Our responsibilities as architects:
- To adhere to the Code of Professional Conduct laid out by the RIBA and ARB.
- To provide the client with sound clear advice at the outset of the project about: the design/development potential; approximate building costs; the need for various statutory consents; project programming and likely time scales; the need to engage the services of other professional consultants and specialists.
- To respond as accurately and appropriately as possible to the client’s brief.
- To advise generally on pertinent aspects of the client’s brief.
- To develop and to produce design schemes which we consider to be viable in terms of ‘build ability’ and in terms of local authority guidelines, planning strictures and building legislation.
- To develop the design to detail and to produce all necessary detailed construction drawings, diagrams specifications and schedules etc to enable the building contractor to carry out the works to a satisfactory standard.
- To seek ‘Planning Consent’ and ‘Building Regulations Approval’ at the appropriate stages to the project.
- To pay attention to the health and safety matters and have sensible regard for the end users of our schemes.
- To pay attention to the rights and amenities of adjoining owners.
- To advise the client on the ‘Party Wall’ matters and where necessary to work with party wall surveyors to reach the appropriate agreements with adjoining owners.
- To work closely with building contractors and do so in a spirit of helpfulness and cooperation. To assist the building contractor to achieve satisfactory results. To guide and advise building contractors and specialist sub-contractors as and when necessary.
- To advise the client on matters relating to building contracts and building procedures.
- To oversee the building contract and to monitor the work in terms of quality, progress and costs as closely as is reasonably possible.
- To inform the client of any significant developments or variations as the building contract progresses, in order to alert the client to any aspects of the project, which may be at variance to the agreed scheme, and the agreed scope of work.
- To keep a watching brief over matters relating to costs and cost variations and to keep the client informed as much as it is reasonably possible during the course of the building contract.
- To inspect the building at the completion of the project and to draw up schedules of outstanding works, incomplete items and building defects; and to instruct the builders accordingly in order that all building work is satisfactorily completed.
- To monitor any latent defects for a period after completion of either three months, six months or one year period (depending on the nature, scale and complexity of the contract).
- To pay attention to environmental and sustainable issues and where possible to incorporate energy saving technologies into our design specification.
For further information please go to the RIBA document ‘Explaining an Architect’s Services’.
The clients’ responsibilities
- To provide as clear a brief as possible to the architects.
- To set out clearly the clients’ objectives and aspirations.
- To provide information that is relevant to the proposed building project and which may have a bearing on the project.
- To try and avoid, as much as is reasonably possible, any changes in the design brief or any late requests for additional work. If and when such changes and late requests are instructed, to understand that this will lead to additional costs (over and above the budgeted costs) in both the contract value, and in professional fees.
- To always give clear instructions to the architects and not to give instructions directly to builders; the chain of command is as follows:
Client instructs the architect
Architect instructs the builder
Builder carries out the work
To settle all invoices, payment certificates and fee accounts promptly and within the agreed time periods, and to have prearranged the financial resources so that the monies are in place to meet the contractual obligations.
As architects we report directly to the client, and we make enquiries and issue instructions on behalf of the client. Building projects often involve the expertise of other professionals, specialist consultants and specialist suppliers, people such as structural engineers, environmental engineers, quantity surveyors, energy consultants, lighting designers, landscape gardeners etc.
If and when such specialists are needed, we advise the client regarding their involvement – their remit and their terms and conditions – and we integrate them into the ‘project team’.
We coordinate their efforts appropriately and ensure that their input enhances the project as a whole. The engagement of specialist consultants and the payment of their fees is the direct responsibility of the client.