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    wallabee4's Avatar
    wallabee4 Posts: 294, Reputation: 19
    Full Member

    Feb 27, 2008, 11:16 AM
    Architect familiar with B141 and arbitration article 7
    If my contract w/ my architect (AIA Document B141 article 7 section 7.1) says 'claims, disputes, or other matters in question... arising out of or relating to this agreement or breach therof shall be... decided by... arbitration association... ' can you tell me if that includes a case where the local licensing board has found my architect incompetent and the local engineering board has found him fraudulent sinece he is saying he is an engineer without a license? Is that 'breach of contract'? Or does this actually fall outside the realm of the contract and so we don't have to bother with arbitration for this?

    We have found the home design he made for us to have glaring miscalculations (such as he thinks there are 27 sq feet in a square yard) and lack necessary details in engineering plans (no rebar schedule drawn for an ICF construction where we have large glass areas to span) and an engineered truss he designed that we found out isn't unsafe but is massively larger, more expensive than needed (he overcompensated since he didn't really know what he was doing) and several fraudulent calculations in a cost schedule he made for us where for example he doesn't count the # or sizes of windows correctly and uses again his 'new math' of 27 sq ft per sq yard.

    amricca's Avatar
    amricca Posts: 851, Reputation: 92
    Senior Member

    Feb 27, 2008, 11:37 AM
    So the Architect did the Structural Engineering too? This should have been done by a registered Engineer, as is requuired in most jurisdictions. Do you have a Contractor bid the job? Where are you in the process, under construction? You may have to go to Arbitration, this is why Architects should have errors and ommisions insurance.
    wallabee4's Avatar
    wallabee4 Posts: 294, Reputation: 19
    Full Member

    Feb 27, 2008, 12:29 PM
    We are owner contracting and have been finding one problem after another as we go to get bids--haven't even gone for permit to build yet, as we doubt we'll get it. Not even sure how far his design exceeds out budget yet, as he gave us figures like $650 to put top quality carpet into 3 bedrooms--since he used that creative math method. If all his calcs were on this, we figure the house actually costs 3 times what he says. The board incompetency finding we recently learned about. He gave us an entire set of builders plans. Includes ICF layout but just shows blocks. Floor and roof farming he also has, which is where this truss comes in. He has no engineer working for him, but made a big point of telling us how he himself would personally come to our site to help with the site-built truss for the large open floor plan he'd designed.
    amricca's Avatar
    amricca Posts: 851, Reputation: 92
    Senior Member

    Feb 27, 2008, 12:38 PM
    I would never design a house without a Structural Engineer. Does the jurisdiction you will be submitting to require a Engineer? You will have problems in the construction phase if the plans are as bad as they sound.
    WalkerArchitect's Avatar
    WalkerArchitect Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Dec 19, 2010, 08:24 PM
    I am a licensed Architect in the State of Washington. I often do structural calculations myself and just as frequently I engage a structural engineer; depends upon the job and the nature of the structural problem. A licensed architect should be capable of basic math and for many structural problems basic math is all that is required to size the structure appropriately. The ARE exam requires a knowledge of structural analysis be demonstrated to pass the ARE examination. In any event the contract may have made the Architect responsible for structural engineering or then again it may have made the owner responsible for engaging and paying the structural engineer. If the Architect has made a false claim he is liable for damages. From my perspective a professional engineer is a licensed engineer. The architect is misleading if he says he is an engineer without a license, better to say he is not an engineer because he does not have a license. The point is that he made no claim of being a licensed engineer.

    The B141 has a multitude of contract versions and it is impossible for me to comment on the arbitration clause without knowing which contract was actually used. The language however is similar to a B151 1997 which has a title over ARTICLE 7 "DISPUTE RESOLUTION" 7.1 MEDIATION and 7.2 is ARBITRATION and the language there is very similar to the paraphrased version above.

    In either a B141 or a B151 the Architect has a contract and a duty to meet only the responsibilities of the contract he/she signed. To make comment we would want to see the contract that was signed and examine it. The conclusions that the Architect is at fault in the above paragraphs are certainly unjustified and represent premature judgement, at best. Very few Architects are declared incompetent by the licensing board without a successful prosecution of a case by the court. Licensing boards simply do not make such rulings on their own without a formal process, and that typically follows a courts decision.

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