Client, Architect Agreement- A lecture by Ar. Ejaz Ahed
On Friday, July 5th, 2019, IAP-Karachi Chapter organized a lecture at the Marriott Hotel, Karachi, in which they invited Ar. Ejaz Ahed to speak and shed some light on a very important topic ‘Client, Architect Agreement’.
In his lecture, Ar. Ejaz Ahed spoke about the rights, obligations and liabilities of the Architect in a project. The lecture consisted of very interesting stories from his years of experience in the field. He discussed some of the failures in the construction projects and how the Architect was once wrongly blamed when the roof of some building fell down. He said that even today, people’s perspective of the Architect is that of the builder.
In Pakistan, Engineers and Architects sign a form with the Building Control Authority that we would supervise the project but in this whole scenario, the contractor doesn’t even exist. He also emphasized that the definition of the word ‘supervision’ must be checked and revised and whole perception of supervision is something that we need to revisit in bye laws and convince the building control authority that the Architects do observation. They observe. An architect’s responsibility is to observe and report. Pakistan is the only country where the contactor doesn’t sign the agreement. Question was raised that, “what responsibility does a contractor have?”
He further added that, “In other countries, before a contractor is hired for a project, he is supposed to submit all the shop drawings, but in Pakistan, nothing of that sort exists.”
After putting forward some examples of failures and mistakes of some of the construction projects in one-third of the lecture, he also focused on the causes of these failures/ liabilities.
“When you analyse some problem, you look at the roots from where the problem is coming”, saying this, Ar. Ejaz Ahed, discussed the state of Architectural education in the country.
He mentioned that the state of Architectural Education is neither current not credible to today’s needs. It continues to be based on the model of the Architect as an Elite Professional Independent and superior to the building industry and always aspiring to be a genius. Architectural education teaches nothing about managing business or getting new commissions.
In the two-third of the lecture, the owner’s rights and obligations were discussed stating and clearing out some important points and misconceptions that are normally being practiced in the field.
The latter consisted of the duties and responsibilities of the Architect, which included some of the key points like,
“The Architect shall perform its services as expeditiously as is consistent with such professional skill and care and the orderly progress of the project. The Architect who fails to exercise reasonable care may be held liable for professional negligence.”
The lecture also shed light on the scope of Architect’s basic services before construction and the services during construction.
The seminar was concluded on some important notes and advices from the Architect Ejaz Ahed, stating that it is important to note that Architects provide services not products. Even when exercising his reasonable professional judgement, an architect might be mistaken.
Unfortunately, buildings cannot be pre-tested and guaranteed they will work as planned, so “Build your dream, but beware of liability”