Frequently Asked Questions

Q1 - What does a Chartered Architectural Technologist do?

A1 -

Chartered Architectural Technologists provide architectural design services and solutions. They are specialists in the science of architecture, building design and construction, and form the link between your requirements and the delivery of building work. They can negotiate the construction project and manage the process from inception through to completion.

Q2 - What type of design services can an Architectural Technologist provide?

A2 -

The nature and scope of an Architectural Technologist’s design services are matters for agreement between you and your Architectural Technologist. However, design services for construction works to a domestic property, for example, usually include the preparation of plans and drawings for the proposed works and preparation of the specification. The specification normally sets out how the works should be constructed, the nature of the materials to be used and the standards required of the builder. Your Architectural Technologist will discuss your design requirements with you and can advise upon the type and quality of materials for use in the proposed work.

Q3 - How do I get started?

A3 -

Most projects generally start off by you and your Architectural Technologist meeting to discuss and assess your needs in order to agree a project brief. This often includes identifying possible options, expenditure limits and a timescale for the completion of the works. It may also involve a preliminary feasibility study based upon your brief. A feasibility study may involve:

Considering whether your brief can be implemented within your budget limits.

Advice and recommendations upon any site investigations or tests that may be required, for example, to establish the ground conditions at your property.

The need to involve other professionals to undertake these investigations or tests, or indeed to provide other specialist services for your project;And advice as to whether any statutory approvals may be required before works commence.

Q4 - What are statutory approvals?

A4 -

“Statutory approvals” is an expression which usually refers to the need to obtain planning permission and building regulations approval for your proposed work. Your Architectural Technologist can advise you if those, or other, approvals are required for your project. Where appropriate they will prepare the relevant plans and applications on your behalf as part of the design services. Other consents or actions may also be required by law, depending on your type of project. Examples are the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994/2006, and the Party Wall etc Act 1996. Again, your Architectural Technologist will be able to advise you.

Q5 - Will my Architectural Technologist ensure that I obtain planning permission and/or building regulati

A5 -

An Architectural Technologist can take all necessary and appropriate steps to prepare the relevant plans and applications required by Local Authority Planners and the Building Inspector. However, it is the Local Authority Planning Committee who decides whether planning permission will be granted for any particular project and it is the Local Building Control Authority or Approved Inspector who decides whether building regulations approval will be granted. As your Architectural Technologist ultimately has no control over whether the statutory approvals are granted, there can be no guarantee of approval. It should be remembered that these applications attract charges for which you would be responsible, and there may be further inspection charges under the building regulations. They are normally separate to the charges for professional services.

Q6 - Do I need to agree anything in writing with my Architectural Technologist before he starts work?

A6 -

In order to provide for certainty and avoid disputes at a later stage, it is always prudent to agree in writing the scope and the terms of the Architectural Technologist’s services. The best time to do this is when your instructions are being discussed and accepted. Many Architectural Technologists will have standard Conditions of Engagement which set out the duties and obligations between you and your Architectural Technologist. This can be a letter of engagement or formal contract, but your Architectural Technologist must record his terms of engagement in writing in accordance with CIAT’s Code of Conduct.

Q7 - What sort of things should be covered in a Letter of Engagement or Conditions of Engagement?

A7 -

It is usual to deal with the following matters (but this is by no means an exhaustive list):

The scope of the professional services to be provided, for example, the precise nature of the drawings and specification to be provided.

The extent to which you require the Architectural Technologist to assist you to select materials and engage a builder. Also, whether, or the extent to which, the Architectural Technologist will monitor the builder’s work and monitor relations between you and the builder, for example, the payment for the builder’s work. This is an optional service to be agreed if required.

The likely reasonable timescales for the provision of the Architectural Technologist’s services.

The amount of fee to be charged by the Architectural Technologist and the manner in which the fee is calculated and details of the method of payment required.

It is also usual to identify those services which may be undertaken by other professionals.

The circumstances in which the contracted arrangements may be terminated and dispute resolution methods.

Q8 - Why would I need to employ other professionals for my building project?

A8 -

Many building projects call for specialist advice from other professionals working in the construction industry such as a structural engineer, a quantity surveyor, an energy consultant and a planning supervisor/CDM co-coordinator. With your Chartered Architectural Technologist they would work together as a team on your project. For example, a structural engineer might prepare structural drawings and undertake calculations for foundations and for load bearing beams. A quantity surveyor may be employed to provide cost estimates to check whether a project is viable before involving a builder and, once the building works are underway, a quantity surveyor can keep a check upon the cost of the work that has been undertaken by the builder and keep a check on the cost of any additional work carried out by the builder. An energy consultant may be required to ensure that the building complies with acceptable energy efficiency requirements. A planning supervisor/CDM coordinator would have overall responsibility for co-coordinating the health and safety aspects of the design and its integration with the building work.

Q9 - Would you supply me with CAD Format files (ie AutoCAD or similar)?

A9 -

Generally NO…


The Ownership of the IP in the plans rests with the organisation which created them – A1 Architecture UK, UNLESS there is a PRIOR ASSIGNMENT OF THEM IN WRITING.

If you DONT’T have a WRITTEN assignment you’ll have to buy the rights to use them.

Assignment of copyright from a contractor to a customer MUST be in writing.

However should you have employed A1 Architecture UK to produce ALL the drawings and successfully obtained planning and building regs approval AND with no outstanding Fees, we can sell an assignment for a extra £500.

But should you only have employed A1 Architecture UK just to produce the Planning Drawings but NOT the Building Regs / Working drawings, the additional assignment fee would be an extra £1,000

But on the other hand, if have only employed A1 Architecture UK just to produce the Survey Drawings but NOT any other drawings, the additional assignment fee would be an extra £1,500

To clarify, the design fees that you pay are for a licence for the paper or pdf drawings ONLY and for your sole use.

Q10 - Can you just provide me with working drawings and make a Building Regulations submissions?

A10 -


Yes, but please note the following:

The design is a step by step process, ie

Firstly a measured survey

Followed by the scheme design

And then the detail design

To produce a detailed design will still incure the costs of producing a survey model and scheme design BEFORE we can start to produce the working drawings.

Therefore, the fee we would charge would include for the prevous two stages, we can-not just charge you a fee for the Detail Design Stage as a stand alone fee….