NCARB Article on Necessity of an Architect During Construction

by Sean O'Hara on November 30, 2009

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards has a white paper on their website about the Necessity of an Architect During Construction. It vigorously argues that the construction administration phase is the practice of architecture and therefore should require the presence of a licensed architect through that phase.

I definitely agree that the presence of an architect through the completion of the project will produce a better product. Usually the rationale for not including the architect is cost but that cost is relatively small in the overall process.

It is essential to have the architect available to explain their documents and avoid the conflicts that can occur when the documents are misinterpreted. Most of the “conflicts” that we see on projects are due to field changes that were not coordinated with the architect’s supervision. Having an architect on site also helps to protect the owner with pay applications and change orders. It also protects the public by having someone there who is familiar with the health, safety and welfare portions of the building codes. Generally clients who keep the architect involved start to finish are happier clients.

I would encourage all owners to look at the options for keeping their architect involved during the construction phase.

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