Construction observation should be performed by a qualified Resident Project Representative (RPR). The duties and responsibilities of an on-site RPR can vary greatly depending on the project and needs of the Owner. The four items listed below are important duties and responsibilities typically provided by an on-site RPR.
1. Protection Against Defects and Deficiencies in the Work
An RPR provides extensive on-site observations to monitor the installation, materials, and equipment incorporated into the project to ensure compliance with the design plans, specifications, contract documents and approved shop drawings. This observation provides assurance that the Engineer gets the quality of work and materials specified, and the Owner gets what they paid for.
2. Improved Communications
Communications between all parties is critical on a construction project. An on-site RPR provides a communications link and liaison between the Contractor-Owner, Contractor-Engineer, and often with the citizens who are affected by the project.
On many projects the work must be carefully coordinated in order to limit the effects on the Owner’s operations. An RPR can ensure the Contractor’s planned work is carefully coordinated with the Owner’s operations in order to limit conflicts and minimize disturbances.
An on-site RPR also improves the communications between the Contractor and Engineer in obtaining answers to Contractor’s questions and resolving issues that arise.
If a portion of the work affects the public in any way, the RPR can either be responsible for the notifications, or ensure the affected party is kept informed of the scheduled work. The RPR can also ensure the Contractor does not proceed until all necessary notifications have been issued.
3. Maintenance of Records and Documents
Documentation of testing of soil compaction, concrete, manholes, piping, and other specified tests are important for proof of quality assurance, and are often required by the various funding agencies. An RPR ensures these tests are being conducted and the reports are provided to the Engineer for review.
An RPR will also ensure other types of documents are maintained and provided, such as daily field reports, special warranties, manufacturer’s start up and training reports, operation and maintenance manuals, and as-built drawings.
4. Ensure that Testing, System Start-ups, and Training are Performed
The RPR will ensure the specified testing and manufacturer’s services for check-out, start-up, and training are performed to the satisfaction of the Owner. The RPR will assist in the coordination of schedules between the Contractor and Owner’s personnel for the start-up and training sessions.