Case Study Legal Issues and Ethics Case Study Class Exercise – Excelsior Writers |
Excelsior Writers |

Case Study Legal Issues & Ethics Case Study Class Exercise

Background Information

– An architect was asked to design a shopping center in a suburban community

– Although not as large, the client had completed several similar projects

– The architect recognized that the project could be profitable opportunities

– The architect’s previous experience was limited to residential projects, including the client’s home

– The program called for 34,000 square feet of retail space

– For reference, the client provided drawings and specifications from similar previous projects

– The client also had in-house staff to assist with cost estimation, material and system selections,

bidding and negotiation with contractors, and project supervision

– The architect was advised that he developer’s staff would manage construction contract

administration. So, the architect did not provide construction phase services

– The architect and owner signed a standard AIA B101 – 2007 contract with the architect’s fee

based on a percentage of the construction cost.

– The architect completed the work as contracted and, through the mechanical engineer, specified

mechanical systems recommended by the client

– The structural engineer relied on the soil test provided by the client

– The project proceeded appropriately, the architect performed the requested services, produced

the required construction drawings and was paid as agreed

Project Issues

– When the project was put out to bid, costs exceeded the owner’s expectations by 30%

– The owner asked the architect to redesign the project to bring it in on budget without providing

guidance for making the necessary program changes to reduce costs

– The architect explained to the owner that in the current market, price escalations on material and

labor were to be expected and a reduction in scope would be necessary to reduce the budget

– The owner decides to build the project as originally drawn but the only compensates the architect

for work based on the original expectations (30% less than the bids)

– Following completion and for the next two years after occupancy, there were continual problems

with the mechanical systems. Constant repairs were required and, after two years, all main airhandling

units were replaced.

– Cracks in the ceramic floor tiles in several retail spaces were evidence of cracks in concrete

slabs. Although the cracks were not substantial, they resulted in tenant complaints.

– The owner blamed the architect for the problems, demanded compensation to correct the

problems with the concrete slab and the mechanical systems.

– Refusing to pay, the architect indicated that the owner was responsible for all building issues,

stating that the owner did not build the project exactly as it was designed

Answer the Following Questions (as appropriate, use AIA B101 – 2007 as a basis for responses):

– What would be an appropriate method of resolving this dispute? Why?

– Is the owner entitled to compensation? Why/Why not?

– As an architect, how would you handle this situation?

– By not providing construction phase services, what risks did the architect encumber?

– Identify and describe three specific services the architect failed to provide. What risks did the architect

encumber for this decision?

– Ethically, what should have been differently from the architect’s perspective? Why?

ORDER NOW – Excelsior Writers |