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On-site inspection

Inspection contractor

Digital tools need to be balanced with on-site inspections throughout the process. This  involves team members, stakeholders and users visiting an actual site and can be used for many different goals and purposes. At the start of the project, it can help to understand the site, the context and the neighbourhood, as well as bring the core team together, establishing mutual intent and providing an important ‘kick-off’ ritual. Other sites can also be visited for inspiration, learning and reference. During the later stages, this method can be used to check progress or to test ideas as they develop in context and at full scale. On-site Inspection or Walking Tours can also function as a method of evaluating buildings after they have been put into use as part of Post-Occupancy Evaluation and Resource Building.


  • An undervalued tool that creates a shared understanding of different problems and solutions, including an assessment of positive and negative attributes of a site
  • Can be a strong dialogue tool as attendees undergo an experience where they can immediately share opinions, thoughts and feelings around materials, colours, light and space, to name a few
  • Can enable the original project vision and ambitions to be followed through to construction
  • When construction work commences, different visits can be made with people who have various abilities. One could focus on spatiality and accessibility, and another on the location of equipment. For example, lighting subcontractors could use this method to get direct  feedback from the visually impaired people
  • Some companies incentivise project managers to cut costs, and On-site Inspections can ensure that quality is maintained


  • Can be difficult to arrange, and gathering the entire project group can require a feat of timing and coordination
  • Site access can be a challenge because of gatekeepers, conflicting interests and a lack of understanding from the site owner
  • Although different perspectives can be presented, strong facilitation is needed to prevent the visit digressing or turning into an argument
  • Health and safety requirements need to be fulfilled and can be stringent for a construction site
  • Unfinished buildings can be difficult to imagine in a more finished manner. Attendees can be asked to stretch their imagination too far
  • If architects are not part of On-site Inspections in the later stages of a project, the quality and the Inclusive Design vision can be reduced