Ensuring the health and safety of people in and around buildings is all in a day’s work for building control officer Danny Emerton.
Building control is part of the council’s planning and development management service and protects the public by ensuring legal requirements for building design and construction are complied with.
Builders and developers are required by the building regulations and the Building Act 1984 to obtain building control approval - an independent check that the building regulations have been complied with.
As well as the day job, Danny is also undertaking a BSc Hons Building Surveying Degree, funded by the apprenticeship levy, which sees him study at Sheffield Hallam University every Monday.
9am – Logging on
At the start of my day I log onto my computer to check emails and phone messages in order to plan for the day ahead, these will often include site inspections requests along with meetings I may have previously scheduled with developers, agents, contractors and clients.
9:30am – Taking phone calls
As part of my job, I speak to a wide variety of people about Building Regulations queries via our Building Control helpline from the general public to developers, contractors and architects. I also discuss and advise on live applications at various stages of building design and construction.
10am – Planning site inspections for the day
As a site inspector I am out visiting and inspecting various building sites daily. This is to ensure that developers and contractors are adhering to the latest Building Control Regulations, as well as discussing design issues that arise on site. Here I am preparing documents needed for the day ahead.
10:30am – Loading inspections to BC mobile app
Like many aspects of modern work in local government, technology is being used to improve service delivery and efficiency. One of the ways the Building Control Team is doing this is through the use of BC Mobile, an app that runs off my tablet in order to view plans and record inspections on site.
11am – Printing off larger drawings/calculations for use on site
The Building Control Team has access to a specialist printer that prints and folds large scale A1 plans for use on site. They are particularly useful for housing developments and drainage layouts and form an important part of my work when inspecting sites to ensure what is being constructed is as per the agreed design.
11.30am – Carrying out various site inspections, foundations, drainage, pre-plaster
The majority of my work involves inspecting building work as it progresses on site. There is a large scope of works to inspect from foundations and drainage to roof trusses and replacement windows. Here I am on a site in the Town Centre carrying out an inspection for a re-roofing job. In this case the existing tiles were re used where appropriate and installed to new standards as the Building is Grade II Listed.
12.30pm – Discussing issues with builders
While on site, I will take the time to discuss current and potential issues with the builders working on the job. In this photo I am speaking to Carl Snow from Kirk Ella Building Services at one of their construction projects in the County.
1pm – Recording site inspections on BC mobile app
2pm – Researching technical information from site
Following this morning's site inspections, it is a quick return to the office to look at some aspects of construction that require further investigation. I also make a note in my training log of the time spent on this research as evidence for my degree apprenticeship – this contributes to my 20% off-the-job learning commitment.
3pm – Discussing applications with architects and agents
I have scheduled an appointment with Dom Hornsby, an architect working at SALT Architects here in Beverley to discuss one of their client's upcoming projects. These discussions help avoid potential issues before works commence on site.
4pm – Carrying out plan check assessments
As well as inspecting works on site, I also carry out plan check assessments for full plans applications in the office. This involves reviewing deposited plans and specifications to check compliance with the Building Regulations at the design stage of a project.
Mondays – Studying for my Building Surveying Degree
Thanks to funding from the council's apprenticeship levy, I am currently studying for a BSc Hons in Building Surveying at Sheffield Hallam University. The course covers all aspects of building performance, design, law and construction which is helping me further my knowledge of the Built Environment and enhance my professional development. Here I am testing the performance of various construction materials as part of the Material Science Module.