The technical inspector of works (ITO) is in charge of supervising the fulfillment of contracts and legal requirements, ensuring the highest quality and efficiency in the different stages and avoiding in turn possible conflicts between the parties involved.
In Chile, the General Law of Urbanism and Constructions defines the technical inspectors of works (ITO) as those responsible for supervising that everything is executed in accordance with the rules and characteristics of the approved permits. In addition, during the execution of the work, they are in charge of complying with the architectural, structural calculation and specialty projects, including the plans and their technical specifications, and may even order partial demolitions.
Their work is so important that participation in public buildings is mandatory. In private constructions, the need arises when the investor needs technical assistance to control the progress, quality, and compliance with deadlines in the project.
Based on the technical document “Technical Building inspection of works, a look at the future of quality” of the Chilean Chamber of Construction and our own experience through its Bauconsult division, we describe the responsibilities and functions of an ITO.
GENERAL FUNCTIONS OF AN ITO
The inspection tasks are concentrated in a service that incorporates an agent with technical merits and extensive knowledge in project management and contract administration. Its main function is to enforce the conditions defined in the contracts and verify that the results comply with the agreed conditions and requirements. We can divide your responsibilities into two groups of requirements:
Includes financial aspects, deadlines and legal regulations, which correspond to temporary tasks, since they end once the contract is finished.
Techniques: Refers to the tasks derived from the project and its execution, which will have a permanent effect, which define the stability, durability, habitability and aesthetics of the building.
To fulfill these responsibilities, your general duties will usually include.
- Generate and maintain permanent and fluid communication with the different teams.
- Communicate the specifications of the contract to all involved.
- Collect and study all the information related to the execution of the work and the building inspection.
- Review the resources and materials used to verify that they meet the requirements. And where they don’t, ensure that quality construction materials, like plants and excavator attachments, get deployed promptly for the job.
- Request quality reports and the evaluation of other experts if necessary.
- Manage the book of works, monitoring changes, agreements and commitments defined in meetings.
- Propose measures to solve conflicts and breaches of the contract.
- Support the care and protection of personnel and facilities.
- Check compliance with all legal provisions involved.
Through these tasks, the technical inspection of works resolves all kinds of conflicts and contingencies between the actors involved. In addition, it allows achieving the best quality and efficiency results in project management.
TASKS AT EACH STAGE OF PROJECTS
The technical inspection has two different stages that consider the start of the works as a milestone. In the first place, the study inspection corresponds to all the stages prior to this point, concentrating the work in the elaboration of the project as such and developing the designs for a certain work. In this part of the process, companies request support and guidance from experts to guide them in decision-making.
When the project is valued and the works have started, the role of the technical inspection of works includes the following phases.
Works control and execution process
The works inspection has its greatest participation in this stage. Here it is necessary to verify that the work is carried out according to the technical building inspection specifications, the agreements established in the contracts and the legal requirements.
Project closing process
At this stage the ITO organizes and resolves all the details of the completion of the works and processes the information so that the client can finalize the contracts. It is also in charge of creating reception protocols, user manuals, documentation for the municipal reception, and all the necessary certificates, extending its services many times until post reception.
In general terms, the central task of an ITO will then consist of verifying the correct fulfillment of the previously agreed technical and administrative definitions, through inspection tasks and support to the contract management processes.