Architects face insurance wake-up call post-Grenfell

As Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance costs rise following Grenfell fire, Project Compass Director Russell Curtis joins calls from the profession for the shift to Integrated Project Insurance (IPI).

“Now more than ever it’s surely time to consider alternatives,” .. “Integrated project insurance (IPI) is beginning to gain momentum among some enlightened clients as this leads to a less adversarial, buck-passing approach, instead encouraging teamwork and collective problem-solving – surely something the industry needs right now.”

With the rise of BIM, where the model is often led by the architect, the extent of an architect’s liability could be stretched again. To avoid that, this burden should be shared and other insurance approaches should undoubtedly be looked at.

Architects face insurance wake-up call post-Grenfell. Richard Waite. AJ 23 Nov. 2018. (paywalled)

Further information.

Integrated Project Insurance (IPI), under an Alliance Contract, has been used recently on Dudley College’s Innovative new building.  Insurance under this multi-party contract was provided by brokers Griffiths & Armour, with the project instigated under the Cabinet Office’s 2014 Trial Projects Delivery Programme, supported by an Innovate UK grant and known as known as “Dudley Advanced II”.

An excellent NBS podcast summarising the IPI Insurance model is available HERE, with further NBS resources HERE.

RIBA information on variants of the Single Project Insurance (SPI) model may be found HERE

Advice to clients

Clients might be better advised not to specify the insurance used in any particular project at the time of an architects procurement and appointment. This can ensure that the best, most effective and efficient insurance model suitable for each individual project can be determined as the project brief and design parameters develop.

(Ten Principles for Procuring Better Outcomes. RIBA 2016 pp28 and Building Ladders of Opportunity. RIBA 2012 pp22-24)

Heart of the matter: Why architects need a key role in the construction process

(This article was originally published in Planning & Building Control Today).

To find an architect lamenting the erosion of the profession’s role within the construction process may elicit from many little more than crocodile tears, and to others, smack of a futile act of self-preservation when faced with challenging financial targets, shrinking capital budgets and the avoidance of risk. But whilst architects’ railing at the demotion of quality in favour of ‘certainty’ is hardly new, events of the last year have suddenly thrust our concerns into the spotlight.

It is still far too early to apportion culpability for the horrific fire at Grenfell Tower in June, but it is possible that this may emerge as the latest, and most tragic, manifestation decreasing oversight that architects have been warning about for so long. At the very least, there is clear evidence that a lack of professional, independent scrutiny has resulted directly in catastrophic failures elsewhere which could — had circumstances been only very slightly different — have resulted in tragedies of their own.

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