The Bricks: Meet the Judges

Celebrating the best in the house building industry, The Bricks recognises and rewards the exceptional work of developers, builders, contractors and housing associations who go the extra mile, regardless of size, to deliver quality in construction.

An integral part of our awards is the judging process. Once nominations have been verified and shortlisted, it’s over to our panel of industry experts to review the finalists and select the winners.

Find out more about our judges and their contribution to the construction industry below.

Mike Swatton

Business Development Director, LABC Warranty

“I have been in the industry for over 50 years, gaining experience through a trade background and then via a career in Local Authority Building Control, before joining the structural warranty business. I have always had a keen interest in site standards and build quality, which aligns with the necessary risk management processes and inspections required to minimise claims to a low ratio. Since 1981 I have been involved in quality awards and am honoured and delighted to continue my interest now as head judge for our established ‘Bricks’ award. It is rightly a pleasure identifying some of the very best developments throughout the country, and the commitment to quality of our winning developers who insist on the best skilled trades within our industry. I would say that in addition to excellent quality, an award-winning site must be tidy, safe, organised and compliant.”

Peter Bennett

Director, Design 42

"My career began as a Building Control Officer in and around the Cheshire area many moons ago. My next move brought me into the structural warranty industry starting as a regional surveyor, specialising in the field of conversions and refurbishments and later becoming Technical Manager for PJ Livesey. Following this I joined LABC Warranty to oversee the technical and claims department which brings me to my role at present, working as an independent consultant. I am fortunate to be involved in judging the quality of build for LABC Warranty’s awards and I would say the commitment and workmanship that’s evident in the construction of high quality homes is what makes an award winning development.”

Jon Kemery

Independent Consultant, MD Warranty Inspection Services

 “I am a surveyor with over 37 years’ experience in the building industry. I started out working for a local authority and then moved to surveying posts in various housing associations. What galvanised my approach to a good quality build was a seven-year post with David Wilson homes as a Quality Assurance Manager. I then moved onto the LABC Warranty team just as they had been set up in 2007 and progressed from surveyor to Area Manager and ultimately Regional Director for the South Region. I was proud to be asked to become part of the judging team and have witnessed at first hand the excellent approach to the production of stunningly well finished properties. I am currently working on behalf of MDIS at Graven Hill in Bicester, a prestigious Self Build scheme that is being featured by Grand Designs. There are some truly amazing construction techniques to be witnessed on this site."


Chief Executive, Local Authority Building Control (LABC)

“I started in the construction industry in 1991, being responsible for many revisions to the Building Regulations including new requirements for energy efficiency, sound insulation and fire safety. As Vice President of the Consortium of European Building Control and Trustee of the Gas Safety Trust as well as sitting on both the CICAIR Board and Board of the Good Homes Alliance, means I am no stranger to writing and presenting about issues relating to building control, quality, consumer protection, disabled access and sustainability in the building sector. The entries for LABC Warranty’s The Bricks have been better than ever and it was difficult to distinguish between the final few in each category.”

Dr. Gavin Dunn BSc(Hons) MSc PhD C. Build E FCABE

CEO of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers

“In April 2018 I was appointed as Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE) with the aim of raising the profile of the Association. Increasing its membership and influence across the industry and government to help improve construction standards to create better buildings, safer and healthier communities, and improved environmental and economic impacts of the built environment. As a member of the judging panel for this year’s LABC Warranty The Bricks awards I am looking forward to seeing some great examples of design, craftsmanship, and detailing which make it a pleasure to judge."


Associate Director, Head of Built Environment at BSI

“I head up the Built Environment Sector at BSI, the UK’s national standards body, where I lead a team overseeing BSI’s construction and fire-related technical committees. A Chartered Surveyor and Engineer by background, I am a member of the Government’s statutory Building Regulations Advisory Committee and President of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers. Once again it was a privilege to be one of the judges for The Bricks Awards this year. The quality of developments we considered are some of the very best I’ve seen. Huge congratulations to all of the winners, and very well done to all of the worthy runners up too.”

Sam Butler

Head of Inspection Support at LABC Warranty

“Upon leaving College I worked in the Civil Engineering industry, principally focusing on highways and drainage schemes.  I have worked within the Structural Warranty Industry for 15 years, in which I have gained a wealth of experience which has allowed me to progress through Surveying and Management positions.  Now as the Head of Inspection Support, it is an honour to be the Awards Co-ordinator for LABC Warranty.  This enables me to visit the exceptional sites, which demonstrate the very best work our industry has to offer in terms of workmanship, quality control and site management.  In an industry which is continually developing with new technology and products, the emphasis must continue to remain on building quality homes. Recognising the outstanding work in The Bricks Awards by LABC Warranty is a highlight of my role.”

Check back soon to see who our judges declare the winners of the Bricks 2019.


Please Note: Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication. Any written guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. However, for the most up to date LABC Warranty technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the LABC Warranty technical manual.


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