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Pre-acceptance operations:
definitions and processes

Pre-acceptance operations are a phase of the worksite. The company overseeing the work, the project owner or the project manager will finalise the works. The pre-acceptance operations also marks the start of the legal warranties that will reassure the purchaser that the project has been properly completed. In this article, the Beyond InSite teams tell you everything you need to know about acceptance of the work phase.

The signification of the pre-acceptance operations

The pre-acceptance operations will enable all the phases of the project to be finalised. Right from the start of the design phase, the client and the architect will design a building or structure together. Then, during the construction phase, other companies will be involved: general contractors, subcontractors, project managers, etc. From the design stage to the acceptance of the work, many defects can arise. For example:

  • Non-functional plumbing,
  • A window that closes poorly or is the wrong size,
  • Peeling paint.

The purpose of the pre-acceptance operations is to identify the work that has been carried out, the defects and imperfections that have been identified, the services that have not been carried out, the folding up of the site installations, and so on. This stage ends with the signing of an acceptance report.

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In what order do the pre-acceptance operations take place?

The acceptance of the work is defined in the contract that the company signs with the project owner.

Request for acceptance

It is the general contractor who must initiate the acceptance request. The company must notify the client that the work has been completed. To do this, it is necessary to prepare a certain amount of information that will enable the acceptance of the work to proceed smoothly:

An acceptance schedule,
A list of the areas to be inspected (ground floor, first floor, workshop, etc.),
The list of people required to attend the meeting.

The invitation

On the day of the meeting, the client meets the construction company directly at the project site. The contractor hands over all the documents (see below) required to start the worksite visit. The project owner must check that all the documents handed over on the day of the visit are in order.

Worksite visit and defects

On the day of the visit, the client must check that the building has been properly completed by the construction company. To do this, he must point out all the defects, taking care to follow the schedule proposed by the company. This is the famous moment when defects are reported.

The company can offer pre-acceptance defects management software. This software takes the form of a tablet application. Each defect is shown on a plan or 3D model. There are several types of digital solution, such as Beyond InSite and its MyCheck module for defects snagging. This module can be used to integrate and differentiate between all the phases of a project, from the start of the works, through the acceptance of the work, right up to delivery.

Documents to be submitted to the client

On the day of the acceptance worksite visit, the main contractor must provide the customer with a number of administrative documents. These documents are stipulated in the contract signed before the work begins.

  • The As-Built File,
  • Operating instructions,
  • The Final Technical Inspection Report, described at the end of this article.


Private contract acceptance report

A building acceptance report in a private contract is an official document drawn up at the end of construction work on a building. It is a record of acceptance of the work by the client and the construction company.

There are two types of acceptance report:

  • If the client approves the work carried out, then acceptance is accepted without defects. This means that all the parties involved have checked that the work has been carried out in accordance with the specifications and that there are no defects or major issues. Once acceptance has been accepted, the works company is released from its obligations to the client and the project is deemed to have been completed and accepted. In the context of a large-scale project, this situation is very rare.
  • If the client finds any defects, he has the right to express reservations on the official report, or even to refuse acceptance of the work. In both cases, the contractor is generally required to rectify the defects within a pre-defined period.

The acceptance report serves as proof in the event of a conflict between the client and the contractor.
If defects are subsequently found, a two-year guarantee allows the purchaser to assert his right to rectification.

The acceptance report for public works contracts

The acceptance procedure for public contracts is a little more codified. Firstly, you must follow differents rules as in France, you must certify:

  • Inspection of the completed works,
  • Any tests provided for in the contract,
  • Noting any non-performance of the services provided for in the contract,
  • Checking that the conditions under which the equipment is installed comply with the supplier’s warranty specifications,
  • Noting any imperfections or defects,
  • Checking that site installations have been removed and that the site and grounds have been restored to their original condition,
  • Observations relating to the completion of the work.

Other information must be specified in the margin of the report:

  • The tests provided in the public contract that were not carried out or, although they were carried out, those that were inconclusive.
  • Works and services provided in the public contract that have not been carried out.
  • Works provided in the public contract that do not comply with the specifications of the contract.

In the margin of the report, other information must be specified:

The tests provided in the public contract that were not carried out or, although they were carried out, those that were inconclusive.
Works and services provided in the public contract that have not been carried out.
Works provided in the public contract that do not comply with the specifications of the contract.

Our defects management software

Beyond InSite is a worksite management software developed by the Sixense Digital teams of the Soletanche Freyssinet Group. Sixense Digital specialises in the design and development of digital solutions for the construction and infrastructure industries.

We offer a number of functionalities to reduce the number of claims at the end of the worksite:

  • Defects can be recorded on a plan or on a 3D model in a specific campaign before the end of the worksite,
  • Creation of geo-referenced defect lists on plans or 3D models,
  • Instant generation and sharing of reports with subcontractors and works companies responsible for one or more sections, to remove any concerns before the end of the works,
  • Checks or checklists to verify the quality of the works,
  • All the tools needed to prepare reports required for the acceptance of the work.

The different types of acceptance on a project

Pre-acceptance of the entire project

When a building project is completed, it is often customary to take delivery of the entire project. Deliveries to purchasers cannot be made in the middle of construction noise and the comings and goings of contractors. For this reason, the project owner will prefer to complete the project as a whole in order to guarantee customer satisfaction.

Pre-acceptance on a building or a project area

Sometimes a project is made up of several zones or several buildings. If one of them is finished and can be accessed by future occupants, it can be handed over before the whole project is handed over. This is often the case for the construction of single-family homes.

Early handover

Early handover allows the project owner to take delivery of part of a project that has not yet been completed in its totality. For example, when a site has been completed and the offices need to be finished, it is possible to make an pre-acceptance inspections for the area that has already been completed. This allows the customer to benefit from the use of this space before the sites are fully completed.

The main challenges of pre-acceptance operations

Recognising the completed works

For the client, it is essential to check and recognise that the work has been carried out correctly. During the pre-delivery inspection, the client, assisted by the architect, confirms that everything has been done and that it complies with the construction plans.

For a construction company, it is important that the client can validate the end of the worksite. In all signed construction contracts, up to 5% of the contract value may remain outstanding. Once all the defects have been removed, the company can recover this balance.

Limiting operating and maintenance costs

When we think of a construction project, the first thing that springs to mind is the impressive cost of the work. However, the cost of construction is only a small part of the overall cost of a project.

The investment cost or construction cost corresponds to 25% of the overall investment. The rest is made up of maintenance, operation and deconstruction (75%).

One of the challenges of pre-acceptance operation is to identify all defects in order to reduce the amount of maintenance that needs to be carried out at a later date. As mentioned above, if the client does not notify a defect in the acceptance report, the contractor will no longer be liable.

Questions about acceptance of the works

Is it possible to refuse acceptance of the works?

Yes, it is possible to refuse acceptance of the work if it does not comply with the terms of the contract or the agreed quality standards. Acceptance of the work is the final stage of a construction contract, when the client accepts the work carried out by the contractor and discharges him from his duties.

If the client finds any faults or defects in the work carried out, he can refuse to accept it and ask the contractor to rectify the issues before proceeding to final acceptance. If the contractor refuses to rectify the defects, the client can take legal action to obtain satisfaction.

What is the Final Technical Inspection Report?

In the construction industry, technical inspection is a task entrusted to an approved body, whose role is to check that the work carried out complies with the rules of the trade and the standards in force.

At the end of the inspection, the technical inspector can draw up a final technical inspection report containing his observations, comments and recommendations on the work carried out. This report can be given to the client or the project manager.

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