Our involvement can be scaled to meet the requirements of the contract, or type of project. We can act as both contract administrator on behalf of the client under a traditional contract scenario, or act as a client presence onsite with the ability to respond to queries or address any problems that may occur during the construction stages.
We will carry out periodic inspections and/or visits to the works involves a reduced scope of service compared with a contractual duty to supervise. Nevertheless, the following guidelines should be borne in mind, which have arisen as a result of case law on the duty to inspect. We will:
- Inspect the key/important elements of the construction work and, if necessary, ask the contractor to give notice of when a specific element is going to be constructed. Those inspecting should not rely on regular fortnightly or monthly site meetings which may well have been arranged in advance and without reference to the elements of work being progressed on site at the time;
- Instruct the contractor not to cover up any important elements that will eventually be hidden from view until it has been inspected;
- Make their own reliable arrangements to be kept informed of the general progress of the works;
- Inspect any key elements of construction that are going to be repeated throughout the development on the first occasion or at an early stage of construction so as to assess the contractor’s ability to carry out that particular task and whether the contractor’s methodology is satisfactory;
- Require work to be opened up if they have any doubts or a critical element has been concealed before inspection. If work is found to be correct the contractor will require payment. If it is defective he will not get paid for the opening up.
These inspection obligations (and whether they have been performed) should be borne in mind in the context of issuing certificates of inspection, including the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ Professional Consultant’s Certificate. Such certificates should not be issued if the works have not been inspected or if the Chartered Architectural Technologist is uncertain whether the relevant work is satisfactory. Of course, certificates of inspection do not guarantee the quality of materials or workmanship.
This is a more onerous level of responsibility than that of inspecting the works. The level of supervision required will depend upon the individual requirements of the client and the terms of their appointment. Some clients may require a clerk of works/site supervisor who has a constant presence on site. This level of service will usually be under a separate appointment
A clerk of works/site supervisor is often considered to be the “eyes and ears” of the client on site.
Generally project managers will be appointed in connection with large building contracts. Their role will usually be organisational – for example, procurement, insurance issues, advising on the order in which the project will run, controlling costs, timescales and quality standards. It may often involve responsibility for matters that might otherwise form the role of the lead consultant, including advising the client on the pros and cons of different design solutions and specifications.