Building Disputes
Orchiston Architects Ltd      An architecture firm with specific expertise in building disputes

Architecture: As a Registered Architect, I design and manage building projects.

Building Disputes:  I have had 25 years experience in helping owners, contractors, architects, designers and lawyers avoid/understand/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.  


Facing a dispute? 

For builders,  contractors, owners and clients, this is how I can help.

Useful Stuff: 

  • Why/how disputes arise;  how to prepare for & respond; appointing an arbitrator, mediator or adjudicator. 
  • The Construction Contracts Act. 
  • Building Act: Mandatory Contracts
  • Licensed Building Practitioners

Litigation support  

My involvement and experience in building-related cases.


I am happy to apply my broad architectural skills to your project in any way that might be appropriate.  


Who, What, and When:

    A full CV is provided HERE. Orchiston Architects Ltd is currently a sole practice.  I started out as an architect in the 1970's and am still very much "hands on" in design, documentation and contract administration. Since the early 1990's (and ongoing) I have also been active in dispute resolution as an adviser, mediator, adjudicator and arbitrator.  Along the way I have 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 remain active in professional indemnity insurance. 

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:  Refer to the LBP website. The Board deals with ethics and competency, not things like disputed timeframes or variation claims. Pursuing a complaint in order to leverage a contractual or commercial dispute may amount to an abuse of process.