The Owner's Role

AuthorCarol J. Patterson - Ross J. Altman - Stephen A. Hess - Allen Overcash
The Owner’s Role
3.01 overvIew
To initiate a project, the owner’s program or building requirements must
be dened, a design professional engaged, and a construction delivery sys-
tem selected based on rough estimates of construction costs. Once the owner
denes the structure’s building requirements, appropriate sites are inves-
tigated. Site selection must be based on considerations of regulatory restric-
tions imposed by title, zoning, environmental, and other regulatory restrictions
imposed by governmental authorities with jurisdiction as well as political real-
ities. Relevant information is provided to the design professional. Construction
documents are prepared. Financing of the project is secured. A contractor is
either selected or awarded a construction contract. Building permits, as well as
ingress and egress permits are secured. Construction easements and licenses
may also be required. The selected contractor commences construction in
coordination with the governmental authorities with jurisdiction. Timing of
construction in the northern latitudes must be considered in light of the real-
ities of the potential for harsh winters, and in the southern latitudes based
upon hurricane season.
pat54645_01_b01_001-282.indd 35 6/28/19 2:04 PM
3.02 provIdIng the buIldIng sIte
Selection and procurement of a building site requires more than just an evalu-
ation of the location for the structure’s ultimate use. Indeed, before a decision
to purchase the site, a comprehensive analysis of a multitude of factors that
may impact design, construction, and ultimate use must be performed. Upon
acquisition, the owner typically has a contractual duty to provide the design
professional with the legal details pertaining to the property. 1
Acquisition of a building site requires assessment of many factors, for
example, zoning, covenants that follow title restricting what can be built, the
existence of easements under or over the property that may impair design or
use, and soil bearing capacity and environmental issues that must be consid-
ered for their impact on design and construction costs. Similarly, access, loca-
tion, and sufciency of utilities must be considered. The zoning, demolition,
and the construction permit process are potentially politically charged issues
that may be negatively impacted by social conicts. These conicts may arise
during the acquisition, design, zoning, permitting, staging, construction, or
during the ultimate use of the project.
The decision to acquire the building site property includes all of the pre-
ceding factors and more. Failure to anticipate these needs is likely to result
in delay, additional cost, and possible rejection of the project. Each of these
factors must be evaluated as a part of the design and construction equation in
making the decision to acquire the proposed building site. Failure to heed these
considerations may constitute trespass, resulting in recoverable damage to the
property, injunctive relief precluding access to the site, delay and delay dam-
ages and related costs, or an inability to commence or complete the project.
A. Access to the Construction Site and Necessary Adjacencies
Prior to the owner issuing a notice to proceed, preferably before the project is
bid, access to the construction site as well as necessary easements or licenses
to adjacent properties must be secured. Consideration of continuous lateral
and subjacent support to adjoining lands must be considered.2 For example,
1. It is the owner’s contractual obligation to provide the design professional with a survey of
the physical characteristics of the site, legal limitations, a legal description, rights-of-way restric-
tions, easements, encroachments, deed restrictions, and other critical data. See, e.g., American
Institute of Architects, AIA Document B101–2017, Standard Form of Agreement between Owner
and Architect § 5.4 (2017) [hereinafter AIA Document B101–2017] and American Institute of
Architects, AIA Document B103–2017, Standard Form of Agreement between Owner and Archi-
tect for a Large or Complex Project §5.5 (2017) [hereinafter AIA Document B103–2017].
2. Adjacent Landowner Excavation Protection Act, 765
ill. cOMP. stat.
140 et seq.
pat54645_01_b01_001-282.indd 36 6/28/19 2:04 PM

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT