The Roles of Architect and Contractor in Construction Management

For the architect and building contractor the most significant aspect of modern commercial construction may not be the design but rather the management, consisting of coordination and administration, of large-scale building projects. Despite the importance of construction management, especially in mammoth and complex projects such as New York’s World Trade Center, legislatures have been slow to respond to the needs and practices of the construction industry. Although the skills involved indicate that the role of construction manager is more appropriately assumed by a contractor, the laws of several states provide that only a licensed architect can take responsible charge of construction. Legislatures should recognize that the performance of construction management may include the assumption of some obligations traditionally assigned by law to the exclusive domain of the architect. Moreover, it would appear from a cursory view of actual practices that professionals other than architects are acting in the role of construction manager. If legislatures are concerned with the actual needs and practices of the architectural profession, and their enacting of licensing statutes indicates that such is the case, legislatures should clarify the various licensing statutes to take account of these adjustments in the architect’s role in construction.