An architecture firm with specific expertise in building disputes

Architecture: As a Registered Architect with 35+ years experience, I design and manage building projects.

Building Disputes:  I have had 20+ years experience in helping owners, contractors, architects, designers and lawyers avoid them, understand them, and resolve them.

Both roles benefit from practical and professional skills and qualifications in construction, design, valuation, law, & dispute resolution.  As well as a dollop of practicality, reality, cost-effectiveness and common sense. 

Who, What, and When:

    A full CV is provided HERE.  Orchiston Architects Ltd is currently a sole practice.  Colin Orchiston started out as an architect in the 1970's,  and since the early 1990's has also been active in dispute resolution.  He has managed a design office with a dozen or more staff, been a MasterBuilders House of the Year Judge, served on the Weathertight Homes mediation panel, the Building Practitioner's Board, review panels for legislation and standards (including NZS3910); and remains active in professional indemnity insurance.  He is still very much "hands on" in design and construction, but more often these days has his brains picked by lawyers, designers and builders to sort out what has gone wrong, why, and how things can be sorted out.

Processes of Dispute Resolution:

Mediation:  If included in the contract terms, an independent mediator can be appointed to help the parties reach an agreement.  The process is confidential and the outcome should be enforceable as a contract between the parties.    

Arbitration: If included in the contract terms, often first requires an attempt at mediation. An independent arbitrator decides the dispute on the evidence.  The process is confidential and the outcome is enforceable, final and binding.

Adjudication: Available (by law) to every NZ construction contract regardless of contract terms. Similar to arbitration, but whilst the outcome is enforceable and binding, it is not necessarily final.

Licensed Building Practitioners Board: Investigates complaints about the competence of an LBP, but not contractual/commercial disputes.