The following blog post was submitted on 12th May 2014 by a registered architect concerning recent draft documentation issued by the representative body for architects (RIAI) for members in April 2014. As far as we are aware only the representative body for engineers (ACEI) have issued other ancillary certifier documentation- as both RIAI and ACEI documents have similar wording, so suggestions noted may be applicable to ACEI documents also.
Post 1: Registered architect on Ancillary Cert (Design & Completion)
“S.I.9 IMPLEMENTATION PAPERS” ISSUED BY RIAI, APRIL 2014
Some comments by an architect who has advised PII insurers on defending claims against other architects and who wishes to help colleagues protect themselves.
ANCILLARY CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE: DESIGN : REV J: COMMENCEMENT / 7 DAY NOTICE – To be completed where the architect is not the Statutory Design Certifier (RED TOP)
ANCILLARY CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE: DESIGN : REV J: COMPLETION – To be completed by the architect (GREEN TOP)
Six points to consider, if you are thinking of using these draft documents.
- Be precise in how you describe the “building or works”. If it’s a shell-and-core job, you might want to say so. If you are doing a scheme of, say, 20 houses, your work and the dates these come to be certified may well not all be identical. You may need to prepare slightly different certificates for each house or group of houses. Likewise, if a job is phased – list the phase. This might reduce the danger that your cert ends up in the wrong file, with risks to yourself.
- We are designing those elements covered by our plans and specifications. You might think this is vague, as architects’ plans often show material which is in fact designed by others. Examples of this include: windows; fire doorsets; roof build-ups; structure; insulation specifications; balustrading. Building regulations can affect all these. To protect yourself, consider listing in detail what your certificate actually covers instead of just saying “elements covered by our plans”. This could be a really long list, but that’s all right, just make sure it goes no further than it should.
- Our plans have been prepared to demonstrate compliance. This sounds like you have prepared special drawings, the same as you do for a fire safety certificate application. To protect yourself, consider actually preparing such a set of plans and circulating them / having them audited / whatever. Otherwise, if somebody afterwards says “those plans do not demonstrate compliance”, would you think you might be in trouble. Or maybe look at a different wording for the certificate.
- Our design is contingent on the design by specialist suppliers and subcontractors. To protect yourself, consider listing what design you actually mean. Otherwise, you may find yourself defending a claim from a client or other person on the basis that you designed something you didn’t.
- Design by engineering and quantity surveying consultants. Clauses in a bill of quantities often embody design decisions, and the engineers do almost all foundations and structure. To protect yourself, consider including references to these people.
- Our design of those elements of the works for which we are responsible to the owner. This begs the question, are we responsible to other people for design of other elements of the works? And if the owner says you are responsible, where are you? For clarity and to protect yourself, consider rewording to something like “Our design of those elements of the works scheduled in detail above” might be more likely to keep you out of trouble.
Attached .jpeg RIAI (draft) forms mentioned above:
Attached .jpeg ACEI (draft) forms mentioned above:
NOTE: This series of “Registered Architect on…” posts are not meant to undermine or be in opposition to any professional advice from registered representative bodies: rather it is to offer additional technical aids to those that find themselves in the position of having to deal with SI.9 in it’s current form at present. As with all information posted on the Blog we urge all practitioners to check with their respective professional bodies before assuming any roles or duties under Building Control (Amendment) regulation (SI.9 of 2014). We hope this information that may be useful to professional implementers working within these new and difficult regulations.
If there are any registered engineers with similar concerns on ACEI documentation we would be interested in hearing from them also. At time of writing there are no SCSI/CIF (representative bodies for surveyors or builders) draft documents available to their members. As this is an opinion piece, we do not endorse or recommend any practices, interpretations or comments in this post. We suggest professionals contact their respective professional bodies with concerns or queries.