Contact Observation

What does this mean? This is the Architect or Designer observing the contract between the client and builder. It is a contract directly between the client and builder, but the Architect or Designer is engaged to offer support to the builder and client on-site, to bring their experience, skills, and advice to overcome any issues found on site.

Common misconceptions are that a Designer or Architect should answer any phone calls from the builder regarding issues on-site if not engaged past building consent. If not engaged past Building Consent, any Architect or Design is not obligated to respond to queries passed achieving Building Consent. Some do because they are emotionally invested in the project and generally want the best for their clients, but recent Health and Safety regulations are making this risky, so there is a trend towards not to volunteer assistance at this point unless engaged to do so.  This process of contact observation is particularly good, almost critically required, for alterations, as when the structure is revealed, there often some surprises. Another benefit provided is that additional detail not required to achieve building consent can be provided as and when needed.

If you are the type of client to change your mind often or are limited with time, this can offer much-needed support and assurance during the build process. This is also the opportunity to take your project from good to great. It is about making the best use of the skills and knowledge available to you for benefits you couldn’t imagine.

To learn more about Site Observation cilck HERE

To get a better undestanding of the process I use, click HERE to go to the process page, where there is more links to some additonal resources.


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Prefab NZ Member    Licenced Building Practitioner    New Zealand Green Building Council
Duotone Design