Approximately 75% of all firms within the AIA are small firms (10 employees or less), which equates to 14,288 small firms within the organization.
~25% = sole practitioners = 4,750
~35% = 1-5 employees = 6,650
~15% = 5-10 employees = 2,850We need to find ways to leverage that size for collaboration and influence, just like the individual large firms do.
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I am a licensed architect in Virginia opening a new company called PLANS4GOOD. The company consigns architectural house plans designed by licensed architects and sells them online to potential homeowners all over the country. The architect is compensated with one third the purchase price of the plans each time they sell. One third of the purchase price is used to market the company and cover payroll. The final third is donated to local chapters of non-profit organizations like Habitat for Humanity working to provide housing to those in need. The company is structured as a benefit corporation, a transparent structure dedicated to social and environmental change.
I am looking for architects who would like to become consignors of plans. The idea for architects is that they will be able to make passive income from plans already completed, while helping those on the bottom end of the economic ladder. We are focusing on plans that are energy efficient. I am also very interested to get feedback from architects on the concept and ways to make it better.
Please contact me if you have any questions, comments or interest.
Pennie Zinn Garber, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB
Lineage Architects PC
98 Lee Highway
Verona, Virginia 24482
Primary email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Secondary email: email@example.com
Hello, Pennie -I suggest you review the professional practice statutes of all 50 states and determine a "safe" way to label the documents you'll be selling.In many, perhaps most, states, single family residences don't require an architect's stamp and signature. But, in at least some, if drawings are prepared by an architect and submitted for building permit, they must be stamped and signed (even if otherwise exempt).There is also the near-uniform requirement that persons calling themselves "architect" or using magic words like "architectural" have to be registered to practice in that state.Similarly, you may need to limit buildings to ones which comply with the International Residential Code outright, and which don't require the services of a registered professional engineer.Energy code, snow loads, lateral loading, regional lumber availability and strengths, etc. will be other regional variations to accomodate.Hopefully you have looked at the offerings of some on-line plan services and seen how they handle requests for drawing modifications, adding a basement, etc.
The business/donation model sounds good. Best wishes