Last edited 15 Feb 2016

Site inspector for construction works

On large projects (over £20m) it may be appropriate to appoint a resident site inspector (sometimes referred to as a clerk of works or building quality officer) to inspect the construction works as they proceed on behalf of the client. The site inspector provides an independent assessment of the works and will generally report to the contract administrator.

On very large projects it may be appropriate to have separate site inspectors for mechanical and electrical services, structural works and architectural works.

Site inspectors may be provided as an additional service by the existing consultant team, or could be new appointments. They may be based on site permanently or may make regular visits.

Site inspectors in this context do not supervise the works (which might be perceived as taking some responsibility for the works, when in fact the contractor is responsible for them), they merely inspect the works in order to give an independent view to the contract administrator. They are likely to keep a site diary, attend construction progress meetings and to produce regular written reports.

Their role might include:

  • Witnessing tests.
  • Monitoring progress against the programme.
  • Assessing whether the works comply with legal requirements such as health and safety legislation.
  • Assessing whether the works are being carried out in accordance with the contract documents (which may include taking measurements and samples).
  • Monitoring site conditions to ensure that work is undertaken in accordance with manufacturers recommendations.
  • Providing regular reports (often weekly).
  • Attending construction progress meetings.
  • Keeping records of:
  1. Progress.
  2. Delays
  3. Weather conditions.
  4. Drawings and instructions received.
  5. Deliveries.
  6. Health or safety issues.
  7. Other significant events.

Whilst site inspectors must work closely with the contractor, it is important that they remain independent.

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