It is important to have the architect maintain a presence
during the actual construction of the project. This is done for many reasons:
unforeseen conditions may arise during the construction, design changes
may be requested by the owners, or cost saving opportunities may be presented
by the contractor. In addition the architect can and should review the
contractors requests for payment, should assist in the preparation
of the "punch list" at the end of the job, and should make sure
that all of the project close-out provisions have been attended to.
I usually arrange for a weekly site meeting where the owners and contractors
can share their observations and raise any important questions. This serves
as a way to promote ongoing involvement and communication amongst all
parties. In addition to the weekly meetings many small issues are resolved
by phone or fax.
Although many owners see this phase of the basic architectural services
to be optional or expendable, it is my experience that these services
are among the most important. As in any triangular relationship, communication
and proactive problem solving are of paramount importance. Ongoing involvement
by the architect during construction serves this end. I feel so strongly
about this point that I will decline to participate in projects where
this portion of the architect's basic services is deleted.