Small Commercial/Residential doesn't need Arch Stamp


If a Small Commercial or Residential project requires structural or MEP drawings + engineering stamps, why would the project not be required to have the permit drawings stamped by an architect?

Mar 20, 18 2:22 pm
Non Sequitur

because of reasons.

Mar 20, 18 2:24 pm

It is up to the local jurisdiction and the state, It may be that the scope of the work only involved MEP and structural work, for example replacing a roof top HAVAC unit would, in some jurisdictions, not require an architect to stamp the drawings, but the structural engineer would need to sign off on the load imposed by the HVAC unit even if this project involved an architect. If it is a simple replace or upgrade job it probably is less expensive for the client to only retain the services of the professionals needed for the job and not add an architect to the mix if their services are not necessary. 

Over and OUT

Peter N

Mar 20, 18 3:06 pm

Because the Architect is not necessary. Which is a very different thing then the Architect provides no value. Which is why there are plenty of people who work on these types of projects where an Architect is not required. You should consult a certain RB


"Registered Bullshitter"?


*talking construction permits for single family homes, multi family homes, warehouses, small commercial ground-ups; not MEP additions.

By leaving design and interpretation of the IBC/IRC to a contractor, layman or building code reviewer doesn't equate to adding value or negating necessity

Mar 21, 18 9:27 am
Non Sequitur

What's you point? There are not enough architects and too many small residential / commercial projects for this to make sense.


That's like saying there aren't enough dentists and too many people.... you would still get your dental work through the dentist

The "architect" profession is being poached by free lance drafters, developers, layman and contractors. It has come to be considered a non-essential professional service; where as engineers, accountants, doctors, and lawyers benefit much more from being essential professional services.

I am trying to figure out an actual why it isn't an essential professional service across all mediums of construction.

Mar 21, 18 9:52 am
Non Sequitur

Because dentists are necessary for public health. Everybody needs a dentist. Not everybody needs an Architect... and certainly no developer, or home buyer, will want to pay a premium on their mass-produced suburban box just because some think architects are essential to that level of construction. Stop equalling architects with doctors and lawyers.

Not all construction, such as maintenance, MEP, Plumbing, window replacement, roof replacement or wiring upgrades requires an architect, requiring one would just add to the cost of these projects with little value for the building owner. We Architects are not in a position to insist we take a piece of the fee for every kind of project because we think we are entitled to it. Advocating for this through legislation is likely going to backfire.

Non Sequitur

Peter, although you're obviously correct, I feel the OP is referring to typical track housing and strip-mall development... probably with the tired and old view that everything would be nicer and less shitty if someone forced architects to be involved.

The look and aesthetic quality of typical track housing and strip malls has more to do with the client than the design professionals involved in the project. Local jurisdictions are realizing that if they leave things up to developers they don't get good results and as a result we are seeing a lot more ordinances and form based zoning as a hamfisted response to bad design. It is hard to succinctly codify decent design without drastically restricting the designer's options and creating monotony.

Non Sequitur

Peter, my city has been trying to (re)define traditional mainstreet zoning for the past few years. Lots and lots of hearings and lawsuits in progress because they applied huge conditions to hundreds of different areas and now property owners are furious. Sure, we can still put in a carwash, but now it needs 50% glazing, minimum 3 storeys, built up to property line, etc... Now everything will look the same.


I'm going to have to disagree with this entire line of thinking Non Sequitur... oh, not the architect part, since when do I need a dentist? cleaning and small cavity fillings are well within the realm of a common layman with a good dremil + accessories. Doctors are worst, with their hold on a slew of standard prescription drugs for common ailments. Why on earth I'm supposed to pay $50-100 to have a doctor tell me that I probably should have come in a week ago and yeah, that cold isn't going away, has moved to the chest, and I'll need a round of antibiotics, is beyond me.


This topic is exhausting, so I’m gonna stay out of it. Only question is why would some architects even want to force their services on unwanting clients who will likely make the project miserable to work on?

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