Post 5- Addendum to RIAI Contracts


The following blog post was submitted on 16th May 2014 by a registered architect concerning recent draft documentation issued by the representative body for architects (RIAI) for members. As far as we are aware only the representative body for engineers (ACEI) have issued ancillary certifier documentation. As this is an opinion piece, we do not endorse or recommend any practices, interpretations or duties in this post.

Other comment received on this post indicates that the Assigned Certifier/ Designer has no authority under the contract and there should be not mention of the Assigned Certifier or Design team? (remove all references); also that the Extension of Time clauses need to be amended.


Post 5: Addendum to RIAI Forms of Contract


Some comments by an architect who has advised PII insurers on defending claims against other architects and who wishes to help colleagues protect themselves.


Six points to consider, if you are thinking of using this draft document

  1. Design. The addendum sets out to make the contractor responsible for some of the design. No RIAI building contract has ever done this before. If you want to do this, you might want to think about the standard of design you seek and specify this. Otherwise, the contractor may claim for more money later, on the grounds that you didn’t tell him what standard (Building regs compliance? Appearance? Compliance with the brief?) you wanted. If operating S.I. 9, maybe you should change the contract to deal with this and protect yourself.
  2. Insurance. Contractor’s normal insurance policies exclude liability for design! So if you want the contractor to insure his design, you need to tell him that before he signs the contract. Otherwise, he may claim more money from your client. If operating S.I. 9, maybe you should change the contract to deal with this and protect yourself.
  3. Practical Completion. The architect certifies Practical Completion when, in the architect’s opinion, the building or works are ready to be taken over and used for their intended purpose. But what if the local authority rejects the new S.I. 9 Certificate of Completion? In that case, the building is ready but your client cannot occupy it. Who will pay for that? Not the builder, because he is entitled to be paid. Not the client – it wasn’t his fault. You? If operating S.I. 9, maybe you should change the contract to deal with this and protect yourself.
  4. Stage payments. To avoid having dozens or hundreds of test certificates to collect within five weeks of the building being ready, amend the contract to require these along the way before interim payment stages. Otherwise it will take you weeks to collect everything at the end and you will be caught between your client and the contractor.
  5. Training in life safety systems as required by law. If you specify this, be sure you know what it might cover. One way to approach it would be to specify the systems you mean – FDA, EL, Fire shutters, fall-arrest. But as not all of these require training by law, perhaps you should widen the Amendment document to say something like “Demonstration and training for the employer in life safety and personal protection systems as required by law and as scheduled in the tender documents”… or some such. Otherwise you may find that the contractor’s obligations may not amount to much.
  6. Different forms of contract. “Practical Completion” in the private sector documents is not the same as the “Substantial Completion” in the GCCC forms. You might want to reword the addendum in the appropriate terms.

Attached .jpeg forms mentioned above:

Draft Addendum to RIAI Forms of Contract Rev A


NOTE: This series of  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. We suggest professionals contact their respective professional bodies with concerns or queries.

Other Posts in the series:

Post 1: Architect’s Ancillary Cert (Design & Completion) –  click link here

Post 2: Architect’s Ancillary Cert (Inspection) – click link here

Post 3: Ancillary Completion Cert – Inspection (by others) – click link here

Post 4: Ancillary Certs Design – commencement & completion  (by others) – click link here