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RAIC releases new fee guide

The 2019 Royal Architectural Institute of Canada 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.


architectThe Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) has published 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 58-page guide has been developed for clients, architects, engineers, educators, and interns. It offers 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.

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.

Now a decade later, 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.