The Role of a Clerks 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.


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.

The Management of Site Inspection

Digital Construction Week

The construction industry continues to be perceived by both its clients and the general public as fragmented, disorganised and unprofessional. Litigation, arbitration, and continuing building failure reinforce this view. In this blog, our Technical Director of Site Inspection, Ian Carey CMgr MSc DMS FRICS FCIOB FICWCI FCABE, offers his insight into the management of site inspection.

The Quality-Cost-Time Conundrum

Project Management Division

The industry has become progressively management orientated. However, the dynamic management process tends to deal with holistic strategies. Contractors increasingly faced the dilemma posed by the quality-cost-time conundrum, a problem that is exacerbated by falling skill and resource levels.

Clients, for their part, demand value for money and cost optimisation on complex projects which they also expect to be “right first time”. Consequently, due to this dichotomy, the quality of work on site has continued to deteriorate resulting in numerous defects (many of a serious or repetitive nature) delays and additional costs.

Contributing Factors to Declining Standards

Industry trends and government legislation, such as fee bid tendering, lack of training, lowest tender philosophies, Best Value and the reduction of public and Governmental control, have all perpetuated the decline of quality standards in the completed building.  Therefore, the burden of remedial costs and user dissatisfaction has conversely increased.

The Role of a Clerks of Works

Traditionally the individual responsible for setting, maintain and policing the quality standards onsite is the Clerks of Works. Much of the foregoing can be mitigated by appointing a qualified   and experienced Clerks of Works to undertake systematic, regular and independent third-party inspection as work proceeds.

Ian currently heads up John Burke Associates Clerks of Works and Site Inspection services. He is a Fellow and twice Past President of the Institute of Clerks of Works & Construction Inspectorate of Great Britain.

Ian Carey

Our Aim

John Burke Associates’ aim is to create synergy between the Client, Contractor, and Team to realise a ‘Zero Defects’ project. Our comprehensive portfolio of services is delivered through two complementary divisions; Chartered Surveyors and Chartered Building Consultants. Each division is committed to delivering a combined tailored service, dedicated to our client’s requirement.