Contract administration versus supervision

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Supervision of the works performed under a construction contract is generally the responsibility of the head contractor however, clients may not always understand this and may assume the architect is responsible. Communications with the client must be very clear to define the contract administration role to be provided by the architect and avoid any confusion between the distinct roles of supervision and contract administration.

It is vitally important to have adequate conditions of engagement, and in particular, to avoid using the term 'supervision' with respect to the architect's role in the building contract. One substantive difference between the roles of 'supervision' and 'contract administration' is that the contract administrator can rely upon the inspections undertaken by an engineer engaged by the owner, whereas a 'supervisor' cannot.

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