Getting a certified architectural review means you can better ensure your buildings meet specific standards. Notably, there are many scenarios where it is wise to have a third party conduct the review. It's important for everybody involved to understand what to expect from a certified third-party architectural review so let's look at the basics.
Unsurprisingly, the third party is there to provide independence. The various stakeholders are welcome to divide the cost of services however they see fit.
It doesn't matter, though, who is paying for the review. The reviewers will not make their decisions based on who paid, and ideally, they won't know who paid for the review, either. Consequently, everybody can trust when the job is done that the review will be thorough and unbiased.
The review will follow whatever sets of standards are available at the beginning of the process. Government regulations provide one set of standards, as do industry rules. These provide a baseline for safety and engineering concerns, and a reviewer can flag anything inconsistent with them.
One notable factor is that one of the parties asking for the review often has a stake in setting the standards. For example, a homeowners association will have a standard for something like how close to the edge of the lot a house's exterior walls can be. The reviewer will check the planning documents for the building, photos of the site, survey data, and property records to confirm everything is within specifications.
When the parties initiate the review, that's when the standards are set. This ensures everyone is on the same page about what the standards for the review will be. In other words, the parties agree from the start about what the reviewer will look for.
Part of the point of the review process is to eliminate contentiousness about the standards. The goal is to provide as legally simple of an explanation of the standards as is possible. Wherever possible, the standards will strip jargon from the review.
When terms don't lend themselves to simplicity, the review team will provide a glossary. This will ensure everybody understands what each statement in the review refers to and why it is there.
The objective is to prevent disputes down the road. A well-ordered review will try to head off problems by identifying them early in the process. Likewise, recommendations from a certified third-party architectural review will encourage parties to bring structures into conformity with the outlined standards.