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Advanced Quality Systems: Guidelines for Establishing and Maintaining Construction Quality Databases

Research/Reference: useful for researchers doing further work in the pavement area as well as those developing improved testing and design procedures. Includes documents of historical value.

Primary Topic: Materials-Concrete

Description: The main objective of this study was to develop and present guidelines for State highway agencies (SHAs) in establishing and maintaining database systems geared towards construction quality issues for asphalt and concrete paving projects. To accomplish this, a literature search and review was performed on the subject matter, followed by a survey of construction quality practices at nine States and a more detailed review of practices at four of those nine States.

Information collected from the survey responses and the in-depth interviews provided insight into the multiple databases maintained by the agencies, the data categories stored, the analyses performed, links to other State databases, and the reports generated. Results indicated that the nature of information collected, the level of detail in the process, and the length over which this information is retained, differ significantly from agency to agency. In addition, the current systems differ considerably in their architecture, purpose, data collection and access procedures.

On a broad scale, it was learned that agencies are somewhat "data rich and information poor" and that agencies are "mostly focused on entering, not retrieving data." Also, because of poor linkages between construction quality and pavement performance and cost data, there is very limited ability to "close the loop" by showing how improvements in specifications and construction affect performance and life-cycle costs.

In addition to documenting these and other observations and findings, this report presents a detailed description of the features and capabilities of the ideal construction quality database. It also provides illustrative examples of how the ideal database can be used to improve the overall quality of highway pavement projects. The recommended database is a web-based system with client server architecture. It is comprised of the following four main modules, each of which are described in detail in the report:

  1. Database Server Module.
  2. QA Data Input Module.
  3. QA Management Module.
  4. Data Translation (Referencing) Module.
.

FHWA Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-07-019

Publication Year: 2006

Document Links: HTML  PDF (file size: 1.3 mb)

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Updated: 07/26/2011
 

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United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration