quantity and quality of materials required, the BOQ ensures that the project meets the desired standards and specifications. It acts as a benchmark for assessing the quality of workmanship and materials used.

8. Dispute Resolution: In case of disputes or discrepancies, the BOQ serves as a reference point for resolving disagreements between the parties involved. It provides clarity on the agreed-upon quantities and prices, helping to mitigate conflicts.

9. Progress Payments: The BOQ forms the basis for progress payments throughout the project. Contractors can submit payment applications based on the completed work against the quantities outlined in the BOQ.


Contractual Importance of the BOQ

Upon acceptance of the priced BOQ (the Offer) by the client, it establishes the contract price and serves as the primary reference for cost management. Once the project begins, the BOQ holds contractual significance between the client and contractor. Typically situated in the position with or after the drawings, within the contract's clause: "priority of documents".

Preparation of the Bill of Quantities

Typically, a cost consultant (such as a quantity surveyor) is responsible for preparing the BOQ. This entails supplying project-specific measured quantities based on drawings and specifications for various components of a built asset, such as residential buildings, hotels, schools, hospitals, Roads, Ports, bridges and more. This task necessitates a chosen procurement route (Design-bid-build), a completed design and a prepared specification.

During the preparation of the BOQ, the appointed cost consultant or quantity surveyor is expected to be familiar with the allocated measurement methodology. The BOQ's preparation generally adheres to a standardised method of measurement, such as:

- NRM: The New Rules of Measurement (NRM) are published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). NRM succeeded the previous revision SMM7, in 2013. They provide a standard set of measurement rules for estimating, cost planning, procurement and whole-life costing for construction/building projects.

- CESMM: The Civil Engineering Standard Method of Measurement – CESMM –, which is published by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), has been well-established for over 40 years as the standard for the preparation of bills of quantities in civil engineering work. The eagerly awaited CESMM4 marks the initial significant update since the release of CESMM3 back in 1991.

- MMHW: The Method of Measurement for Highway Works is used for highway contracts using any form of contract but, unlike other standard methods of

measurement, the nature and extent of the work to be performed are not contained in the bill of quantities but are to be ascertained by referring to the Drawings, Specification and Conditions of Contract.

Standard method of measurement is a topic that will be explored in a forthcoming article in this magazine.

An extract from a typical Finishes’ BOQ

The BOQ Structure

The BOQ is usually split into three sections:

- Preliminaries items: Preliminaries items, also known as preliminaries or prelims, refer to the initial costs, associated with a construction project, that are not directly related to the physical construction work itself. These costs cover essential activities and expenses required to set up and manage the construction site and project. The Preliminaries items may, also, be split into: Cost Items and Non-Cost items.

- Works’ Itemised Schedule: The Works Itemised Schedule is a detailed breakdown within the bill of quantities (BOQ) that lists all the individual construction tasks or work items required for the project. Each work item is typically categorised by trade or type of work and includes specific details such as the description of works, quantities, units of measurement, unit prices and total cost.

- Daywork Schedule: This is a document used in construction projects to record and document work activities that are not covered by the contract or bill of quantities. It is normally used when unforeseen work arises or when work cannot be quantified or priced accurately in advance. Daywork allows for the payment of work based on actual recorded costs incurred, including labour, materials, and equipment used, plus an agreed-upon percentage for overhead and profit.


Roll out the red carpet and drop a curtsy,

the Grand Master’s Palace is back!


The Grand Master’s Palace restoration project was Heritage Malta’s biggest dream since its inception, an endeavour of unprecedented vastness, and the agency has fulfilled it to the letter, giving this splendid edifice a new lease of life, to be relished like never before.

Aided by national and European Union (ERDF) funds, the bulk of the project is now completed and the palace has reopened its doors, offering visitors an entirely different experience than the one they were accustomed to before. Suffice it to say that whereas previously only the Armoury and five State Rooms were open to the public, now visitors have access to over eighty-five percent of the building’s footprint.

Built by the Knights of St. John in the 1570s, the Grand Master’s Palace was one of the first buildings to be constructed in the new capital city, enlarged and modified over the years. During the British period, it served as the Governor’s Palace and was the seat of Malta’s first constitutional parliament in 1921. Presently, the palace is the seat of the Office of the President of Malta. It is also the most visited site in Heritage Malta’s portfolio, welcoming between 200,000 and 300,000 visitors each year.

The project had been in the pipeline for a number of years, but actual works started on site around April 2019. A project of such massive proportions was not without its challenges. To name but a few of them, the Palace Armoury was set to be reinstated in its original location –the former Parliament Chamber; the corridors and the Uccelliera of the Piano Nobile were to undergo a major overhaul which was to include the restoration of all artworks adorning them; a visitor centre was to be set up in the rehabilitated former Casa del Monte and Orangerie; all State Rooms and the Office of the President were to be restored; and the Prince Alfred Courtyard called for complete rehabilitation with the removal of a number of accretions.


The restoration of the corridors of the Piano Nobile was among the first works carried out. These corridors hold within them the beauty of the soffit paintings which are Niccolò Nasoni’s legacy, and polychromed marble floors worthy of the grandest cathedral. Following the soffit’s dismantling, the ceiling above it was found to be in a very bad state of disrepair and could collapse any minute. Fortunately, a small part of the original ceiling was found, spurring Heritage Malta to decide to rebuild the ceiling as it was originally constructed, with beams and ‘xorok’. In the meantime, several restoration works were started simultaneously.


The importance of a good quality manager on a large site is greatly overlooked both in Malta and in Gozo alike. This is especially true when it comes to private projects. Although during the past years we have seen significant improvements, we still lack a lot of motivation to set up a proper quality structure that includes a properly trained quality manager in most of the sites. I am pleased to say that on this the public sector are leading over the private sector, still there is a lot to be done.

It must be noted that a good quality manager is not only there to organise the paperwork and check the steel and the concrete on site. A good quality manager should be a person that is a well trained and a highly technical individual. This makes him a key person within the management structure of the site. If a Quality manager is viewed as such, the portfolio of responsibilities of this key figure become vast and include the following:

1. Advice on tests to be performed to check the aggressiveness of the soil or rock bearing the structures within the project perimeter.

2. Advice on the exposure classes that should be used in the various sections of the project.

3. Advice and be directly involved in the concrete mix designs and their adjustments on site.

4. Be a key figure in the responsibility line ensuring good and consistent quality of concrete. This should also be done through the analysis of the results obtained. The quality manager should be in constant dialogue with the plant manager and the contractor’s laboratory to ensure that the quality of the concrete is always maintained.

5. Advice on how to achieve the best results in terms of quality by following the relevant standards. Thus, the quality manager should be a person who is highly knowledgeable in the standards that are pertinent to the project in question.

6. Advice on the use of new products to obtain the required results.


7. Be able to check well the structures and pinpoint issues, ideally before they arise to ensure that the desired quality according to standards is maintained.

As one can clearly understand, the role of a quality manager is thus very vast, and ideally this role is taken up by a person that has been through various roles in various projects and thus a person that is highly experienced in the field of construction.

Ideally a quality manager is also a person that is also a seasoned structural and civil engineer and this is important as it helps him pin-point possible structural issues that might result in possible quality issues if these are not addressed at design stage. This clearly highlights the importance of having design and construction meetings before construction actually takes place.

All this ensures that the project has minimal to no issues during its design life and thus ensures that the client and the end user benefits from a product that is safe, requires minimal maintenance throughout the years and is easy to live in.

Figure 2 shows the importance of quality for project success Figure 1 shows the quality management key principles.

Safety First, Deadlines Before? CE certification for aggregates

1. About aggregates

Aggregates are materials used in construction and other industries, typically consisting of sand, gravel, or crushed stone. They are combined with a cementing material, such as cement, to form concrete, mortar, or plaster. Aggregates can also refer to a composite value measuring the result of economic activity, such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In the context of construction, aggregates are used to improve the strength and durability of structures. They can be classified into two main categories: fine aggregates, which are smaller in size and include sand and silt, and coarse aggregates, which are larger in size and include gravel and crushed stone.

2. Test process for CE certification for aggregates

Aggregates are tested for CE certification through a process that involves assessing their compliance with harmonized standards and regulations. The testing

Type Testing:

This involves conducting tests to ensure that the produced aggregates meet the specified requirements. These tests can cover mechanical, physical, and chemical properties of the aggregates for various purposes such as road construction, asphalt, mortar, and concrete.

Factory Production Control:

Manufacturers or traders mixing different aggregates to create new products are required to carry out appropriate factory production control, including tests, to ensure compliance with the relevant standards. This may involve testing for geometrical requirements, aggregate sizes, and other properties as per the applicable standards.

Notified Body Intervention:

The CE marking of aggregates is governed by the Assessment of Conformity (AoC) system 2+, which requires the intervention of a notified body to perform a


responsible for ensuring that the aggregates meet the necessary standards and regulations for CE certification.

Accredited Testing Laboratories:

Testing of aggregates may be conducted by accredited testing laboratories and recognized testing centers to assess their properties and compliance with the relevant standards.

CE Marking and Documentation:

Once the aggregates have been tested and proven to meet the required standards, they are marked with the CE marking, and the manufacturer or trader is responsible for ensuring that the accompanying documents contain all the necessary information for compliance

3. Tests details

Various tests are conducted on aggregates to determine their physical and mechanical properties for CE

certification. These tests are primarily conducted on coarse aggregates to determine their physical and mechanical properties. The tests include sieve analysis, aggregate crushing test, aggregate impact test, aggregate abrasion test, shape test (flakiness index test and elongation index test), soundness test, and specific gravity and water absorption test. These tests help to classify the aggregates and design concrete mixes accordingly.

Continues audits needs to be carried out on production


Concrete Structures

Concrete structures are most often used in:

• Residential and commercial buildings;

• Bridges - aesthetically superior and economical structures in comparison with steel bridges;

• Water retaining structures like ground and overhead tanks and hydraulic structures like gravity and arch dams and sports stadiums and conference halls;

• In earth retaining structures;

• Grid floors comprising beams and slabs widely used for covering large areas like conference halls where column free space is an essential requirement;

• For aircraft hangers, RCC shells provide an economical solution;

• Industrial buildings where large column free space is required under the roof;

• In coastal areas where corrosion is imminent for the construction of marine structures like wharfs, quay walls, watchtowers and lighthouses. For warehouses in coastal areas, RCC trusses are preferred to steel trusses;

• RCC poles for power transmissions and tall towers for TV transmission;

• In atomic structures, RCC is preferred to steel for pressure vessel construction due to the superior radiation absorption characteristics of high strength and high-density concrete;

• Reinforced concrete piles, both precast and cast-in-situ;

• Pavements for highways and airport runways.

1.1 Advantages of concrete structures

• It can be cast in the desired shape;

• Can be manufactured to the desired strength;

• The durability of concrete is high;

• Gives thermal and sound insulation;

• The maintenance cost for the concrete is negligible;

• Ingredients used in concrete such as, cement, aggregates and water are readily locally available and cheap;

• Taking bending and tension forces;

• The compressive strength is very high;

• Prestressed concrete elements enables reduction in self-weight;

• Massive nature, high unit weight and water tightness;

• It can endure very high temperatures from fire for a long time without loss of structural integrity;

• Can resist high winds load;

• Meet stringent fire requirements;

• Typically requires minimal energy to transport to building sites;

• No excessive maintenance is required.

1.2 Disadvantages of concrete structures

• Concrete is a less ductile material;

• The strength to weight ratio for concrete is high;

• Concrete does not have scarp value;

• Tensile strength of concrete is low;

• Due to drying shrinkage and moisture expansion concrete may crack;

• High Self weight is not always favourable for seismic prone structures;

• Sustained loads develop creep;

• If salts are present in the concrete, then it will result in the efflorescence in concrete structure;

• Less used in high-rise buildings, as more load on the foundation;

• Cement concrete can take up a good amount of compression but is not good enough for tension whereas steel can take up both compression and tension.

• In seismic zones, it is less preferred due to its brittleness and no flexibility leading to direct damage of the structure without warning.


Gozo Events

On the 31st of January the Gozo Regional Development Authority held their first open meeting of 2024. I attend these meetings on behalf of the MCCM.

Items discussed were:-

The GRDA’s Annual Report

The GRDA’s Public Events schedule for 2024 which includes, a Webinar on manufacturing in Gozo, the Tourism Conference (8th March), the Design According to Context Conference (16 February 2024) and the Carrying Capacity Conference to be held in April of May 2024. The Carrying Capacity study for Gozo which will help achieve natural resource management will be discussed at the conference.

Unfortunately for me the ‘Design according to Context Conference’ was held in Maltese so I have had to rely on publications to give our readers some insight into what was discussed.

Many well-known construction professionals formed the panel at the conference including Professor Alex Torpiano, Dean of the Faculty for the Built Environment at The University of Malta and Andre Pizzuto, President of the Chamber of Architects. The guest speaker was the Honourable Clint Camilleri, Minister for Gozo and Planning.

Subjects discussed were:-

The use of natural stone on facades of new buildings. This included side and rear elevations if visible. The

photograph with this article shows why this is so important to the future landscapes of Gozo.

The heights of proposed buildings. This is being clarified by a new table which converts the old two/three allowable stories shown in the Local Plans to actual heights in meters.

The ability of the existing services (drains, electricity, water, road widths etc) being able to cope with the massive increase in the numbers of dwellings in the streets of the villages because of vertical development. GRDA’s publication ‘Nurturing Gozo’s Urban Character through Context-Sensitive Design’ is well wort a read.

All publications from the GRDA can be viewed on their website https://grda

Our president, Jesmond Chetcuti, member Kevin Vella and I met with the Honourable Clint Camilleri mid-February to present the Chamber’s Strategy for the next 3 years. The minister was very interested in what we are proposing. He clearly sees the benefit of having professionally qualified Project Managers in the Malta construction industry. Good news for proposed Project Managers Warrant.

Jesmond and I also met with Daniel Borg, CEO of the Gozo Business Chamber together with Jesmond Buttigieg, Manager at the Business Chamber to present our Strategy. We also discussed a proposal by the Business Chamber to hold an open panel meeting later this year with the Business Chambers’ members and members of the public at which Construction project management will be discussed. Further news on this later.


Penalties and Delays in Construction Contracts


In an industry with increased construction activity, construction disputes have been heavily on the rise. This set of articles deals with construction works contracts with the intention to understand where to draw the line between punitive and compensatory sanctions: how far do the local courts go to award punitive sanctions and under what circumstances?

In common law jurisdictions, the intention of a penalty clause is punitive1, while in civil law jurisdictions, civil damages are almost invariably compensatory in nature1, with little distinction made between penalties and liquidated damages2. The essential intention of a penalty clause is to bring the party bearing a loss to a position which that party should have been in, had the loss suffered due to the other party not occurred.

The question arises when the local Courts refer to common law jurisdiction, quoting judgments of the English Courts3: Where is the interpretation of the penalty clause by our local Courts heading? By referring to the freedom to contract principle, as well as to the good faith principle that is based on equity, is a common law principle, are we experiencing a shift towards a more common law-based interpretation in this field?

PART IA and PART IB of this article consider the penalty clauses in construction contracts as regarded in common law jurisdictions.


There is a presumption against punitive penalties in English courts. In the Dunlop case4 (1914) Lord Dunedin summarised the matter as one where a penalty clause was a clause in terrorem of the offending party and where the court took the view that it was “extravagant and unconscionable”5.

This view held for an entire century until a recent development6, where the judges sitting on the Supreme Court described the courts’ interference with the pacta sunt servanda principle as “an ancient, haphazardly constructed edifice which has not weathered well.”7 Perhaps the most powerful

1. See for example Adriano De Cupis, Osservatorio sul Diritto Civile, (Dott. A Giuffre Editore S.p.A.,1992) 957-961; G Baudry-Lacanthinerie, A Wahl, Trattato Teorico Pratico di Diritto Civile – Del Contratto di Locazione, Vol. II., P. II.

2. Reinhard Zimmermann, The Law of Obligations: Roman Foundations of the Civilian Tradition (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 95–113; Francesco Paolo Patti, ‘Penalty Clauses in Italian Law’ (2015) 23.3 European Review of Private Law 309-325.

3. Elsey vs J. G. Collins Insurance Agencies Ltd, [1978] 83 DLR 15, 7 March 1978, from Panta Marketing & Services Ltd v Retail Services Ltd, 1 June 2022, Court of Appeal (Inferior Jurisdiction) p 4.



The Advanced JCT Understanding and Administration course offered by the CIOB Academy is a comprehensive programme designed to deepen professionals' knowledge of Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) contracts in the construction industry. Tailored for individuals seeking advanced expertise in contract administration, this course delves into the intricacies of JCT contracts, covering key topics such as payment mechanisms, variations, and dispute resolution. Delegates gain insights into effectively managing complex construction projects by understanding the nuances of contractual relationships.

Led by industry experts, the course incorporates practical case studies, interactive sessions, and real-world scenarios to enhance delegates skills in JCT contract administration. The course is ideal for project managers, quantity surveyors, and construction professionals looking to elevate their proficiency in navigating and administering JCT contracts. By the end of the course, delegates will be equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the challenges of JCT contracts with confidence and precision.

Next course date: 8th May

For more information and to enrol, visit: dministration/


People who aim to be Qualified Construction Project Managers can enrol in these different courses designed to help you reach your next career milestone!

A Certificate in Site Management (MQF 5) is for those with relevant experience but with no formal education qualifications. The course covers construction project processes, legal aspects, management skills, health and safety legislation, and environmental and sustainability issues.

The B.Sc. in Construction Project Management (Top-Up) (MQF 6) is ideal for those with a higher diploma (MQF 5) in a subject related to the construction industry. Those who have a Certificate or Diploma may opt to exit this course at an earlier stage and obtain a Level 6 Award in Construction Project Management.

The B.Sc. in Quantity Surveying (MQF 6) is designed to equip students with the necessary knowledge in cost planning, procurement processes and the management of construction projects. As the demand for this skill increases, there is a wide range of job opportunities.

The M.Sc. in Construction Management (MQF 7) is for construction and civil engineering professionals who would like to advance in their careers with the necessary tools and the latest industry knowledge.

Find out more here:



Safe Systems of Work are the core of health and safety at any workplace. Employers are duty bound by OH&S Regulations to ensure that all work is conducted safely and within the parameters of the law. Maltese regulations cover a very broad spectrum of work activities and related hazards and risks: workplace safety; management arrangements; chemical and biological hazards; work equipment; dangerous work; vulnerable persons, including expecting mothers; works involving high risk; the Control of Major Accident Hazards. OH&S regulations demand safe works, and this course specifically covers these needs.

Duration: 10 weeks

MQF Level: 4

Contact Hours: 25 / 50

Topics Covered:

• Method Statement

• Hazard Identification [HAZID] and Risk Assessments

• Safety risk mitigation and control


• Permit to Work systems

• Emergency Situations

• Toolbox Talks

• Works Supervision and Control

• Sign-offs

Participants will utilise online digital tools throughout the training course [ ]. A work-related training assignment shall be completed by each participant for successful award.


Education & Development CPDS

Shaping the future as a modern professional in construction management:

Leading the way to a technologically advanced future

Shaping the future as a modern professional in construction management: Leading the way to a diverse & inclusive future

Shaping the future as a modern professional in construction management:

Leading the way to a sustainable future

Part 1 in this webinar series explores how we use technology now, the impacts on the future ways of working, and how projects are completed and maintained. We discuss what future careers look like for a generation that have always used technology, to meet the ever-changing needs and challenges the built environment faces. struction-management-leading-the-way-to-a-technologically-advanced-future/

In part 2 in this webinar series, join a lively discussion with other experts to share views, tackle pre-conceptions and to showcase successes and case studies on how the industry is not only promoting a more diverse and inclusive workforce but also, how we’re implementing EDI into our built assets and benefitting end users living, working and visiting our environments. struction-management-leading-the-way-to-a-diverse-inclusive-future/

In part 3 in this webinar series, the panel discuss the importance of sustainability in the construction sector, sharing knowledge and skills needed to lead sustainable practices for the future of society. The panel provides a platform for participants to engage with industry experts, share ideas and discuss the challenges and opportunities related to sustainable construction as well as opportunity to also question how industry contributions both now and in the future will have impact on our Net-Zero Carbon Goals. struction-management-leading-the-way-to-a-sustainable-future/


Events 2024


Events in programme for the coming months

11th April

Women in Construction

17th April COP - Legislation and Legal Notices (Part 1)

Building Construction Authority - SL 623 and its derivatives

30th April Structures (Steel or Concrete - Time, Cost, Quality)

15th May COP - Managing Projects

23 & 24th May MARE Summit at MFCC

29th May

Health & Safety - Demolition Safety Practices

12th June COP - Sustainability

26th June Projects Green - Planting, Transplanting & uprooting of species.

Malta Chamber of Construction Management would like to thank its Partners

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