Although significant strides have been made to improve roof
system performance during the past decades, the roofing industry
continues to cling to a limited definition of quality. At a time
when many industries are viewing quality in broad terms of customer
satisfaction, the roofing industry (as well as the entire
construction industry) continues to cling to a more narrow
definition of quality as "conformance to requirements."
Conformance to requirements defines quality as satisfying a set
of specifications rather than satisfying a customer. The definition
assumes specifications will meet customer needs and wants, but some
quality experts disagree.
In their article, "An assessment model for quality performance
control in residential construction," published in the Journal
of Construction Education, Robert C. Stroh and Zeljko M.
Torbica state: "Conformance to requirements ... assumes that we can
get stable and complete requirements; it ignores the potential
mismatch between what is specified and what the customer needs or
wants. In fact, customers may not know or care how well a
constructed facility conforms to specifications; they simply want
their needs and expectations to be met."
At a research level, little work has been conducted in the
construction industry to explore these human and social dimensions
of quality, especially those factors involving the cooperation of
different participants in the construction process. To expand the
industry's understanding of quality, the research I present seeks
to view roofing quality as a broader social process rather than the
narrow conformance to specific...
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