Investor’s supervision – why should be appointed?

21 August 2020

Are you an investor or a developer? Are you wondering if your investment will need investor supervision? When and why should you appoint appropriate supervision inspectors? You will find the answer in below article.

The supervision inspector participates in the investment process – along with the investor, designer and site manager. The scope of his rights and obligations results directly from the provisions of the construction law (Articles 25 and 26 of the Construction Law). This function can only be performed by a natural person who has the license to manage construction works in a particular discipline.

What is the investor’s supervision responsible for?

As the name suggests, it supervises the investment. The inspector acts on behalf of the investor and protects the investor’s interests at the construction site. The inspector makes regular check-ups, and sometimes – in the case of more complex buildings – is constantly present at the construction site.

The supervision inspector checks and approves construction works, ensuring that they are carried out in accordance with good construction practices, design and building permit, and that they have satisfactory quality.

In addition, the inspector checks the building materials used and verifies their parameters. Experienced inspectors know if the material proposed by the contractor can be allowed to be built-in. Thanks to that they can prevent the use of construction products not compliant with the design, defective, or not approved for use in the construction.

The inspector is present at vanishing construction works, participates in tests and commissioning of installations and technical devices. Under the inspector’s watchful eye, final acceptance and commissioning of the building takes place.

Responsible supervision often goes beyond the functions as provided in the Construction Law. The role of the supervision inspector must be proactive in order to properly serve its purpose. The key here is the communication between inspector and the investor and early information on potential threats. The inspector will provide the investor with advice and assistance, solve problems at the construction site and recommend corrective actions if necessary, so that the investor has full knowledge of the situation and is able to make proper decision.

The inspector may be also helpful in settlements of works performed. At the investor’s request, the inspector can verify quantity and quality of works and advise on elements requiring additional data to be considered as fully completed.

Often, months or even years pass between the development of a design and project execution. In the meantime, the market of construction materials and services changes, new regulations and standards are emerging. The inspector, thanks to own experience and constantly updated industry knowledge, is able to direct the investor and advise on changes in both technical and cost aspects. Taking part in regular assessment of buildings during their operation, building inspector often sees the consequences of errors occurred during construction. This allows the inspector to warn the investor in advance of the pitfalls of wrong decisions and make the spending of investment funds more optimal.

When should investor’s supervision be employed?

The employment of an investor’s supervision inspector is in many cases imposed by law or construction conditions. The regulations require it especially in cases justified by the high degree of complexity of a building or construction works or the expected impact on the environment. The authority issuing building permits will then require the investor to appoint an investor’s supervision inspector.

The list of facilities for which there is a need to employ an investor’s supervision inspector and regulations in this respect is contained in the Regulation of the Minister of Infrastructure of 19 November 2001 on the types of construction facilities, the implementation of which requires the establishment of an investor’s supervision inspector (Journal of Laws No. 138, item 1554).

In other cases, the decision on the need to establish supervision should be made by the investor. Is it worth employing investor’s supervision? Practice shows that an efficient and experienced team of supervision inspectors is the perfect security for the investor, regardless of whether the idea is to sell the facility, or leave it in its portfolio. This is a guarantee that the facility has been completed in accordance with the law, which will certainly translate into trouble-free final acceptance of the building by the services –Construction Supervision Authorities, State Sanitary Inspectorate and Fire Brigade. In addition, the implementation of investments under the watchful eye of experienced inspectors means a smaller number of failures during future use of the facility as most of them have already been eliminated during construction.

The most important task of the inspector is to make a faultless acceptance, i.e. obtaining from the contractor the execution of works without defects and faults through proactive action and cooperation with the investor.

What inspectors should you hire?

In the case of complex projects, where work is carried out in various disciplines, one building supervision inspector may not be enough. Inspectors of various specialties should then be employed. Most often it is a team of  structure, HVAC and electrical inspector. Sometimes, if the scope of ongoing works includes construction or reconstruction of access roads – usually at the end of the investment -– a road inspector also joins the team. Before hiring them, make sure that they have appropriate licenses, are active members of the District Chamber of Civil Engineers and have a civil liability insurance premium paid.

If the entire team of inspectors is employed, it is worth appointing one inspector, whose tasks, apart from basic duties, will include coordinating the activities of other inspectors.

To sum up, in our opinion the employment of investor supervision on the construction site is justified even in cases where it is not required by law. Proper supervision is important not only during the construction itself, but also affects trouble-free operation of the building in the future. If you are a developer who cares about the reputation and wants to build the position on the real estate market based on high quality, then you definitely need an experienced and pro-active team of supervision inspectors.

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