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Appointing an architect.


Why use a Chartered Architect?
A client centred service, value for money, freedom from worry and imagination are just some of the reasons why using a chartered architect makes sense.

Before a person can be called an architect he or she will have completed a seven-year course in the design, specification and erection of buildings and passed the professional practice examination which is the final stage of the training.
This permits entry to the list of UK Architects held by the Architects' Registration Board (ARE), and use of the title 'architect'. Thereafter, application can be made to one or both of the chartered professional bodies listed below which entitle members to use the term 'chartered architect' and the following initials.

FRIAS: Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.

Royal Institute of British Architects.

A chartered architect is obliged to uphold the reputation of the architectural profession and fellow professionals; to carry out work on behalf of clients honourably, independently and efficiently; and to declare any interest which might conflict with the status of an independent consultant architect. Please note that the use of the title 'architect' is protected actively under the Architects' Act 1997 by ARB. If you are in any doubt whether your advisor is a chartered architect member of the RIAS or RIBA, contact the RIAS membership department. Tel: 0131 229 7545.

A client centred service
Architects can provide a service that extends well beyond producing a set of drawings. Adept at identifying the needs and aspirations of their clients, architects will bring their special skills, knowledge and experience to a project.

Value for money
Not only can architects provide value for money, but professional attention to detail will achieve value through the most efficient use of space, and careful selection of materials and finishes. Environmental sensitivity, energy efficiency, low running and maintenance costs can bring extra benefits to your project.

Freedom from worry
Architects can guide you through the complex procedures of planning permission and building regulations and monitor the builder's programme of works through to completion. RIAS members are obliged to carry professional indemnity insurance.


Whether you are looking for tradition or innovation, boldness or understatement, an architect can lift your project out of the ordinary. Anyone can alter a building. It takes an architect to do it with flair, imagination and style.
Undertaking a building project, whatever itsscale, can be a daunting experience, but thesame basic criteria apply, be it a simple houseextension or a large office development. Whenyou use a chartered architect you are employingsomeone who has undertaken seven years'architectural training, the longest in the buildingindustry. Anyone styling themselves 'buildingconsultant', 'architectural designer', 'plandrawer' and so on is unlikely to be an architect,and does not have comparable skill orknowledge. ' :
This leaflet aims to help potential clients understand the design process and to explain the different stages and costs involved. So before you begin, here is a guide to what lies ahead...

It is important that you and your chartered architect communicate with one another throughout the duration of the appointment. You should keep your chartered architect informed about any matters affecting the brief, the budget and site acquisition. Similarly, your chartered architect should keep you informed on such matters as progress and costs and will usually do so by means of regular reports throughout the design and construction stages. Both you and your chartered architect should be careful to commit yourselves to do only what lies within your skill, power and authority. For example, a chartered architect cannot guarantee to obtain planning permission, but can, and normally does, make the appropriate application.

The most successful projects are those which proceed in an atmosphere of understanding and mutual trust. Both you and your chartered architect must reach an understanding of one another's roles and responsibilities. The foundation of that understanding is contained in the RIAS and RIBA appointment documents which are available from the RIAS Bookshops along with the guidance and related documents.
The RIAS recommends that, when the client is an organisation or company, a single person should be appointed with authority to make decisions.

At the outset of an appointment all chartered architects must agree in writing the terms of their appointment, the services to be provided and their fees. The standard conditions and model documents are designed to assist in recording agreement.
The Construction Design & Management (CDM) regulations came into effect on 31 March 1995 and require you, for all but very small projects, to appoint a planning supervisor to co-ordinate a health and safety plan for the project and to ensure that you are provided with a health and safety file at its conclusion.
Chartered architects are some of the most able to take on this role, which should be subject to a distinct agreement. Your chartered architect can advise you further, if necessary.

Construction cost and overall budget for the project are not the same. The overall budget will include all professional and legal fees and expenses, the statutory charges for applications for planning consent and building warrants, a contingent sum for unforeseen events and other costs such as furniture, equipment, land acquisition, finance charges and VAT, in addition to the construction costs.

Architects' fees can be calculated in three ways: percentage basis; on a lump-sum basis; or time charged by agreement. Expenses may be included within the agreed fee or charged separately.

In this method, an architect's fees are expressed as a percentage of the total construction cost, i.e. the cost as certified by the architect of the works, including site works, executed under a building contract. Before fees can be estimated, client and architect need to establish the services to be provided, the approximate construction budget and the nature of the work.

Lump sums are best used where the scope of the work can be clearly defined from the outset. It is necessary to define the parameters of services - i.e. time, project size and cost - where applicable, so that if these are varied more than a stated amount, the lump sum itself may be varied.

This basis is best used where the scope of work cannot be reasonably foreseen or where services cannot be related to the amount of construction. It may be wise to set an upper limit on fees to be incurred, perhaps on a staged basis. Records of time spent on services will be made available to clients on reasonable request.


D E S I G N S T U D I O : James Pask - email - + mob 07563 553791 + Susan Pask - email - susan@ + mobile 07940 542365 |

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