The devil is in the detail: The link between building regulatory processes, on-site inspection, verification and technology

David Comiskey, Robin Stubbs, Xiaowei Luo, T Hyde, Erin O'Kane

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Over recent years there has been a drive to improve the image of the construction sector globally, especially in relation to building performance. This has resulted in the development of more intelligent and informed designs, thanks in part to the implementation, and in some cases mandating, of Building Information Modelling (BIM) working processes and the use of associated authoring and analysis software. As knowledge and understanding of BIM processes has advanced, the wider benefits afforded by such new technologies and approaches to building design and management are beginning to be realised. One such area is the regulatory process related to building design and construction. To date, a focus has been placed upon the possibilities afforded in relation to the automation of plan checking and to a lesser extent self-inspection. However, less focus has been placed on actual on-site third party verification during the construction phase, specifically relating to important building details. This is a critical, yet historically difficult area to assess, with the building regulatory process lacking sufficient rigour due the nature of periodic inspections. This current methodology means that critical details in terms of building performance are potentially not being constructed as per the approved or as-designed drawings. This paper will employ a scoping study to highlight historic issues and review current building regulatory and on-site assessment processes primarily in the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland, comparing these with similar processes in Asia. The aim is to identify potential issues with current practice internationally and to review advancements in BIM and related technological processes to determine if they can potentially assist in this area. The findings would suggest that there is a general issue in terms of validating the veracity of work which has taken place on site. The paper concludes by suggesting that current practice needs to be reviewed in order to instigate greater confidence in the building regulatory process, particularly with the on-site verification of construction details.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE Xplore
PublisherIEEE Xplore
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5386-4437-9
ISBN (Print)978-1-5386-4438-6
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 7 May 2018
Event2018 2nd International Symposium on Small-scale Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (SIMS) - Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort, Cavan, Ireland
Duration: 16 Apr 201818 Apr 2018


Conference2018 2nd International Symposium on Small-scale Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (SIMS)
Abbreviated titleSIMS


  • buildings
  • Inspection
  • Computer architecture
  • architecture
  • Legislation


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