The Kenyan architect is governed by regulations that stipulate how one should exercise their architectural duties in the course of building in Kenya. As each profession is governed by a code of practice that defines how things should be done in it, so it is with the profession of architects in Kenya. This article delves the second phase of building projects whereby one is constructing the building. This stage of a project is referred to by Kenyan architects as the post contract phase.
The Kenyan Architect – Process of Post Contract Works
The Kenyan architect is responsible to supervise the construction of a building in basic terms. Various processes are undertaken with this regard, and one must be versed with the technical procedures of providing supervision. It is important to note that while the architect is responsible to provide regular supervision on a building project, they are not required to be on a site continuously, unless this is being treated as a special part of the work, normally referred to as being a resident architect.
One of the most basic requirements contractually that need to be religiously adhered to by the Kenyan architect is the fact that every instruction in the process of construction must be put in writing. Even verbal instructions to the parties administering a contract must be verified in writing. This becomes especially vital at the point where one is required to arbitrate on claims on a project. The process of governing such arbitration relies heavily on documentary evidence. In addition the documentary evidence must be time based and should respect the project hierarchy.
Some of the tasks that are provided by the Kenyan architect during the post contract stage are summarized as follows.
Post Contract Services Executed By The Kenyan Architect
a) Administering the Contract
Administration of the contract and inspection of the works including, design, site meetings (to a maximum of two meetings per month) as appropriate, supplying information, checking claims and issuing certificates, negotiating variations and cost adjustments and dealing with claims for extensions of time and other matters included in the building contract.
b) Detailed Supervision
- Providing regular, persistent and continuous supervision on site during construction and ex-site during fabrication or assembly.
- Where more frequent or constant inspection is required a Clerk of Works shall be employed. He shall be nominated or approved by the Architect, and be under the Architect’s direction and control. He shall be appointed and paid by the Client or alternatively may be employed by the Architect who shall be reimbursed by the client.
- Where the employment of a resident architect is agreed he shall be employed by the Architect who shall be reimbursed by the client.
- Providing drawings showing significant changes made in the work during construction, either re-drawn or marked-up drawings and/or other data appropriate.
- Providing maintenance manuals for buildings, services and plant.
- Providing assistance in the utilisation of systems and equipments, initial start-up and testing, adjustment and balancing, training of personnel and consultations.
- Making periodic maintenance inspections, warranty reviews, estimations for insurance, operational reviews, approving and coordinating special tenant requirements.
- Research, correspondence, discussion and management in providing post design services.
c) Record Drawings, Maintenance and/or Guideline Manuals
d) Commissioning Assistance
e) Services during Defects Liability Period
f) Administrative Services
Particular Areas That The Kenyan Architect Must Note;
At the end of a project, the Kenyan architect goes through a process where the building reverts to the total control and maintenance of the developer. This stage is referred to as commissioning of a project. There are intensive inspections required at this level in order to ensure that a building has been constructed according to the specifications that the architect provided.
The process of dealing with defects at the end of a construction is usually a major challenge for the Kenyan architect. This process of laboriously inspecting the building to ensure that there is no defective item on it must be thorough and ruthless. Following this process, the Defects Liability Period which is also part of the post contract stage commences.
It may be better to have the contractor provide adequate time on their contract to finalize this part of his work, as there often tends to be major conflicts with clients when their projects do not comply with the specifications that they were told to expect by the architect and other consultants.
The Pre Contract and Post Contract Stages of a Kenyan Architect’s Work
Broadly put, the design stage is classified as the pre-contract stage whereby the architect carries out design and documentation work, in preparation for the construction of a building. In the post contract stage or building stage, the Kenyan architect supervises the construction of the building project by a building contractor according to their designs and specifications.