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Aberdeen architect struck off ARB register

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An Aberdeen architect found guilty of serious professional incompetence by a conduct committee has lost his place on the register of architects

The Architects’ Registration Board (ARB) removed Neil Rothnie from its list of those entitled to use the title following a hearing into his handling of a complaint regarding a residential scheme.

Rothnie was working both for Neil Rothnie Architects and Grampian Design Associates in the Scottish city when the issues leading to his erasure arose.

The ARB’s professional conduct committee heard that Rothnie failed to adequately respond to concerns raised by the purchaser of a house he designed.

In November 2016 a surveyor identified defects at the property including an incorrectly designed gable wall head, cracking in mortar joints between granite cope stones and inadequate detail at joints between a side wing pitched roof and a main gable.

An independent report commissioned by the ARB from a chartered architect agreed with the surveyor’s conclusions and ruled that the design flaws identified were ‘serious failings’ and that water ingress noted by the homeowner could affect the property’s resale value.

At the hearing, Rothnie disputed that defects in the property resulted from design flaws on his part. He said a structural engineer had approved the design and blamed builders for poor workmanship.

But the committee found that defects in the house did result from the architect’s design and that this failing was serious professional incompetence, as it undermined the integrity of the property.

Meanwhile Rothnie’s failure to deal sufficiently with concerns raised by the complainant, in circumstances where she had to endure difficult living conditions, amounted to unacceptable professional conduct, the committee ruled.

Rothnie, who must wait until November 2020 to apply for re-entry to the profession, said he would appeal the decision.

He added: ‘I continue to work hard for my loyal clients as I have done for over the past 30 years.’

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