Site inspector for construction works
On larger projects 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:
- Weather conditions.
- Drawings and instructions received.
- Health or safety issues.
- Other significant events.
While site inspectors must work closely with the contractor, it is important that they remain independent.
Roles in construction projects: analysis and terminology, by Hughes, W. and Murdoch, J. R, published in 2001 by the University of Reading, defines the site agent as: ‘The builder’s representative on site’. It defines the site manager as: ‘A builder’s employee responsible for co-ordinating the work on site.’
 Related articles on Designing Buildings
- Appointing consultants.
- Building regulations inspection.
- Considerate Constructors Scheme.
- Construction logistics manager.
- Construction progress meeting.
- Construction progress report.
- Consultant team.
- Contract administrator.
- Health and safety inspector.
- Opening up works for inspection and testing.
- Quality control.
- Site foreman.
- Site induction.
- Site inspection.
- Site supervisor.