Helpful advice for architects: BC(A)R SI.9
by Bregs Blog admin team
Given recent legal opinions regarding certifier roles under Building Control (Amendment) Regulations (SI.9 of 2014) we thought this advice note “Architects and the Foundations of Negligence Claims (1.11.2010)” from Holmes O’Malley Sexton Solicitors may come in useful.
Quote from webpage:
“Each day professional indemnifiers are being called upon in order to consider potential claims. This article focuses on some of the most common areas of architect’s negligence.
What is Professional Negligence?
Negligence is the failure to act as a reasonable person would be expected to act in similar circumstances. The standard of care which an architect must uphold is “reasonable care and skill” which is usually established by reference to the general practice of the building profession. A feature of the building profession is the large number of codes of practice relating to the manner of construction. However a professional is not entitled to blindly follow the provisions of a code of conduct without considering the precise relevance to the project at hand. The knowledge required of an architect will generally be judged by the standard of the ordinary competent architect. However if an architect carries out the job of quantity surveyor he or she will be judged by the standards of a reasonably competent quantity surveyor…
Even seemingly small negligent errors or omissions by an architect may result in vast awards of damages if buildings must be reworked and rectified. Accordingly it is vital that architects take care and take particular heed of some of the common pitfalls set out above.
There are common areas of negligence by architects which frequently become the subject of litigation. Early legal advice and alternative dispute resolution can assist in damage limitation for architects. Architects should consider limiting their warranties.”
Architects and other registered professionals should familiarise themselves in detail on the legal implications of the new building regulations. Regarding the last sentence of the above advice note “Architects should consider limiting their warranties“, one of the main difficulties of the new regulations, for certifiers, is the word “certify” which is an absolute (see post here). Certifiers issue an unconditional guarantee for others work.
Some previous legal posts on aspects of BC(A)R SI.9 are listed here (click on title for post):