An experienced Site Supervisor is an invaluable asset to the Owner during the construction phase. The day to day supervision of Contractors & their Subs is impossible for an Architect to provide. Having another set of impartial eyes and ears on the job can save time, money and aggravation. But yet again, the growing trend is for Owners to refuse a Site Supervisor and put the burden of day to day supervision squarely on the Architect. The result oftentimes is that mistakes are caught too late to be fixed and in the end a misguided attempt to reduce costs results in not only more time and money, but dissatisfied Owners.
This brings me to the crux of my argument; Design Build. A Design Build scenario in which the Architect is also the Builder and where the the Sub-Contractors are already familiar with the Architect's style and ideas can be the vehicle that moves this discussion forward. This can be a win-win situation for both Owner and Architect. The Owner will get his/her wish to have the Architect or Architect's Rep on site at all times and the Architect will have more control over the usual trouble spots; Costs, Change Orders, Deadlines, etc. A well executed Design-Build scenario can successfully move the industry from the traditional triage of Owner/Architect/Contractor to Owner/Architect. At the same time, time-tested, industry wide standards such as Shop Drawings and Site Supervision can be maintained without the Owner incurring additional costs. As I said, a win-win-situation.