The following are procedures to determine the fee for general review services:
- if engaged for site review, confirm whether the services will include non-code matters (building code matters should always be part of the fee);
- establish a draft of appropriate services for the specific project;
- define the scope of services that address these;
- discuss the site review process and appropriate fee with the client;
- make adjustments as required;
- review with consultants.
Be aware of obligations required by the building code and by the relevant provincial or territorial architects act, such as preparing and submitting general review reports to the municipality having jurisdiction over the project. Remember that if contracted to certify payments to the contractor, the architect is then required to provide general review for both building code and non-code matters. General review, as well as payment and substantial performance certification, is included in the definition of contract administration in the standard client-architect contract.
If the municipality requires shop drawings of code-related matters to be submitted for their records, advise the client that the cost of making these submissions is included in the fee for contract administration.
Evaluate the time required to provide general review services appropriate to the specific project, calculate the fee, and review it in detail with the client prior to signing the client-architect contract. The client-architect contract should record:
- the agreed-to scope of services;
- the related fees;
- an amending provision to adjust the contract should circumstances differ from what was agreed.
Circumstances which were not anticipated originally may require renegotiation.
Many factors affect the ability of the architect to prescribe fully, at the time of preparing the client-architect contract, the number, frequency, and extent of site visits. However, some of the following factors can be predicted with some degree of accuracy and should be considered in establishing the fee:
- size and complexity of project;
- type of construction contract and method of project delivery;
- experience of the client with construction matters;
- requirements for submission of code-related shop drawings to the municipality having jurisdiction over the project.
These are known prior to the execution of the client-architect contract and should be identified in the contract, and the related costs should be included in the fee.
Other factors cannot be predicted accurately, such as:
- varying weather conditions;
- quality of workmanship of trades;
- performance of the general contractor and the personnel assigned to the project.
Review the provisions made in the contract to allow for these uncertainties with the client and advise the client that the scope and fee may need to be revisited if changes in the scope of services occur due to circumstances unforeseen at the time of execution of the contract.