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Headline

Analysis: Grenfell tragedy highlights architects' marginalisation

Comment

It is a huge pity we have so many half truths here, starting with Alan Dunlop suggesting architects "were working for both the contractor and the client when the building was being built". The architect works for the "client" and has a duty during the contract to act as "arbiter" between client and contractor - this is not the same as being employed by both. The industry has undoubtedly lost its way, now as Richard Saxon suggests relying on insurance to prop up competence. The US scenario outlined in Andrew Gibb's "go figure" comment wrongly claims that only architects can apply for building permits, but owners and licensed contractors can apply too and the problems are identical. Too much emphasis on value for money, not enough money available for independent checks. In California we have a procedure called "deputy inspection" where a qualified individual keeps a daily log and certifies compliance with approved documents. In the UK we have a golden opportunity to have properly trained site architects and Clerks of Works performing such a role, also covering design intent and shop drawings. This will ensure that expensive corrections and variations do not delay work in progress on site and deliver safe assets according to certified intent.

Posted date

5 August, 2017

Posted time

5:15 pm

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