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ABA: 50‐State Survey of Licensed Design Professional's Stamping and Sealing Obligations

  • 1.  ABA: 50‐State Survey of Licensed Design Professional's Stamping and Sealing Obligations

    Posted 02-08-2024 07:37 AM

    In 2018 American Bar Association produced its first 50‐State Survey of Licensed Design Professionals' Stamping and Sealing Obligations. I don't recall seeing this shared in AIA circles, only older SGN-produced versions (which were good, but not as thorough). 

    ABA Division Corner Update (2020-03-16): Scroll down to Division 3: Design heading. I wonder if any AIA members are involved with these efforts.

    50‐State Survey of Licensed Design Professional's Stamping and Sealing Obligations 1st Edition – Published April 2018 (PDF)

    Jonathan Taylor AIA
    LLB Architects
    Providence RI

  • 2.  RE: ABA: 50‐State Survey of Licensed Design Professional's Stamping and Sealing Obligations

    Posted 02-10-2024 11:49 AM


    Thank you for posting ABA: 50‐State Survey of Licensed Design Professional's Stamping and Sealing Obligations

    I wonder if it is updated periodically, annually would be great.



    Associate   | Senior Specifications WriterHOK

    333 South Wabash Avenue, 14th Floor | Chicago, IL 60604 USA

    Gail Ann J Goldstead AIA
    Wheaton IL

  • 3.  RE: ABA: 50‐State Survey of Licensed Design Professional's Stamping and Sealing Obligations

    Posted 02-10-2024 04:10 PM




    What started out as a way to help projects move faster through design and construction has morphed into a Stamp-for-Hire.


    Design Build with a qualified preselected Contractor has become a Seal-for-Hire. The same is true with the rise of non-qualified Construction Managers. The architect in many, if not most, design-build projects, is pushed to do just enough to get a building permit. After the permit is obtained, by the contractor, the architect is usually jettisoned from the design team. In the end, the architect has no idea as to what was built or what materials were used.


    Large owners also use this same tactic. The architect is retained by the Owner, but the Owner also has their own in-house or contract, construction management team. The architect may be retained to do monthly inspections for construction draw payments to the contractor, but unless there is a problem, the architect has little say on the construction of the building or the materials used in it. Local building inspectors are many times overwhelmed with too many projects to inspect, or the projects are way outside their field of knowledge.


    Large Cloud Facilities are a good example of this kind of work. A remote area is usually preferred by the Owner were the may be no local building inspector's. The architect and engineers are limited in their inspections, not allowed to speak with the Owner, and many times an outside architect, is brought in at the 90% to 95% completion period for a 6 or 8 week period to do a final report. If the architect is not familiar with large-scale projects, the report is a total shame. Even if the architect is familiar with the high-rise and large-scale buildings, and finds items that have not already been covered up, the architect's report only completes a checklist item in the construction of the building.


    Large scale buildings like this are usually immediately sold to an investment group with the caveat that the user of the building will be responsible for the building, its use, and the payment of all funds to the investors for a period of at least 10-years. The contractor walks away from the building 1-year after substantial completion. The original Owner, now becomes a tenant for the agreed life of the lease, and the new owners are happy, because they have an "A" quality tenant with a lease that will usually pay for the building within the life of the tenant's lease.


    The Architect, is however on the hook for as long as the statute of limitations requires in a state, and could be liable even longer should something happened with the building that either was known to the professional design team (architects and engineers), or was something that they should have known about had they done the required observations per the State Board of Architects, or per that which other architects might agree should have been done should a failure be litigated.


    Architects are in dangerous times, and are slowly being eliminated as an "Officer of the State in the Build Environment".


    David N. Hauseman, AIA, CSI, NCARB, ACI


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