GBE Liability Alerts Code

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GBE Liability Alerts Code
Quotes


© RIBA Indemnity Research Ltd. Published in RIBA Journal (monthly magazine)


“Design‑build”

“If engaged by a Contractor to assist on or with any stage of work you must ascertain and restrict your liability in writing.
Architect’s Appointment should be used to reference the clauses which define the services you provide.
Responsibility for inherited design decisions should be specifically excluded.”

Liability Alert No.3


“LACK OF EXPERIENCE”

“A recent legal judgement has shown that
part of an Architect’s duty must be to
collect information about materials
or systems of which they lack
knowledge or experience and
then to form a view about them”

LIABILITY ALERT No.5
© RIBA Indemnity Research Ltd.


“LACK OF EXPERIENCE”

 “If an Architect feels that he or she cannot form a reliable opinion then the client must be advised to take additional specialist advice”

LIABILITY ALERT No.5
© RIBA Indemnity Research Ltd.


“WRITTEN REPLIES”

When asking directors of companies or suppliers or system designers to verify your intentions as reasonable, state that you place reliance upon their written replies and guidance.
In a recent legal case, Architects sued for £75,000 were able to recover the loss from the ‘director’ that misled them.

Liability alert No.14


“PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATES”

“Many suppliers claim conformity to
British Standards or other test standards
but have no certificates or
in house testing procedures.
If such is important, then ask for
the number and date of the certificate”

Liability alert No.  17


“PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATES”

 “If Agrément test certificates
are claimed, make sure
they are current and
relate to the proposed product,
not another in the range”

Liability alert No.  17


“COMMON SENSE IS NO DEFENCE”

“It is prudent to tell clients in
writing what to you may be obvious:
No building is perfect in perpetuity”

Liability alert No. 19


“All work is designed
in the expectation it will receive
regular future maintenance
which will accord with
good trade practice and
manufacturer’s recommendations”

 Liability alert No. 19


 “ARE FLAT ROOFS REALLY FLAT”

“Some failures of flat roof suggest that the design specification and detailed construction did not provide for adequate rainwater run‑off so roof ponding and flooding resulted.
Water exit points may not be cleaned regularly and the odd unfriendly visitation of objects like dead birds must be provided for.
Flashing details must be taken high enough and tucked deep enough to help resist wind driven rain penetration.”

Liability alert No.21


 “WARM DECK VERSES COLD DECK ROOFS”

When designing roofs to comply with the Building Regulations, remember to provide for ventilating the roof space beneath.
Claims based on condensation highlight this as a problem area.
Vapour barriers rather than vapour checks should be provided and fixed correctly.

Liability alert No.22 


 “LEAD SHEET IS STILL A LONG‑LIFE MATERIAL”

The Lead Development Association has provided helpful guidance in connection with claims involving lead problems.
Failure to ventilate the underside of lead work, particularly on roofs, can cause corrosion on the underside of the lead sheet due to condensation.
Also the omission of patination oil on the surface of new leadwork can result in unsightly white run off on to darker materials below the lead.
Both potential problems can be avoided.

Liability alert No.23 


 “DON’T FALL DOWN ON FOLLOW UP”

“Innovative design to be successful requires adequate research”

Liability alert No. 30


 “Innovative materials tend to be launched
without adequate testing
or their virtues over emphasised
and possible failings played down”

Neil Pepperell MD
RIBA Liability Research Ltd.
Liability alert No. 30


 “Healthy cynicism as to life in-use performance can prevent claims for negligent specification”

Liability alert No. 30 

“Seek specific reassurance about product performance claims
from directors of supply companies
and state in writing you are placing reliance upon their advice”

 Liability alert No. 30


“RECORD BREAKERS”

Liability is derived from professional duty of care being owed and proof that breach of that duty gave rise to damage, injury or loss.
To avoid PI claims, clarify the services you have agreed to provide, avoid involvement in things you ought not to do and keep clear records to prove it.
To develop a supporting quality management system, explain what you do, do what you say and keep clear records to prove it.

Liability alert No.32


“”THERMAL INSULATION”

“Thermal insulation does not function effectively when its inner face is ventilated to outside air.
This condition occurs with partial cavity fill where the insulation is not bedded solidly onto the face of the inner leaf.
Problems occur with loft insulation draped over ceiling joists leaving voids below the insulation.
Discontinuities in insulation lead to cold bridging and this impaired thermal performance can create localised condensation points .
Failure to achieve the required “energy label” leads to increased heating costs and may incur  liability.”

Liability alert No.36


“In the touchy and litigious
world of building design,
ignorance is no excuse”

Neil Pepperell MD
RIBA Liability Research Ltd.


Quality Assurance

“Say what you do,
do what you say
keep records to prove it”

Liability Alert No.32
Neil Pepperell MD
RIBA Liability Research Ltd.


“….but the main lesson I learned here
[whilst inventing the ‘Turboblock’]
was about how Architects specify.
Most people specifying Blockwork didn’t know the product.
It could be dense, light, aggregate, whatever.
To Architects a block was a block.”

Neil Pepperell MD
RIBA Liability Research Ltd.


“If you don’t know
what’s in the material
you end up putting
things side by side
that don’t like each other.”

Neil Pepperell MD
RIBA Liability Research Ltd.


“You must interrogate the data”

Neil Pepperell MD
RIBA Liability Research Ltd.


Performance Standards:

“Unless workmanship and performance
are defined as part
of the Contract Documents.
then any control over the end result
becomes entirely speculative.”

Neil Pepperell MD
© RIBA Indemnity Research Ltd.


© GBE NGS ASWS Brian Murphy aka BrianSpecMan *
31st January 2013 – 17th August 2019

GBE Liability Alerts Code
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© RIBA Indemnity Research Ltd. Published in RIBA Journal (monthly magazine)


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© GBE NGS ASWS Brian Murphy aka BrianSpecMan *
31st January 2013 – 17th August 2019

GBE Liability Alerts Code
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© GBE NGS ASWS Brian Murphy aka BrianSpecMan *
31st January 2013 – 17th August 2019

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