Architects should specify every brand, says local expert

Regional architects should follow the US model of specifying materials in detail, according to the principal of UAE-based practice TNQ.

Speaking to Middle East Architect, Tarek Qaddumi said that his practice has adopted the North American model of specifying.

He commented: “I would advocate for the choice we’ve made, which is to adopt the US market model. This approach has the architect choose every material and specify every source, brand, make and  model.

“They have to produce coordinated construction documents based on these choices, prepare or supervise the preparation of accurate cost estimates on this basis and follow the construction on site with much greater clarity.”

Qaddumi added that the architect can then be held more responsible for insuring quality, schedule and cost. “Should there be a reason for revisions or value engineering, these can be treated systematically as a stand-alone exercise,” he continued.

According to Sumaya Dabbagh, principal, Dabbagh Architects, a big obstacle to carefully-researched specification is tight client deadlines.

“The study of materials before including them in specifications is sometimes lacking amongst consultants due to time constraints during the design stage,” she said.

Dabbagh continued: “However, it is vital that the material is well understood and its performance is evaluated based on standards and tests done by the manufacturer in order to select the right material that would give the required performance.”