April 23 - April 27, 2018

A recent blog on the role of architects states, "As a professional providing a service, an architect's first duty is to his or her client, with a supplementary duty to the public for safety and welfare." Do you agree?

Answers Votes
Yes 57%
No 30%
Other (please respond in the comments) 13%

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Tagged categories: Architects; Asia Pacific; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Good Technical Practice; Latin America; North America

Comment from Sheldon Wolfe, (4/24/2018, 10:47 AM)

The architect's duty to the client includes the requirements expressed in codes and law; they are inseparable, at least in the US. State licensing laws require compliance with codes and law, as do contract documents issued by AIA and similar organizations. In contrast, "duties" to save the planet or address social problems that are not legal requirements are subservient to the primary duty to the client, and can be addressed only with the knowledge and concurrence of the client.

Comment from Elias Saltz, (4/24/2018, 3:35 PM)

Thanks, Sheldon. That aligns with the point I was making in my blog.

Comment from Michael Halliwell, (4/26/2018, 12:55 PM)

I'll have to go "yes and no" on this one. I don't know how it is in all jurisdictions, but I do know a few. In those jurisdictions, both architects and engineers are self-governing and the obligation to safeguard the public and make clients aware of issues that could impact public safety are included in the corresponding legislations. Yes, by contract the engineer or architect has a legal obligation to their client, but by practicing engineering or architecture they also have a legally enshrined obligation to the public. It is part of why architectural and engineering ethics can be such a minefield. When working on a project, the architect or engineer shouldn't be doing something to put the public at risk (obligation to the public). If they find something that does, then they need to inform the client (obligation to the client). If the client doesn't care about the concern / won't change it, then there is an obligation to protect the public (to the point of disclosure, public obligation overriding the obligation to the client). So, it's a yes and no in my books.

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