The final letter from the architect to the client upon completion of a building project is an opportunity for the architect to review the functional programming and performance objectives that were discussed and agreed to early in the project development. The letter should also inform the client about some more practical matters.
The recommended contents of the letter include the following:
This includes a summary of the principles which governed the design of the building and its mechanical and electrical systems, particularly in relation to energy efficiency and sustainability. This will not only assist the client in understanding how the new building is designed to function but will be a guide to establishing and managing operating procedures for sophisticated automated building control systems.
This is a reference to the maintenance manuals that were forwarded to the client earlier and which contain essential and valuable information on the materials and systems in the building. The client should be encouraged to use these manuals routinely as the first source for information on the operation and maintenance of the building.
A maintenance checklist is a guide for the client in establishing normal/routine maintenance procedures for the building (sometimes referred to as “planned maintenance”).
See Appendix C – Checklist – Maintenance of Architectural Components in this chapter.
This checklist should identify major building components (which have shorter life expectancies than the anticipated occupancy period) and which will require the client to plan and budget for their upgrading and/or replacement at various intervals before the end of the building’s useful life (sometimes referred to as capital asset management).
See Appendix D – Checklist – Replacement of Building Components at the end of this chapter.
Note: The two checklists mentioned above are for the architect’s use as a guide only in preparing project-specific information, which should be enclosed with the letter to the client.
This refers to a description of the architect’s services to be provided during the warranty period for the construction contract, which include:
- review of defects and deficiencies;
- notification of the contractor concerning defects and deficiencies as they are identified;
- follow-up with the contractor; and
- inspection and reporting at the end of the warranty period.
This might include any other relevant information the architect may wish to add, including comments of the architect’s choosing, appropriate to the relationship with the client and the prospect of future commissions. In addition, the architect may offer to carry out post-occupancy evaluation services, for additional fees to be negotiated.
International Facility Management Association. “Asset Lifecycle Model for Total Cost of Ownership Management: Framework, Glossary & Definitions.” IFMA, 2005.
https://www.ifma.org/docs/default-source/knowledge-base/asset_lifecyle_model.pdf, accessed June 9, 2020.