Logan Architectural Consulting (LAC) offers a variety of risk management consulting services to assist its clients in mitigating design and construction defects which commonly lead to disputes and potential litigation. These services generally include:
- Peer Review of Design/Construction Documents
- Building Code and Accessibility Review
- Contract(s) Review
- Construction Observations
Professional peer reviews are typically performed throughout the design development phases of a project in an endeavor to mitigate if not eliminate the potential for design related defect claims. The errors and omissions of architects and engineers are often called into question when damages or failures are observed. Historically, the majority of defects identified include a lack of detailing or improper detailing regarding the building-envelope components. Additional areas however include non-compatibility of differing materials, insufficient information, lack of proper coordination between disciplines, nonconformance with manufacturer’s recommendations, and nonconformance with applicable building codes.
Although the damages and failure caused by design defects or deficiencies can be corrected once identified, it is extremely costly and typically results in legal claims against the design professionals. The best time to mitigate potential defects and deficiencies in the design and construction documents is during the design development phases. Third-party peer reviews is a highly recognized approach to ensuring that adequate and proper detailing and information is contained within the construction documents prepared for permitting and construction purposes.
Building Code and Accessibility Review
Throughout the design development phases of any project, building code compliancy is extremely vital in maintaining a project’s budget and schedule. Noncompliant design can cause costly delays during the permitting process and in the field. Understanding the codes and acceptable interpretations will greatly reduce unnecessary delays and potential claims.
LAC provides a variety of code consulting services including architectural plan review and reviews of isolated issues. It is sometimes necessary to develop alternative methods due to complex situations regarding existing conditions. It is not always possible to modify the existing conditions in such a manner that the final product will reflect the exact or most common interpretation of the code(s). When these situations arise, LAC will work closely with the client and the Authorities Having Jurisdiction to develop a creative, compliant solution.
Most architects and other construction professionals have some practical experience in Contract Management. This experience typically includes the drafting of an Agreement, negotiations, and executing the agreed-to terms and conditions. It is far too common however for most design professionals to either develop a custom-form agreement once for a specific project then continue to use the agreement for each subsequent project, or to utilize an inappropriate standard-form agreement as published by the various professional organizations. In either case, the exposure for the professional tends to be out-of-balance with the project type and services.
LAC offers contract review services to design and construction professionals to provide assistance in effective Contract Management, mitigating potential claims, and in minimizing liability exposure. LAC will meet with the client to discuss the project’s parameters, the professional’s scope-of-work, and to provide recommendations regarding project delivery methods, the use of appropriate standard forms, and questionable contract language.
The construction observation and evaluation process has historically been one of a ‘team’ concept. The common understanding is that observations of a typical project will be performed by multiple parties including architects, engineers, contractors, building department inspectors, testing and observation agencies, and where required, special inspectors. Although it appears that the observation and inspection process should be well covered, it is not uncommon for certain ares of the construction process to be overlooked, resulting in substandard work, eventual damage, and lengthy legal claims.
LAC offers construction observation services as a third-party consultant to assist in ensuring that the proper observations and inspections are being performed and to provide assistance in ensuring the construction is in accordance with the approved drawings and specifications and also to mitigate the potential for construction related claims.