The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) has released the latest edition of A Guide to Determining Appropriate Fees for the Services of an Architect.
The 2019 fee guide explores the scope of both basic and additional architectural services, the value of architectural services, different approaches to determining a fee structure, and how architectural services fees can be calculated.
“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.”
Developed for clients, architects, engineers, educators, and interns, the 58-page document is more than a fee guide. It offers a wealth of information on fee adjustment factors, comparisons of project delivery types, including risk analysis, and explains the value of architectural services.
Historically, fees for architectural services have been widely based on a percentage of the construction cost. However, changes in the design and construction industry make it “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.
These changes include different forms of project delivery, new design and documentation processes, increasingly complex building systems, greater overhead costs because of extensive Requests for Proposals, new demands for compressed schedules, and more.
The first edition of the guide was published in 2009. The 2019 edition updates and simplifies the percentage fee tables to align with the Canadian Construction Documents Committee’s (CCDC) new definition of construction cost. It adds fee adjustment factors to address new project delivery models and technologies. It also introduces project delivery comparison tables with a comparative analysis of the risk factors for each delivery method.
The RAIC Practice Support Committee put in hundreds of volunteer hours to develop the guide with support from practice advisors at the Ontario Association of Architects and other provincial associations of architecture. The guide was entirely funded by RAIC members.
The guide is available exclusively at the RAIC online store at raic.org. RAIC members may download a non-printable PDF version at no charge. Cost to non-members is $20 plus tax. For both members and non-members, a hard copy costs $40 plus tax. Price includes shipping.