Case study #1
In this case study, the story itself exposes many potential problems in both communication level and operation level. Along with this accident happened, we can briefly summarize the problem in three areas. It includes the market contract order is fuzzy and chaotic, the behavior of market entities is not standardized, and the project cannot be implemented in accordance with planned standards. (I believe the markets can metaphorize the relationship between owners and contractors).
In the division of roles among the three parties(Owner, Architect, Contractor), the architect has an employment relationship with the owner and the owner has another employment relationship with the contractor. In this case study, the architect and the contractor have not assumed the same division of work. Both sides of the Architect and the Contractor have no direct connection and the partnership, even though both sides are working with the same owner. And, although in today’s complex building construction field, architects are increasingly playing a communication role between building investors( Owner or Developer) and professional contractors. In addition, the Architect has to coordinate the structure, hydropower and HVAC systems. However, in this case, or under professional regulation, Architects are usually hired by and responsible to construction owners or developers rather than construction contractors. For Architects in all kind of the situation, the safety will always be the first priority.
By reviewing this accident event, we understand the owner excessively believes in the commitments made by the contractor and knows the contractor’s illegal operation process. Based on trust is the personal emotion between the owner and contractor. This directly caused the project to became ambiguity and disorder. The contractor’s irregular suggestion of the prescription of the concrete construction shouldn’t be accepted by the owner because the owner believes it can reduce the cause. At the same time during the construction period, no concrete required tests were taking. In fact, that resulting in irregulate behavior and standards. All of these changed the original accordance with the planned order from Architect. The result is that the structure is not strong enough to support allowable structural loads.
In solution, I believe the owner and contractor clarify the rights and responsibilities. Then to Standardize the orders and behavioral operations. According to the NYC department of the building (https://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/business/local-laws.page Page for all the local law) “Local Law 119 of 2019 (Int. No. 1533-A) A Local Law to amend the New York city building code, in relation to the definition of site safety training full compliance date and site safety training second compliance date.”, the site training of workers is required. Also based on the NYC department of the building, “NYC building code 2014 chapter 19-Concrete”, in general regulation, the training should slump test and the cylinder test. Also in “New York City Local Law 10 of 1980” “The City mandated that owners of applicable buildings have their street façades and appurtenances periodically inspected by a licensed Registered Architect or Professional Engineer and that a Report based on this periodic critical examination must be filed with the Department of Buildings.” I believe that local law can be also used in this condition. It is required the licensed architect and engineer should take directly immediately responsible for a water tightness of the exterior surfaces after certified by the commissioner by identity the Structure is safe, safe with a repair and maintenance program or unsafe. which must report the status to the department and categorized when the structure is in unsafety conditions. Also, the result must be notifying the owner. The committee has the power to override may grant an extension of time of up to ninety days to complete the repairs required to correct an unsafe condition, unless unsafe conditions shall be corrected within thirty days. After that, the licensed architect and engineer should take the same response within two weeks after repairs to correct the unsafe condition until it has been completed. The requirements of all the provisions are only for existing buildings, and I think that the buildings under construction can be rebuilt if necessary. At the same time, if the defect can be compensated, I think that the part that needs to be replaced must be replaced, including all parts that do not meet the requirements during the inspection process. Finally, there are corresponding filings. All this requires the owner’s measurement and the contractor’s responsibility. Also related to the law, I suggest our architects explain clearly to the owner and contractor about the illegal risks. For example the New York City “Local Law 111 of 2019 (Int. No. 1257-A) A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to inspections of construction sites for which the department of buildings has issued a permit.” and the New York City “Local Law 104 of 2019 (Int. No. 975-A) A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to denying building permits where a residential building has an excessive number of violations.” to prevent this case happen again.
Submitted by: Zhenhao Huang