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Washington’s Architectural Stamps: Know the Guidelines First

The health, safety and welfare of the public depend upon the integrity of many professionals who practice various occupations across the nation. From bus drivers to food servers and everyone in between, we rely on the professional training and education of the individual as well as their adherence to both national and state guidelines to keep us all safe.

The importance of this integrity is especially true when it comes to architects, engineers and the like. And although there are national guidelines it’s vital for these professionals to know and follow their specific state rules too. Washington State has their own protocol for use of Washington architectural stamps. The Washington State Board for Architects authorizes all seals in Washington.

Washington Architectural Stamps Specifics

When it comes to the actual Washington architectural stamps, there are several guidelines to follow. Rubber stamps, embossed stamps, digital stamps are all acceptable and must contain the following:

  • Washington State licensed architect’s name
  • Washington State licensed architect’s license number
  • “Registered Architect, State of Washington”
  • Approved design provided by the Washington State Department of Licensing, provided by the Washington State Board for Architects
  • No size or shape requirements however the stamps typically are in the shape of the state (rectangular) and measure approximately 1.63” x 1.243”

Insuring Compliance with Safety Regulations in Washington State

Buildings and other structures are designed by a professional architect with many variables being considered simultaneously. From climatic concerns that vary by area of the country as well as part of each state to aesthetic desires from clients, the professional architect must employ his or her knowledge of this complex industry to create plans that are safe above all else.

The Washington architectural stamps represent that all of the many intricate guidelines and specifications have been met by the professional architect involved with the designing and planning of the building or structure.

Documents Requiring Washington Architectural Stamps

Another area that can vary by state, the specific documents to which the Washington architectural stamps must be affixed is designated by the Washington State Board for Architects.

For Washington State, the law requires the following documents to carry the Washington architectural stamp:

  • All technical submissions for building permits or regulations (filed with proper jurisdictions)
  • Drawings prepared by the Washington State licensed architect
  • Specifications, technical submissions must be sealed with Washington architect’s stamps on cover page, title pages, and all table of contents pages
  • All seals must also be signed by the licensed architect holding the Washington architect’s stamps

The documents listed above which require the stamp and seal, are to be prepared only by the professional architect who is licensed and holds the Washington architect’s stamps. Keep in mind that in addition to the official Washington architect’s stamps, the architect must also put his or her signature across the seal to insure authenticity.

Exceptions to this are if the plans were prepared by an employee of the licensed architect and were reviewed in their entirety by the architect possessing the official Washington architect’s stamps. This holds true for anyone with whom the architect has working with them as a subcontractor or another architect that the Washington State licensed architect is working with collaboratively.

Once the architect places his or her official Washington architect’s stamps on the document, they then become the architect of record and are responsible for all aspects of the design or plans to the same extent as if he or she had created the plans and designs themselves.

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