The Importance of Construction Monitoring in Building Envelope Projects

Stephanie LaingBuilding Envelope, Building Maintenance, GCI Consultants ℠, Quality Control

Contributing Authors: Stephanie Laing and Shauna Serafini, RWC, FRMPC

In the realm of construction projects, the term “construction monitoring” can raise questions about its necessity, especially when a general contractor is already on board. In this blog, we’ll highlight the distinct advantages of engaging an expert firm for specialized construction monitoring services, as opposed to relying solely on a general contractor. Additionally, we’ll underscore the importance of hiring an independent third-party expert in safeguarding the integrity and longevity of your building.

What Happens During Construction Monitoring?

Construction monitoring is a meticulous process that involves continuous oversight and evaluation of the building process to ensure adherence to design specifications, industry standards, and best practices. This comprehensive procedure encompasses various critical aspects. First and foremost, it includes regular on-site inspections to verify that all construction activities are executed in accordance with approved plans. This involves assessing workmanship quality, confirming that materials meet specified standards, and evaluating compliance with relevant building codes and regulations.

Additionally, construction monitoring entails rigorous testing and verification procedures, such as water penetration tests, air leakage tests, and structural integrity assessments, all conducted using established industry standards. This phase also encompasses the review of submittals, ensuring that materials, components, and systems meet the specified project criteria. Throughout the process, expert documentation and reporting are paramount, providing a clear record of progress and identifying any deviations that require immediate attention. By incorporating these vital elements, construction monitoring ensures that your project advances smoothly, upholding the highest levels of quality and integrity.

Prioritizing Quality with Construction Monitoring

While General Contractors (GCs) excel in managing schedules and budgets, their efficiency can occasionally lead to oversights in workmanship. At GCI, we find that almost 90% of issues in the buildings we work on, especially those related to window replacements, result from oversight during installation. This emphasizes the crucial role construction monitoring plays regarding workmanship quality. It’s an investment that prevents potentially costly future repairs or damage. Hiring an independent third-party expert eliminates conflicts of interest and helps ensure strict adherence to best practices, design specs, and industry standards.

Expertise in Glazing Systems and Fenestration

Glazing systems demand a specific level of expertise that general contractors might not possess. This is what you need to look for in an expert consulting firm. They should have expertise in glazing systems and fenestration, paying close attention to detail. They can employ testing protocols like ASTM E1105 and AAMA 501.2 for field water penetration testing, ensuring the highest level of quality in your building’s project.

Why Hire an Independent Third-Party Expert?

General Contractors are integral to construction projects but they may lack the specialized knowledge needed for construction monitoring. An independent third-party expert provides a crucial layer of expertise, offering an unbiased perspective and an unwavering commitment to quality.

Strategic Focus: Speed, Cost, or Precision?

Balancing speed, cost, and precision is pivotal in any project. If speed and cost are top priorities, a general contractor may suffice. GCs excel in keeping projects on track and within budget. However, this approach may compromise quality. For projects demanding enduring accuracy, building envelope expertise is key. This is what you need to prioritize: construction monitoring that ensures your project benefits from specialized knowledge and commitment to excellence.

Industry Statistics on Installation Oversights

A 2023 study conducted in Brazil reveals that waterproofing failures arise from a lack of specialist oversight and adherence to standards. Specifically, one case shows that prioritizing cost “…can result in maintenance costs of up to 15% of the total value of work. In contrast, if proper waterproofing is not performed during construction, the repair cost can reach up to 50% of the value of work.” These issues range from inadequate waterproofing to improperly installed cladding systems, potentially resulting in costly repairs and compromising structural safety. Your chosen experts should conduct thorough inspections, leaving no room for oversight.

The Long-Term Value of Quality Assurance and Construction Monitoring

Investing in construction monitoring and quality assurance pays dividends in the long run. By identifying and rectifying issues during construction, owners can avoid costly repairs and structural failures down the line. This proactive approach safeguards the investment, ensuring the building’s integrity for years to come.


Construction monitoring in building envelope projects is not just important—it’s absolutely critical. It represents an investment in the longevity, functionality, and integrity of your project. With construction monitoring, you gain the invaluable assurance that your project is in capable hands, ready to withstand the elements and stand strong for years to come.

Contact GCI Consultants today to request a consultation and ensure your project is built to the highest standards, saving you from potential pitfalls and costly repairs in the future. In an industry where precision and quality are paramount, this extra layer of expertise is not just beneficial, but indispensable.