The civilization of any country is measured by its construction projects such as bridges, high-rise buildings, and industrial projects. The development of these mega projects means that there were best quality management systems applied for these projects to be successful. Concrete and steel are the main materials utilized in the construction industry. In ancient Egypt, they used concrete in their buildings and temples. They used crushed stone as an aggregate and clay as an adhesive. The Greeks used concrete in their buildings and called it santorin tofa (El-Arian and Atta 1974). The Romans used a material-like concrete called pozzolana. After that, concrete disappeared for long time but then reappeared in the 18th century.
Following are some of the famous scientists who worked with concrete:
- John Smeaton used it to construct Eddy stone Lighthouse.
- Joseph Parker patented several cements.
- Odgar created an artificial cement from limestone and clay.
- Louis Vicat also used cement made from limestone and clay.
- Joseph Aspdin patented Portland cement.
At the end of 19th century and the beginning of 20th century, there were major changes to the shapes of buildings as architectural engineers and builders changed their point of view. They harkened to the ideas of the European Renaissance of using columns and arches and functional buildings. Concrete was best economical solution for architectural form and function.
Two of the tallest buildings in the world are the Dubai Tower (Figure 1.1) and the famous PERSONAS Twin Towers in Malaysia (Figure 1.2). Imagine how just one centimeter deviation would affect these buildings; quality’s the secret word to achieving these big project. Indeed the trademarks of quality are the pyramids in Egypt as presented in Figure 1.3, which are more than 7000 years old.
Due to globalization, many contractors and international engineering companies have been founded recently. There is a critical need from clients to ensure that the product and services they receive from these companies are of high quality and these companies need to control the quality of their work for each of their branches worldwide. Therefore, ISO 9000 was established.