HOW DO ARCHITECTS CHARGE FOR THEIR SERVICES?

HOW DO ARCHITECTS CHARGE FOR THEIR SERVICES?

Architects’ professional fees are charged in accordance with the regulations as governed by the Architects Act of 1979 (act 13 of 1979), and the set fee scale as stipulated in the Government Gazette of June 2003. This regulation ensures that the appointment of architects is governed by the quality of the work they produce and safeguards the client against a scenario where the competition for work is based on price rather than quality, whilst at the same time ensuring fair remuneration for the professional.

PERCENTAGE FEE SCALE

Architects’ fees are generally charged as a percentage of the building costs (VAT included) in relation to the complexity of the building type (defined in detail in the NCAQS Architects act of 1979-see excerpt below). Fee invoices are generally rendered at the end of each work stage or else as monthly interim payments if it is a large-scale project. (Refer to the document: Scope of Architects Services on this website for a definition of what an architect does in each work stage)

Below is the current valid minimum fee scale for architects:

Architects Professional Architects Professional Service Costs

For work that does not form part of the standard scope of an architect’s services or “supplementary services”, architects charge an hourly rate. The hourly rate fees are gazetted in the Namibian Government Gazette for government-related works. The private sector fee is generally slightly higher than the government fee.

The excerpts below are from “Minimum Fees Chargeable by Architects” in The Namibia Council for Architects and Quantity Surveyors Practice Manual 1.221: February 2004.

FEES FOR STANDARD SERVICES

(refer to SCOPE OF ARCHITECT’S SERVICES)
(1). Subject to paragraph 6, the percentage fees for standard services are calculated in accordance with column A, B or C of the Percentage Fee Scale table.
(2). For the purpose of the Percentage Fee Scale table
(a) “simple buildings” means structures of simple utilitarian character, not of complex design or detail and which require a minimum of mechanical and electrical equipment, for example – aircraft hangars; barracks; industrial buildings; sheds; storage places (ordinary); and warehouses;
(b) “complex buildings” means structures of exceptional complexity of design, or which require comparatively large quantities of scientific, mechanical and electrical equipment and other facilities requiring specialised detail, design and co-ordination, for example – airport control towers; aquariums; auditoriums, opera houses, concert halls and theatres; city or town halls; civic centres; colleges or university buildings with special facilities such as medical schools and laboratories; communications, radio and television buildings; computer buildings; conservatories; embassy and consulate buildings; funeral parlours; hospitals and polyclinics; hotels, bars and restaurants; houses (individual); industrial buildings of a complex nature such as abattoirs and breweries; monuments and memorials; mortuaries; nuclear power stations; observatories; places of worship; and research and scientific buildings and laboratories.

ADDITIONS AND ALTERATIONS TO EXISTING BUILDINGS

The fee for additions is calculated in accordance with column A, B, or C of the Percentage Fee Scale table, as the case may be, and the fee for those portions of the works that constitute additions is calculated in a similar manner but increased by 30 per cent.

APPORTIONMENT OF FEES BETWEEN STAGES AND BASIS OF PAYMENT FOR WORK

Work stage Proportion of fee Cumulative total
1 5% 5%
2 15% 20%
3 15% 35%
4 40% 75%
5 25% 100%

PARTIAL STANDARD SERVICES

(1). Unless otherwise agreed between the client and the architect, if an architect is appointed to render a partial standard service only, the fee shall be the percentage relevant to each work stage based on the cost of the works and calculated in accordance with the Percentage Fee Scale table.
(2). Unless otherwise agreed between the client and the architect, where an architect is appointed to take over work from another person previously commissioned for such work at any stage after stage one has been completed, the fee for the first subsequent stage shall be increased by 15 per cent.

SCOPE OF ARCHITECTS’ SERVICES

SCOPE OF ARCHITECTS’ SERVICES

The below definition of the scope of the architects’ standard services are included in the NIA Client/Architect agreement (2004), which is signed at the beginning of a professional appointment between an architect and his/her client. The Client Architect agreement is sold by the Namibia Institute of Architects and is copyrighted. For more information on this, also refer to the Namibia Institute of Architects’ website: www.nia.org.na

1. STANDARD SERVICES (THESE SERVICES ARE INCLUDED IN THE STANDARD FEE CHARGE-ABLE)

1.1. Stage 1-APPRAISAL AND DEFINITION OF THE PROJECT (5% of total fee)

  • The architect will receive, appraise and report on the client’s requirements with particular regard to site information, planning, statutory requirements, budgetary constraints, the need for consultants, and project programme.
  • He/she will advise the client on the need for the appointment of consultants, procedures to meet the client’s requirements including methods of contracting, and on any supplementary services that may be required.

1.2. Stage 2- DESIGN CONCEPT (15% of fee)

  • In consultation with the other professional consultants appointed and mindful of the client’s brief, the architect will prepare a design showing space provisions, planning relationships, standards of materials intended to be used, and standards and suitability of services, in sufficient detail to enable the design to be approved by the client.
  • He/she will advise the client on the feasibility of the project as designed, the estimated cost, budget, rough time schedule and statutory requirements, and whether any supplementary services are required.

1.3. Stage 3- DESIGN DEVELOPMENT (15% of fee)

  • After approval of the initial concept design, the architect will develop it further to sufficiently coordinate the work and services of any consultants and specialists who have been appointed. Any changes to the initial concept design as requested by the client at the end of stage 2 will be effected and presented for approval before proceeding further.
  • The architect will ensure the design complies with the statutory authorities’ requirements, and if need be discuss matters with the relevant authorities to ensure compliance.
  • Review the budget and time schedule.
  • The design and costing will be presented for written approval by the client before the architect proceeds to stage 4.

1.4. Stage 4-TECHNICAL DOCUMENTATION AND APPROVALS (40% of fee)

  • The architect will prepare drawings and documentation for submission to local or statutory authorities for approval.
  • Working drawings, specifications and other technical documents necessary for the execution of the project will be fully prepared and documented.
  • The architect shall co-ordinate the work of other consultants in the preparation of the contract and tender documentation.

1.5. Stage 5- CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION AND INSPECTION (25% of fee)

  • The architect and/or Quantity Surveyor will call for tenders and/or negotiate the building contract where required.
  • Advise the client regarding awarding the building contract and the completion of contract documents.
  • Prepare the building contract documents and present this for signature by the parties thereto.
  • Administer the building contract/s: This includes the issuing of monthly payment certificates to the contractor, ensuring compliance of the contractor with all aspects of the building contract and fair and reasonable evaluation of all claims received in accordance with the contract.
  • The architect also inspects the building works. The form, frequency and duration of meetings and visits related to administering the building contract/s and inspecting the works will vary according to the nature and stage of the construction and is clarified and agreed upon in the schedule of the NIA Client-Architect agreement.
  • On completion of the project, provide the client with as-built drawings.

2. SUPPLEMENTARY SERVICES

The following supplementary services are additional to the standard services referred to above, and will attract additional fees. Supplementary services may be required individually or in varying combinations, or as such, together with standard services. They may be carried out by the architect or by him/her in collaboration with other consultants. Supplementary services shall only be provided by prior agreement between the client and the architect. The services below are also clearly defined in the NIA Client/Architect agreement and it is agreed in the schedule of the agreement if any of these are required. If it becomes evident at a later stage of the project progress that any of these services are required, the architect will notify the client in writing about this requirement and only upon written approval by the client of the need for the service and the costs, will proceed with the work.

Supplementary services are divided into different parts, namely; special studies, special designs, existing premises, special administrative or legal services, maintenance manuals, and supplementary or revised documentation.

2.1. SPECIAL STUDIES

  • Studies for the Preparation of the Client’s Brief
    Assist the client in preparation of his requirements with regard to matters relating to the client’s purpose, use of building type or method of operation.
  • Site Selection, Survey and Location Studies
  • Investigation and advice on the suitability of a proposed site for a given project, other than when being rendered on a current project under standard services. Investigation of the physical and chemical properties of the soil strata by means of trial holes, borings, probes, loading and laboratory tests. Preparation of survey drawings indicating beacons, servitudes, site features, levels, contours, flood lines, altitude, prescribed datums and other relevant physical items. Research into factors affecting location of a proposed project and making recommendations thereon.
  • Technical, Economic and Environmental Feasibility Studies
    Investigation of, and reporting on, technical or economic feasibility or need for environmental studies with the object of assisting the client to decide whether to proceed and, if so, in what form.
  • Market Studies
    Identifying sales potential, letting prospects, etc.
  • Traffic Studies
    Studies of pedestrian, vehicle and goods traffic generation and flow on site and in relation to its neighborhood or urban context.
  • Operational, Plant and Production Layout Studies
    Research into an analysis of the client’s organisation or work flow or plant / production layout provided by others, in terms of building volume generation, provisions for expansion, installation, operating and maintenance procedures.

2.2. SPECIAL DESIGNS

  • Town Planning Design
    Regional planning, town planning, urban design and town layout.
  • Master Site Planning
    Defining the considerations and planning relating to the layout of one or more future buildings to relate them, their services and circulations to a current project on the same site, the related professional services on the current project to be remunerated in the fees for standard services.
  • Landscape Design
    Design, preparation of documentation, calling for tenders for, or negotiating, a contract, administration of the contract and inspection of the execution of landscape work.
  • Promotional Material
    Preparation of brochures, models or other publicity material for the promotion of a project.
  • Art Work and Graphics
    Advice on, or selection of, art works, features or graphics. No additional fee for this service shall accrue to the architect where cost of art work or graphics form part of the cost of works. Design and procurement of graphics, signs, logos or corporate identity material.
  • Purpose-Made Items
    Design/ technical documentation of purpose-made components, elements, fixtures or fittings.
  • Interiors
    The design or selection, documentation and procurement of furniture and furnishings and any special finishes or fixtures related to interiors.
  • Plant Procurement
    Design, specification or co-ordination of the installation of machinery or equipment related to the use of the building such as required for manufacturing, treatment or processing.

2.3. EXISTING PREMISES

  • Inspections, Surveys and Reports
    Inspections, preparation of survey drawings and notes and reports on existing buildings.
  • Demolitions
    Preparation of documentation for purposes of demolition, calling for tenders for or negotiating a contract, administration of the contract and inspection of the execution of the demolition work.
  • Alterations or Renovations Related to New Work
    Advice on design, preparation of documentation, calling for tenders for, or negotiating, a contract, administration of the contract and inspection of the execution of alteration or renovation work included in the building contract for new work.
  • Valuations
    Valuation of property or buildings for the purpose of insurance, rental, expropriation, taxation, etc., other than any valuation rendered under standard services on a current project.
  • Restorations
    Services in connection with inspection, measurement and any work related thereto, historic research, verification of authenticity or restoration of an existing building.

2.4. SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE / LEGAL SERVICES

  • Local Authority Town Planning Schemes
    Applications for rezoning, change of use, amendment of town planning schemes or title conditions.
  • Negotiations
    Negotiation, including where necessary the preparation of documentation or models for the purpose thereof, with public authorities, adjoining owners or any other party for the purpose of obtaining consent for a project or part thereof, or to effect changes of land use, or to obtain waivers.
  • Non-Standard Building Contracts
    Additional services arising out of the use of building contracts other than the building contracts as defined herein.
  • Co-ordination Contracts
    Co-ordination of two or more individual, simultaneous or consecutive, building contracts on the same site or building.
  • Cost Checking ‘Cost Plus” or “Managed” Contracts
    Checking cost data provided by a contractor operating on a “cost plus” or “managed” contract.
  • Extended Visits or Meetings
    Extended visits or meetings in excess of fortnightly progress reviews and administration or inspection visits for stage 5.
  • Extended or Constant Supervision
    Providing extended or constant supervision of the works by a resident architect’s representative or clerks of works.
  • Sectional Titles
    Preparation of documentation to meet the requirements of the regulations under the Sectional Title Act 1971, and any amendments thereto, the fee to be in accordance with the provisions of that Act. Fees under the aforementioned Act do not cover the following services, which shall rank as additional fees:
    – Documentation covering common property allocation.
    – Composite plans as required by local authorities.
    – As-built drawings.
    – Drawings or submission for approval to public authorities of deviations not previously approved.
    – Copies of documents additional to those required to open the Register contemplated in that Act.
  • Default/ Insolvency of Employer, Contractor or Nominated Sub-Contractor
    Professional services arising from default or insolvency of the employer, contractor or nominated sub-contractor as defined in the building contract.
  • Litigation and Arbitration
    Advice on, or assistance in, litigation or arbitration.
  • Damages to or Destruction of the Works
    Services arising out of damage to, or destruction of the works or part thereof.

2.5. MAINTENANCE MANUAL

Preparation of a manual for the maintenance of a building or its service installation.

2.6. SUPPLEMENTARY OR REVISED DOCUMENTATION

Preparation of supplementary or revised documentation due to the exigencies of the project or to cater for supplementary or revised requirements arising subsequent to receipt of the client’s instructions to proceed and the architect’s work having been commended.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ARCHITECT & A DRAUGHTSPERSON?

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ARCHITECT & A DRAUGHTSPERSON?

Draughtsperson:

  • Any person may become a draughtsperson, provided they have the necessary technical know-how and skills to use the relevant technical drawing programmes, such as Autocad, Revit or Archicad. These skills may have been gained through the completion of a certificate course, a diploma or through practical experience.
  • In South Africa, a clear distinction is made between draughtspersons, technologists and senior technologists. A technologist has acquired a 3-year undergraduate degree in architecture at an accredited university, while a senior technologist has qualified with a 4-year honours degree or a B.Tech in architecture from an accredited university. All three categories may register as professionals in their category after writing the professional practice examination in South Africa.
  • At present there is no guideline in Namibia for the professional registration of draughtspersons or technologists. This means that work performed by a draughtsperson is not regulated by a statutory body, such as the Namibia Council of Architects and Quantity Surveyors. Therefore the client is not protected by regulated fees or a set code of conduct or standard of work.
  • A draughtsperson has also not gone through the rigorous 5 years of studies that an architect has done, and will not necessarily have the required design language and theory of architecture that can make the difference between a poorly planned building and a work of truly good architecture.

Architect:

  • In order to become a qualified architect one is required to have completed a masters degree in architecture – M.Arch (Prof), accredited M.Tech or the older B.Arch degree. Each of these degrees requires a minimum of 5 years of full-time study at an accredited university.
  • During these studies, an architect is taught not only how to draw, but also to speak a design language – how to place elements together to create a unified whole. The study of the history of architecture, design theory, construction detailing and sustainability brings practicality and creativity together, allowing the architect to conceptualise a building from its rudimentary beginnings to the last finishing details.
  • In addition, once qualified with the degree, one is required to complete a minimum of two years of work experience as an architect-in-training, under the mentorship of a registered architect. During this time, the architect-in-training must submit monthly training records and reports of the work experience acquired to the Namibia Council of Architects and Quantity Surveyors.
  • Once the training period has been completed, all architects-in-training are required to write and pass the professional practice examination, conducted by the Namibia Council of Architects and Quantity Surveyors. Upon completing this exam successfully, the architect-in-training may register as a professional architect, and is deemed a fully qualified professional architect.
  • As a registered professional architect, one has to adhere to the current Architects’ Act, as set out by the Namibia Council of Architects and Quantity Surveyors. Therefore the client is protected by regulated fees, a set code of conduct and standard of work.
  • An architect should therefore have the required skill, design background and professional liability to design buildings of varying complexity in a holistic manner.=0000000000000000000000000

At present, a draughtsperson may draw up plans for a building with an area of up to 500 square metres. It is important that the choice of a draughtsperson or architect is not determined based only on the size of the project. The client should carefully consider what they require in terms of the complexity of the building. For example, does the client require as-built plans for a house or is a design for a complex new medical facility needed? The sensitivity of the site is also important – will the building be placed on a site of environmental or heritage significance? If so, additional design considerations or conservation measures will be required, which demand the expertise of a professional architect. Finally, various aesthetic or design requirements should be considered and may therefore call for the skills and holistic approach of an architect.