Are you a Developer or an Architect undertaking a project? Cassidy Forsythe explains the importance of picking the right team with the right qualifications
So you have just won a great new project, but do you have the right team in place?
As a fully qualified Architect we understand that you have spent a lot of time at university and you probably have lots of experience in producing great new buildings and developments.
However, whilst you were at university I wonder how much time you spent on highway design or drainage design. If you do not get the horizontal and vertical alignment correct on your site you could be faced with problems such as not being able to get heavy goods vehicles onto your site or not being able to enter or leave the site safely.
With regards to the drainage design you could have water standing on your new access road or water not draining away from your site.
You probably realise that if you don’t get your highway design correct the Local Authority won’t adopt it, however did you realise that even if the Local Authority adopts your road the designer could still be liable if there are any accidents on your road.
It would seem right that if a building falls down due to poor design carried out by unqualified people then the designer would finish up in court and may face some serious jail time. However, you may not realise or understand that if the highway design is deemed to be a contributory factor to an accident the designer can be prosecuted if his designs are sub-standard.
Therefore, my message is stick to your own discipline and do not attempt to take on a design which you are not qualified to undertake. All professional people, including Architects and Engineers will have Professional Indemnity insurance. Do you realise that your insurance is at risk if you try to do work you are not qualified to do? Even if you are insured, a clever Barrister would take you apart if you are operating outside of your field.
The right qualifications
So, before you undertake any design ask yourself – am I qualified to do this work?
If you aren’t then team up with somebody who is qualified and stick to your own area of expertise. I understand that you may think it is a simple task and you may be saving a few pounds, but are you really prepared to go to court and risk being taken apart by the clever Barrister, with the potential consequences?
A good highway designer will have the right software to carry out the design to the agreed standard, which you may not have. A good highway designer should be able to produce a federated model which would include your building model and all of the external works, including drainage and utilities.
So, get a partner to do the work you are not qualified to do and avoid the risks – you know it makes sense.
Martin Young FIHE MCIHT MAPM MCMI ACIArb