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What is an Architect's Role During Construction?

There are many factors to consider when hiring an architect to design and a contractor to build your project. No two projects are the same, and it is essential that the architecture and construction teams work well together; having a positive relationship between these two roles is critical for a project to proceed smoothly from start to finish. The most successful projects are when the architect and the contractor symbiotically understand a client’s goals.

 

Once the design, planning, and preparation for a project are completed, it may seem like an architect's role is finished. However, an architect often provides construction administration services from the beginning to the end of the construction process. The architect observes the construction progress and ensures the project is completed according to the contract documents. They also help ensure the project is on time and on budget. This role is critical in protecting the client’s investment in the project.

 

The architect’s construction phase services are essential and play a vital role in ensuring a project’s quality and success. During construction the architect’s responsibilities may include:

  • Responding to contractor requests for interpretation.

  • Attending regular site visits to observe and evaluate construction and ensure that work is proceeding correctly.

  • Reviewing and discussing the construction schedule with the contractor. This can help prevent errors with ordering materials, building code issues, and interpreting any information which may be unclear or not available to the builder.

  • Advising the owner on potential changes to the contract documents.

  • Reviewing the progress payments requested periodically by the builder to ensure that materials are incorporated into the work or are ordered before authorizing the client to pay for them. 

 

It is important to note that the architect’s responsibility during construction is limited. An architect is not responsible for the construction means, methods, techniques, sequences, or procedures, or for safety precautions and programs in connection with the work. The architect is also not responsible for a contractor’s failure to perform the work or for the acts or omissions of the contractor or other entities performing portions of the work. So, it is vital to include the architect and their construction administration services. The inclusion provides a piece of mind that the work will be to quality and align with the owner’s interest and intent. Utilizing the architect’s construction phase services ensures professional and efficient project management leading to a successful outcome.

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