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    Michael Ermann

    Architects often don’t charge for extra work performed, because we are Golden Retrievers: so happy to be involved, we don’t want to blow it by appearing greedy. In reality, architects—like lawyers, dentists, and accountants—offer professional services and like those other professions, we should charge higher fees for additional services. NCARB, not so subtly, prioritizes this in the exams . . . once licensed, they want you to stop giving away free services, both because it’s better for you, and because it’s better for the other firms in your area who then can charge extra fees for their extra work. And maybe because making architects aware of this charge-more language in the standard contract offers a path for the profession to keep fees from sliding downward without anyone credibly accusing someone else of violating the antitrust laws that forbid architecture firms or the AIA from colluding to set fees.

    The standard contracts put additional charges into two categories, supplemental services and additional services. Supplemental services include an enumerated list of extras (including programming, providing an on-site architect during construction, landscape design, etc.), where the specific extra costs of the landscape design are defined beforehand in the contract. Additional services include looser, project-specific, extras not likely to be included on a pre-printed contract list. Upon presenting written permission to the architect, the owner pays for the additional services at a contract-specified, pre-agreed-upon hourly rate.

    Though the pantheon of potential additional services remains flexible and vast, the contract includes a bulleted list of the types of unanticipated services that may fall under the “additional” umbrella, like services necessitated by a change in the Initial Information, the architect’s attendance at a public hearing needed to approve the project. . . and designing add alternates. 

    So the owner will, in writing, agree to pay the architect the previously-agreed-upon hourly fee to create a second design with the alternate. Below is a list of that contract language:

    --Michael Ermann, Amber Book creator

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    Rajan Karmacharya

    Thank you Michael! That was really very helpful :)

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    Rebekka O'Melia (Edited )

    If the client makes it clear before their contract is developed that alternates and/or unit costs may be necessary because of site conditions (a complicated rehab project for instance with lots of unknown existing conditions) the alternates would be part of the initial bid package and they would not be an additional service. It's the architect's job to try to control construction costs for the owner, so the alternates would be included in the B101 if needed. If when drafting the B101 the architect didn't foresee the need for the alternates then it would be an additional service.  It's pretty common to include alternates in the bid package for complicated projects.  We don't get paid extra for it unless the owner asks for something specific after the B101 is drafted.  (Like how much extra would it be for a media room or a swimming pool clubhouse?). It's called 'scope creep'.  

    Hope this helps! 

    Rebekka O'Melia, Registered Architect, NCARB, B. Arch, M. Ed, Step UP, Step UP ARE 5.0 Courses

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    Rajan Karmacharya

    It did!! Thank you Rebekka.

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    Kaitlin Gioia DeAngelis

    So does this mean evaluation of bid qualifications is actually an additional service and not part of the architects basic services per 4.2.1.6?

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    Michael Ermann

    No, that clause says that architects are paid extra for ALTERNATES proposed in the bidding process…so if a hotel owner isn’t sure if she will want a pool in her new hotel, and wants the bidders to price the addition of a pool separately so she can decide later if the pool is worth it (and so a pool doesn’t become a more expensive change order later after the pressure to produce a competitive bid is removed and the contractor has all the negotiating leverage)……the architect needs to be paid extra for preparing the bid documentation for the alternative (and designing the pool if it wasn’t in the contract scope)

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