Last edited 10 Oct 2017

Appointing an architect

Contents

[edit] Introduction

The term ‘architect’ is protected by the Architects Act 1997. Only qualified individuals that are registered with the ARB can offer their services as architects. However, the same services can be provided by people that are not architects as long as they do not claim to be architects.

Very broadly, the roles performed by an architect might include:

Some services will only be undertaken by an architect if they are specifically identified in their appointment documents, and otherwise may not be included within the fee. These are described as 'other services' on some forms of appointment.

[edit] Finding an architect

Architects may be selected by a process of:

  • Recommendation, for example, one consultant may recommend others, which can save time for the client and make it easier to establish collaborative working practices (it is important to set out requirements for collaborative practices during the appointment procedure to ensure that the consultant team works effectively together throughout the project).
  • Research and interview.
  • Open competition (with or without design).
  • Selective competition (with or without design).
  • An existing relationship or framework agreement.

Search engines are available from the RIBA to help find architects:

[edit] ARB

The Architects Registration Board code of conduct requires that there is a written agreement before undertaking work which adequately covers:

  • The contracting parties.
  • The scope of the work.
  • The fee or method of calculating it.
  • Who will be responsible for what.
  • Any constraints or limitations on the responsibilities of the parties.
  • The provisions for suspension or termination of the agreement, including any legal rights of cancellation.
  • Confirmation of adequate and appropriate insurance cover.
  • The existence of any Alternative Dispute Resolution schemes that the contract is subject to and how they might be accessed.
  • Details of the architect’s complaints-handling procedure.
  • Confirmation that the architect is registered with the Architects Registration Board and that they are subject to the code.

[edit] Architect's obligations

The architect has a duty of care:

  • To exercise reasonable skill, care and diligence in accordance with the normal standards of the architects profession in performing the services and discharging the architects obligations.
  • Provide adequate professional, financial and technical resources.
  • A duty of care in tort.

A duty to inform:

  • The client about progress and any issues that may affect the brief, construction cost, programme or quality.
  • The client of the need to appoint others to perform work in connection with the project.

Collaboration:

  • To collaborate with others named in project data or who's appointment is foreseeable and to integrate information into thier work.

Authority:

  • To act on behalf of client in matters set out in agreement.
  • To seek client approval to amend the design, terminate others employment or enter the client into contract with others.

[edit] Standard forms of appointment

There are a range of standard forms of appointment available:

If a bespoke agreement is used:

[edit] Fees

For more information see: Architects fees.

[edit] Find out more

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki