New architect’s fee guide accounts for many factors in determining value

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The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) has released an updated fee guide, a decade after its last iteration. 

The new guide takes into account the changing nature of construction and design to offer a more comprehensive take on the way architects charge for their work.

In particular, elements such as varied project delivery methods, new design and documentation processes, building systems of ever-increasing complexity, quick turnarounds, and extensive requests for proposals are taken into account to determine the value and scope of architectural services.

Architects’ prices have traditionally been determined as a percentage of construction cost, but with these factors in mind, it’s “impossible to assume that the same professional fee will be appropriate for all projects even if the projects are of the same size and building type,” the guide notes. 

While the new guide still uses percentage fee tables as baseline information, the updated resource also offers information on factors that should adjust fees, comparisons of project delivery types, and gives a framework to understand the value architects provide. Fee tables are also simplified to more closely align with the Canadian Construction Documents Committee’s (CCDC) new definition of construction costs.

“The practice of architecture and the provision of architectural services have evolved considerably,” note the authors. “Today, the architect and client must agree upon a wide range of project requirements and negotiate a fair exchange of value based on the unique aspects of each project.”

Not only for architectural professionals, the guide was developed for clients’ information, too, as well as educators and engineers.

“The RAIC is grateful to all those who contributed their time and expertise,” said RAIC president Michael Cox. “As a national organization, we are proud to offer this up-to-date and valuable guide to help clients and architects plan and schedule the exciting work of making a building.”

The RAIC represents about 5,000 members as a voice for excellence in Canada’s built environment.

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