The Caribbean Industrial Research Institute's (CARIRI's) Industrial Materials Unit (IMU) – Civil held its first workshop for the year on Wednesday 24th January, 2018 at the Centre for Enterprise Development, Freeport. With over 40 attendees, the workshop delved into the dynamics of Construction Management and Planning.

The day started off with Quality in Construction and Material Specifications as the Deputy Laboratory Manager, Mrs Lisa Ramoutar spoke in depth about the importance of quality, materials and tests. Mrs Ramoutar supervises an experienced and knowledgeable team and together they wish to change the way we all think about materials and quality in construction. Additionally, she also went into the specification document as a guide in planning tools and resources for managing projects.

Mr Gerald Herriera, Senior Technician in the IMU – Civil Unit delved into Construction Methodologies – Defects as a result of poor quality of local construction practices. Mr Herreira, who has been with CARIRI for over 35 years, was able to share his knowledge and experience with the audience. He also spoke at length about the theory of aggregate and concrete sampling.

A Calibration perspective was also deemed to be of importance when speaking about Construction Management and Planning and Mr Miguel Andrews, Laboratory Manager of the Calibration and Maintenance Services Unit gave a very concise and different view on how significant this often overlooked service was to the industry.

Later in the day, participants took part in a practical demonstration and they were able to apply all the theory they had learned in the earlier sessions. After intense debate, discussions and sharing, attendees were able to learn about what others in their industry were doing and they left with a good understanding of how important it is to build quality into the process from the start of any project.

After being in this sector for a number of years and working with an assortment of companies, the IMU – Civil Unit of CARIRI has seen the need to further educate companies and individuals on the importance of quality in construction from the beginning of the project to the completion of the final structure. This remains one of the most important ways in which CARIRI is seeking to enhance industrial capability and competitiveness in the construction sector.

As a certified and accredited testing facility, it is vital that CARIRI take the lead in bringing these key quality issues to the forefront. With over 30 years of experience, the Civil Engineering Unit is the most advanced ISO-certified civil/construction engineering testing laboratory in the Caribbean. CARIRI's team of experienced professionals has provided testing and consultancy services to government ministries locally and within the region and to the construction, energy and light manufacturing sectors, among others.


Mr Gerald Herreira having a discussion with a cross section of the audience.

For more information on Industrial Materials Unit, click here: IMU-Civil