Design Build Risk

Kegler Brown Construction Newsletter

The Ohio Board of Examiners of Architects has recently warned architects that it is illegal for builders to contract for work, and subcontract the work in whole or in part to architects, in that it is illegal for anyone other than an architect to provide or offer to provide architectural services. The Board has cautioned that violators face the possibility of injunctive action or criminal prosecution and that architects participating in such an arrangement may lose their licenses.

Some contractors have taken exception to this interpretation and AGC has argued that it jeopardizes "design-build" as practiced in Ohio for many years. If the Board's position is that only an owner, or final beneficiary of the design process, may contract with an architect, then design-build as practiced by many design-build contractors may in fact be undermined. In any event, contractors should evaluate their current design-build practices to ensure that they are proper under current Ohio law.