The roles of the Owner’s Representative, the architect and the contractor are distinct. Any confusion on these roles will only increase the chance of “dropped balls,” missed opportunities, and things that could have been done better. Synthesis, in general, has primary management responsibility for and coordinates all aspects of the project. However, the architect remains responsible for the design and meeting the design schedule, just as the builder remains responsible for the means and methods of construction and for meeting the construction schedule.
During the design process, we at Synthesis apply our architectural and engineering backgrounds to help identify potential coordination problems, constructability issues and unneeded costs, thereby developing better, more economical and innovative solutions. Similarly, if a construction manager is used, they will be asked to weigh in on all aspects of the design. This review does not absolve the design team of ultimate responsibility for the design but it has proven to result in more successful projects.
We participate in all meetings during the design process including an early code review meeting with the local jurisdiction and the architect to identify expectations regarding key design features and regulatory requirements. We continuously review the design information and documents and offer comments for the design team to consider regarding issues that are important to the project’s success, including where appropriate:
- Value engineering/opportunities for cost reduction
- Accessibility and maintainability
- Energy efficiency and codes
- Life safety standards in design
- Cost efficiency in design and construction
- Quality and completeness of Construction Documents