A Code of Conduct for Contractors & Clients : #ArchitalksIE

This is the second blog post for #ArchitalksIE – an Irish only version of the #Architalks blogs. Where architects who blog post on a topic at the say day and time.

This post’s topic is A Code of Conduct for Contractors and Clients and I’m the blog ‘leader’ for this topic.

Registered architects have to adhere to a Code of Conduct – you can read the RIAI version HERE. But I am beginning to think that a version for Contractors and Clients should have something similar for their interaction with architects.

So here goes, this is what I think the key points should be; some of them are actually very similar to the RIAI versions:

1. Conduct:

Clients and Contractors should not exhibit any conduct which is disgraceful or dishonourable

Now, this would cover a lot of things; the examples below have actually happened to me:

* There should be no throwing of drawings around an architects office when you disagree with what they say

* You should not shout into an architect’s face when things are not going your way – remember building can be a difficult process and this doesn’t help anybody

* You should not intimidate or threaten your architect in any way

2. Honesty with budget

Clients should be clear about their budget from the outset. It’s no use telling an architect that your budget is €250,000 when near the end a magical €100,000 appears near the end. The house design and finish will vary with the budget – again this doesn’t help anyone when you are not upfront with your architect. Your architect has a duty of confidentiality to you and your affairs – think of them as a doctor – you can tell them anything.

3. Additional Professional Advice

Clients should take on the advice of the architects where additional professional advice is required. The services, for example, a Structural or Civil Engineer, EPA consultant, BER assessor etc… where recommended by the architect should be taken on as advised. These additional services are critical to the success of your project. the days of one person doing everything are over. If one person says they can do it all then there has to be something missing, somewhere. An engineer providing architectural services means your building may not be designed as well as it could be and an architect providing structural engineer services means that the combination of architecture and structure may be lacking.

More to follow and I’d love to hear anything that should be added by other architects.

You can read how other architects have interpreted this theme in the link(s) below:

Paul McNally – The Passivhaus Architecture Company – A Code of Conduct for Clients & Contractors

Zeno Winkens – Winkens Architecture – A Code of Conduct for Clients & Contractors

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