Jane Duncan opens this discussion on the long running issue of architects’ fees. With the recent removal of the fee graph as mentioned by Ruth Reed earlier, it is suggested that the fee graph has been holding the profession back.

Navigating client relationships

Stephen Davy shows the conference how he has changed the way his practice calculates their fees, away from the RIBA scale. He suggests architects need to look more closely at their own costs in order to produce accurate fee proposals that work for both client and architect.

In establishing costs, Davy identifies the following areas:

  1. Create a list of work (drawing schedule)
  2. Establish a programme of when the work takes place
  3. Calculate the number of staff, and the number of hours required
  4. Add internal costs and overheads
  5. Generate fee
From this a clear and comprehensive fee proposal can be generated that includes:
  • a breakdown of the fee
  • a description of the work
  • the scope of service to be provided
  • the payment terms
In addition to this, it is suggested that the proposal also include:
  • involvement of other consultants
  • inclusions
  • information required from the client
  • exclusions
  • CDM responsibilities of the client
  • a drawing list
  • expenses
With regards to additional work, Davy advises that this should be identified early on, the client should be notified, and additional fees dealt with as soon as possible, not left to the end of the build.
Golden rules:
  • understand your practice financially (as well as architecturally)
  • learn the costs involved in your business
  • use this information for detailed fee proposals
  • monitor costs continually
  • if the client wants more, they should pay more
  • strengthened finances = strengthened architecture
The Client’s Perspective
Chris Potts, Operations Manager of the Whitechapel Gallery discusses the architects involved in the recent extension and refurbishment of their space in East London.
Further details to follow…
About James Thorp
Part 2 student at the Manchester School of Architecture.

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1 Comment
  1. Braylen Quijano

    January 3, 2012

    I really like and appreciate your article.Thanks Again. Want more.

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