The standard of care for architecture firms refers to the level of skill, expertise, and diligence that is expected from architects and architectural firms in the industry. It represents the accepted professional practices and responsibilities that architects are expected to adhere to when providing architectural services to clients. AIA states in its contract documents the common law definition as follows:
“The Architect shall perform its services consistent with the professional skill and care ordinarily provided by architects practicing in the same or similar locality under the same or similar circumstances. The Architect shall perform its services as expeditiously as is consistent with such professional skill and care and the orderly progress of the project.”
The standard of care is typically determined by a combination of factors, including the prevailing practices within the architectural profession, industry standards, local building codes and regulations, and the specific contractual agreements between the architect and the client.
Architects are generally expected to possess the necessary knowledge, skills, and qualifications to design and oversee the construction of buildings and structures. They are expected to exercise reasonable care and use their professional judgment to provide services that meet the requirements and objectives of their clients while conforming to applicable laws and regulations.
If an architect or architecture firm fails to meet the standard of care, and as a result, the client suffers harm or financial loss, the architect or firm may be held liable for professional negligence. This could involve errors or omissions in design, failure to meet building codes or regulations, or inadequate supervision of construction, among other factors.
It’s important to note that the specific standard of care may vary in different jurisdictions and can be influenced by local laws, regulations, and customary practices. Architects and architecture firms often have professional liability insurance to help protect against claims arising from alleged breaches of the standard of care.
For more information about why the Standard of Care is important, visit AIA’s resources.