Responsibility - Liability
Presented by: Fred Field, AIA
The subjects of Responsibility and Liability were introduced as this architects opinion and supported by standard contract documents of the American Institute of Architects for Owner Architect Agreement.
The meeting started with an introduction and handouts consisting of an interesting article from the April 1962 Bar Association Journal and an outline of the evenings presentation.
"The terms of the contract define the duties of the design professional as to nature and scope of service. The architect has no legal duty or responsibility to (even) observe the construction of the fixed works which are the subject of the plans and specifications". Quotation from the California Business and Professions Code - Section 5536.25.
If the owner wishes the architect to control the method and sequence of the project, he so specifies it in the contract documents. Otherwise the contractor will proceed according to the most economical method and sequence available to him consistent with the plans and specifications.
Without any mandate to participate in the actual construction process, the architect is at a great disadvantage to either receive compensation for job site direction or accept responsibility for what is being constructed and sub-sequentially covered up.
Mr. Fields presentation was held to fifteen minutes with 45 minutes allowing for the room to participate in the discussion. In the spirit of Westcons purpose, varying views came from architects, contractors, attorneys and engineers of numerous expertises. Any attempt to faithfully relate the numerous contributions from the audience would be incomplete and perchance inaccurate. This is one meeting where you would have benefitted by being there.
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