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Report examines supposed conflict between good design and effective cost management

Report examines supposed conflict between good design and effective cost management

Contract provisions can help architects and contractors reduce tension.


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | August 11, 2022
Effective Design
Courtesy Pexels.

A report by the American Institute of Architects and the Associated General Contractors of America takes a look at the supposed conflict between good design and effective cost management, and why it causes friction between architects and contractors.

“The ‘hard bid’ relationship is structured to be confrontational,” according to an architect quoted in the report. “The architect does not have the time or [get paid a] fee to show scope completely or to fully coordinate the project. The GC is required to bid low to get the project, then exploit information gaps in bid documents to improve profitability.”

Construction attorneys say that contract provisions can help bridge this collaboration gap, according to an article at Construction Dive. Ideally, architects would specify every material and component for a project, but with limited budgets and time, architects can’t do that. As a result, contractors have to fill in the gaps, and often have to go back to the architect with RFIs.

One contract solution would be to pay architects through an additional services provision for time spent responding to RFIs. This could be accompanied by a contract clause requiring architects to respond in a set time frame or face a financial penalty.

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