You are currently viewing ‘Learn to say no,’ Kamra tal-Periti president tells new architects
Minister Zrinzo Azzopardi addresses the newly warranted periti. Photo: Facebook

‘Learn to say no,’ Kamra tal-Periti president tells new architects

  • Post category:News & Press
  • Reading time:4 mins read

65 new architects and civil engineers get their warrants

Architects and civil engineers need tolearn how to say no” when they are asked to breach their ethical obligations or the law, the president of the profession’s regulatory body has said.

The Periti Act obliges architects and civil engineers to prioritise the public interest over any interests that their clients may have, Kamra tal-Periti president Andre Pizzuto told newly-warranted periti, as he reminded them of the unique role the profession plays in society.

KTP President Andre Pizzuto addresses the new professionals.KTP President Andre Pizzuto addresses the new professionals.

Many people think that our job involves drawing a couple of lines on a computer or a pen stroke. Don’t let those who do not appreciate the complexity or responsibility of what we do drag your dignity, and that of the profession, down.

The KTP president was addressing 65 architects and civil engineers who received their professional warrants on Friday, allowing them to join the profession and start practicing as periti.

Pizzuto’s word of advice to the new professionals was also tinged with a warning: the KTP now has the power to ensure that its members act ethically, he told his audience, in line with a code of conduct and while protecting national heritage.

Among other things, the Act states defines protecting the public interest as “the overriding need” of the profession.

The KTP has already started to flex its new muscles: last month, the KTP announced that it would be issuing directives to its members focused on construction close to UNESCO Heritage Sites. Members that breach the directives can face disciplinary action, leading up to a suspension of their professional warrant. 

The professional body is also investigating architect Maria Schembri Grima over a dangerous demolition project in Birkirkara. Apart from being the project’s architect, Schembri Grima was chair of the national construction regulator at the time. 

Pizzuto also urged the newly-warranted professionals to lean into specialisations and move away from the “jack of all trades” mentality that pervaded in the past.

Consult your colleagues when you are faced with something you do not understand. Seek advice. Include specialised consultants in your projects,” he advised the young professionals.

Graduates leave University with a specialisation in either architecture or civil engineering. But there are also many other sub-specialisations that fall beneath those categories, Pizzuto noted.

“We need to encourage and elevate these,” he said, citing the examples of specialists in road engineering, conservation architecture or urban design.

Planning and Public Works Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi told the new graduates that the work they did would leave an impact on each project’s surroundings, and beyond their own lifetimes.

It is essential that you are ethical. We all need to earn our daily bread, but your responsibilities stretch well beyond the fee you collect. A perit’s job impacts a community, history and how people see us in the future,” the minister said.

Periti Warranting Board chair Frank Psaila reminded the new professionals that standards have changed and people’s expectations are now much higher than in the past. People expect more of architects and architecture now, he said, as he urged them to work sustainably and with integrity.

Article Source: Times of Malta