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The clerk of works

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Introduction

My presentation is on the clerk of works. On all building sites there is one person who fulfils a unique role in the building team. That person is not part of the contractors staff but is appointed by the owner of the building to see the work is carried out in accordance with the drawings and specification produced by the architect and the bills of quantities drawn up by the quantity surveyor. This person is the clerk of the works. A competent clerk of works must have three important qualities integrity, ability and vigilance. They should have an extensive knowledge of building and civil engineering operations and practices. The clerk of works must posses a degree of tact when dealing with people, the ability to negotiate rather than dominate, and a sharp eye for detail. ...read more.

Middle

A good clerk of works can make an enormous difference to work on site in terms of defects, efficiency and general atmosphere. The duty of the clerk of works is to inspect and the contractor must give him every reasonable facility. So basically in practice, that means that the contractor should not hinder the clerk of works and he must be allowed access to all parts of the works. Although the contractor can not be expected to go to great lengths to enable him to inspect the building. If the clerk of works gives a direction to the contractor, it is of no effect. So this means that not only can the contractor ignore it but also that he is in breach of contract if he takes action, on account of the direction. ...read more.

Conclusion

The clerk of works is not employed to give directions, even directions which may be ignored. The duty of the clerk of works is to the employer. He has no duty towards the contractor to find defects. The approval of the clerk of works counts for nothing. A negligent clerk of works will not remove liability from the architect so far as the employer is concerned, but if the employer successfully sues the architect for negligence, the damages payable by the architect may be reduced on account of the negligence of the clerk of works, So in conclusion the clerk of works, job is purely to inspect. He is empowered to look and to note that is all. If he issues directions, the contractor should not act on them, unless of course they relate to obvious defects, until they are confirmed. Confirmation by the contractor is not effective. Thanks for listening ...read more.

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