John Burke Associates Celebrates Success at Building on Quality Awards 2024

John Burke Associates Celebrates Success at Building on Quality Awards 2024

Celebrating Excellence in Construction

John Burke Associates congratulates Senior Clerk of Works, Gilly Carr FICWCI, for his monumental achievement at this year’s Building on Quality Awards. The prestigious event in Glasgow announces Gilly Carr as the Overall Winner, showcasing his dedication and exceptional skills in construction.

What are the Building on Quality Awards?

The Building on Quality Awards celebrate excellence in construction, recognising individuals and teams for outstanding project results. These awards highlight quality, safety, and innovation in construction, setting a benchmark for the industry. Each year, they bring together professionals to acknowledge hard work, commitment, and contributions.

Gilly Carr’s Remarkable Achievement

Gilly Carr’s recognition as the Overall Winner marks a significant milestone for him and John Burke Associates. His dedication to maintaining the highest quality standards and attention to detail earns him this honour. As a Senior Clerk of Works, Gilly ensures all projects under his supervision meet rigorous standards.

Commitment to Quality at John Burke Associates

Quality drives everything at John Burke Associates. Our team delivers projects that exceed client expectations, adhering to high safety and innovation standards. Gilly’s achievement underscores our commitment to these values, showcasing our professionals’ calibre.

Looking Forward

The recognition at the Building on Quality Awards inspires everyone at John Burke Associates. It reinforces our belief in quality and encourages us to strive for excellence. We are incredibly proud of Gilly Carr and all our team members who make our projects successful.

Join Us in Celebrating

Join us in celebrating this fantastic achievement. Gilly Carr’s success reminds us of what hard work, dedication, and a pursuit of quality can accomplish. As we look forward, we remain committed to these values and delivering exceptional project results. If you need assistance on your next project, speak to our award-winning team at John Burke Associates today.

Senior Clerk of Works
Fire Safety Regulations for Residential Buildings

Fire Safety Regulations for Residential Buildings

Starting 30 September 2026, a pivotal change will reshape the landscape of residential construction in England. All new residential buildings reaching 18 metres or above are mandated to incorporate a second staircase. This groundbreaking decision follows meticulous consideration of the responses garnered from a consultation on the fire safety guidance of the building regulations, known as Approved Document B.

The Genesis of Change

The consultation, which unfolded between December 2022 and March 2023, attracted 285 responses, reflecting a broad spectrum of perspectives. Its primary focus was the potential integration of second staircases in new residential edifices of 18 metres and upwards, across England. Originally, the government proposed a threshold of 30 metres for this architectural inclusion. However, this suggestion met with diverse opinions; while 25% of respondents aligned with the proposal, a notable 48% opposed it.

A Closer Look at the Responses

Among the detractors, 5% advocated for the absence of any threshold, signalling a more stringent stance on fire safety measures. Meanwhile, opinions varied significantly regarding the ideal threshold, with suggestions ranging from as low as 11 metres to as high as 60 metres. Despite the contention, a consensus leaned towards the establishment of a threshold, underscoring a collective drive towards enhancing resilience and bolstering public confidence in building safety.

A Responsive Framework

Acknowledging the feedback, the government has set the wheels in motion for the adoption of the new guidance by 30 September 2026. Building applications henceforth will need to align with these updated regulations, ensuring a two-staircase design for qualifying structures. Applications that fail to meet this criterion will have a grace period of 18 months for construction commencement, providing a buffer for adaptation to these changes.

Industry Reactions

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has warmly received this update, recognising it as a vital step forward in the pursuit of a safer built environment. Jack Pringle, the chair of RIBA’s board, lauded the initiative but also highlighted areas for further improvement, including the need for a second fire-fighting shaft and evacuation lifts, both critical for emergency operations.

Looking Ahead

This regulation marks the beginning of a broader conversation on fire safety in residential buildings. The government’s forthcoming response to other facets of the consultation, such as the proposal to install sprinklers in care homes and the revamp of the national classifications system for construction products, is anticipated. As we stand on the cusp of these transformative changes, the commitment to a safer, more resilient built environment remains unwavering, with the collective aim of safeguarding lives and enhancing public trust in the structures that define our urban landscape. If you need guidance on your next project contact the team at John Burke Associates today.

Building Safety Act 2022

Building Safety Act 2022

As we edge past the six-month transition period for Higher Risk Buildings (HRBs), a recent study by NBS sheds light on a significant industry challenge. It reveals that half of the professionals are still in the dark about their responsibilities under the Building Safety Act 2022. This lack of clarity poses a considerable risk to the industry’s ability to adapt and comply with new regulations.

A Call for Better Understanding

The findings are a wake-up call. Only a fifth of those surveyed feel ‘very clear’ on their duties concerning Higher Risk Buildings (HRBs). Such uncertainty underlines the urgent need for enhanced awareness and education. Russell Haworth, CEO of Byggfakta Group, echoes this sentiment. He recalls Dame Judith Hackitt’s firm message on the inevitability of regulatory change. The industry must grasp the intricacies of the Building Safety Act to uplift building safety standards.

The Golden Thread of Building Information

Another pressing issue is the management of the Golden Thread of Information. Less than half of the respondents understand how to maintain essential safety-related building information. A mere 10% have a concrete strategy in place. This gap in understanding and planning is alarming. Dr Stephen Hamil stresses the importance of a continuous, accessible flow of information to uphold safety throughout a building’s lifecycle.

The Role of Robust Specifications

Specifications play a pivotal role in ensuring safety from the design phase. They are crucial for demonstrating compliance with Building Regulations. The Building Safety Act, as Hamil points out, offers a chance for the industry to assert control over design and construction processes. Effective specification writing is fundamental to preventing substandard construction.

Moving Forward with Consistency

If you require assistance with your respective duties contact John Burke Associates today. We provide expertise and support to ensure clients comply with their statutory obligations. Furthermore, we believe in delivering a collaborative service and ultimately gaining the client’s trust and commitment. Therefore, our clerks of works division undertake a systematic and vigilant inspection of construction works in progress. This includes workmanship, materials and compliance to standards.

Navigating Construction Work in Snow and Low Temperatures

Navigating Construction Work in Snow and Low Temperatures

As the temperature drops in the UK this week, the challenges of working in construction during snow or low temperatures are significant. Understanding the legal obligations, employer responsibilities, and practical advice for coping with these conditions is crucial for the safety and efficiency of any construction project. In this blog, John Burke Associates explains your key responsibilities to your workers.

Understanding UK Laws on Low-Temperature Working

In the UK, while there is no legal minimum outdoor working temperature, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 mandate that employers provide a ‘reasonableworking temperature. For construction sites, this means employers must assess risks and implement reasonable measures to protect workers from the cold. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides guidance on working in cold conditions, emphasising the need for risk assessment and management.

Employer and Site Manager Responsibilities

Employers and site managers have a legal obligation to ensure the health and safety of their workers. This includes:

Risk Assessment:

Identifying potential hazards associated with low temperatures and snow, including risks of slips, trips, falls, frostbite, or hypothermia.

Providing Appropriate PPE:

Ensuring all workers have access to suitable personal protective equipment (PPE), such as insulated gloves, waterproof boots, and thermal clothing.

Site Safety Measures:

Implementing safety measures like gritting for icy surfaces, providing sheltered areas, and ensuring that equipment is safe to use in cold conditions.

Training and Awareness:

Educating staff about the signs of cold stress and the importance of regular breaks in warm areas.

General Advice for Working in Snow or Low Temperatures

Working in cold weather calls for specific precautions:

Stay Warm and Dry:

Layer clothing to stay warm and dry. Waterproof and windproof outer layers are essential.

Regular Breaks:

Take regular breaks in heated areas to prevent cold stress.

Stay Hydrated and Energised:

Drink warm fluids and eat high-energy foods to maintain energy levels.

Clear Snow and Ice:

Keep working areas clear of snow and ice to prevent accidents.

Check Weather Forecasts:

Be prepared and adaptable to changing weather conditions.


Working in construction during snow or low temperatures in the UK requires careful planning and adherence to safety standards. By understanding the legal framework, fulfilling employer responsibilities, and following general safety advice, construction sites can maintain productivity while ensuring the wellbeing of all personnel. Remember, the key to successful winter construction is preparation, awareness, and ongoing vigilance against the unique challenges posed by cold weather. Stay safe and stay informed!