Building Failures Certified by Known Professional Architects

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Building Failures Certified by Known Professional Architects

Postby onq » Wed May 04, 2011 2:23 pm

I thought I'd kick off this thread as a "service to the public" - a bit like Automatic RIAI Registration.

Its intended to out the most dangerous and repetitive mis-certifiers of buildings in the world, not only in Ireland.

I'd like to limit the topic to matters already in the public domain to avoid any implications of interfering in due process for the site owner, Paul Clarkin and to bring a degree of Impartiality to this.

Here is my first choice, got fro ma link forwarded by a colleague this afternoon.

Daniel Libeskind.

http://m.bdonline.co.uk/news/libeskind- ... 87.article

I actually like Libeskind's work, but I had assumed that his ability to express tour-de-force designs was formly rooted in a thorough knowledge of building construction and compliant detailing and design.

This disaster of a relatively simple thing like a suspended ceiling makes me worry about the amazing fornt elevation of his Grand Canal Square theatre, and all those cladding systems turned through 45-and-60 degree angles - will they also fail spectacularly?

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Re: Building Failures Certified by Known Professional Archit

Postby missarchi » Wed May 04, 2011 10:41 pm

When you say certified is it not "substantially in compliance".
I'm sure everyone in the building industry has issues.
Clerk of works? Pools in the UK and Ireland have had some issues?
Buildings are to big and complicated to manage with a nano precision.
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Re: Building Failures Certified by Known Professional Archit

Postby onq » Sun May 08, 2011 3:05 pm

The term "substantial compliance" does not mean - "but the roof may fall down".

So let's stop making excuses and just post the links if you have them.

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Re: Building Failures Certified by Known Professional Archit

Postby onq » Sun May 08, 2011 3:23 pm

The term "substantial compliance" means inter alia "...saving and excepting such minor snag items as would not, in the opinion of the certifying architect, warrant the issuing of enforcement proceedings by the local authority."
Its a clever piece of wording, requiring the local authority to actually issue enforcement proceedings before one can denounce any architect who may have improperly certified a building or works.

Most Opinions are subject to "visual inspection" which inter alia means "visual inspections carried out on the dates specified in this Opinion... excludes works covered up or otherwise inaccessible on the date of inspection... no opening up works were carried out save where specifically referred to in this Opinion" or words to that effect.
So basically unless the defect was visually evident - i.e. "patent" and not "latent" on the date of inspection, and the local authority actually issues enforcement proceedings, the architect can continue to stand over his Opinion.

This is not as poor an approach as it might at first appear, because unless there is actually a clerk of works (almost unheard of on Irish building sites now) who is the client representative on site, there is no possibility of ongoing supervision.
Regardless of that fact, the Site Architect and Site Engineer and Clerk of Works together cannot see every single thing that goes on all over a building site so the term "supervision" never arises.
Also, it is incumbent on the designer to stand back from the built work - he is not paid to carry out this work, merely design the building and offer an Opinion a to whether the building substantially complies with this work.

I don't feel that this is enough - the main contractor and sub-contractors get paid the lion’s share of the money - vastly exceeding any fees an architect may earn.
Therefore the Main Contactor and Sub-Contractors, Suppliers, and Manufacturers/Installers should offer assurances as to the quality of the built work in the form of Guarantees or Company Certificates.
At the outset of the works they should be put on notice that they too must issue certificates and/or other assurances on behalf of their respective companies.

For these to have legal standing they must be a duly appointed officer or director of the company involved.
Instead of this being a common-sense and commonplace occurrence I fond that it is rarely seen.

On the contrary I have seen senior architects issuing Opinions prior to building completion.
Past time this sort of nonsense was rooted out of the Irish Building Industry.

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