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Clerk of Works Archives - John Burke Associates

Celebrating Success in Collaboration on Award-Winning Project

Architect of the Year

At John Burke Associates Clerk of Works Division, we are excited to share our recent collaboration with Hall McKnight on the remarkable St. Mary’s Wantage project. The project has garnered acclaim and recognition within the architectural community. This outstanding achievement led to St. Mary’s Wantage receiving the prestigious “One-off Small Project Architect of the Year” award at the Architect of the Year 2023 event. This blog post will delve into the details of this project, the award category, and the significance of this recognition.

The Architect of the Year 2023 Awards

In the ceremony held at The Brewery in London, the Architect of the Year 2023 awards celebrated the excellence and innovation within the architectural sector. This event brought together the brightest minds and most talented professionals in the industry, serving as a platform to acknowledge their contributions.

Recognising Excellence

The “One-off Small Project Architect of the Year” award, which St. Mary’s Wantage secured, stands as a testament to architects who excel in non-domestic projects of relatively small scale. Whether through new construction or refurbishment, this award category is specifically designed to highlight unique one-off small projects. To be eligible for this award, an entry must showcase a single completed non-domestic project constructed between December 1, 2021, and December 1, 2022, with a project value not exceeding £5 million.

St. Mary’s Wantage: The Award-Winning Project

St. Mary’s Wantage reflects the creative genius of Hall McKnight and the meticulous oversight of John Burke Associates Clerk of Works Division. This project embodies the essence of the “One-off Small Project Architect of the Year” award, showcasing design excellence within a limited budget.

Design Excellence That Shines

The judges at the Architect of the Year 2023 awards evaluated entries for evidence of design excellence, and St. Mary’s Wantage undoubtedly delivered on this criterion. The project not only met but exceeded expectations, demonstrating the remarkable results that can be achieved in the realm of small-scale, non-domestic architecture. The synergy between design and execution was evident in every detail of the St. Mary’s Wantage project.

Conclusion

Our collaboration with Hall McKnight on St. Mary’s Wantage has resulted in a remarkable architectural achievement that has received well-deserved recognition within the industry. Winning the “One-off Small Project Architect of the Year” award serves as a testament to our commitment to excellence, creativity, and the successful execution of small-scale non-domestic projects. We are proud of this accomplishment and look forward to more opportunities to contribute to outstanding architectural endeavours in the future. We would like to congratulate Hall McKnight on also being awarded the overall Gold Award and Refurbishment Architect of the Year.

Introducing Graham Little Technical Manager

technical manager

John Burke Associates is proud to announce that we have a new member of our Clerk of Works department. Graham Little is our new Technical Manager, we are excited about the level of experience he brings to the team. Graham tells us a little more about himself below.

Introduction

My name is Graham Little, and I have joined JBA as the Technical Manager for the Clerk of Works department, reporting to the Technical Director Ian Carey.

Health and Safety is always my priority. I am NEBOSH certified, a first aider and a mental health first aider. My background is 25 years in the construction industry, where I have worked both client and contractor side.  I started my career as a Carpenter & Joiner and in my years I have cut fully blind dovetail joints, hand-dug trenches with a graft and have worked Civils, Quantity Surveying and as a Setting Out Engineer.

This has allowed me to work on Bridges, schools, hospitals and major infrastructure projects.  I progressed to the Design, Construction and Maintenance of Proving Grounds in the International Testing and Inspection sector. I managed a facility that was 650 acres, 26 building complexes and 50 miles of test track and designing and delivering on all construction projects within the company’s capex expansion plans. I had responsibility for a c.£10m p/y opex budget and a c.£42m p/y capex budget. Covering UK, France, Finland and Morocco and have notable projects consisting of;

Notable Projects

  • Designed and delivered the UK’s first Electric Vehicle Battery Test Facility.
  • Designed and delivered c.£100m of capex construction projects in the UK during 2017 to 2020.
  • Designed the global office standard for interiors of all company buildings in the group.
  • Managed the project to design and deliver an HV supply upgrade from 1.65MW to 10MW. This took two years from conception to completion. I also secured grant funding.
  • Legal responsibility for all Fire safety design and compliance.  I designed and implemented the fire strategy and upgraded all existing structures to current fire regs. This includes barriers, breaks, zoning, detection and suppression.
  • Designed all DSEAR areas on site, all fuel storage & testing, and designed controlled explosion zones for thermal run away from Battery tests, ethanol and Hydrogen which were the first facilities in the UK.
  • Designed and installed structures and buildings to government organisations specifications.

In conclusion

I am very excited to be on board with JBA and look forward to working with all our stakeholders and through knowledge, experience and CPD; Grow the business and contribute to the quality and safety of the industry.

 

The Role of a Clerk of Works

Clerk of Works Role

A Clerk of Works role (CoW) provides expert oversight and scrutiny during the construction of a building project. Acting as an independent representative of the client or owner. They are responsible for ensuring that the work is carried out in accordance with the plans, specifications, contract documents and client requirements.

The main responsibilities of a CoW

The CoW ensures that construction is carried out to the highest standards of quality and safety. It is important for the CoW to have a thorough understanding of construction processes, building codes of practice, regulations, and the requirements of the client. The main responsibilities of the role are listed below.

Reviewing and approving plans and specifications

Before construction begins, the CoW should have the opportunity to review the plans and specifications for the project to ensure accuracy. This may include checking for compliance with building codes and regulations. They will also ensure that the plans and specifications align with the client’s goals and objectives.

Monitoring construction progress

During construction, the CoW visits the site regularly to monitor progress. They ensure that the work is being carried out in accordance with the requirements. This includes checking for compliance with HSE regulations, as well as ensuring that the materials and workmanship meet the required standards.

Inspecting and testing materials

The CoW is responsible for inspecting and testing materials to ensure that they meet the required standards. This includes checking for compliance with industry standards, and also ensuring the materials are suitable for the project.

Keeping accurate records

The CoW is responsible for keeping accurate records of all construction activities, including inspection reports, test results, and any deviations from the plans and specifications. These records are used to ensure that the work is completed to the required standards and to provide a record of the project for future reference.

Communicating with the client

The CoW acts as a liaison between the client and the contractor and is responsible for communicating any issues or concerns that arise during construction. This includes providing regular updates on construction progress, as well as addressing any issues or concerns that the client may have.

Acting as an expert witness

In the event of a dispute or legal action, the CoW may be called upon to act as an expert witness to provide testimony on the construction process and the quality of the work.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Clerk of Works plays a vital role in ensuring that the construction projects are built according to the plans, specifications, and contract documents. Furthermore, they ensure safety and quality standards are adhered too, while also representing client’s interests. They are responsible for monitoring progress, inspecting materials, keeping accurate records, and communicating with all stakeholders involved in the project. Speak to John Burke Associates today about our Clerks of Works Site Quality Inspection Services.

Peter Wilson Award 2022

Peter Wilson Award

We are proud to announce that our father and son team David and Dale Hayward are the recipients of the prestigious Peter Wilson Award 2022. They have been given this award for their work on the grade 1 listed Indigo Hotel in Bath. This was a large, complex, and challenging project which both David and Dale displayed great passion towards throughout.

More About David & Dale

Both David and Dale work in our Clerk of Works division at John Burke Associates. David was appointed as Head Clerk of Works, mentoring his son Dale as Assistant Clerk of Works. Dale worked on this project whilst completing a BSc (Hons) Construction Management Degree. They enjoyed working as a team, especially when they discovered the original Architects were also father and son.

The Project

The project was to enlarge the Indigo Hotel at South Parade in Bath to include connecting buildings within Pierrepoint Street and Duke Street. The development was to provide a total of 166 rooms with associated facilities. This involved the restoration, renovation, conversions, alterations, and extensions of the six-storey building.

The History

The buildings are Grade 1, Grade 2* and Grade 2 listed and form part of an architectural set-piece c1743 to 1749. As mentioned earlier, the original architects were also a father and son team, John Wood the Elder and John Wood the Younger. The properties are constructed on stone vaults and the ownership of the property have a boundary in the centre of a main road. This is because the vaults extend below the highways.

Clerk of Works

As Clerk of Works, their main involvement was recording, photographing, and sketching the original historical features. This is so that such features can be removed for the stabilization and builders works and replaced afterwards. Such features included historical panelling, lime plaster, original coving, stairs, windows, and doors.

Site Inspection

The building inspection was an enjoyable task, as many of the items of the original building had a variety of characteristics. Often the characteristics are the biggest requirement to reflect the age of the building. As such, only the safety aspect took precedence over this. The client’s requirements included out of plumb, bows, curves in walls and open texture of lime wall finish to maintain the charm of the building. There aren’t any British Standards to cover much of the work carried out, but the workmanship of the craftsmen brought out much of the character. The Conservation Office and Architect gave David and Dale guidance on a variable range of acceptable standards of finish for their daily inspections.

The Award

The Peter Wilson Memorial Award was introduced in 2013 and is awarded by the ICWCI to celebrate remarkable achievements. Here at John Burke Associates we are proud of our team and celebrate their achievements. Back in 2019 our colleague Jon Tucker was also the recipient of the award for his outstanding work on the major refurbishment to the Principal Hotel (formally The Russell hotel) London.

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Train to Become a Clerk of Works

progress your career

Are you a site supervisor or senior building tradesman looking to progress your career? Retraining to become a Clerk of Works or building inspector may be the next step. John Burke Associates can offer the right candidates with transferable competences, on-site mentoring. If you can answer yes to all the questions below, this could be the role for you.

Do you have experience in new build construction and/or remediation projects?

Do you hold a construction related qualification at ONC level or higher?

Do you need a new challenge or a change of career?

What is the Role of a Clerk of Works?

The role of a Clerk of Works is to provide independent third-party site inspection and is best suited to those with a vigilant approach to their duties. You will be responsible for the systematic inspection of construction work including the following.

  • Work carried out conforms with the drawings, specifications and British Standards etc.
  • Materials are measured, tested and comply to requirements
  • Anticipating and identifying potential problems, before they arise.
  • Ensuring clear communication to all parties.
  • Ensuring Health and safety guidance is adhered to.
  • Monitoring the project and compiling accurate and concise reports and records.
  • Highlighting variance in construction work, by means of sampling, benchmarking, testing and measuring.

The Benefits

Becoming a Clerk of Works or Site Inspector allows you to develop and diversify your construction skills. A change of pace from your usual duties whilst retaining a key role in the industry. You will be a self-employed consultant with a choice of full or part-time projects available. Therefore, allowing you to manage your own workflow.

What We Are Looking For

John Burke Associates requires building Clerk of Works and site inspectors in Greater London. We have both full and part-time projects across the Greater London and Home Counties regions. Such opportunities may suit experienced site supervisors or senior building tradesmen who have the relevant transferable competences. If you would like more information to train to become a Clerk of Works or Building Inspector contact Ian Carey for an informal chat.

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.

Cost Consultancy

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.

Building Consultancy services

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.

work related stress

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;

Building a better outlook for mental health

World Suicide Prevention Day 2019

Building a better outlook for mental health

To mark World Suicide Prevention Day 2019, we wanted to focus this blog on mental illness in the construction industry. This is a growing concern as one of the biggest health and safety issues of the industry. According to the Office of National Statistics, construction workers are more likely to commit suicide than any other profession. A sombre statistic that, consequently, has forced contractors to take action to support their worker’s mental wellbeing. Here at John Burke Associates our Clerk of Works division believe worker wellbeing is paramount.

Why are contractors responsible?

In recent media, videos that have become viral highlight the catastrophic consequences of mental health and construction. Taking care of the wellbeing of your workers will pay dividends to your company and project. However, failing to do so can lead to costly and time-consuming disasters on-site or worse, it can be fatal. If that isn’t bad enough, your whole company’s reputation and ethos can be destroyed in a short time.

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What can be done to help?

You may have seen the “Time to Talk” campaign which has been launched in the media. You cannot begin to understand the emotions of another unless you talk. Encouraging a positive. none threatening environment for workers to open up about their mental health is vital. Whilst the industry may be known for “workplace banter” it can both cause and cover-up underlying issues. We must learn to recognise, when to leave the “banter” behind and take emotional wellbeing seriously.

Clerk of Works

Where to get support

There are many initiatives out there to help support better mental health in the workplace. For example, MatesinMind is a, UK registered charity that is actively addressing the stigma of poor mental health. They work with many industries, and supported by the CMI, but the focus is on the construction industry. You can use the links below to find out more;

If you would like to know more about John Burke Associates Clerk of Works division or our other services, please use the links below;

ICWCI Building on Quality Awards 2019

Clerk of Works

ICWCI Building on Quality Awards 2019

ICWCI Award Winners

Award Winning Clerk of Works

Last month John Burke Associates attended ICWCI Building on Quality Awards 2019. Our Clerk of Works Jon Tucker was awarded the prestigious Peter Wilson Memorial Trophy. Jon was nominated for the award for his outstanding work on the major refurbishment to the Principle Hotel (formally The Russell hotel) London.

Who is Jon Tucker?

ICWCI Award Winners

Jon is an integral part of the John Burke Associates clerk of works team. His systematic approach coupled with a perceptive nature and perspicuous attributes makes Jon an asset on any project. Therefore, we are delighted that his work has been recognised by the ICWCI. We are proud to have Jon on our team of staff who support our ethos of going above and beyond.

What is the Award?

Peter Wilson Trophy

First introduced in 2013, the Peter Wilson Memorial award is given by the ICWCI to celebrate remarkable achievements. This is a prestigious award, which is in memorial of Vice President Peter Wilson FICWCI. Jon is the fourth recipient since the award’s inception, it is an honour to be nominated and a privilege to win.

Clerk of Works Award
Clerk of Works Award

The Award-Winning Project

Clerk of Works Award

On this occasion, the award was given for Jon’s work on a historic hotel, built in 1898. The Principle London project involved the extensive refurbishment of a historic Grade 2 listed hotel. With a contract sum of £96 million, the design team faced several challenges. Including budget and programme constraints, numerous planning and building applications and a large investment to the fabric of the building.

Due to many refurbishments and a degree of neglect the building required remedial work to ensure it was structurally sound. As such, the extent of the renovation prescribed that mechanical, electrical and public health services were replaced almost entirely. In addition, a significant amount of structural works was required with the existing load-bearing masonry construction.

Spanning over 25 months, the renovation included a hard refurbishment to create 334 individual custom finished rooms. There are also 39 new luxury suites. The public areas have been redesigned to significantly improve guest arrival and experience. At the heart of the building is the reintroduction of a Palm Court with external seating area and winter garden.

The Psychology of Architecture

Building Consultants

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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