CASp as an Architect

California Certified Access Specialist Program

CASp as an Architect

Postby icarrillo » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:12 am

I was notified this month that I have passed the CASp exam. I have obtained a certificate number, but now my question is: How do any of you that are architects and CASp's mitigate liability? I have reached out to my E&O insurance, but would like to hear any personal accounts. I have heard many people groan at the added exposure providing both services brings on, in my opinion this is a bad view. As architects are we not required to be aware and already implementing governing codes and laws, does not the CASp program ensures that we are up to date and have through knowledge on this topic?

The reason I obtained certification was because when I look around I see civil engineers doing architect's work, I see our architecture firms delegating all of the building systems away and in the end as architects we end up drawing pretty pictures. As a Casp at least we are securing access specialty as one of the reasons for having an architect rather than having this go to the masses.
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Re: CASp as an Architect

Postby dryerase » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:07 pm

Coach has commented on this before and I agree that being CASp certified as an Architect is redundant. However, I have started to see RFQ's and RFP's with requests for CASp certified professionals to be part of the team. It's probably easier to just get that certification rather than trying to educate your potential client about the differences between this and what Architects do, but we are probably doing a disservice to our profession if we don't justify our professional status. I've been considering getting certified CASp even though I'm an Architect just to avoid the discussion, but the thought of yet another exam process is exhausting to me. I'd be interested to hear others take on the subject as well!
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Re: CASp as an Architect

Postby Coach » Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:10 pm

It's been a while since I read the law, but I think that a positive casp report report gives owner some cover.

I still don't think it's worth the effort and expense. And the may very well be additional liability exposure.

In the end, I think that when a casp is desired, it's best to hire one.
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Re: CASp as an Architect

Postby Hinrichs42 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:34 pm

I think a better word than 'cover' is time.
For instance, a building that has many items that don't meet the code, may be given time to correct these items if a report is issued by a someone with CASp credentials. I'm by no means an expert on the subject, but was just discussing this with a veteran in the industry regarding a current job that has many items not to code. The governing body ultimately has the final say, but the report will give the owner time until the permit is issued.
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Re: CASp as an Architect

Postby standard » Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:24 pm

icarrillo - congrats in passing. I too get weary of civil engineers. It seems like all their “spot elevations” never actually work out despite all their surveying. They seem to come up with their own wonderful solutions without keeping the architect in loop.

But I’ve never felt that the architect’s work has been drawing pretty pictures. My projects take an enormous amount of consultant coordination. The arch drawings (and specs) are essential with many important details and schedules to say the least. You think your struct engineer is going to know anything about getting their details to coordinate in the real world?

I dont think the CASp certifcation is ever necessary to jusify our existence as an architect. Also I dont quite get how we would be exposed to more liability.

I work on DSA school projects and I would hope that a CASp cert would lend some weight to our credibility in the eyes of plan reviewers. I’ve had DSA senior managers tell me that we should never design to code minimums. DSA seems to have this civil rights agenda based on the ADA philosophy instead of just enforcing the CBC which is the true limit of their scope.
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Re: CASp as an Architect

Postby icarrillo » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:02 am

Hi standard. Thanks

I agree that there is much more to being an architect than drawing pretty pictures. There is much coordination with owners, consultants, contractors, code officials etc. Surely none of our consultants would be able to navigate through all this. When I wrote this, I had just lost a job to a civil engineering firm who then turned around and asked that I be their consultant! imagine that!

I work with DSA for 90% of my work. They certainly have their own rules. They perform plan check beyond their limits and in some cases disregard their own IR's or DSA Policies. I recently had a project in which the access plan checker was questioning how a water line gate valve supposed to be accessible.

I am hoping that this cert. will add credibility and make the plan check process smoother.
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Re: CASp as an Architect

Postby Coach » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:44 pm

icarrillo wrote: I recently had a project in which the access plan checker was questioning how a water line gate valve supposed to be accessible.

Did you show him?

I am hoping that this cert. will add credibility and make the plan check process smoother.

It will likely make it worse.
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