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Last edited 21 Dec 2020
Note: The Explanatory Notes to the Draft Building Safety Bill, published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government on 20 July 2020, suggests that ‘registered building inspector’: ‘Refers to individual inspectors that are registered by the Building Safety Regulator.’
In the United States, building inspectors (also known as construction inspectors or building officials) are responsible for ensuring that construction works satisfy the requirements of building codes, zoning regulations and so on. Building inspectors are usually employed by local government departments or agencies and certified by the State or the International Code Council (ICC). The UK equivalent are building control bodies.
Typically, building inspectors carry out the following tasks:
- Review and approve building plans prior to construction.
- Monitor construction sites at different intervals (an initial check, follow-up inspections throughout the duration of the works and a final inspection).
- Undertake detailed surveys and tests.
- Maintain detailed logs including photographs and written documentation.
The term 'building inspector' can also be used to refer to inspectors that are not working for the government, such as inspectors carrying our site inspections on behalf of a client to ensure that works comply with specifications, home inspectors and so on.
There are several different types of specialist building inspector:
- Structural inspector: Focus on the structural quality of buildings.
- Coating inspector: Examine and ensure proper paint coatings of bridges, pipelines, tanks, and so on.
- Electrical inspector: Examine and ensure electrical systems and installations comply with the relevant codes and standards.
- Elevator inspector: Inspect lifting and conveying devices (i.e. lifts, escalators, lifts, hoists, etc.).
- Mechanical inspector: Examine HVAC systems, kitchen equipment, boilers and other appliances.
- Plumbing inspector: Focus on the installation of plumbing systems, wastewater disposal, piping, and so on.
- Public works inspector: Inspect works to federal, state and local government public works projects such as highways, sewers, bridges, dams, and so on.
It is common for states and local jurisdictions for expect building inspectors to be licensed or certified to carry out inspections. These can be independently issued by particular states or issued by associations such as the ICC, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, International Association of Electrical Inspectors, National Fire Protection Association, and so on.
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