The building team should make it standard practice to have the output of the various disciplines checked at the end of each design step and especially before incorporation in the contract documents.
Checking of the work of each discipline should be performed by a competent practitioner of that discipline other than the original designer and reviewed by principals and other senior professionals.
Checkers should seek to ensure that calculations, drawings, and specifications are free of errors, omissions, and conflicts between building components.
For projects that are complicated, unique, or likely to have serious effects if failure should occur, the client or the building team may find it advisable to request a peer review of critical elements of the project or of the whole project.
In such cases, the review should be conducted by professionals with expertise equal to or greater than that of the original designers, that is, by peers; and they should be independent of the building team, whether part of the same firm or an outside organization.
The review should be paid for by the organization that requests it. The scope may include investigation of site conditions, applicable codes and governmental regulations, environmental impact, design assumptions, calculations, drawings, specifications, alternative designs, constructibility, and conformance with the building program.
The peers should not be considered competitors or replacements of the original designers, and there should be a high level of respect and communication between both groups. A report of the results of the review should be submitted to the authorizing agency and the leader of the building team.
(‘‘The Peer Review Manual,’’ American Consulting Engineers Council, 1015 15th St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20005, and ‘‘Peer Review, a Program Guide for Members of the Association of Soil and Foundation Engineers,’’ ASFE, Silver Spring, MD.)