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U.K. Board Suspends Three Architects

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

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Failing to control the costs of a project and building in breach of planning permissions and regulations have resulted in suspensions for three U.K. architects, according to authorities.  

The Architects Registration Board’s Professional Conduct Committee in London handed down the decisions in late August, citing “unacceptable professional conduct.”

The Architects Registration Board (ARB) is the statutory regulator of 34,500 registered architects in the U.K.

‘Serious Failures’

Architects Colin Simpson and William Crichton, of Crichton & Simpson Architects based in Glasgow, Scotland, were each issued a 12-month suspension order from the Register of Architects on Aug. 23.

The board found that the architects committed a number of “wide-ranging and serious” failures involving a redevelopment project in 2012.

© / ALotofPeople

The architects were found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

After eight days of deliberations and evidence the committee found both Crichton and Simpson guilty of failing to:

  • Control the costs of the project (which had a budget of £100,000 ($130,389 USD);
  • Confirm that the building works had been carried out to an acceptable standard;
  • Instruct the contractor to rectify defects and damage;  and
  • Issue sufficient notes of site visits.

The board also found that Crichton "had issued a certificate of practical completion despite there being significant outstanding defects; the work not complying with building regulations; approval not being gained for a warrant amendment; and an insufficient sum being retained for remedial work."

“Although neither architect had previously had any disciplinary finding made against them in careers spanning decades, nor personally gained from their failings, they were experienced professionals who had knowingly failed in their obligations and caused substantial inconvenience and financial loss to their client,” the board said in announcing the disciplinary action.

Missing Expectations, Lacking Oversight

In a separate case, Stephen Algar of Algar Design Ltd., based in Berkshire, England, was suspended for 18 months, during a hearing before the committee on Aug. 25.

The complaint against Algar arose after the owner of a flat designed and built by Algar in 2003 raised allegations that the property, which had developed structural issues, had been built in breach of planning permission and building regulations.

The board found that Algar failed to:

  • Submit a compliant Building Regulations Application;
  • Comply with the terms of planning permission;
  • Ensure that the building works were correctly completed to a standard required for a residential conversion; and
  • Adequately supervise the contractor on site.

Specifically, the board said the application for Building Regulations had not indicated the property was to be used as a two-bedroom flat. Further, the board received expert witness evidence that the construction of the building fell far short of Building Regulations compliance in the areas of structure, fire-safety, damp, ventilation and thermal and sound requirements.

Algar admitted that his supervision of the contractor was lacking, the board reported.

In finding Algar guilty of unacceptable professional conduct, the board found that the architect had knowingly allowed planning permission and Building Regulations to be breached, and yet taken no steps to ensure that those breaches were remedied.

“While he had engaged with the disciplinary process, his insight into his failings was limited and those failings had created direct and serious consequences for others involved,” the board said.


Tagged categories: Architects; Business matters; Color + Design; Education; Enforcement; Ethics; Europe; Licensing; Regulations; Worker training

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