Design Negligence & Building Defects

Developers are ultimately exposed most to the cost of defects and the liability stops with the client, particularly as far as the Health & Safety Executive is concerned. But there are so many different parties involved that it is an architect who has the holistic view of the whole building process and is therefore best placed to make an impartial assessment.

As Architects and Building Surveyors with decades of experience and sector specialisms in the building industry, we are best placed to act as an independent Expert to support clients and the wider consultant teams, as well as to assess and advise on disputes involving building defects. Few other professionals are as well placed to interrogate the intricate and complex process of creating a building.

Our team of Expert Witnesses along with their collective specialist knowledge can provide Defect Reports in sectors covering Healthcare, Construction Typologies, Cladding Remediation, Education, Heritage and Conservation and Sustainability.

We are in the unique position to provide insights and detailed understanding of the complexities surrounding building regulations, construction legislation and contract law.

Before you start

Make sure that you instruct the right expert or you may cause yourself:

  • Unnecessary expense
  • Get the wrong advice that doesn’t help your case
  • Employ someone who is inexperienced in the CPR 35 rules.

How we can help

Cowan Architects combine the weight of building experience with a knowledge of legal process so that we can help with:

  • Opening up new avenues of thought and changing the direction of a case;
  • Provide the correct advice to counter the other expert.
  • Providing a strong consistent argument backed up by experience and legislation which does not stray from the experts area of expertise.

Finding who’s at fault

The apportioning of blame can be a weighty process with numerous interested parties battling it out to prove that it was someone else’s fault.

For structural defects discovered years after completion, contractors and consultants carry a legal responsibility towards the owner to rectify the problem and the proof of liability required can be a lengthy process. Due to the number of different parties involved, often sharing responsibilities, it can be very difficult to prove negligence.

Assignment of contracts, changing building ownership and the transient nature of previously involved consultants all need clarity and transparency.

Design Negligence