Chartered Surveyors Archives - John Burke Associates

Modern Methods of Construction

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Modern Methods of Construction

Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) has long been considered the answer to many issues faced by the construction industry. MMC is a way of achieving more without using more. It is an idea which dates back to post-WW2, but are we using it to its full advantage industry-wide?

During a housing crisis in 2005, The National Audit Office commissioned MMC as a way to get the best value, and a way to ‘produce more, better quality homes in less time’. So why are only 8% of homes built in the UK built using MMC?


Is Cost an Issue?

It is no shock that the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as post-Brexit uncertainty, has had an impact on the profit margins of major construction companies. Until MMC is more widely adopted throughout the industry, we won’t see the costs involved reducing.

Do We Have the People?

Training people in MMC manufacturing and construction often takes less time than training traditional skilled workers. However, due the relative newness of MMC, the industry has struggled to train the right people at the right time.

According to CIOB, 22% of people employed within the construction industry are between the ages of 51 and 60. With almost 25% of the workforce nearing retirement, focus needs to be placed on training the younger generation. However, data from the Office of National Statistics reveals that employment within the construction industry is at a 9-year low.

Is Support from the Government Enough?

In March 2021, the UK Government launched a taskforce, focusing on increasing the use of MMC nationwide. Furthermore, MMC is now a condition of the Government’s Strategic Partnership Grant Programme. Each partner must build 25% of homes using MMC.

In February 2021, a consultation was launched by the Government, which raised the question – should MMC be incentivised as part of the New Homes Bonus scheme? We believe that doing so would reduce costs, increase productivity, and help the UK reach it’s 2025 goal of all new-build homes being zero-carbon ready.

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Why Choose RICS Chartered Surveyor?

John Burke Associates  takes pride in providing a personal, but professional service.  The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) regulates all work we carry out for our clients. RICS is a professional and global body, which ensures and maintains the highest standard of work. In this month’s blog we look at the importance of choosing a RICS Chartered Surveyor.

A Global Set of Standards

RICS maintains global working standards through extensive training and continued professional development. Therefore, this guarantees you will receive clear, independent and knowledgeable advice. There are over 130,000 surveyors worldwide with a RICS accreditation, working towards a better future. Furthermore, RICS requires all members to have insurance which will protect you and your project.

Regulated by RICS

As we are a RICS-regulated firm, our clients have full confidence that we abide by the highest professional ethical standards and regulations. In addition to the extensive experience and expertise of our surveyors, you also have the knowledge that any work carried out is in line with the following standards.

  • We behave ethically, with the highest level of industry integrity.
  • Being a RICS accredited surveyor ensures that every member of our firm has the competency and skills required to carry out the services we offer.
  • We carry all work out with transparency, and any conflict of interest is made known to the client.

For more information on the standards set by RICS, please visit rics.org/uk.

Protection for Your Money

Amongst other standards of work, RICS regulates how we keep our client’s money safe. As we are a RICS-regulated firm, we must adhere to client money rules. Therefore, you have complete peace of mind that your money is protected every step of the way.

In Conclusion

It is imperative when choosing a surveyor or a building consultant, to take into consideration what it means to hire a RICS Chartered Surveyor. Here at John Burke Associates, we take pride in knowing that we work to the highest possible industry standards, ensuring that all our clients receive the best possible service.


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Tips for Those Working from Home

Working from Home

During these ambiguous times, businesses across the UK and Europe are facing extraordinary challenges. The COVID-19 crisis has been a formidable force on our usual way of life, both personally and professionally. Many companies like ourselves (chartered surveyors and building consultants) are fortunate enough to continue to do some work safely from home. However, doing so requires us all to adapt our usual daily routines significantly. Therefore, in this blog, we look to explore tips that may help those also working from home during the crisis.

Balance Work and Personal Time

When your home becomes your work environment its hard not to allow the two to entwine. Working from the comfort of your home often leads to working at times you usually would not. For example, your working day finishes, you are browsing online shopping, and a work-related email comes through. It becomes so easy to just pop on and quickly respond but before you know it you have spent an extra hour or two working.

Therefore, it is important you set times for your working day and your own personal time and do not let the two entwine.

Working from Home
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Create a Work Environment in Your Home

Having a set area in your home when working, makes it easier to separate your home and work life. It may be tempting to work from the sofa or other places of comfort while at home. However, if you work in the same place you relax, it can become difficult to disassociate from work in your downtime. In addition, having a set working area means other members of your household know you are working. Whilst it is not always possible to not be disturbed, it can reduce the amount of disruption in your day.

Dress for the Day

It is important to have your work mindset in place when working from home. Therefore, keeping your usual morning routine is the best way to focus your mind. Set your alarm for the usual time and make sure you get up, showered, and dressed as if you are going to work. It can also be beneficial to go for a walk in the morning at the time you would usually commute. Almost like you are walking to work, even if it is just around the block.

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Most Importantly, Stay Safe!

Here at John Burke Associates Chartered Surveyors and Building Consultants, we hope everyone stays safe during these times. While the focus is very much on our physical health, it is vital we all take our mental well being into account. If you are struggling during this time, please use the links below for help and advice for managing your mental health.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from John Burke Associates.

Supporting Sustainability
Supporting Sustainability

We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from John Burke Associates. Instead of sending Christmas cards this year we have donated to “Veterans for Wildlife”. This donation will support the charity in both the empowerment of veterans and protecting critically endangered creatures. While many of us will be spending the Christmas season with friends and family, these brave individuals will be risking their lives, working through the evenings, to secure our wildlife.

Supporting Sustainability

We are proud to support this cause, which promotes a sustainable environment and has such a positive impact on society. Therefore, supporting our practice’s environmental commitment and sustainability ethos.

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A Time to Reflect

2019 has been a auspicious year across all the departments. From our trip to MIPIM in April to elevate the profile of our already expanding Surveying, Cost Consultancy, and Project Management business. To our Clerk of Works Jon Tucker winning the ICWCI Building on Quality Award. Which is a remarkable achievement for his work on the Principle London project. We have much to be thankful for. But above all else, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our clients for their ongoing support.

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Looking Forward to 2020

Our aim for 2020 is to continue to build ongoing relationships with all our clients and contracts. Our organisation’s strategic business objectives are underpinned by repeat business with key clients. This ethos relies on a ‘Partnering’ mentality based on trust and performance delivery. Therefore, we strive to continue our growth by treating every client with the upmost importance and urgency.

Christmas Open Hours

The offices will close for a short time for the Christmas period to allow staff to enjoy the festivities. Our offices will close on Monday 23rd December and reopen on Thursday 2nd January. If you have any queries during this time, please use the link below to fill in a contact form. We will respond to any enquiries after the 2nd January 2020.

Constructing a Greener Environment

RICS Chartered Surveyors

There are serious concerns about the construction industry’s contribution to the world’s pollution. With estimates of its responsibility being around 4% more air, water, and noise pollution than any other industry. In addition, the UN states that just over a third of all Co2 emissions are produced from the built environment. Which is also responsible for a third of all energy consumption. As the world faces a climate crisis, we as RICS Chartered Surveyors have a responsibility. We must steer our client’s projects towards building more resilient and sustainable communities.

Why is it important?

The current rate of pollution from the industry and the built environment is not sustainable. To elaborate, we look at the three critical contributors mentioned above and what the consequences are;

Air Pollution

There are various activities within the construction industry which are major contributors to the climate crisis. Such as diesel emissions and construction dust or PM10 – particulate matter less than 10 microns in diameter. These all have health consequences such as respiratory illness, asthma, bronchitis, even carcinogenic consequences. Not just a detriment to human health, such emissions are critical to the health of animals and plants.

Therefore, we must work together to find more sustainable fuel options and implement more eco-friendly site procedures.

Water Pollution

Diesel, Oil, harmful chemicals, cement, dirt, and debris are all sources of onsite water pollution. Surface water run-off carries such substances into waterways. Which is toxic to the water life and any wildlife that drinks from them.

In addition, land clearance leads to erosion in the soil which causes silt baring runoff and sediment pollution. The consequence of which is waterways becoming turbid and therefore restricting sunlight filtration, therefore obliterating aquatic life. But it’s not just the animals and wildlife who are affected. If these pollutants soak into groundwater, our drinking water becomes contaminated and furthermore, harder to treat.

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Noise Pollution

Construction sites are notorious for high-level noise; HGVs, power tools, machinery, high volume radios, and shouting. If you have ever lived near a building site, you will understand the annoyance this can cause. But the long-term effects of noise pollution can be much more severe than a noisy distraction.

Such excessive noise is linked to issues such as blood pressure, stress, hearing loss and sleep disturbance. Not just for humans but also for the surrounding wildlife. While we appreciate that a quiet construction site isn’t currently possible, we should still explore available avenues of reduction.

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What can be done?

As RICS Chartered Surveyors and Building Consultants, we advocate the global adoption of RICS Standards. We aim to ensure we work in synergy with our clients to deploy more capital towards sustainable projects. Therefore, supporting our profession in pioneering healthier more resilient environments. Which in turn provides our clients with the confidence of sustainable project investments. Our portfolio of services offers a full compilation of Chartered Surveying & Chartered Building Consultancy services;

The Psychology of Architecture

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The Psychology of Architecture

Chartered Building Consultants Blog

We are a skilled practice of Chartered Surveyors and Chartered Building Consultants. As such we have given a commitment to providing a forward-thinking approach across our portfolio of services. This allows us to provide an environmentally friendly and sustainable service to our clients. Therefore, in this months blog, we give consideration to the psychological effect of architecture in the public and commercial sectors.

Can a building affect your mood?Chartered Surveyors

You may believe that buildings do not have any effect on your mood or physical well being. But buildings are an integral part of our daily environment, we surround ourselves with architecture. So we rephrase the question to “can your environment affect your mood? If you still think it doesn’t we ask you to consider why you take holidays. Most of us are happier led on a beach in the sunshine listening to the waves crash, why? Because this is our optimum environment and it has a positive effect on our well being.

What Evidence Supports The Theory?

While it is difficult to prove the exact psychological effects of a poor design. Both neuroscientists and psychologists agree it is a factor. The findings state we have specialised cells in the hippocampal region of our brains. These cells react to the geometry and arrangement of our environment. A dark area may make you feel cold and can dampen your mood. Alternatively, a poor layout and design can hinder your tasks. This, in turn, has an effect on your overall well being. In contrast, a large open area with bright natural light which is adapted to your routine can reduce stress.

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Which Sectors Are Affected?

“We shape our buildings and afterward our buildings shape us,” – Winston Churchill 1943

Architectural determinism is relevant to all sectors. Schools and hospitals to commercial and housing developments will reap the benefits of considering the occupant’s psychological well being. Combining science and architecture will provide a more future proof investment into construction resulting in sustainability.

Who Is Responsible?

Most assume the architect will take in to account the occupants well being when designing a building. However, historically it has been found that the pressures of providing uniqueness in design often takes priority. Leaving the building design to determine the behaviors of its occupants as oppose to the reverse. As Chartered Building Consultants we work proactively to deliver a successful project which supports the client’s aspirations and well being.

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