Joe Cilia, FIS Technical Director, explains why the drylining quality checking process should encompass all stages of the project and not just be on completion.

Any quality process relies on an understanding of what is expected at each stage and how this will impact on the next stage of product development up to and including the final delivery. This is a principle that applies equally to an aircraft, a car and in this instance drylining.

Sometimes known as ‘quality circles’, this process ensures that products are not handed on to, or accepted for, the next stage until they are checked. This is to ensure that unsatisfactory work isn’t compounded by simply moving on. For example, there would be no point in installing the head and base track if the setting out was in the wrong place.

It makes sense because ultimately a contractor wants to complete the work first time, to schedule and without snags, to ensure prompt payment and enable the team to move on to the next project without delays and return visits.

Quality issues can include wrong and damaged materials, out of tolerance, cracking and sometimes the issue of not meeting a client’s expectations for finish which we explored in the last edition of SpecFinish (

FIS working groups are made up of members with particular knowledge in their given field. The drylining working group looked to develop a checklist to address each project in turn. As such it can be viewed as a comprehensive checklist where contractors choose the touch points and select a range of questions to check the quality at points agreed with the main contractor and the
delivery team.

This collaborative rather than combative approach ensures that issues are addressed during rather than at the end of the project, which may involve complete or partial dismantling of the installation.

Key to the success of this staged approach to quality is photographic evidence, especially at the early first fix stage but not excluding completed works which may be prone to damage from follow-on trades.

The checklist is divided into the following design stages to provide natural checks points:
• Design
• Procurement
• Delivery
• Installation (work area, setting out, first fix, second fix, boarding, finishing, protection)
• Hand over
The design section is designed to identify risks associated with compliance and responsibility.

There have been examples where contractors have inadvertently taken on responsibility that should have been elsewhere in the delivery team, resulting in costs and losses which were avoidable.

Procurement is an opportunity to ensure that compliance and warranties, if required, are addressed, again dealing with issues before they arise, often when the project is at a handover stage.

Most checklists deal with the installation, but this list also covers questions to check that the latest set of dimensioned drawings is received and a door schedule that shows the weight as well as the clear openings to avoid an obvious issue when the door frames and doors arrive.

Checking at this point about a sample area also enables a quality benchmark that can be approved before work is started. Having a question agreed to check that the work area is clear and watertight before starting is a good way to concentrate the main contractor’s mind at the appropriate time.

Issues connected with the setting out can be costly to address on completion so attention at this stage will pay dividends later. For example checking if any drylining sits under beams painted with intumescent paint that will need boxing is a current issue that may be missed and should be considered before the fi rst fix commences. This is the opportunity to deliver specific tool box talks and check that a fitters pack has been issued clearly showing abutment head and interface details which may include junction details to address cavity protection in apartment design.

Ensuring that the insulation is correctly installed is amongst the checks included in the second fix section as well as checks to ensure the first layer of boards are correctly installed and have been photographed, because it is expensive to start removing boards in the case of a dispute.

The quality of the finishing offers the greatest potential for snags so check that the conditions are right and that suffi cient lighting is available to replicate the lighting in use, especially if there
is a potential for glancing light.

Finally get the work protected and if required photographed and handed over formally before leaving site.

The 94 suggested questions are broken into 12 easy to digest sections that contractors can use to integrate and create bespoke quality check lists for drylining.
The check list can be downloaded here